Story & Characters
At first glance Furuba is just another Shoujo manga with nothing different to it; the average, beautiful, kind girl getting all the pretty boys. Okay so it really is that, however there's a special touch to the way the series develops itself and how you watch each character grow and interact with each other as the story progresses.
The story starts with Tohru Honda, your as average-as-you-can-get japanese girl who has lost her mother in an accident and was living alone in a tent in the Sohma's property. Of course she wasn't aware of that until they told her, to her surpirse they take her in in exchange for her doing all the housework (it was her who suggested not staying in the house 'for free'). It's when she's there that she discovers the family's biggest secret... The family has been cursed by the vengeful spirits of the Chinese Zodiac animals and when they are hugged by a member of the opposite sex they transform into the animal they were cursed by. When Tohru comes in their life they all learn to open up their heart more and realize that not all the people in the worlds are bad; this girl affects each one of them in a unique way.
It's a beautiful Anime with heart-touching subjects, there is much you can learn from it and definitely worth buying if the chance should present. There is just about everything in this series:bishonen, angst, drama,comedy, romance, shounen-ai hints and a light-hearted, kind bishojo showing us the way.
The character designs are beautiful and would characterize everyone in the series a bishonen and bishojo. The colors of the hairs and eyes of the Sohma Family match with the animal they were cursed by and it gives each one of them a unique touch.
Tohru's design is supposed to be as average as possible since she represents a normal japanese girl.
There's is also a 'big abuse' of Super-Deformed characters (Ex. Chibi form) but it just serves to highlight the emotion they are expressing and make the show even more funny.
The music is simply beautiful, although the 26-episode long series only has one opening(For Fruits Basket) and one ending (Chiisana Inori) (both performed by Ritsuko Okazaki) it serves it's purpose leaving you with a serene calm sensation!
The soundtrack used as background music is delicate and simple
However if you haven't watched the series and just purchase the soundtrack for the sheer pleasure of it you will be disappointed since it is nothing special by itself, you must see the anime first so you can relate each short song to a scene.
As far as the seiyuu's gone they all seemed to fir their character perfectly. Tohru's voice was Yui Horie who also voiced for Love Hina's Narusegawa Naru. Her sweet, sharp voice goes in tune with Tohru's personality perfectly.
You won't find a boring episode in this series. Each one develops and focuses's on a character's situation. Although the series was cut short abruptly and much ends were left untied (the manga is still running) seeing by itself will leave you satisfied (if not with a small crave for the continuity of it).
As mentioned before there's much you can learn from this anime since it deals with how we must see our own beauty and not be jealous of other's (among other important themes).
Fruits Basket is a show that might certainly sound interesting the moment you check the synopsis. People turning into the Chinese zodiac animals, dark and mysterious secrets surrounding them, cute, clueless main heroine – isn't that a great premise for a shoujo series? But only as long as it's executed accordingly.
I decided to watch Fruits Basket after seeing how high it is rated. I wouldn't normally watch a shoujo series, since I find most of them exaggerated and unrealistic – that's why, I expected Furuba to really change my opinion regarding them. Instead, I found Furuba to be exactly what I mostly disliked and avoided in this genre – with a really more unnatural and forced tone. Do not get me wrong; I do not hate Fruits Basket; yet I really couldn't feel anything else besides disappointment the moment I completed it, and this review explains why.
Furuba's story is surrounded by a dramatical and emo[tional] darkness upon which Tohru shines like a ray of redemptive hope. Because of that, 50% of the story is actually made up of Tohru's (and sometimes other characters' too) internal struggling monologues that pretty much unfold along the lines of "Is is right? Isn't it right? Is it wrong? Isn't it wrong?". The other 50% of the story might actually trick the viewer into believing that something happens - when it's usually just a repetition of the same overly used gags. There's no beginning, no development, no ending. It doesn't get anywhere.
To put it simply, Fruits Basket doesn't have a plot. Its entire 'story' could be summed up through the following sequence of (randomly ordered) events: Tohru acts dumb yet unbelievably nice which, in turn, causes other characters to also act this way, even though it isn't part of their personality, repeat; Kyo and Yuki fight, repeat; cliché and unfunny member of the Sohma family appears, repeat; Kyo and Yuki fight again, repeat; irrelevant episodic character that barely says a line throughout the whole series has an entire episode dedicated to themselves, repeat; Kyo and Yuki fight yet again, this time in a more dramatic light. Repeat.
