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Do you ever get the feeling that the pace of anime is too much to keep up with and you feel like you want to watch something with a slightly lighter tone, and perhaps an atmosphere with many sweet moments? Thankfully, anime based on Shoujo manga exists that fills the void that you’ve been looking to fill!
Fruits Basket is an anime that can easily tug on anyone’s heart strings, with its romance mixed with comedy, it gives just the right amount of charm that leaves a long lasting warming sensation inside. It is a slice of life type of anime that gives off a relaxing vibe and can make you smile many times from just watching an episode. If you have been seeking for more of that kind of sensation, don’t worry, we have you covered. Here is a list of anime that is like Fruits Basket.
Similar Anime to Fruits Basket
1. Kamisama Hajimemashita (Kamisama Kiss)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Oct. 2012 – Dec. 2012
Our first recommendation is a returning entry, Kamisama Hajimemashita, an anime about a high school girl named Nanami Momozono. She wants a normal life but becomes homeless due to her father’s gambling problem. One fateful day, she saves a man from a vicious attack and in return he offers her to stay in his house. Without any other choice, Nanami accepts but soon finds out that the man she saved was actually a god, and by accepting to live there she has to take on the duties of the shrine.
Nanami meets a powerful fox demon named Tomoe whose job is to help her become a deity, however their relationship isn’t as easy going as you’d expect, as they hate each other. Hoping to gain his trust and learn the ways of becoming a deity, Nanami soon begins to fall for Tomoe as they spend more time together.
Kamisama Hajimemashita has a lot of similar qualities to Fruits Basket, which is why we had to include it back into the new list. The main quality of which is that they both center around a girl who has nothing and ends up finding a new home with special beings. It has a similar art style and light-hearted atmosphere; Nanami also looks similar to and has a personality that resembles Tooru’s. Both series have similar romance and involve the male characters looking after the protagonist, who develops feelings for them after initially not caring at all about them.
Kamisama Hajimemashita Trailer
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Oct. 2009 – Mar. 2010
Our second choice on this list goes to Kobato., an anime series based on the manga by CLAMP. It is about a clumsy but sweet girl named Hanato Kobato who has a wish to go to a certain place, but in order to do so she must fulfill a mission.
She has to fill a bottle with ‘healed hearts’ from people who have had their suffering hearts healed in-exchange for her wish. Kobato has no memories of her past and she is forbidden to fall in love with anyone she heals.
A spirit named Ioryogi, a dog plushie that is tasked with helping Kobato, is being forced to help her in order to save his own friends held captive in the spiritual world and to return to his true form. Kobato sincerely tries to help everyone she meets to gain their love and admiration, and ultimately their ‘heart’.
Kobato is quite similar to Tooru’s character because of their optimistic personalities and naivety. Both series have similar elements, touching upon fantasy, romance and drama. There is also an element of a curse in both series, which both protagonists have a strong desire to help the other characters relieve. Kobato. has a similar feeling to Fruits Basket that you just have to watch to understand, this is definitely a must watch if you enjoyed Fruits Basket.
3. Ouran Koukou Host Club (Ouran High School Host Club)
- Episodes: 54
- Aired: Apr. 2006– Sep. 2006
The next similar anime on our list is Ouran Koukou Host Club, following the story of a high school student called Haruhi Fujioka, who enters a prestigious academy known as Ouran High School after receiving a scholarship. Upon entering the school, one day she finds herself accidentally encountering the Ouran host club in music room #3 whilst trying to find somewhere quiet to study. Haruhi gets mistaken for a boy because of her short hair and appearance, and when Haruhi tries to leave, she accidentally stumbles into an antique vase worth eight million yen. She becomes forced to do the duties of an errand boy to pay off the huge debt.
The club has six male students that participates in club activities that include entertaining female ‘clients’. In time, Haruhi’s androgynous appearance lands her a promotion in becoming a full time male host. This way Haruhi can pay off her debt faster, though the deeper she dives into the glamorous life of a host, the more she is in danger of others finding out about her true identity.
Ouran Koukou Host Club is similar to Fruits Basket in the way that it is a story about a normal girl protagonist surrounded by handsome guys. It also touches on very similar themes of comedy and love, and has the same kind of light-hearted feel. Both series have a similar art style and have many heartwarming moments. They both also feature many male side characters, each with their own problems that the protagonist tries to help with. If you enjoyed Fruits Basket, then you will most likely like Ouran Koukou Host Club.
Any Anime Like Fruits Basket ?
