Ok, this is a little different than my normal reviews. Since I’m watching Fruits Basket 2019 as it’s airing, I’ll do a review on only the first episode instead of one review to encompass the reboot as a whole. I might do a second review of the rebooted first season as a whole when it’s complete, but this is what I have for now to get my initial first thoughts on the first episode out there. This is completely under the assumption that anyone who cares about Fruits Basket already watched the reboot so if you hadn’t seen the first episode of Fruits Basket 2019, watch it now. This is not a spoiler free blog. That will be your only warning.
Rather than giving a summary, I’m just gonna jump right in and point out the similarities and differences between the reboot and the original first episode, since they both hit all the same points and end at the same point. I’m not going to talk about design differences because the biggest pet peeves I had about the differences I already mentioned in the last blog, so I’m only focusing on acting, dialogue, and story points that differ.
First, I was surprised that all the English voice actors were the same people that did the original. The only voices that sound different are Shigure and Hana, both sounding like the same person, suggesting they’re voiced by the same person as they were in 2001, but their tones sound a little different suggesting either their voices changed with nearly 2 decades of age, as I believe is the case with Shigure, or they simply wanted to try a different voice with their respective characters, which might be the case of Hana. One thing that actually took me a few viewings to catch is that, in the beginning of the episode, it shows the first banquet with the cat in God’s arms as God casts the curse. One thing that surprised me is that the voice actress for God is the same voice actress for Tohru. Typically, when two characters are voiced by the same actor, there’s some connection, like Yukiji and Nanami from Kamisama Kiss, America and Canada in Hetalia, or even the Merchant and the Genie in Disney’s Aladdin. Is the reboot implying that God and Tohru are connected? That’s definitely something I can’t wait to see the outcome of.
Another point I want to make is there are a few differences. The biggest difference that’s worth mentioning is when Yuki and Shigure offer the spare room in their house, while in the 2001 show Shigure assured Tohru that she’s not in their way because the two Somas have something to gain from her living there, that being a need of a housekeeper to cook and clean because she was concerned about being a burden on them. Meanwhile, in 2019 reboot, Shigure out of nowhere asks if Tohru likes housework, and after hearing her answer leaves it at that. He doesn’t propose that he’s hiring her as a housekeeper, or even declare that she’s the new housekeeper like he did in the original. It’s not that big a deal, but it does leave Tohru feeling like a burden and unclear on why Shigure was so interested in knowing her opinion or preference on cooking and cleaning.
Aside from that, I loved the first episode and am so excited to continue on this ride until the bittersweet end. It’s still just as funny, heartwarming, tragic, and adorable as its 2001 counterpart (even if Yuki’s rats are so much more creepy in the reboot hile their animal zodiac forms are adorable!)
That’s all for now. What did you think of episode 1? Did it hit your Nostalgia when the 2001 voice actors returned, or did you want to see new voices try their hand at breathing new life into the new reboot? Did you like Shigure’s more subtly implying to Tohru what he intended, or do you prefer hi spelling it out for the sake of Tohru’s dependency complex? Let me know in the comments and have a beautiful rest of your day~!