Another bad aspect of the story is that it's ridiculously sweet, to the point that it loses all the bits of realism it could have had. It's clear that the creators wanted to have a mixed show, that doesn't only focus on the dramatical solving of tragic events, but also contains its funny moments. This in turn causes Furuba to have serious flaws, both in terms of execution and logic. Many times, the scenes change too quickly from overly-serious to (attempted) pink surrounded, humorous gags that pop up out of nowhere. Other times the events just don't add up. A clear example of this is Tohru living in a tent at the beginning of the series because she doesn't want to 'bother' anyone [thing which the viewer should find utterly amusing]. Apparently, she has a lot of people that care about her (grandfather, friends) yet they never check upon how she's doing. Yet somehow, the rest of her relatives actually go through the trouble of hiring a detective to find out where she lives when they could have simply followed her from school or asked her.
And lastly, in terms of storyline, Furuba is really stretched out for the amount of events it has to offer. Perhaps, had Furuba been a 13 episodes series and not a 26 one, with the same amount of story, it would have actually been entertaining. It's not just the slow pace that pretty much puts you to sleep; there's also the fact that sceneries, lights, wind are constantly emphasized just so that there'll be something to fill the gap and make an entire episode of something that could have been summed up in 5-10 mins.
Fruits Basket's characters are clear examples of shoujo genre gone wrong. Not only are they cliché, predictable and pretty much one-dimensional; they give off the feeling of being unnatural. There's something forced into them, whether it's the personality, the way they interact or their role. They seem to just be there for the sake of existing; therefore they don't have any apparent purpose or impact upon the viewer.
Tohru is a girl who's gone through a lot in her life, as it is clearly shown since the very beginning of the anime. Considering the amount of bad events she experienced, you'd expect her to be really introverted and (perhaps) pessimistic. Yet Tohru completely overthrows that, by not only being happy-go-lucky all the time, but also exaggeratedly clueless and nice to everybody, no matter the circumstances. There's a thin line between being inhumanly selfless and being ridiculously dumb, and Tohru seems to be stepping on it quite often. Because of that, most of the other characters seem to half divinize her. There's also another particular thing about Tohru. She doesn't seem to have any ambition for herself whatsoever, so she never asks for help – which brings up the question, is she really weak or is she really strong? Perhaps both, but she certainly isn't realistic or enjoyable.
Yuki is the least enjoyable out of the entire cast. Now, traps are one thing, effeminate characters other – but when some random character in the shows says: “Oh my, there's an interesting young person out there, but I can't tell whether it's a guy or a girl – isn't it exciting?”, that's a totally different thing. According to most of the other characters throughout the show and even himself, Yuki is a guy, though his personality, voice and appearance certainly don't show that. Why he was built that way is uncertain – there are a few attempts of making fun of this, but the humor fails, as usual.
Apart from when he's annoyingly correct by being the right person in the right place, Yuki is barely noticeable. However, his existence does seem to serve two purposes. First one is a Fruits Basket must: have a tragic, unexplainable and never actually detailed past that makes him dark and gloomy, which in turn asks for one of Tohru's miraculous healing techniques. Second is to serve as an opponent for Kyo – which is one of the most reused and unfunny gags throughout the show.
Kyo is probably the only character that actually suffers some sort of development. In the beginning, he's presented as a violent, leek-hating, anti-social idiot. In the end he's still violent and idiotic (though to a smaller scale), but at least he isn't lonely anymore and he's eaten leeks. Despite the fact that Kyo is also a cliché character, he's at least enjoyable, because he's a bit more realistic. Kyo has a lot of personality flaws, but there's one thing that compensates them: he at least sees Tohru as being weird and unhealthy for herself (which all the other characters seem to be blind to). Unfortunately, Kyo is never actually allowed to speak for himself since he's an outcast. It's clearly stated throughout the anime that the other Sohma members can't stand him; yet, as usual, it's never quite explained why. Despite this, Kyo could have had a lot of development and story going on around him. Unfortunately, the ending spoiled everything.
Sohma members+ Tohru's friends:
The rest of the Sohma family members and Tohru's friends were created so they would be as weird and different as possible, yet they all share the same characteristics. Their past is dark and tumultuous so they anchor around Tohru; on top of that, they are all one-dimensional commonly encountered types of characters. Shigure is the pervert, Kagura is the good-willed yet always screwing up girl, Momiji is the cute shouta boy, Risa is the sweet innocent girl and so on. But that's the end to it. There's nothing more to them; yet countless of repetitive unfunny gags are made of their only side. In the end, they are all too many and too similar to remember or enjoy.
