Fruits Basket is a manga series written and illustrated by Natsuki Takaya. The story centers on a 16-year-old student named Tōru Honda, who, after the death of her mother and a collapse that destroys her temporary home, begins to live with some members of the peculiar Sōma family. In 2011, the story was adapted into an anime series, made by Studio DEEN. A remake of the anime was released in April 2019, which ended after 25 episodes. Two additional seasons were released in 2020 and 2021 respectively. A compilation film titled Fruits Basket: Prelude was released theatrically in Japan in February 2022. In this article, we are going to bring you a list of the 20 best anime series similar to Fruits Basket you need to watch.
1. Kimi ni Todoke
Original Run: October 6, 2009 – March 30, 2011
Number of Episodes: 38
The high school student Sawako Kuronuma is loathed by her classmates, as various rumors manifested in the school that she could see ghosts and curse people. The reason for this is the similarity of her name to Sadako, a character from the Ring.
Many students fear her presence and avoid her as much as possible. Only the new and very popular student Shōta Kazehaya treats her like any other girl. One day they get the opportunity to talk to each other, which turns their entire life upside down.
With his help, she tries to make new friends and to talk to strangers like any other schoolgirl. She is almost exaggeratedly grateful for his support and a close relationship slowly develops between the two, which has to overcome many hurdles.
Original Run: January 10, 2021 – April 4, 2021
Number of Episodes: 13 (+ 6 OVA)
Kyōko Hori is a bright and popular high school girl, contrasting with her classmate, Izumi Miyamura, a gloomy boy and supposed otaku wearing glasses. Outside of school, Hori is a homebody who dresses simply and takes care of the house and her younger brother Souta. One day, when Souta returned home injured, he was helped by a stranger with multiple piercings.
This person is revealed to be Miyamura. While surprised that he is a different person at school, Hori is upset when Miyamura saw his true appearance at home, but the two agree to keep their true selves a secret from their classmates.
3. Ouran High School Host Club
Original Run: April 5, 2006 – September 26, 2006
Number of Episodes: 26
Ouran High School is a privileged educational institution where children of the richest and noblest families in Japan (children of politicians and big business tycoons) go to school. At the school, some of the best teachers in the country design the curriculum in such a way as not to overload the pampered wealthy students. Thanks to such care, they have a huge amount of free time that they spend on their hobbies.
One of the adornments of the Ouran School is the so-called “Host Club”, where rich and handsome young men use their natural abilities to entertain equally rich and beautiful girls with a certain benefit for themselves.
By chance, Haruhi Fujioka, who had enrolled in this school thanks to his academic achievements, enters the abandoned music classroom in which this club is based. After accidentally knocking a luxurious 8-million yen vase off a stand, Haruhi Fujioka found himself in virtual slavery by the wealthy members of the Host Club. From now on, he must go to the store, work as a servant, carry out small errands and do other dirty work in the club until graduation, thereby fulfilling his duties to the club.
Original Run: July 3, 2016 – September 25, 2016
Naho is a sixteen-year-old high school student living in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture. His daily life is turned upside down by receiving a letter from the future. It would have been written by Naho herself, ten years later. This Naho is now twenty-six years old and consumed with remorse.
Through this letter, she intends to prevent Naho from reproducing the same mistakes. Thus, the letter contains material on the events of the coming months and instructions mainly concerning the arrival of a new student in the class, Kakeru.
5. Kamisama Kiss
Original Run: October 1, 2012 – March 30, 2015
Number of Episodes: 25 (+ 5 OVA)
Nanami Momozono’s father has a thing for gambling, which causes them to live in misery. One day, her father runs away from home and abandons her, leaving behind his debts. Unable to pay the rent, Nanami is evicted from her apartment. She then wanders the streets until she meets a strange man, who gives her his house after hearing her story.
