fruits basket 2019 a top 20 list of the best drama anime for your viewing pleasure

17 Of The Best Anime Like Fruit Basket

fruits basket 2019 a top 20 list of the best drama anime for your viewing pleasure

Table of Contents (TL:DR)

Fruits Basket 2019 is a remake of the original anime that surpasses it in many ways. The pace, character development, and darker themes will make viewers hooked to this anime from start to finish.

It’s about a teenage girl, Tohru Honda, who becomes involved with the enigmatic Sohma family. It turns out that each family member is cursed to transform into an animal from the Chinese Zodiac when embraced by someone of the opposite gender. This seems like wacky hijinks, but it can be severe. The members are suffering due to isolation and mistreatment in their history. Touru’s role is to help heal their wounds—and she might also get a few of her own healed along the way.

From a show about the Japanese family curse of turning into animals to explore the problems people with disabilities have in society, there are many anime series worth checking out.

If you love Fruits Basket, here are some other shows for your consideration!

17. Kamisama Kiss

kamisama kiss 27 of the best anime like kaichou wa maid sama

After saving a man from being attacked by a dog, Nanami Momozono is considered the shrine’s newest resident. She soon discovers that she has quite an eclectic family: two gods and one fox named Tomoe. For now, though, it seems like home sweet home for this high schooler.

The heartwarming atmosphere that both Fruits Basket and Kamisama Kiss share are no coincidence. They were directed by the same person, Daichi Akitarou. Both series feature protagonists who get pulled out of normal life; Touru’s mother dies and leaves her orphaned. Nanami Momozono has her father ditching after losing all their money (literally). Yet they find a place where they belong in supernatural settings with different personalities: Nanami being fiercer than Touru but still sweet enough for most viewers to not mind it much if you found her a little too nice compared to other female characters genre.

Check Out: Top 15 Best Shoujo Anime That Will Give You That First Love Feels

16. My Love Story!!

my love story - best shoujo anime

Takeo Gouda is not exactly your average high school freshman. He’s huge, and his height makes him the tallest person in the class, but he has a heart of gold that shines through behind all those muscles. Takeo is an unfortunate guy. His looks scare the opposite gender away, and his best friend Makoto steals the hearts of all the girls Takeo likes before he even gets a chance to talk to them!

Takeo’s love is like the mighty sun. He saves Rinko Yamato from being molested and falls in love with her instantly. Still, he suspects that she might be interested in Sunakawa. With his own feelings for Yamato continuing to bloom, Takeo decides unselfishly to act as cupid even though all he wants is a chance at true romance himself.

Check Out: 24 Of The Best Rom Com Anime Of All Time

15. The Ancient Magus’ Bride

ancient magnus bride best anime like fruit basket

It has never been fun to see otherworldly creatures. But for Chise Hatori, it’s more like a curse than ability because she became lost in her own world of misery and hardship after being abandoned by her parents at a young age. Desperate to survive and secure a place to call home, she resorts to selling herself off as a slave.

Chise was delighted to find that her last chance for freedom had come in the form of a man named Elias Ainsworth. The auctioneer presented Chise as “a rare ‘Sleigh Beggy'”, and it soon became clear why she’d been bought at such an exorbitant price. He could feel all sorts of magical energies coursing through her body with just one touch, which made him think twice about keeping her around as slave labor or worse yet: a bride!

Chise learns that she has been transported to a world where wondrous things such as fairies and dragons are the norm. But soon after, Chise realizes there is much more to fear in her new life than what lies within herself. At the heart of it, all lie questions about whether or not this darkness will consume her whole.

Although it lacks the school setting, The Ancient Magus’ Bride, the anime version, has many themes that remind one of Fruits Basket, but with better animation style and more fantasy elements. Like Touru in the Sohma family, Chise is entering a world where she’s more valued by others than she values herself at first glance. She also heals like her predecessor; however, The Ancient Magus’ Bride focuses much less on healing other people and instead turns its focus to helping heal Chise from within her soul – something we don’t see as often in Fruits Basket because it was largely focused on the Souma Family.

14. Kimi Ni Todoke

Sawako Kuronuma is a shy girl named “Sadako” due to her resemblance with one of The Ring’s characters. She longs for friends and lives an ordinary life. Still, it isn’t easy to make friends as Shouta Kazehaya does so easily because she has such a timid nature. Sawako admires how he can be at ease in any situation while always knowing what to say or do next; people flock to him wherever they go, just as if he were their leader!

