Fruits Basket: An Oldie but a Goodie
I was so fortunate to have had Fruits Basket as my first love. As a newbie to the anime universe, this was the perfect anime to get me started. It was the first manga I read, and the first anime I watched- sparking my crazy obsession with all things Otaku.
Fruits Basket is a very cute story about an equally cute girl, named Tohru Honda. Tohru Honda’s mother dies when she is struck by a car on her walk to work. Tohru decides to live with her grandfather, but renovations on his home require her to temporarily leave. Since Tohru has no place to go, she begins living in a tent- trying to support herself. Then one day she is invited to live with her popular classmate Yuki Sohma, and his cousins Shigure and Kyo. She rooms with them and not wanting to be a burden, asks if she can cook and clean for them. Who could refuse? The Sohmas however, live with a curse. The members of the family are possessed by spirits of the Chinese zodiac and turn into their zodiac animal under certain conditions. Such as they are weak, under stress, or are hugged by someone of the opposite sex. Tohru discovers the Sohmas’ dark secret and promises not to tell anyone. The secret is a lot worse than Tohru realizes, and her staying with the family will affect them forever.
I was reading the manga while watching the anime, so I could not help noticing that the anime was very different than the manga itself. Many of the characters are quite accurate to the manga. Disappointingly though, Shigure’s darker side is toned down immensely in the anime- which is kind of disappointing because that’s why I liked him. Instead, the anime really boosts his pervert persona and he becomes more of a static comic relief, rather than someone who reveals immense character development. The anime also stops halfway through the manga and is super rushed so as to make the ending happy. The manga itself is very dark and there are many cliffhangers, as well as, plot twists. The anime also becomes quite confusing as the writers left out a decent chunk of important plot. The biggest surprise was when they changed the gender of one of the characters! It is obvious that the creators had done this to speed things along and to make sure the anime finished up with no real dire questions that needed to be answered. Except that’s exactly what happened! I cannot imagine anyone who watched Fruits Basket to not wonder what happened after the show ended. The characters were all over the place! Shame on the creators for just leaving it as it is! I must confess that I believe the creators of the anime intended on having a second season for it, but it never happened.
For me, I thought the anime was okay, but it did not live up to my expectations. The manga is much better, and mainly because of the details that make the story what it is. I am still glad however, that it was the first anime I had watched. The simplicity and positive message it gave is quite a contrast to how some of the animes out there are today. There is no real mature material in this anime. I allowed my youngest sister to watch this anime when she was 8 (I supervised of course, because that’s what overprotective sisters do.) Kyo Sohma does have quite a temper and extremely foul language though. And when the characters return to their human forms they are nude. There aren’t any images shown, so I did not really think that it was too horrible. There is some violence in this anime, but it is far from gory- Kyo and Yuki enjoy fighting each other and many a times Kyo gets his butt whooped- since it is a part of the comedy.
The anime is a reverse-harem; plainly meaning instead of there being twenty-thousand girls going after one guy, twenty-thousand guys are going after one girl. In the manga it is all resolved and all those guys end up finding someone to love, which I find rather cute. I highly suggest the manga over the anime, but if you wanted to see what the manga is all about you can watch the anime. Kyo Sohma has to be my favorite character because despite his rude attitude and horrible temper he really is a sweetie! Besides, Kyo turns into a cat! Who wouldn’t fall in love with someone who could do that?
Fruits Basket is and will always be my first love, and I hope you’ll watch and enjoy it as much as I did! Happy watching mina!