The 2019 anime reboot of Fruits Basket aimed to give fans a complete and accurate adaptation of the popular manga series compared to its 2001 predecessor, which missed the mark with unnecessary changes and omissions. The extended reboot, however, had time to cover the manga's original storyline in its entirety. Here are five significant changes found in the reboot that were explicitly inspired by the manga.
Fruits Basket (2019)'s More Accurate Character Designs
The updated art in the Fruits Basket reboot is more accurate to the original manga than what's found in the original 2001 series. The characters initially had rounder and smaller heads with much larger eyes. The eye colors in 2001 were also different from their original designs, with Tohru having blue eyes instead of brown and Yuki having purplish eyes instead of gray. The original Fruits Basket also gave Kyo purple eyes when he's in his true form, while the reboot keeps them orange.
Kyo's iconic bracelet received a new and accurate update in the reboot as well, where his bracelet is now red and white after the 2001 series had changed it to black and white. These accurate character designs give manga readers a source of comfort and closure as they finally see their favorite characters animated properly.
The Changes Made to Tohru's Personality
Tohru's personality is altered in the 2001 Fruits Basket to make her appear weaker and more scared for dramatic effect. However, her overdramatized behavior doesn't match her actions and personality in the manga. When she first discovers Kyo's true form in the original, she runs away in fear until she runs into Hanajima, who convinces her to go back to Kyo. This scene never happens in the manga or the 2019 reboot, as Tohru doesn't need any convincing to pursue Kyo.
Despite his true form, Tohru is arguably already in love with Kyo and can't bear the thought of him leaving forever. In the manga and reboot, she chases after him without hesitation, revealing her determination in the face of the unknown. In the original series, Yuki is also in the scene when Tohru confronts Kyo in his true form in the rain. Yuki holds Kyo down and tells Tohru to tell him how she feels, but Yuki was never present in this scene in the manga or reboot because Tohru doesn't need Yuki's help to know how to bring Kyo back.
The Fruits Basket Reboot's More Serious Tone
Fruits Basket (2019) has a more serious tone overall than its predecessor, which accurately reflects the manga. The 2001 series added anime-only scenes and dialogue for the sole purpose of humor. It played up the comedic situations the Sohma boys could get into if they're forced to turn into their Zodiac animal, like the episode when Uotani and Hanajima stay at their house.
While it does include scenes of comic relief that were peppered into the original manga, the 2019 reboot doesn't add additional scenes for comedic purposes. As viewers learn more about the dark side of the Sohma curse with this longer and complete reboot, the more serious the story's tone and actions become.
The Baseball Cap's Important Role In Fruits Basket
The baseball cap plays a vital role throughout the Fruits Basket manga, but the 2001 series chose to omit it entirely. This cap is the link between Tohru, Kyo, and Yuki's fates and acts as a window to their past. While it initially belonged to Kyo, Yuki picks it up on the day they both ran into Tohru for the first time. Since Kyo knew Tohru's mom and she told him that she was missing, he made it his personal mission to find the lost Tohru himself.
However, Yuki accidentally stumbles upon Tohru first and guides her back home before placing the baseball cap on her head to comfort her. This is a pivotal day for all three of them -- Tohru was saved, Yuki found a purpose and someone who relied on him, and Kyo decided not to visit Kyoko anymore.
The Fruits Basket Reboot Is a Proper Send-Off
The biggest difference between Fruits Basket's 2019 reboot and its 2001 predecessor is the length of the series, with the reboot adding two additional seasons on top of the original's one. Viewers get to see the extent of the manga content animated for the first time, including many vital characters who were never included in the original. The reboot reveals the secrets and dark side to the Zodiac curse and whether the Sohmas are finally freed from their bonds.
Fruits Basket 2019 also makes room for all the canon couples from the manga, offering viewers an array of happy couples to warm their hearts. Most importantly, the reboot finally offers closure with a complete and satisfying ending.