Sawako’s new surroundings and the people she is surrounded by having a profound effect on her. She starts to change but does not notice that Shouta and others are changing too because of their connection with Sawako. 

Kimi Ni Todoke and Fruits Basket are popular romantic comedies about misunderstood girls who gain acceptance from their classmates. We follow these lovable characters through everyday life, sharing touching moments as Sawako gets closer to realizing her true feelings. Kimi Ni Todoke features a soft color palette, while Fruits Basket’s art style is more bright and colorful.

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13. Kakuriyo: Bed And Breakfast For Spirits

kakuriyo bed and breakfast for spirits best anime like fruit basket

Aoi Tsubaki is an 18-year old girl who can see ayakashi or spirits from the Hidden Realm. Abandoned by her mother when she was just a child, Aoi grew up under the wings of Shirou Tsabuki—her grandfather and also with this same power. Aoi Tsubaki’s life is turned upside-down when her grandfather suddenly passes away, leaving her with nothing but cooking skills as weapons against the spirits that she usually keeps at bay. In hopes that the ayakashi will not turn to her or other unknowing humans as a tasty meal, she takes it upon herself to feed the hungry creatures of this world. 

Aoi is shocked and horrified when she learns that her grandfather’s careless decision has cost her dearly. After giving a mysterious ayakashi food, Aoi is transported to the Hidden Realm, where an ogre-god is known as Oodanna, the “Master Innkeeper”, reveals that Aoi was used as collateral for her grandfather’s debt of one hundred million yen and must pay the price by marrying Oodanna. Aoi valiantly refuses and decides to settle things independently: She will open an eatery at his inn to pay off the debt herself.

Check Out: 27 Of The Best Anime Like Kaichou wa Maid-sama

12. The Quintessential Quintuplets

the quintessential quintuplets best anime like fruit basket

Though he has the perfect grades for a high school student, Fuutarou Uesugi’s life is not as cheery. His standoffish personality and reclusive nature have left him without any friends and a social outcast; his father also runs up many debts, which forces their family to scrape by with barely enough money each day.

One day, Uesugi and a female transfer student get into an argument over “his seat.” The same day he is presented with the opportunity to clear his family’s debt: tutoring for Itsuki Nakano. He accepts but realizes she was the cute girl whom he had confronted earlier that very morning!

After unsuccessfully trying to get back on Itsuki’s good side, Uesugi finds out that his problems don’t end there: not only does he have the challenge of tutoring her, but he must also tutor all five sisters–Miku, Yotsuba, Nino and Ichika. They are determined to fail as they wish nothing more than their father would take them overseas, so putting in the effort is pointless. But because it has a huge effect on his family’s livelihood, if one fails, then he pushes forward despite how much these girls detest studying together or even just having him around at all!

The tone and distinct personalities of these memorable characters have made these two anime so similar. The quintuplets share more than a few quirks with the Souma family, which is similar. Uesugi Futaro also shares qualities with Touru from Fruits Basket because he’s thrust into an unfamiliar world that only reacts to him day by day and becomes better as the anime progress.

11. Orange

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Naho had a rough first day of her sophomore year. She wakes up late, receives an oddly addressed letter from herself ten years in the future. At first, Naho doesn’t believe it could be true. Yet, after witnessing several events described take place between now and then, she realizes that this note really was sent by her 26-year old self.

Naho’s future is filled with regrets, and she hopes that her younger self can correct the mistakes made in the past. The letter warns Naho not to make any decisions involving Kakeru without being extra careful- because he isn’t around, later on, like before. With this letter as a guide, Naho now has power over protecting him so long as they’re both alive!

Like Fruits Basket, Orange has a supernatural theme but focuses more on Naho trying to find ways to help others instead of doing anything for herself yet still being unable to get over this one thing; saving someone’s life who means everything to you before they’re gone forever.

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10. Ouran High School Host Club

Haruhi Fujioka is a curious girl with no rank or title to speak of. She’s just like any other student at Ouran High School, an elite school for students of high pedigree. Haruhi opens the door to Music Room #3 in search of a quiet place where she can study. She finds herself face-to-face with Ouran High School Host Club, led by princely Tamaki Suou and his members Kyouya Ootori, Kaoru Hitachiin & Hikaru Hitachni; Mitsukuni Haninozuka (also known as “Honey”), Takashi Morinozuka – there are handsome boys who have too much time on their hands entertaining the sweet girls at school.

Haruhi’s whole world changes when she is forced to repay her debt for breaking a valuable vase: She has to cross-dress as a boy host. Suddenly, the Ouran High School Host Club becomes Haruhi’s new home. Each day consists of elaborate cosplays and rich food; never has life been so exciting!