He leaves after kissing her on the forehead. When she goes to the address he gave her, Nanami realizes that the house is actually a temple, where spirits live, including a boy with fox ears and a tail. She learns that by kissing her, the man made her the new god of the Earth and she will have to face many situations to keep her place as a divinity!
6. Natsume’s Book of Friends
Original Run: July 7, 2008 – June 21, 2017
Number of Episodes: 74
Natsume is able to see youkai and ayakashi (Japanese supernatural spirits) while those around him do not perceive them. When he was little, he didn’t particularly like them because the apparitions tended to put him in embarrassing, even dangerous situations and led him to behaviors that normal humans could not understand.
Categorized as “weird”, the orphan is lonely, rejected by other children, and goes from foster family to foster family. After yet another move, many youkai start chasing him without his understanding why. While trying to flee an attack, he one day enters a sacred place and inadvertently releases Madara, a “cat” who had been trapped there.
This encounter leads Natsume to discover the legacy of his grandmother Reiko, the “Book of Friends”, a notebook containing the names of many spirits which then confers the power to control them.
Overcoming fear and incomprehension, Natsume forges bonds of respect and friendships with certain youkai and sets out in search of “returning” their names to trapped spirits.
7. Your Lie in April
Original Run: October 9, 2014 – March 19, 2015
Number of Episodes: 22
Kōsei Arima, a piano child prodigy, dominated various music competitions in Japan and became famous among children’s musicians, but also controversial. After his mother Saki dies, he has a nervous breakdown at a piano competition, which leads to the fact that he can no longer hear the notes of his piano even though he can hear everything else normally.
Two years have passed since then, in which Kōsei has not touched the piano and only perceives the world in black and white, without atmosphere or color. His best friends, the softball player Tsubaki Sawabe and the soccer player Ryōta Watari, try to cheer him up and arrange a kind of “double date” in which Kōsei meets a girl who brightens up his colorless world again: Kaori Miyazono.
The free-spirited 14-year-old violinist, whose playing style reflects her manic personality, helps Kōsei return to the music world by pushing him back to play the piano. By playing the violin, she also shows him that, in contrast to the structured and rigid style that Kōsei plays, she appears free and lively.
8. Azumanga Daioh
Original Run: April 8, 2002 – September 30, 2002
Number of Episodes: 26
The action takes place mainly in a high school near Tokyo. The protagonists are young girls, students of this high school, and two of their teachers. Thus, the reader can discover, during their three years of study, their daily life punctuated by sometimes funny situations, both in class and after school or during their trips with friends.
The comic spring of this work is mainly based on the personalities and the antagonisms between characters, all very different and sources of recurring gags.
9. Ranma ½
Original Run: April 15, 1989 – September 25, 1992
Number of Episodes: 161 (plus additional films and OVA episodes)
Ranma Saotome (16) is a young martial arts expert plagued by a singular curse: during training in China, he and his father fell into the Cursed Springs of Jusenkyo. Anyone who falls into one of these springs, as soon as he comes into contact with cold water, is destined to transform himself into the animal or person who drowned in it hundreds or thousands of years ago; to get back to your appearance you have to get wet with hot water.
Genma Saotome, Ranma’s father, falls into the spring where a giant panda drowned, while Ranma falls into the spring where a girl was drowned. Ranma also suffers from a debilitating cat phobia that makes him able to become, even if only mentally, a cat himself in behavior and movements (but not in appearance).
10. The Quintessential Quintuplets / The Quintessential Quintuplets ∬
Release Date: January 9, 2019 – March 28, 2019 / January 8, 2021 – March 26, 2021
High school student Futaro Uesugi is an academically gifted student that leads a difficult life—his mother has died, he has no friends, and on top of all that, his father has incurred a large amount of debt.
An opportunity presents itself when the rich Nakano family transfers to his school. Futaro is promptly hired as a highly paid tutor. However, much to Futaro’s dismay, he discovers that his five charges—identical quintuplet sisters of varied personalities—have no interest in studying at all and have abysmal grades.