ART AND SOUND
Furuba's art and sound are certainly nothing exceptional – yet they're not bad either. They all add up to the unrealistic, sweet and pink impression the show is trying to leave. There seems to be specific effort put into backgrounds and into the (often really big) eyes. The voice actors capture the personalities of the characters they portray really well (maybe sometimes too well, but it's in the series' nature to be exaggerated), especially during monologues or conflicts. The OP and ED were some of the very few generics that I constantly skipped – they were too slow-paced and fluffy for my taste. The background music also didn't really stand out – but is wasn't unpleasant.
Furuba really isn't enjoyable, unless you're a fan of slow-paced, warmth and fuzzy feelings inducing series that stretch too much and don't get anywhere. I expected something funny like Ouran or Yamato Nadeshiko before watching this; yet I was thoroughly disappointed. The whole anime seemed to be a mixture of randomly thrown in characters trying to act dramatic and special, but not leaving any particular positive impression. They were predictable, boring and irrelevant. Also, I really couldn't get over the few logic flaws (like Japan leaving its orphans to suffer in tents, Tohru being able to magically teleport herself from the forest to the cemetery and back to the forest [during the last episode] or the too sudden mood changes from tragic to overly happy).
Even though Fruits Basket had a pretty good premise to start from and quite the numerous cast of characters, it really couldn't get past the “Everything is so sad, oh! Let's bring Tohru in so it'll be nice and shiny” feeling. Furuba is a series that doesn't leave any positive feelings while watching and certainly not after being completed. The viewer is basically left where it all started from – no plot or character development whatsoever, nothing explained, nothing major accomplished. Therefore, it really doesn't get past the state of being a mediocre series with nothing special. read more
Fruits Basket is a wonderful and moving story which I consider myself fortunate enough to have been shown by a very close friend. This anime is so amazing it touch upon the strings of my heart. I laughed, I cried, and I truely felt for each of the characters.
The anime is centered around a young girl by the name of Tohru Honda, an amazing high school girl who is kind and honest. At the start of the anime she is still struggling to survive after her mothers tragic death. She is taken into the house hold of the cursed family, the Sohma's.
Is decently done, it is done beautifully but the main attraction of this anime is not the art but rather the story and the characters.
Again decently done, the intro and ending songs are a credit to the singer and composers. I'd keep them on my MP3 player. Other then that the rest of the sound track is well placed but doesnt reach out like a few other animes I know. Again decently done, but not the reason I love this anime.
Oh so many things I wanna type here. But I dont want to spoil anything. (I stongy feel that no review should even come close to touching a spoiler) Each character is amazing and wonderful. I cannot say more than each character has made me laugh, smile, cry, and think.
Story and Enjoyment
Each characters past and story is touching to discover and moving to watch. Each one is orginal, sad, and tragic. Can Tohru help break there curse, can Tohru bring happiness to this strange tragic family? If your like me you wont be able to stop yourself from watching to find out! If I could rank higher than a 10 for enjoyment I would!
[Disclaimer: I am Reviewing the English Dub. Also, there may be some spoilers along the way. You have been warned!!!]
“I don’t think anyone is born knowing the reason why they’re here it’s just something you have to find as you go along”- Honda Tohru (Fruits Basket)
At first glance, Fruits Basket may appear to be an anime catered specifically to girls, but when looked closely, it is obvious that it can be enjoyed by a much wider audience. Since Fruits Basket is a reverse-harem series with elements of fantasy thrown in, it is only natural to bracket it in the realm of Shoujo anime. However, that is not the case because Fruits Basket adds depth and originality to the generic world of reverse-harems.
The Story is about an orphan girl named Tohru Honda whose life changes after encountering two members of the Sohma family: Shigure and Yuki. Ooh and guess what else? Similar to other fantasy shows, there is a curse upon the Sohma family, which turns them into their designated horoscope animals when hugged by the opposite sex. Fruits Basket is a loveable anime that essentially centralizes around Tohru Honda as she gets deeply involved with the Sohma family.
One of the good parts of the story is the fact, that they introduced a character in each episode, many times for comedic value while also efficiently advancing the story. The fact that the story had like no plot at points really made this worth watching and when it did have plot or story telling was spot on.
The subtle Romance that is seen here and there can be hard to notice if you have not seen an romance anime before if you have then it will be easy to notice, The romance parts of the show are not “lovey dovey” like in most romance anime it’s just enough there to make you go, “awwwwwww that’s cute”.
There is a love triangle between Yuki, Kyo, and Tohru, and then there are side characters who just loves “Prince Yuki” as he is so lovingly named.