The shoujo anime Ouran High School Host Club is often compared to Fruits Basket because it came out around the same time that the first Fruits Basket did. They are both about school girls who find themselves embroiled in a group of boys with highly specific ways of interacting with the world. They share many character design – Momiji from Ouran High School Host Club is almost exactly like Honey-senpai from Fruits Basket! Despite these similarities, however, there are still some differences between them. For example, while this show can be pretty tongue-in-cheek at times, other aspects such as Tamaki’s amnesia make for an intensely emotional journey not found in most romance anime series.

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9. School Babysitters

school babysitters best anime like fruit basket

After both his parents passed away in a plane crash, Ryuuichi Kashima had to become the guardian of his younger brother Kotarou. Although he’s done well for himself and maintained a friendly demeanor throughout this diffi time, little Kotaro is still too young to understand what happened. At their parent’s funeral, they were approached by Youko Morinomiya, who decides she’ll take them under her care at an elite academy where children are learning how much responsibility means when it comes to being adults.

Ryuuichi never thought that to get into a school, he would have to be the babysitter. He is going to be a babysitter for the female teachers at his academy and their children. The only problem with this plan was there were not enough people to help take care of them all, so now it looks like he will have more responsibility than just caring for himself and his little brother!

Both Touru and Ryuuichi are so dedicated to helping others that they rarely take a moment for themselves. Throughout their respective comedy anime series, both learn how important it is to allow people in your life to care for you every once in a while too.

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8. Gakuen Alice

gakuen alice best anime like fruit basket

Mikan Sakura is a normal ten-year-old girl with optimism, energy and sweetness. When her best friend Hotaru is the complete opposite: aloof, intelligent, but sometimes cold-hearted. When Hotaru transfers to Alice Academy in the city, Mikan hears rumors of it being a strict school that treats its students poorly; Mikan runs away from home just so she could see what’s going on with Hotaru.

Upon her arrival into this academy for supernatural beings called “Alices,” Mikan quickly realizes that it’s no ordinary place. The school is built by the government to train and protect them. Discovering that she has her own unique powers, Mikan enrols in the academy and finally reunites with Hotaru after a lot of trouble.

Like Fruits Basket, this anime combines romantic intrigue, cute, quirky and likable character, a magical but still down-to-earth setting. 

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7. Natsume’s Book Of Friends

natsumes book of friends best anime like fruit basket

For most fifteen-year-old boys, there is one secret they would rather never tell anyone. For Takashi Natsume, his secrets are a lot more peculiar and terrifying: for as longs he can remember, the spirits have been chasing him through life; Reiko had passed on to her grandson this power by giving him Yuujinchou (The Book of Friends), which contains names of these beings whom she brought under control. Now that it has fallen into Takashi’s possession, which is why these enraged beings now haunt him.

Without parents and loving home, being hunted by hostile youkai mercilessly, Natsume is looking for solace—a place where he belongs. With only Madara as his companion, though, the pint-sized feline spirit sticks with him because of reasons that are unclear to everyone else but himself.

Natsume dedicates his life to returning the names of demons back to their rightful owners. His drive for helping others is comparable to Touru’s, who also has a giving spirit that wants nothing but good in this world.

6. Fushigi Yugi

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Young junior high students Miaka Yuuki and Yui Hongo are transported into the world of a mysterious book set in ancient China, “The Universe of The Four Gods.” However, they have no idea that this will lead to such an epic battle. When visiting the National Library with their friends, both girls suddenly find themselves responsible for summoning Suzaku or Seiryuu, respectively.

Both Miala and Touro are embroiled with a large group of people who expect her to save them from their problems and are passionate about protecting her from outside harm. 

Check Out: 30 Of The Best Anime Waifus to Fall In Love With

5. Ranma ½

Ranma Saotome is a master martial artist who trained with his father in the Anything-Goes school of Chinese Martial Arts. When he and his dad accidentally fell into an old, cursed spring while training abroad, Ranma was transformed into a girl by cold water – but only hot water can turn her back to being male again!

Ranma’s father has arranged for him to marry one of Soun Tendo’s three daughters to secure the future of the dojo. Though Ranma learns about his predicament, he is still determined. He chooses Akane as she happens to be skilled at martial arts, just like himself and well-known for hating men.

Ranma ½ follows the hilariously epic adventures of Ranma and Akane as they encounter various opponents, meet new love interests, and find different ways to make each other angry. At the same time, their engagement hangs over their heads.

