Well, it’s finally over. 23 years after the first Fruits Basket manga chapter appeared in Hana to Yume magazine, the full story has been faithfully adapted to animation. This final season wraps up the tale of the cursed Souma family and the well-meaning girl who helps them realize their own worth as individuals. So did TMS Entertainment do justice to the conclusion of one of the most iconic shoujo manga of all time? Let’s take a look!
Spoilers for Seasons 1 and 2 Ahead!
Absolutely Nails the Manga’s Best Moments
While previous seasons had their fair share of climactic emotional moments, sometimes the execution was a little off (most notably during the “Kyo’s True Form” arc, which added action anime physics to what should’ve been a light shove). This time, though, the most important scenes are entirely on-point with animation, music, and voice acting. We particularly love how the actors pour their hearts and souls into their characters’ lines: Yuuma Uchida adds a gentler side to Kyo once he starts being more open with people, Yuuichi Nakamura’s chilling performance as Shigure weaves together genuine affection and calculating manipulation so well that it’s hard to tell the difference between them, and the emotional range Maaya Sakamoto shows as Akito makes the infamous “God of the Zodiac” a much more complex character than anyone previously assumed. We won’t spoil the specifics of our favorite scenes, but both manga fans and new viewers will definitely like what they see.
Could’ve Used a Few More Episodes
Even though this anime is masterfully made (at time of writing, the final season is the #1 highest ranking show on MyAnimeList), a few more episodes would’ve given it some much-needed breathing room to expand on subplots and allow character growth to happen at a more natural pace. Yuki’s relationships with Machi and Kakeru lost the most screentime in adaptation – including the entire character of Kakeru’s girlfriend Komaki, who has ties to Tooru’s backstory – making his closeness with them feel a bit unearned. Akito’s character arc was also shortened and the possibility of giving poor neglected Ritsu more to do never came to fruition.
Still, the story still works well without those scenes, so it seems like prioritizing Kyo and Tooru’s plotline over the smaller arcs paid off in the end. This differs from a rushed “go read the manga” ending a la Horimiya because nothing vitally important is left out of the anime. It’s more like a long film’s theatrical cut, and you can look to the manga for the “extended edition” of things like Yuki and Machi’s relationship.
Fruits Basket is very precious to anime fans all over the world, and after the subpar 2001 adaptation didn’t quite hit the mark, we were worried that our beloved shoujo series would never get the faithful anime it truly deserved. Now, though, we can rest easy knowing that the 2019 version fulfilled our wishes in the best way it possibly could. But did you feel the same way? What are your thoughts on the final season of Fruits Basket? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!