The one flaw I had for the story was that at times the emotions were lacking in terms of the situation. For example, instances where there should have been seriousness, there wasn’t, and vice-versa. Some things were just simplified or brushed over.
Pros: Unlike most anime of the Shoujo genre tend to do with the over dramatic scenes (that can often make you hate the characters because you often cannot relate to them in these situations) these were very few and far between.
The animation compliments the story beautifully. It complements the mood of the Anime very well. It is pretty light-hearted water color art (I think). Personally, I love anime done with water colors but it’s not for everyone and I realize it can be a turn off to some folks. Yet, when it needed to be dark, the dark art style/animation was done beautifuly and captured the mood accordingly.
Something to point out is that the people doing the background added a lot detail which was wonderful to see. The characters moved in the background scenes furthering the story even more, such as continued fight scene’s occurring as if you were really there.
The accompanying music/dialog of the show is great. The soundtracks played in this anime fit with ongoing situation while also enhancing the viewer’s the mood accordingly. There is no soundtrack in this anime that is misplaced or out-of-place and the opening is very fitting for it tells the story abstractly for what is happening throughout the entirety of the shows. As the show wraps up it does tend to feels a little out-of-place towards the end of the show but at a very minimal level.
The voice cast they have for doing the show is marvelous. Everyone played their roles successfully and they were enjoyable to listen to. Two of the primary characters, Yuki and Kyo were a perfect fit for the characters they played, whereas Yuki’s brother was over the top in such a successful way that only anime can do. It was obvious that the voice cast team was carefully considered.
Characters are always one of three things likeable or unlikable or worse--indifferent. Personally, Fruits Basket had mostly all likable characters to some extent. Each character has a different personality and if feels like they gave each character individuality.
One character that was thoroughly enjoyable and even a role-model to some point is, Tohru Honda. The Shoujo genre is filled with the “simpleton” archetype. However, Tohru (although not the brightest) is an incredibly kind-hearted soul who holds this show up. She is the epitome of a kindred soul who actively helps out everyone that enters her life and impacts them in a positive way. Even though her life has been filled with hardships after she became an orphan, she always has a smile on her face. That is rarely seen in Characters who have not had a good life.
Kyo Sohma is the typical Guy who gets teased and picked on a lot by the other cast members. Kyo is the a person who has a hard time expressing emotions and is more kept to himself. He also has an outrageous rivalry with the other primary male character, Yuki. Eventually he opens up as the story progresses and he becomes more of a normal Human (although that is not quite right). He becomes the fan favorite as the show progresses and later on we learn that his life was not all rainbows and butterfly It is darker than we thought.
Yuki Sohma is a stereo typical dude in many ways. He is smart and hot and everyone wants to be his girlfriend, and he is the kind of person the males inspire to be. Unlike many shows he is extremely protective of Tohru throughout the whole show (surprisingly so is Kyo). To the credit of the show all the characters are flawed by their curse but with the help of Tohru they find all begin to find their way.
Shigure is the typical pervert comedy relief character done right almost to a “T”. The one flaw I had with his character is that his perverseness is played at some really strange times in the show, but he can be very serious and very manipulative.
The anime does a good job in creating a realistic and appealing characters, they are not two dimensional.
This show introduces characters like Kyo, Momji, and Hatori early on, and they too are very good characters that Tohru of course helps. Most of the characters are blessed with good development. Few shows have the ability to juggle this many characters this effectively. There are even character that have episodes entitled to them that help to flush that character out and give you a greater look into the Sohma family. I have to admit that some of the characters, after they were introduced, soon had me in tears. I felt sorry for them. The writers made one care about each character and in a different way.
Admittedly, some characters like Yuki Sohma’s character development were very subtle and discreet. The changes crept up on you, much like real life. Most of his changes were psychological. Out of the main cast he is the one that is done subtle and not at all normal for the Shoujo genre.
As for the extra “kawaii stuff”, you will have to decide for yourself.
The Yuki Fan-Club Girls, love ‘em or hate ‘em, this is something that only you can decide. Personally I liked them at the end for they also helped with character development. They made you stop and actually look at all the changes that had occurred in Yuki.
Over all, the enjoyment level for me was a 9/10. I had an amazing time watching this show during both its good and bad times. I gave this show a “9” because of its witty comedy, awesome characters, and a story that was overall intertwined. It is must see show. The whole time I watched it, I was entranced, with that being said, I hope all of you will take the take time and watch this surprisingly brilliant anime and enjoy it as much as read more
Watched as a young teen: Loved it
Rewatch as an older teen: Hated it
(somewhat harsh review? please don't be offended)
Sure, when I first watched it I was caught up in the love story, and the humour of the series. I admit it, I was originally a fan! But recently I went back to rewatch what I had once found so brilliant, and I noticed something... I found it 'dreadful'.