In Ranma ½, an old school anime that deals specifically with anatomy-based curses, the protagonist’s curse changes his physical gender in response to different water temperatures. In Fruits Basket, members of the Zodiac family transform into animals when embraced by someone from a completely opposite gender; this causes lots of confusion and diffiy.

Check Out: Best Martial Arts Anime Of All Time

4. Kobato

kobato best anime like fruit basket

The friendly and sincere Kobato Hanato has a wish to go to a particular place no matter what. To fulfill this desire, she is tasked with helping people in their times of distress. For each mended broken heart, an intense beam brightens up the room for just enough time before it fades away into nothingness – but not without leaving behind candy-like fragments that fill her special bottle one by one until finally granting her long-awaited dream once at last!

As Kobato and her toy friend, Ioryogi, find themselves in different worlds of trouble. From a child struggling with his parents to girls troubled about romance, she always has an answer! Her sweet smile is bigger than anything you will see because it’s able to brighten up anyone’s day who needs some help or just someone they can talk to!

Kobato’s naivety and sincerity make it easy for her to accomplish this goal. Still, she goes about healing in an unconventional way, similar to Touru Honda from Fruits Basket. Both anime also possess supernatural elements: in Kobato’s case, it’s all aliens, while in Fruits Basket, Zodiac curses.

3. Clannad

clannad a top 20 list of the best drama anime for your viewing pleasure

Tomoya Okazaki is a delinquent who finds life dull and believes he’ll never amount to anything. Along with his friend Youhei Sunohara, they skip school as much as possible because there’s nothing worth their time in their boring daily life.

Tomoya walks to school one day, passing a young girl muttering quietly. Without warning, she exclaims, “Anpan!” which catches Tomoya’s attention and intrigues him enough that he pauses for a moment before walking away, thinking it was nothing more than an amusing coincidence. It turns out the girl’s name is Nagisa Furukawa, who claims that whenever something good happens or when she needs encouragement for anything, to motivate herself-she will say what it is aloud, making friends with anyone nearby. 

Tomoya is unsure if he’s noticed this before, but suddenly Nagisa seems to pop up everywhere. After a while, Tomoya discovers that she has been held back in school due to illness and her dream to revive the drama club. Claiming that he has nothing better to do, he decided to maybe help her along with four other girls.

Tomoya finds himself becoming more and more invested in the girls’ lives as he spends his time learning about their problems. He begins to feel that life isn’t so dull after having such great friends like these around!

CLANNAD and Fruits Basket have a lot in common. Both are animated, Japanese-produced family dramas that focus on the nuances of interpersonal relationships – CLANNAD focusing more so than Fruits Basket does on darker themes. Still, it has its sweet moments and romantic elements.

2. Starry☆Sky

starry☆sky best anime like fruit basket

If you’re a fan of astronomy, Starry☆Sky is right up your alley. A slice of life anime takes place in a small rural school that becomes co-ed for the first time and meets its first female student Tsukiko Yahisa. She was fascinated by its focus on space but what she didn’t expect were some Zodiac connections! The process through which she makes friends with this mysterious group mirrors Touru’s relationships in Fruits Basket, so if that isn’t enough to make you watch, then I don’t know what will be. This anime adaptation of a well-loved game is a good watch if you just want something light and fluffy and a must-watch if you’re planning to play the game itself.

1. The Light Of A Firefly Forest

the light of a firefly forest best anime like fruit basket

Six-year-old Hotaru Takegawa was visiting her uncle when she became lost in the ancient forest. Exhausted and desperate for help, Hotaru found a masked boy named Gin, who showed her the way out of this mysterious place. When he warned that touching him would make him disappear, and He told her never to return.

Paying no heed to his cautionary words, and despite being separated by both distance and planes of existence, Hotaru visited Gin every summer. Their friendship starts out strong. Hotaru and Gin’s relationship reaches an impasse when they start developing romantic feelings for one another despite the no-touching rule.

And that, weebs, is our list of anime like Fruits Basket that any anime fan should watch. With so many anime series to choose from, it’s hard to know which one is the best fit. But don’t worry- we’re here to help! Leave a comment below and tell us about your favorite show or share any thoughts you have on what makes for an excellent anime series that explores social issues in creative ways.

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I’ve watched a lot of anime in my days, but that doesn’t stop me from watching more. Whether it be new or old, I’ll give it a run-through and tell you what I think about it. We’re currently living in the golden age of anime with so many great shows out there to watch. At Caffeine Anime, I hope to share my love for anime with you!


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