Amazingly enough, this isn’t the first anime I’ve written about on this site that’s actually an update to one that already aired. One of the first Pilot Impressions I ever did was for the Winter 2019 anime, Dororo (2019), which I think originally aired sometime in the 60’s or 70’s (I don’t actually know because I’m too lazy to do a quick Google search for it right now). But, one thing both Fruits Basket (2019) and Dororo (2019) have in common, is I’ve seen neither one before, so these updates are my first impressions.
Our main character, Tooru Honda, is living alone in a tent and attending a local high school. Her father died when she was much younger, and her mother was killed tragically in a car accident more recently (name a more iconic duo than an anime protagonist and dead parents; I’ll wait). While she was originally sent to live with her grandfather, they were separated due to housing renovations, leaving her to fend for herself.
Through various flashbacks that help build this back story, we’re also treated to a history lesson of the zodiac animals, including a story of why the cat was not included (thanks to some trickery from the rat), as told by Tooru’s mother. This story stuck with Tooru as a child, who adopted the cat as her birth animal (despite the fact that she was actually born in the year of the dog), and gave her a lifelong interest in the zodiac animals.
Now, our orphaned protagonist has to stick her tent somewhere, and it so happens that she’s been living on the land of the Souma family, which includes one of her classmates, Yuki, known as “The Prince” at school for his charm. When she is discovered, the Souma family takes her in to live in their spare room until renovations are complete and she can move back in with her grandfather. It’s here that a fun twist to everything that has been shown to us so far is revealed in full (I won’t spoil it).
Overall, it was an impressive start to what appears to be a promising series. Like I mentioned before, I haven’t seen the original or read anything about it, but as far as the remake goes, the art is solid, the voice actors are well cast, and the story is well written. There wasn’t any point during this one where I felt bored enough to pick up my phone or pause to see how much time was left. And when it ended, I was excited to put it in an easy to reach spot in the queue so that I could quickly find it next week. It has just enough touches of comedy to keep a smile on your face while also delivering on a promise of mystery and fantasy. I definitely recommend giving this one a try.