It's a shoujo anime. Yes, it has a twist (or perhaps twists?), and a calming sort of mood to it, but almost everything is predictable, and there is certainly nothing appealing (to me) about most of the characters. Actually, the only I found tolerable (upon second viewing) was Haru, even then he wasn't exactly unique. Even Tohru's best friends were overused in the world of anime. An ex gang member, and a paranormal/psychic girl? Overused in shoujo, it seems... Though weren't be heart warmed when we discover how loyal they are to their friend Tohru who accepted them regardless of their quirks? Sure... If this is your first anime, maybe.
However, as far as entertainment goes, the series is very appealing to types who can stand the mary-sue infested reverse harem, such as this. In fact, for those types, this could very well be their favourite anime, and I can see why. It just isn't for me, and I'm sure anyone with any longing for character originality or story would agree. Though I understand the occasional desire to watch this sort of thing, it doesn't excuse the overall unbearable feeling it brings.
Still, a good watch for the younger romantic, or younger romantic at heart? read more
When it first came out as manga I picked up Fruits Basket and fell in love with it instantly. A few weeks later, I insisted my mother buy a DVD from the anime series, sadly I only watched the last six episodes, and then a few months ago Hakoot let me borrow the series from her, and how happy I was.
Anyway, Fruits Basket is about the orphan Torhu Honda who starts the story out by living in a tent in the woods. A sequence of events leads to her staying in the house of her handsome classmate Yuki Sohma and his cousin Shigure. On accident she uncovers the secert of the Sohma's - that thirteen of them will turn into the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac... And the cat. Normally one who learns this secret has their memory erased, however, Tohru is an exception and the story mainly follows what happens between her and the Sohmas.
The story of Fruits Basket is simply heartwarming. It's a nice break from watching all of those "Gotta save the world!" type plots, with it's smallish subplots, and the backgrounds of most of the characters are very interesting and human. Gah. It's so wonderful that I can't think of the words... However, the story in the anime is cut short, meaning it doesn't follow most of the manga, stopping around manga volume eight when there are twenty-three volumes, and moreso Torhu doesn't meet two of the Zodiac animals! However, that is the only downfall.
...I'm sure if you've read my other reviews then you know what I'm going to say. Animation was smooth. xD Well, it was. It was slightly like the manga style, however it looked a lot better. The eyecatches were amusing with the little drawings that represent characters (i.e. Onigiri for Tohru, Flower for Hanajima). Coloring was good... Okay... Moving on.
I listened to the dub of Fruits Basket, and Funimation did a pretty good job, Torhu sounds innocent and naive, but not to the point of being just plain annoying, Kyo is an arrogant.. cat, and Yuki is all... calm. All the character's voices fit well, however, White Haru's voice didn't fit my mind, but that's probably because I think of Yusuke...
Background music was wonderful, especially the non-vocal piano version of For Fruits Basket, the opening. Most all the music was soft except for those... tense moments... Unfortuantly... I... can't remember.
Ah. The characters. Probably the best part about this series. I think part of the reason that it's so likable is that someone will be able to identify with at least one of the characters and their situations. The characters are different , but yet in a way the same (in a good way), and seem very human. Again, Tohru is that sweet girl that you'd love to have as a friend, and I could picture it too, because she seems so human.
...Needless to say, I enjoyed this series very much, the characters were diverse and interesting enough to watch, and the plot was interesting as well... So. Yeah.
All in All -
Yay: Characters were good, nice and diverese, and interesting and deep.
Another review of FB? Yes, another one, but this one is one worth reading if you want to know if you'll want to watch it or not.
First of all, the story. Honda Tohru, a girl whose mom has passed away recently, lives on her own in a tent. Untill she suddenly discovers the house of Sohma, where one of her classmates lives! The house is quite normal, but the members of the house aren't... This gives very funny situations and this is not something that you so often in anime, so this is the part that makes the story not too typical shoujo-like. Even if FB is named as shoujo, it's not only for girls!
The art of FB is nicely drawn and is pretty to watch. Most of the boys are bishy-like and all the other characters look nice too. Sometimes a bit simple, but still fine to look at. The animal forms are also nice. You can see immediately what animal they have to be and they even remain their expressions. The quality is really of today, so that's not something to complain about. It makes it really easy to watch.
