'Fruits Basket' Creator Comments on New Anime

The incredibly popular shojo series Fruits Basket will be making a major comeback with a remake anime series coming next year, and series creator Natsuki Takaya is just as excited as fans are.

In a press release announcing Funimation's licensing of the new Fruits Basket anime, Takaya offered comments as to how she feels about the series returning in such a way.

When describing how she felt when originally approached about the project, she had a bit of hesitation "...to be perfectly frank, my reaction was, 'What?!' As for the reason why,...[it] goes back to when I reached my 20th year as a professional artist. To commemorate that anniversary, a team made a voice comic DVD of Fruits Basket's final chapter...with that voice comic I thought I’d finally found closure, and brought down the curtain on that chapter of my life. My heart was full of all sorts of emotions."

Emphasizing no negative feelings about the project, Takaya mainly felt hesitation about opening back up a series that she had closed. So making a few requests such as hiring an entirely new team, making art that doesn't resemble her series because her style is (as Takaya puts it) "is old now, pure and simple, and also largely because I was in poor health back then, so [her] drawing was awfully shaky."

Takaya mentions how much the staff allowed her input in the process, and even making decisions (and is even credited as the series' Executive Supervisor). As for the final series, Takaya wishes them all the luck, while asking the staff are respectful to the original work, "I wish for them to maintain their respect for the previous work, while on top of that creating the kind of work that will newly touch as many people as possible. I’ll be a viewer just like the rest of you when the broadcast begins, and I’m looking forward to it."

Scheduled for a release in 2019, the series will feature an all-new staff and cast. With executive supervision from series creator Natsuki Takaya, the new series will adapt the original manga more closely. Directed by Yoshihide Ibata for TMS Entertainment, the series will feature Taku Kishimoto as series writer, and Masaru Shindo as character designer as well.

The confirmed voice cast for the series so far includes Manaka Iwami as Tohru Honda, Nobunaga Shimazaki as Yuki Sohma, Yuma Uchida as Kyo Sohma, and Yuichi Nakamura as Shigure Sohma. The series has been licensed by Funimation, so fans outside of Japan now know where to look when it finally premieres.

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Fruits Basket was originally created by Natsuki Takaya for Hakusensha's Han to Yume magazine in 1998. The series follows a sweet, young, orphaned girl named Tohru Honda who ends up living with a few members of the mysterious Sohma clan when shenanigans ensue. Things get out of control when Tohru learns the family has been cursed to transform into zodiac animals whenever they are hugged by someone of the opposite sex. Sworn to secrecy, Tohru decides to help break the cyclical curse, and the girl falls in love with a special someone along the way.

The series has previously been adapted into an anime series by Studio Deen, and ran for 26 episodes. Though the anime series is known to have made many changes from Natsuki Takaya's original manga. The series is making a major comeback with a remake in 2019.