Updated June 11, 2019: Revised the article based upon a retraction from Eric Vale.
The number of episodes for the Fruits Basket 2019 reboot/remake became the topic of one interview with Fruits Basket 2019 English dub voice actor Eric Vale. Although the voice actor seemed certain based on this interview, a recent Twitter update casts doubt on the information.
The voice of Yuki Soma originally claimed that the Fruits Basket reboot will end with Episode 63. While it’s nice to have a rough estimate of how long the reboot will be, some fans of the original Fruits Basket manga by creator Natsuki Takaya might be slightly alarmed by this revelation.
This news comes from an interview that Vale gave during Anime Central 2019, which took place in the middle of May.
Besides voicing Yuki, the American voice actor has voiced characters such as Trunks in Dragon Ball Z, Sanji in One Piece, Kymblee in Fullmetal Alchemist, America and Canada in Hetalia, and Nishiki in Tokyo Ghoul.
As such, Vale talks about a variety of topics in the interview including funny family stories and anime roles (example: voicing the DBZ announcer was actually more strenuous than Trunk’s screaming), but at the 5:13 mark he says the Fruits Basket 2019 anime will be “telling the story from beginning to end, 63 episodes in total.”
“That’s why I’m here this weekend is for Fruits Basket because the show was a one season anime, I mean, 17 years ago or something like that. And everyone was always unhappy with that because it didn’t wrap up the story. So, the fandom over the years, I guess, begged and pleaded and they found a way to do it so now they have redone the show in full, telling the story from beginning to end, 63 episodes in total. And they brought the original cast back to do everything [Note: Just the English cast, not the Japanese cast]. Most of us are here this weekend to promote that [Fruits Basket].”
Fast forward to June 11, 2019. Vale tweeted out a clarification where he essentially retracted what he said about Fruit Basket 2019’s number of episodes.
“So I said in an interview what I ‘knew’ the episode count of the new Fruits Basket to be. See when you do back to back interviews, your brain scrambles and you start to ‘talk out of your butt’ sometimes. Well, my butt is huge. And I spoke from there that day,” Vale wrote on Twitter. “Sorry for anyone who thought that this actor had ‘confirmed’ something. Turns out I really only confirmed my own dumbness. Don’t believe everything you read (or hear) in the internet kids!”
Unfortunately, Vale did not elaborate on whether he was completely wrong about the 63 episodes or if the episode count was his own personal guesstimate that he came up with on the spot based on insider knowledge. The actual number of episodes could be far off for all we know now.
So I said in an interview what I “knew” the episode count of the new #FruitsBasket to be. See when you do back to back interviews, your brain scrambles and you start to “talk out of your butt” sometimes. Well, my butt is huge. And I spoke from there that day.
— Eric Vale (@ericvale) June 11, 2019
Even if we assume 63 episodes are in the ballpark for being accurate, we still don’t know how those hypothetical 63 episodes will be released over time. At the very least, we could guess that there will be around 5 cours, with some cours likely having 12 episodes and others 13 episodes (a “cour” is a three-month unit of TV broadcasting based on the physical weather seasons).
Since the 2019 reboot literally calls itself Fruits Basket: 1st Season, it logically follows that there will be a Fruits Basket Season 2 (or Fruits Basket: 2nd Season). But knowing there are 63 episodes or thereabouts doesn’t tell us whether there will be Fruits Basket Season 3, 4, and 5.
Assuming such an oddball total number of episodes is correct, the current season and Fruits Basket Season 2 could be two-cour seasons composed of 25 episodes each while Fruits Basket Season 3 is a single-cour season with 13 episodes. Another option is to release three seasons with 21 episodes each. (Keep in mind that some sources claim the first season will be 26 episodes long.)
What’s more, there could be split-cour anime seasons. A “split-cour” is when a single anime season takes a broadcasting break before resuming after several months.
The possibility of Episode 63 being the ending also brings up to the issue of story pacing. To put this information into perspective, the ending of the manga, Chapter 136 of Volume 23, was released back in November 2006.
The original 2001 anime covered the story events of 6 manga volumes (Chapter 42) in 26 episodes. So far, Fruits Basket 2019 Episode 11 has covered up through Chapter 16 of Volume 3.
All in all, the 2001 anime adapted three manga volumes per cour. If the future episodes of Fruits Basket 2019 have five cours to work with in total, the anime will need to accelerate the pacing significantly, averaging about 4.6 manga volumes per season in total.
But manga fans shouldn’t be too alarmed. The Fruits Basket 2019 anime has already rearranged manga events and reviews have found the outcome to be pleasing.
Creator Natsuki Takaya is working directly with animation studio TMS Entertainment in making the reboot, so it’s certain she’ll keep the heart of the story intact.