What’s one more year of waiting for fans after 17 years?

Longtime fans of Fruits Basket can finally release a collective scream of excitement as it was announced today that the shojo classic will finally receive a full anime adaptation to begin airing on TV Tokyo next year. 

The critically acclaimed manga by Natsuki Takaya, winner of the prestigious 2001 Kodansha Manga Award, follows the story of orphaned high school student Tohru Honda as she begins living with members of the mysterious Sohma family who are cursed by the spirits of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals (plus a Cat spirit). It was originally serialized in Hana to Yume magazine from 1998 to 2006 and subsequently collected into 23 regular volumes and later 12 collector’s edition volumes. A spin-off sequel manga titled Fruits Basket Another began an online run in 2015 and is still ongoing.

The first 26-episode anime adaptation of Fruits Basket was released in 2001 in Japanese and from 2002-2003 in English. Since the series was being produced during the manga’s run, it only covered material from the first eight or so volumes of the manga. The anime also never introduced the full cast of characters such as the Horse or Rooster, resulting in key plot differences in its conclusion.

▼ Main characters Shigure Sohma, Yuki Sohma, Tohru Honda, and Kyo Sohma

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Details about the new anime production are still sparse, including when exactly next year the series is set to air, but we do have a few clues about some important names. Fans of the original 2001 anime may be a bit saddened to learn that the new adaptation will feature an all-new voice cast and staff. However, this time original manga author Natsuki Takaya will supervise the production alongside director Yoshihide Ibata (unit director and episode director in Attack on Titan, FLCL: Progressive), screenwriter Taku Kishimoto (Haikyu!!, Silver Spoon), character designer Masaru Shindo, and animation will be handled by TMS Entertainment (Lupin III, Detective Conan).

In terms of the cast, the role of protagonist Tohru goes to relative newcomer Manaka Iwami (Urahara, Gamers!), Yuki Sohma to Nobunaga Shimazaki (Free!, Your Name), Kyo Sohma to Yuma Uchida (Tokyo Ghoul:re, Yowamushi Pedal), and Shigure Sohma to Yuichi Nakamura (Clannad, Mobile Suit Gundam 00).

▼ From left to right, clockwise: voice actors Iwami, Shimazaki, Nakamura, and Uchida

In addition, two special talk show events featuring the new voice cast will be held on March 16, 2019 (3 p.m. and 7 p.m.) at the Makuhari International Training Center in Chiba to commemorate the new series. Tickets are 6,800 yen (US$60) each and can be requested via a lottery-style drawing from now until December 2 at 11:59 p.m. using the link at this website.

If the new anime series is indeed faithful to the original manga, fans should notice a much darker overall tone to the story and a few unexpected twists to certain characters. Stay tuned for more news about the upcoming adaptation on its official website or Twitter account, but for now bask in the realization that your hopes and prayers have finally been answered!

Source, top image: Fruits Basket Official Website