The sound was okay. The intro and ending song are somehow fitting to the anime. The voices are nicely casted, since you can really know what their emotion is. Angry, sad, happy or just joking around, you'll know immediately! The sound effects are okay, so it's all fine by me.
The characters all have their own issues. This gives a nice view why they act different than you'll think at first sight. There's enough development in the characters as they grow in the series, so nothing wrong with the characters too!
Enjoyment? Too high! Okay, that might be exaggerated, but I really enjoyed this anime. It's funny and at some times a little drama for the story, but nice to look at and with good seiyuus. The story is shoujo, but not so shoujo that's it's annoying, not at all! I can recommend Fruits Basket to anyone who enjoys who... Oh never mind, just watch it! Enjoy!read more
First off, the characters are all Mary Sues. Tohru is inexplicably loved by all of the characters in the Fruits Basket universe. Yuki is also loved by almost every female (and some males) at his high school, even though he rejects them constantly. Kyo is hostile to everybody yet they love to be around him. Mary Sue characters are very annoying and hard to relate to. They are also unrealistic and insult the viewer. I also feel that it has too many characters to follow, too many to care about individually. It's almost as if they added all of these characters to try and make this story emotional, but failed miserably.
Second, the plot is faulty and uninteresting. It does not keep the viewer engaged, rather it barely strings them along with half-assed attempts to be mysterious. The plot points and the twists are very predictable and do not shock at all. There is immense foreshadowing to almost every climactic event, and this is both disappointing as well as damaging to the plot.
Third, Tohru's naive personality and self narration is extremely annoying. This may seem like a petty thing to complain about, but it is very relevant. Tohru is very naive in all things and this is frustrating to the viewer. Things that are so painfully obvious fly right over her head, this takes away from the viewing experience. She self narrates constantly, which is infuriating. She is also just too good natured and innocent to be an interesting character, especially a protagonist. The protagonist of the story is supposed to be relatable and Tohru is not.
While overall I do rate Fruits Basket rather low, it does have its moments. There are a few characters that I enjoy overall. Kyo, Momiji, Hatsuharu and Shigure bring moments of humor to the show. If not for these characters Fruits Basket would be a complete failure.read more
The plot was simple and plain, mostly giving a moral a episode involving friendship, hilarious classic lines, mostly from Shigure, and emotional backstories that make you want to cuddle the poor little puppies. It's not that the story was at all bad, it just wasn't very good. But the story and writing was fluff, not just a little fluff, I mean so fluffy that it's like falling into a vat of cotton candy with rose petals. This show is that fluffy. Then again I'm a guy so I may not get the whole point since this show is the physical manifestation of GIRLINESS, the ultimate shoujo. I felt very awkward but oddly I liked it more as I watched, which I still wonder whether that is a good thing or not.
The last two episodes change the mood of the series, drastically. They were both slower than the rest of the series with long still shots. Though as a rule the series is slow, but I think it was the perfect pace for a storyline of this type. But the final episodes were the strong point of the plot of the show (even though it doesn't happen the same way in the manga). The ending was not satisfactory, but it did get me dying to read the manga, so was that their goal?
The friendship speeches could have been very annoying, but they weren't (shounens could take some lessons from this series). In fact they were well spoken and argued the fact fairly logically, but incredibly fluffy. The moral of the episode format was admittedly heartwarming and not predigested like so many other shows (especially when it comes to most things made by westerners).
The art was nothing spectacular, I didn't see it as particularly well done. The backgrounds were good but the animation was simplistic and not overly smoothe. Though the simplistic style helped when it came to punchlines. The character designs were good, but still didn't overly impress me.
Music, not that great. Just listen to the intro. Nothing in the series popped out and I think more dynamic music could have helped. The voice acting in the dub on the otherhand was perfection. Everyone was cast wonderfully, though at times I found Kyo a bit annoying, but it was probably the personality of the character more than anything. Yuki had a soothing and calming voice, actually the majority of the cast was soothing and relaxing on the ears, save three characters, but they're meant to be that way. This is a good series to watch before bed, so you can have a night of nice voices and fluffy happy dreams.
The characters in this series are probably some of the best made and most memorable of all anime. They are very deep and more than meets the eye. I paricularly loved Shigure with all his exasperation and pervy comments (which he said purely for reaction and a smack on the head). Tohru may seem a bit too good to be true, but I can find her believeable since I have a sister EXACTLY like her, so much so it was creepy and I'm so glad she lives in a protective family.
