Turning Red has the same themes as other coming-of-age stories, but similar elements to Fruits Basket do give the Pixar film something unique.
Turning Red's reach is widespread, but the way the manga and anime series Fruits Basket has influenced it is that Turning Red would be very different without it. Disney+'s Hug a Panda: The Making of Turning Red not only tells the story of the process of making Turning Red and the ideas that inspired it, but also the way the characters present themselves and the obvious influence of the story's themes. In "Hug a Panda," Pixar's "Turn Red" director Domi Stormy explained how they paid homage to the anime throughout the film, especially in the characters' expressions and performances.
A popular manga published between 1998 and 2006, Fruits Basket follows teenage Toru Honda as he meets the Sohma family and soon learns that they all secretly transform into animals in the heat of the moment as they are cast by the zodiac sign attached. The manga was first adapted into anime in 2001, but the anime story only covers some of the things explored in the manga. Another anime adaptation, released in 2019-2021, tells the entire story of Tohru and Sohmas who appeared in Natsuki Takaya's manga. Fruits Basket's theme echoes that of Turning Red, with a Roll even makes an appearance in Hugging a Panda.
Every Idea Turning Red Borrows From Fruits Basket
Mei's red panda transformations in Turning Red mirror Fruits Basket's transformations of Sohma, not only in the way they occur, but also in the connection between the two transformations and the underlying mythology. Just as Mei turns into a giant panda when she can't keep her cool when she gets emotional, Yuki, Shigure, and Jing also turn into a mouse, dog, and cat respectively when they get emotional. Furthermore, both Mei's transformation and Sohma's metamorphosis are guided by underlying myths that dictate how and why they mutate, which in the cases of Turning Red and Fruits Basket is often seen as a curse by the characters.
The growth aspect of Turning Red is also heavily present in Fruits Basket, as the audience gets to know Sohmas through Tohru, and she changes and grows during her time with Sohmas. However, while much of the adult animation may have inspired the growing pains theme of "Turning Red", the red panda myth of "Turning Red" and how Mei's family hides it is similar to many things that happened to Sohmas related to the zodiac spirits who own them , especially as Akito, the leader of the soul, the anime gets darker Engagement becomes more apparent as Fruits Basket progresses. All elements shared by both made the Fruits Basket a great source of inspiration for the path Turning Red took.
Why Turning Red Is Good For Fruits Basket
2001's Fruits Basket was short-lived due to frequent disagreements between the manga's creator and director Akitaro Daichi. 2019's Fruits Basket fully adapted the manga, even leading to a prequel film, Fruits Basket: Overture, in 2022, and a sequel to the manga from Natsuki Takaya's work. Positive reviews for Turning Red suggest that audiences have mostly positively interacted with the Pixar films, and given the similar themes, they can easily enjoy Fruits Basket, ensuring it has a wider potential fan base. If so, the parallels between "Going Red" and "Fruits Basket" will benefit the production and its fans, giving them more stories to consume and savor.