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Dec. 2010 – Jun. 2011
Coming next is an anime called Starry Sky; this anime follows the story of a heroine named Tsukiko who enrolls at Seigetsu Academy where she is the only female in the entire school. This is because the school was formerly a boys-only school with an exclusive curriculum catered only for boys. Tsukiko happens to be the first and only girl to have joined the school.
During her time at the academy she meets twelve boys who are actually the twelve zodiac animals personified into young men. During her time there, she learns about each of their stories and their unique personalities. This is represented through episodic arcs, where each couple of episodes focuses on Tsukiko’s interaction with a single character.
Starry Sky also has a relaxed slice of life kind of atmosphere as with Fruits Basket. They both have a strong zodiac-related theme, and both feature protagonists that have a pure and innocent personality. With many sweet moments, Starry Sky is a unique kind of anime that is different from most; it has its own style in portraying the story that may not appeal to everyone’s taste.
5. Special A.
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Apr. 2008 – Sep. 2008
Our second to last recommendation is Special A, which is an anime about a girl named Hikari Hanazono, who since a young age has been competing against a boy named Kei Takishima. When they were 6-years old, Hikari challenged Kei to a wrestling match, but lost. Ever since then she has sworn to beat Kei in everything they do, from school grades to sport competitions. In order to stay in the same league as Kei, Hikari follows him and enrolls into an elite school known as Hakusenkan. Kei holds the top place in the school rankings followed shortly by Hikari at second place.
Though Hikari thinks of Kei as just a childhood rival and friend, she doesn't realise that Kei actually loves her and wants to have a different type of relationship with her. Whilst Hikari is constantly trying to defeat Kei in everything they do, Kei tries to find love within the madness of the relationship they have.
Special A has a similar style to Fruits Basket in terms of romance and comedy. Hikari's personality is also quite similar to Tooru's in the sense that they are both hard working people who never give up and would wish for others’ happiness before their own. Both series are also quite alike in terms of the similar feeling that the story emits and the many sweet moments they show. They both center around a female protagonist that is oblivious but is essential to everyone else’s happiness and brings everyone together.
6. Gakuen Alice
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Oct. 2004 – May. 2005
Our final recommendation is the anime Gakuen Alice, which is about a 10-year-old girl named Mikan Sakura who transfers to a prestigious school called Alice Academy, after following her best friend, Hotaru Imai, who transferred there.
Mikan discovers that the school is actually an elite academy that specializes in training ‘Alices’, gifted people who have supernatural abilities. The school was built to train and protect individuals with powers, and only people who have the abilities may enroll.
Mikan discovers that she too has an ability that allows her to enroll into the academy to see her friend once again. Mikan makes new friends with other ‘Alices’ and together with Hotaru, they uncover the secrets and mysteries behind some of the students, and within the academy.
Gakuen Alice is unique in its story but has many elements that can be found in Fruits Basket, such as involving magic and romance. The protagonists in both series are the optimistic type but have a naïve side to their personality. Gakuen Alice is a sweet and heartwarming anime that also has a mixture of drama and emotional situations that will make you want to watch more.
That concludes this list of 6 Anime Like Fruits Basket. If you like the kind of elements found within Fruits Basket, we urge you to try watching the 6 recommendations listed here as each of them has a lot of similarities, but their own unique stories, characters and styles which we think you will thoroughly enjoy.
Please be sure to let us know what you thought of this list by leaving a comment down below! Have you seen these anime before? Which ones would you recommend? Is there perhaps another anime not listed that you would like to share? As always please be sure to let us know!
Have you ever watch a show and wondered, "Would I manage to handle the daily life of the protagonist?” Well, I asked myself this question while watching Fruits Basket, and the answer was a clear no. Just imagine if you had to live in an old tent somewhere in the woods all by yourself. Yet, heroine Tohru Honda, somehow still manages to stay optimistic and to face problems head-on.
A truly entertaining story that is a must-watch for Shoujo fans. Don't let the age scare you off though. It's definitely fun to watch an anime that's that old-fashioned from time to time.
This being said, here is a list of six anime for fans of Fruits Basket to watch next.
Similar Anime to Fruits Basket
1. Itazura na Kiss (Playful Kiss)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: April 2008 –September 2008
It's actually frightening how much the first episode of Itazura na Kiss reminded me of Fruits Basket. The hero of this anime, Kotoko Aihara, also has to move into another household because her own house got destroyed. Being the optimistic girl that she is, Kotoko wouldn't complain if it weren't for the fact that it's the house of Irie Naoki - the boy that just dumped her in front of the whole school.
