We’re really in the middle of a Fruits Basket Renaissance, aren’t we? Once upon a time, it was the biggest name in shoujo manga and anime outside the likes of Card Captor Sakura and Sailor Moon. Now, almost 20 years after the original anime aired in Japan, a new adaption that promises to cover the entire length of the manga is now airing. It’s no coincidence that Natsuki Takaya, who created Fruits Basket, would, oh, draw some new chapters for the series. Not only that, the new Fruits Basket: The Three Musketeers Arc centers around fan-favorite characters Ayame, Hattori, and of course Shigure. It’ll only run for three chapters, unfortunately. The manga debuted on 4/20 in Japan and Yen Press will release the first chapter digitally on April 23.
While the premise of Fruits Basket may sound guilty to the uninitiated; a shoujo manga about a family who is cursed with various members turning into different animals when they’re hugged. It was never the fact that the hot-headed Kyo Sohma turned into a cat nor the cool and collected Yuki Sohma turning into a rat that endeared people to Furuba. No, the series successfully touched on issues like death, bullying, and mental illness in a serious and relatable manner. I think in the mid-2000s when Fruits Basket was really popular, people gravitated to it because it respected the teen reader and viewer and talked to them like adults.
One reason the new Fruits Basket: The Three Musketeers Arc is exciting is, of course, is the trio it’s centering around. You have Ayame the flamboyant designer, Hattori the somber doctor, and Shigure who took care of all the teens in the original manga. Many chapters dealt with the Musketeer trio in their school days and even adult lives, adding a level of depth to the original story by presenting adult themes and problems side by side with the rest of the comic. Actually, Natsuki Takaya just spent the past few years doing a Furuba sequel called Fruits Basket Another that only recently wrapped up. However, maybe because it was a sequel with new characters, old fans weren’t too excited.
You can currently watch the new Fruits Basket on Crunchyroll and Funimation. You’ll be able to buy the Fruits Basket: The Three Musketeers Arc digitally from Yen Press shortly!