The secondary cast was surprisingly good, I can't say that any of the supporting characters had any notable flaws. The villain of the series remains mysterious and intimidating and to this day I have no idea what to make of him (again I must read the manga).
A bucket of fluff and warm fuzzies that gives some good life lessons. This show IS worth checking out and I highly recommend it... to GIRLS. If you feel I rated it too low maybe I would have graded this show a bit more fairly had I been a girl. But this was only my second shoujo (after Ouran which doesn't seem shoujo in the least anymore). This series could have easily run another 26 episodes, there was so much more to the storyline to cover The full Fruits Basket English dub can be viewed at www.hulu.com/fruits-basket and www4.funimation.com/video/?page=show&b=31
-There is a significant amount of swearing, though it's limited to d*** (or dang), hell, crap, and sucks.
-One character makes a brief, mildly innappropriate comment (and no I'm not talking about Shigure's frequent creepy comments, those are oddly clean, just awkward and hilarious)
-When the characters turn back into humans they are naked, though this was sensored thoroughly with puffs of clouds and convenient obsticles.
-Another character argues in defence of some school boys who went to the redlight district. However he is displayed as in the wrong.
-Same character owns a store where he makes maid, nurse, school girl and other such male fantasy outfits, however none of them are revealing and the topic is not discussed at length.
-Many characters suffered something tramatising in their past.
-There is a crossdresser, but he does resolve his issues, and it may be of interest especially to parents.
-Simple awkwardness, the whole thing with this naive girl being surrounded by all these males may have parents on guard, but nothing comes of it and it's quite innocent.read more
Fruits Basket was so cute to watch. It really took me back...one of those really old school super mangas that I used to read. The anime tells the story of Tohru Honda after the death of her mom. She somehow ends up living with some members of the Sohma clan - a most beautiful lineage if I might add despite some major personality flaws.
It is so engaging and definitely fun to watch. The anime only covers up to Volume 8 of the Fruits Basket manga so if you want to know how the story concludes, you need to read the manga to its conclusion.
Although Tohru is the sterotypical protagonist who can turn darkness into light, the other characters in the anime are also very very interesting and awesome. My favorite has to be Hana-chan who only wears black and has some type of supernatural powers. Of course the Sohma clan is great too. There are sooooo many of them and they are all so good looking and so flawed. You can\'t help but be thoroughly engaged by this family.
It's very difficult for me to like a romance story for a lot of reasons but it's even harder to write a review if I liked it. Fruits Basket has been the first of several light comedy romances I've watched and it does it's job of being what it is very well. It knows its demographic, it knows its characters, and it is adorable. However this is a show that feels the need to throw together an ending most suitable for a standard story arc but falls short of creating a satisfying and tense one due to the episodic and comedic nature of the show. It does the comedy show shtick right and uses its characters to its advantage, but the ending is so awkwardly place amid all the good that it doesn't work. But when it doesn't focus and pretends it's an airplane it's really enjoyable even to me who isn't a very savvy shoujo beat viewer.
I wasn't expecting a lot from this show substance-wise, but that's sort of what I needed. It's REALLY simple in the way that Tohru is taken in and has to adapt to the Souma family having issues. Every episode pretty much takes those circumstances and makes a little vignette about a family member or a new project of a previously mentioned one, and it works really well. There are few instances where where it strays from the Torhu-centered formula and seeing the family member's eccentricities and problems through her altruistic eyes works well. And really she's the best way to establish a show that can be serious, sweet and genuinely funny at the same time, and for the most part the tone is well established during most of the episodes (bar the last couple). The jokes were actually what surprised me the most about the show. After I had read the premise and minor details about it I assumed they would go the cheapest ecchi route possible and use the fact that the characters are naked after they turn back from animals as the cornerstone of the humor. But there's some surprisingly smart humor sprinkled in amid the dysfunctional family jokes. Self referential humor, breaking the fourth wall, parodying action anime, and borderline satirizing high schoolers were all shots in the dark that brought Fruits Basket up in caliber with its humor. The only time the story suffers a bit is when it gets more serious. It's not one hundred percent clear what happened with Torhu's mother or why she's so altruistic given her past. The show also does a huge flip in tone near the end, and some things get resolved but it mostly focuses on Kyo and Torhu's decision about what to do about it. It's not the best choice given that Torhu and Kyo don't build much on a more than friends relationship much during the series, and it seems forced near the end. I also wanted to see more of a full, developing character arc from Shigure and Yuki given the fact that they're seen throughout the show and aren't supporting characters. Sure you could say that it's a light show and doesn't need it, but given the tone change towards the end where there are critical decisions made in regards to the family, it feels like a let down when the show doesn't make full use of the climactic episodes. The serious turnaround is sort of a let down when compared to the quality of the rest of the show doing the best at doing what it knows in comedy and accessibility.
