FruBa: The Final director Yoshihide Ibata sits for a talk on series making, an interview by ANN

Written by: Allysa Malicdem | Published on: July 2, 2021 at 8:30 PM PHT (GMT+8)

'Fruits Basket' has officially ended with the final episode release of the third and final season last Tuesday. Anime News Network reached out to its director, Yoshihide Ibata, to learn more on the preparations and production of the hit series.

FruBa: The Final 2nd Key Visual
FruBa: The Final 2nd Key Visual

In an exclusive interview with Anime News Network (ANN), the director was asked on his familiarity with the original work. Ibata said that he has been reading the manga since it was serialized and has collected the volumes.

According to Ibata, the biggest challenge with directing the series was the previous TV anime adaptation and the number of fans who were drawn into the series. He added that it did gave him too much pressure, thus he put in his best efforts to make it good and worthwhile.

No matter what the original material is, I always think what is important to a certain project and believe in the choices I made as I work on it”, Ibata remarked when ANN asked on his style and creativity in working with such well-renowned title such as Fruits Basket.

ANN also inquired if Ibata has spoken with the manga creator, Natsuki Takaya, regarding the adaptation. The director said that he and Natsuki-sensei shared the same sentiments for the series due to its painful story development which has been a trend and talk of viewers these days and sat down for discussions.

During the talk, comparison with the first two seasons of the series was raised by ANN and Ibata emphasized the changes alongside the thrust of the final season going more serious. Due to the heavy and darker theme, it was hard to add gags, said Ibata. It was indeed a challenge with the shift on the plot and in conveying the adult atmosphere present in the final season, Ibata added.

The orange hues | A screenshot of Kyo from EP2
The orange hues | A screenshot of Kyo from EP2

ANN also pointed out some prominent and notable features with the illustrations of the final season such as Kyo’s portrayal against orange sunsets and Akito with the red camellias. Ibata credited the great work to the animators, background artists and colorists. As for Akito, Ibata explained that it was Natsuki-sensei who commented that it was a signature, a recurring motif for Akito being surrounded with red camellias and thus the need to highlight it.

A screenshot of Akito with a red camellia from EP2
A screenshot of Akito with a red camellia from EP2

As to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ibata admittedly said in the interview that it did impose some limitations such as during voice recordings. He also wished that the situation gets better and returns to normal soon.

Fruits Basket: The Final Season aired its final episode on Tuesday. This marks the end of the two-year run (2019-2021) of the recent adaptation. The series is based from the Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Natsuki Takaya. It was serialized in Hakusensha's semi-monthly Japanese shoujo manga magazine Hana to Yume from 1998 to 2006.

It was also announced after the final episode broadcast of the final season that another anime from the franchise is currently in production for its 2022 release. It will focus on the relationship between Kyoko and Katsuya, the late parents of Tohru Honda.

Source: Anime News Network Interview