11. Kaguya-sama: Love Is War
Original Run: January 12, 2019 – June 27, 2020
Number of Episodes: 24
The Shūchiin Academy is a prestigious school where the country’s future elites, almost exclusively the children of the rich, continue their studies. Within the high school students’ office, the two brilliant exemplary models of the academy, the vice-president Kaguya Shinomiya and the president – from a modest background – Miyuki Shirogane, conceive of love in a particular way: they are attracted to one by the other, but it is impossible for them to confess their feelings because of their too much pride, even if a semester has passed.
Indeed, considering the correlation between inequality of love interest and the relationship of domination in a relationship of this ilk, they each conclude that whoever confesses first, will become the “loser” of the couple and will inevitably come from there. to be submitted by the other. Thus begins their daily life filled with various plots and other stratagems to force the other to confess his feelings.
Original Run: October 2, 2008 – March 26, 2009
Number of Episodes: 25
Ryuuji Takasu is a Japanese student who has just returned to the 12th grade and who lives alone with his mother. He would love to be an ordinary high school student, but he has one flaw: his intimidating eyes.
Because of his sinister demeanor, stupid rumors keep circulating about him, including the fact that he would hit anyone who dared to jostle him and that he would be ready to kill, while he is a very sensitive young man.
Because of this, he has great difficulty in making friends; the heaviest to bear is the absence of a romantic relationship. Luckily, he is in the same class as his best friend Yūsaku Kitamura and his crush, the pretty Minori Kushieda.
13. Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku
Original Run: April 13, 2018 – June 22, 2018
Number of Episodes: 11
The series follows the awkward romantic comedy between “otaku” office workers, one of whom, Narumi Momose, is a stern fujoshi who somehow tries to hide her passions from others while her partner, Hirotaka Nifuji, is a beautiful, competent man addicted to video games who only lets go of his console to work. If they seem perfect for each other, love is still complicated for the otaku.
Original Run: January 11, 2014 – June 26, 2015
Number of Episodes: 32 + 4 OVA
Nisekoi follows the story of high school student Raku Ichijō, son of yakuza leader Shuei-Gumi, and Chitoge Kirisaki, the daughter of a rival gang boss known as Bee Hive. They unexpectedly meet when Chitoge jumps off a wall and punches Raku in the face. After she runs away, Raku realizes that he has lost his pendant given to him by his childhood sweetheart who he made a secret promise to. After discovering that Chitoge is a new transfer student in his class, he forces her to help him search for the pendant. During this search, they begin to hate each other.
15. Say I Love You.
Original Run: October 6, 2012 – December 30, 2012
Number of Episodes: 13 + (1 OVA)
Mei Tachibana is 16 and has never had a boyfriend and feels lonely. Suddenly, of all people, the crush at her school is interested in her: Yamato Kurosawa. Mei falls in love with Yamato and the friendship develops into a real and serious relationship.
The two have to survive different crises and collect their first experiences together. Above all, Aiko Muto is against the relationship. Over time, Mei makes new friends and Aiko recognizes the relationship.
16. Maid Sama!
Original Run: April 1, 2010 – September 23, 2010
Number of Episodes: 26 (+ OVA)
The Seika High School was once a school for boys only, but over time it opened up to girls too. The isolation created a harsh climate in the classes, so that the girls find it very difficult to gain a foothold and repeatedly suffer from the humiliation of the boys.
The girl Misaki Ayuzawa still manages to assert herself against her classmates and become the first student representative. Because of her behavior, she is soon seen as a man-hater, but is respected or feared. But behind this facade, she also fights against various other problems.
Among other things, her family, which consists of her mother and little sister, was abandoned by her father and is now sitting on a large pile of debts. To stop the collapse of her own apartment and to help her overworked mother, Misaki looks for a job in a maid café. Since she mainly has to serve male customers there, she tries to keep her job a secret from her classmates.
