Before I start, the inspiration for this post comes from a youtuber on twitter by the name of Roger Smith. He’s a not as well known youtuber that should be and who I wish posted more often then he does. This post will be my take on the point that he presented. The tweet that I am referencing specifically is about how he hopes people don’t dump on the original Fruits Basket because of the new one currently airing. A meaningful point and thread that needs to be spread far and wide. If we dismiss how things were back then completely, then what are we learning when we get something newer and flashier version of the same thing? Nothing. New things aren’t constructed from out of the blue. They are created from the lessons and ground work laid down by people before us.
Starting with Fruit’s Basket
Reboots and remakes can happen for a lot of reasons. If Fruit’s Basket didn’t have a fanbase from eighteen years ago and the manga to feed upon when making a newer, nicer work, then I don’t think this newer adaptation would even exist. I could probably say the same thing for Hunter x Hunter (2011) and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. While I think the quality from original work to another is varying in quality, because I am not the biggest fan of the original Fruits Basket, it connected with a lot of people. If Fruit’s Basket didn’t emotionally connect with a lot of people, would it even still have an audience now? No. Same for everything else I listed in this paragraph. Part of it is because production studios want easy money by tapping an already existing audience, part of it is because the people behind the newer work care about how the story wants presented in the original and wants to approach it in a different and/or more accurate way. Both are valid.
The new anime is even created with the original author’s supervision, so it’s going the way she originally wanted it to go. To me, it seems that was a common thing in the late 90’s, early 2000’s because I remember the same sort of problem happened with the His and Her Circumstance’s adaptation. That doesn’t mean that you can yell at people who enjoyed the original Fruit’s Basket because it doesn’t have the author’s approval. That fact doesn’t invalidate how many people feel about the Fruit’s Basket anime. Feelings are feelings. Calling other people’s feelings invalid because of circumstances like this is wrong. That line of thinking should be not only be frowned upon, but discouraged. It doesn’t matter if one adaption is assumed better because the way it was produced, feelings aren’t based on facts. Please put the sledge hammer away and let’s talk about this with sensitivity.
A Motivated Creator
Moving away from Fruit’s Basket, there is also the fact that the creators of different works want to reciprocate how they felt about something when they were younger. All of this may be speculating because of how one current/recent work is similar to another, but everybody was influenced by something. Do I need to talk about Hideaki Anno and how he wanted to reference series and use similar character models from shows he liked watching in his own works? What about My Hero Academia which has been easily compared to Naruto from it’s similar character set ups and plots? In this situation, the works aren’t always remakes, but original recreations of what the person in question was influenced by.
I could easily talk about how I am pretty sure Evangelion was influenced by a lot of Yoshiyuki Tomino’s works and then how Evangelion influenced so many works that came out today in so many ways. Even if you don’t like the show’s from the creators that I mentioned, it still has a lot of affect on the creators that did like it. Thus we have the difference between opinion and influence. Opinions of a work are subjective, but influence is somewhere near the realm of objective. Should we have to say how Eva has influenced modern anime culture? I feel like that is obvious by now and it’s thanks or not thanks to the creators that watched that show for that way it was. Like it or not, it was influential and changed anime culture for the better and worse from it’s popularity. Very similar but different to how the original Fruit’s Basket anime was. Every piece of fiction influences somebody in some way, shape or form.
Even if the quality of a work that influenced tons of important people’s work isn’t that great in your opinion, I don’t think going around saying “what you are influenced by sucks” is super helpful to anyone. Then again, being a blatant jerk is almost never helpful. I can’t ask people to walk around the internet like they are stepping on egg shells either. Just don’t be a jerk. Watching something and not falling in love with something it like other people have is absolutely fine. I know there is a number of anime that came out recently that I just don’t like and yet have found an audience with a lot of people. That’s good. It’s how you approach the things that you don’t like that decide what kind of person you are and how people interact around you. And that is honestly all I have to say on the matter.