The Quarantine Stream: ‘Fruits Basket’ is a Wholesome Slice-of-Life Anime That is a Treat for the Eyes and the Heart
Posted on Thursday, April 2nd, 2020 by Hoai-Tran Bui
(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)
The Series: Fruits Basket (2019)
Where You Can Stream It: Crunchyroll (with subtitles), Hulu (dubbed in English)
The Pitch: Recently orphaned high school teenager Tohru Honda finds herself living in a house with her handsome classmate Yuki Sohma and his two cousins — Yuki’s hot-headed rival Kyo, and the group’s de facto guardian, Shigure. But she soon discovers that Yuki’s family harbors a strange secret: they’re cursed to transform into an animal of the Chinese zodiac when hugged by a member of the opposite sex. Tohru quickly becomes entangled in the Sohma family’s lives and, through her cheery disposition and unflagging kindness, begins to change the embittered family members’ lives for the better.
Why It’s Essential Quarantine Viewing: Getting over the wacky romantic-comedy premise of this series is always the biggest hurdle for anyone starting Fruits Basket. The idea of several hot men who transform into cute animals living under the same roof of a naive girl has led many to miscategorize Fruits Basket as a reverse harem anime — a trope that describes a fluffy romance between one girl and her many varied suitors. But I promise you that this somewhat silly premise gives way to a sensitive and moving slice-of-life series that manages to profoundly examine depression, alienation, abuse, and the healing power of love.