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. After a series of events, Tōru ends up discovering a great secret. 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. This new version aims to tell the story of the manga in its entirety, under the supervision of the mangaka. A compilation film titled Fruits Basket: Prelude was released theatrically in Japan in February 2022.
In this article, we are going to focus on the adaptations of Fruits Basket, as we are going to bring you the proper chronological order in which you should watch them.
Fruits Basket in release order at a glance
In total, there are three animated works related to the Fruits Basket series. The original anime adaptation, the three-season remake anime and a compilation movie released in 2022. Here is the series at a glance:
- Fruits Basket (anime, 2001)
- Fruits Basket (anime, 2019–2021)
- Fruits Basket: Prelude (movie, 2022)
This list orders the works in question by their release dates. If you want a proper chronological guide to the whole series, as well as the relation of the movies to the episodes of the anime, keep reading our article as we are going to explain everything you need to know.
Fruits Basket in chronological order explained
Kyо̄ko to Katsuya no Monogatari from Fruits Basket: Prelude (2022)
After the 2019 anime adaptation’s final episode aired in June 2021, a new anime focusing on Tohru’s parents, titled Kyо̄ko to Katsuya no Monogatari (“Kyо̄ko’ and Katsuya’s Story”), and a stage adaptation of the original manga was announced. In October 2021, a compilation film titled Fruits Basket: Prelude was announced, consisting of a summary of the 2019 anime series, was announced, the anime Kyо̄ko to Katsuya no Monogatari, and new epilogue scenes written by Natsuki Takaya, the original author. Kyо̄ko to Katsuya no Monogatari thus serves as a prequel to the whole series and if possible, should be watched first.
Fruits Basket (2001) / Fruits Basket, Season 1 (2019) / Fruits Basket: Prelude (recap)
All of these three works listed above follow the same storyline. The original Fruits Basket anime was remade in the first season of the 2019 anime series, and the latter was recapped in the main part of the Fruits Basket: Prelude movie from 2022. You can watch any of these works as you please, but we think that the first season of the 2019 anime did the best job. In this part, the curse of the Sōma family is revealed.
A very old legend tells the origin of the twelve signs of the Chinese zodiac, as well as that of the cat, the 13th sign. One day, the god of animals invited them all to go to a big party that would take place the following evening. “Don’t be late,” he said. Then, the rat, sneaky, lied to the cat his neighbor: she told him, in fact, that the party was to take place the day after tomorrow. “You understood well ?”. The naive cat thanked him for the information, and quietly went to sleep.
All the animals arrived, except the cat, who, deceived, was still sleeping, dreaming of the party he was going to have the next day. They partied until dawn. The deity then rewarded the first 12 arrivals: the rat (which was mounted on the back of the ox) jumped from its back to arrive first at the party, then the ox, the tiger, the rabbit, the dragon, the snake, the horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and finally wild boar. Thus, these twelve animals became the representation of the signs of the Chinese zodiac.
This legend served as the basis for the plot of Fruit Basket.
Fruit Basket, Seasons 2 & 3 (2020–2021)
The life of Tōru Honda, a high school student, changes after losing her mother in an accident. She is sent to live with her grandfather, but as he had gone to a relative’s house for renovations in his house, Tōru then decides to go live alone in a tent that she has built herself on an unoccupied piece of land in the forest, unaware that it was actually owned by the Sōma family.
Tōru supports himself with a temporary job and hopes to help her grandfather. As she was walking to school she comes across a house, she walks in and meets Shigure. At nightfall, he and Yuki Sōma (the “prince” and popular boy at school) see Tohru in the forest, follow her, and find her tent. When Tōru wakes up at Yuki’s house, he realizes that the land she was camping on belongs to the famous Sōma family.
The house that the Sōmas have on this land belongs to Shigure. After receiving her at her house, Kyō (Yuki’s cousin) appears, intending to challenge Yuki to a match. Tōru tries to stop Yuki and Kyō from fighting, but while doing so, he trips over a piece of wood that had fallen from the ceiling, falling on top of Kyō, Yuki, and Shigure.
Tōru’s surprise is enormous when in her contact with her, the three members of the Sōma family are transformed into animals. After returning to his human form, Shigure explains to Tōru that the members of the Sōma family are being affected by the curse of the Chinese zodiac, which consists of being hugged by members of the opposite sex or being in moments of extreme emotional turmoil.
Their bodies are transformed into animals belonging to the Chinese zodiac, according to the year of their birth. The exception would be Kyō, who transforms into the cat, which according to legend was betrayed by the rat, leaving him out of the Chinese zodiac. As a form of revenge, the cat placed a curse on the rat and the curse fell on the other animals. This betrayal is what leads to an extreme rivalry between Yuki (the rat) and Kyō (the cat), as well as being the basis of the Sōma curse.
Throughout the series, Tōru will discover other people with other animals, making friends with most of them. On the other hand, problems are generated at school when the followers of the “prince” see her very attached to Yuki and Kyo. Toru promises not to reveal this secret to anyone. The leader of the family, Akito Sōma, accepts in the first instance that Tōru continues to live with the Sōma.
Fruits Basket: Prelude epilogue (2022)
Fruits Basket officially ended with the final episode of the third season, but the movie Prelude provided us with some additional scenes from the future. This epilogue doesn’t really give us much in the literal sense of the world, but these short scenes were more than enough to satisfy us. This is the last part of the Fruits Basket anime series that you should watch as it finally brings the whole story to an end.