It's not only the plot that resembles Fruits Basket, but Irie kept reminding me of Yuki Sohma. They are both the quiet type and you can never really tell what kind of feelings they hold for the heroine.
If you want an anime that's frighteningly similar to Fruits Basket, Itazura na Kiss is the one you're looking for.
2.Hana Yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers)
- Episodes: 51
- Aired: September 1996 –August 1997
Next up is the oldest show on this list and probably the oldest anime I've ever watched myself. It shows a classic love triangle story with all the twists and turns that come with it. If you haven’t seen it already, Hana Yori Dango should be next on your to-watch list.
Like Tohru from Fruits Basket, heroine Tsukushi Makino gets saved by the kindness of some boys. She is also really optimistic even though she's struggling financially. And I don't know about you, but I really like the style of this anime even though it's so old-fashioned.
Besides, there are so many adaptations of this anime that you have to give the original version at least a try.
3. Kimi ni Todoke (From Me to You)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: October 2009 –March 2010
The charming story of Sawako and Shota will certainly warm your heart. Heroine Sawako struggles to find her place in school since she looks like Sadako from the horror movie, The Ring. Unable to make any friends she turns into an outcast, even though she truly cares about the people around her. It's not until Shota steps into her life that she's able to make friends and maybe even experience love.
Kimi ni Todoke should please those of you that don't like female leads being surrounded by too many guys. Here we have a straightforward love story that has the same charming and innocent vibe of Fruits Basket. Also, Sawako could be seen as the shy version of Tohru - both of them care about their friends without expecting anything in return.
Any Animes Like Fruits Basket ?
4.Kamisama Hajimemashita (Kamisama Kiss)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: October 2012 –December 2012
This one goes out to all the fans of Fantasy and Romance anime. Unlike Fruits Basket there are no guys turning into different animals, but we have the lovely Tomoe, a fox yokai. His duty is to protect Nanami Momozono, a girl that just took on the duties of a land god at a local shrine.
Nanami is a character that is lovely, optimistic and always smiling without getting obnoxious. Once again we have a female lead with immense character strength and charisma. Most importantly, Kamisama Hajimemashita hands down has one of my favorite soundtracks. Just listening to the opening song performed by Hanae already gives me the chills.
The second season of Kamisama Hajimemashita just aired so there are enough episodes to entertain you for many hours.
5. Inu x Boku SS (Inu x Boku Secret Service)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2012 –March 2012
I admit that Inu x Boku SS might not look that similar at first glance, but this show holds many surprises. Like in Fruits Basket we see a bunch of weird people living together under one roof. Shirakiin Ririchiyo is the daughter of a prestigious household and moves into a mansion with a special twist to it - every resident gets a member of the Secret Service (SS) assigned. But who would have thought that her agent is in fact a fox spirit?
Check this one out if you want to laugh as much as you did watching Fruits Basket, but are also a fan of Supernatural and Romance anime. The plot is more suspenseful and you will sit on the edge of your chair until the last episode. In my eyes the characters are the best part of Inu x Boku SS. Not only are they unique but the character design really fits their personalities. Give it a try!
6. Arcana Famiglia (La storia della Arcana Famiglia)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2012 –September 2012
Last but not least we have Arcana Famiglia, a Shoujo anime with superpower and action elements to it. This might not sound like a show similar to Fruits Basket, but you will understand once you start watching it. The setting is unusual for an anime since it's a fictive town somewhere in Italy. The head of the ruling Arcana family announces a fighting tournament open to everyone. The winner will not only be the next heir, but also be able to marry the family's daughter Felicità.
What's special about Arcana Famiglia are the supernatural abilities of the characters. The zodiac animals assigned to the boys of Fruits Basket are similar to the "Arcanas" in this show that all refer back to tarot cards. It definitely adds a nice touch to the plot. Besides, there are not that many shows out there with a unique genre mix of Mafia and Shoujo.
Arcana Famiglia is a great anime to watch if you like romance but are also a fan of fighting scenes.
Calling Fruits Basket a timeless classic would be an understatement. When it comes to Shoujo anime it is a must-watch. Not only is it entertaining by itself, but it also influenced a lot of later Shoujo anime. Don't let the age of this anime or some of the recommendations scare you off. All of the shows above have lovely characters and their stories were able to entertain me for hours.
What are your thoughts on Fruits Basket? Do you agree with our list? As always, let us know in the comment section below.