In the meantime, at school she is often confronted with the heartthrob Takumi Usui, who repeatedly refuses all declarations of love and makes the girls cry. As a result, a special form of hatred against him builds up in her. One day, however, Takumi meets Misaki in front of the Maid Café and discovers her secret.
Her fears that she would now lose her reputation are not fulfilled, however, as Takumi keeps her secret and protects her because, unlike the other girls, he develops feelings for her. Misaki also slowly develops feelings for Takumi and an ambivalent love relationship builds up, which has to suffer severe setbacks again and again.
In the end, however, Usui Takumi can confess his love to Misaki Ayuzawa at a school festival.
Original Run: April 7, 2007 – September 29, 2007
Number of Episodes: 24
The tall Risa Koizumi and her short classmate Atsushi Ōtani both go to the first grade of high school. They are often referred to as “All Hanshin Kyojin,” a well-known Japanese comedy duo, because of their size differences and frequent arguments. But both are otherwise very similar, have the same taste in music and develop a good friendship with each other.
Her classmates Ryōji Suzuki and Chiharu Tanaka, Nobuko Ishihara and Heikichi Nakao, found each other in the summer, so that Koizumi and Ōtani are now surrounded by two couples. Now they finally want to fall in love, and Koizumi soon finds out that Ōtani already had a girlfriend in Mayu Kanzaki.
Koizumi soon meets Haruka Fukagawa again, a kindergarten friend of hers, who now falls in love with her. The one year younger transsexual Seishiro / Seiko Kotobuki falls in love with Ōtani, who rejects her when it is discovered that she is a boy by birth.
18. Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
Original Run: April 14, 2011 – June 23, 2011
Number of Episodes: 11
A group of six childhood friends split up after one of them, Meiko “Menma” Honma, died in an accident. Ten years after this tragedy, the leader of the group, Jinta Yadomi, isolates himself from society and lives in seclusion.
One summer day, however, Menma appears to Jinta, looking older, asking him for help in fulfilling her wish. She believes she needs to accomplish it to fulfill her destiny. But Menma doesn’t remember what her wish was, causing Jinta to reunite her childhood friends again, as she believes they are the key to solving this problem.
However, the hidden feelings, internal conflicts and the persistence of feelings of sadness by Menma’s parents result in complications for the group as they struggle not only to help Menma but themselves.
19. Boys Over Flowers
Original Run: September 8, 1996 – August 31, 1997
Number of Episodes: 51
Boys Over Flowers tells the story of sixteen-year-old Tsukushi Makino, whose parents sacrificed everything to send her to Eitoku, a private school for children from good families, far beyond their means, in the hope of raising money, and her finding a handsome and rich son-in-law.
Tsukushi’s vision is not really the same. It must be said that the atmosphere that reigns there is terrible. The students are bad to the bone, like stereotypes of the children of the rich, especially the F4, a group of four extremely rich boys who rule in Eitoku. Anyone who opposes the F4 will receive the infamous red card and be persecuted by the whole school.
Makino is determined to stay in her corner for the remaining two years and devote herself to her studies. But one day, Tsukushi’s only friend, Makiko, stumbles upon Tsukasa Dômyôji, the head of F4 and heir to the Dômyôji group, the richest in Japan. She begs his forgiveness but the boys don’t seem ready to listen to her.
20. The World God Only Knows
Original Run: October 6, 2010 – June 28, 2011
Keima Katsuragi is an otaku expert in dating video games well known on the net. Drilling into the pixel hearts of game heroines has no secret for this genius of love simulation video games, so much so that he is nicknamed on the internet “The falling god”.
Everything gets complicated when he meets Elsy, a demon from hell, who entrusts him with a mission: to capture the hearts of real young girls to send the demons who have taken refuge in them back to hell. However, if virtually Keima is an outstanding seducer, in life, he does not support real girls and their character.