So the technical aesthetics of the show by no means stand out but they work in relation to the show. The characters of the show are drawn simply and their features don't have or need the intense lines that a more serious show would. It's easy on the eyes in the way that it's easy on the brain. For the most part, because the characters are mostly normal people, other than the Souma zodiac members. There are very few characters that have ridiculous hair or over the top outfits that seem so forced in other shows. There are exceptions such as Haru, but after a quick google search you can find that the author added his Yin Yang appearance, hair, and personality to parallel the ox zodiac sign. It's a bit of an obscure stretch but its a nice touch that showed the creators put care into crafting their characters. Some of the aesthetics aren't the best. The show falls into the trap of changing up the same couple of tracks when something funny happens or something serious is happening. The tracks themselves aren't bad and do their job right, it's just that it's nothing new and was done (a bit too much I might add) in shows like Chobits and Ouran. Speaking of Ouran, some of the characters, while they are done right, are identical in personality and model to characters from other shows. Namely Momiji and Ayame. Say with a serious face that they're not totally Honey and Pegasus. So aesthetics wise, art and sound do their jobs well but don't break the mold.
Characters in a show like Fruits Basket are a hard thing to critique because their personalities are exaggerated intentionally for comedic value. Given that front, the show knows its characters quite well. Fruits Basket doesn't pull any punches and makes its characters just about as over the top as you can get without making it too overbearing. Sure Kyo and Yuki fighting isn't as funny after you've seen it happen for the millionth time, but there's enough other characters and gags, series-running or otherwise, to keep things interesting during the entirety of 26 20-minute episodes. Torhu is the only exception to the rule of being a comedy-character with her altruism and moments of introspection about the Soumas. Normally a character like this in a reverse-harem suffers from becoming a Mary Sue who everyone likes, (another quick google search will tell you what that is) but her way of helping others is questioned more and more frequently as time goes on. It makes her a better rounded character because the writers forced her to adapt to other characters disliking her personality. Some of the character relationships and the jokes tied to them don't have as much context as is necessary, and that's a reason I didn't find the ongoing joke about Shigure not finishing his book for his editor as hilarious, there wasn't much to go on to make it an ongoing joke and it didn't build at all either. The main problem with the characters as mentioned before is that none of them have much of an arc, which would be forgivable if the series didn't end on two serious climactic episodes where critical choices have to be made.
So overall Fruits Basket is really enjoyable. It has its issues but it goes a lot farther in being better than average because of the unique premise but also smarter choices that set it apart from other shows in the genre. read more
What do you get when you combine the Chinese zodiac with a cute idea for an anime? Fruits Basket. And trust me; it’s not as good as you think.
Sure you got your cute animals and cute characters, but let’s look at the bigger picture here. Yes…the idea of how bloody slow….this….anime….is……. I was very close to dropping it if it wasn’t for the humour hidden in each episode. But what the heck is with the creators making such a big fuss about a part in the plot then brush it off as…nothing. NOTHING HAPPENS UNTIL THE END! Annoying? You got it. The pace was slow going, unnecessary, and characters that should’ve and could’ve done so much more…just didn’t. There was nothing special about this plot. It was overused like every other high school romance story. The only difference is they put characters as zodiac members. The theme was cheesy, the atmosphere was dull and boring; it wasn’t a good story. It gave no purpose or message. It was just plain boring.
Not bad, but still kind of strange. I wasn’t a fan of how they designed the characters. I’m not the biggest fan of big eyed anime characters to begin with but there is a limit on how big the eyes can be. If there was a contest for what anime character had the biggest eyes, Tooru Honda would win hands down! The male characters were perfect example on how they should’ve been in this anime, and Tooru just…no. Just no.
And the zodiac characters….okay, they aren’t fuzzy little plush toys you can cuddle. I think the dog and cat was the only normal design. The dragon is not….BLAHHH! A dragon is a dragon! And I was so disappointed on how they designed the dragon as so….soft! What ever happened to the old days when the zodiac animals weren’t…a cartoon?
Word of advice…watch this in subbed. I feel like I probably would’ve enjoyed it….you know what…it wouldn’t have changed either way for me. But I watched it in dubbed, meaning I had to live through the squeaky and high voice of Tooru Honda. I love Laura Baily, but this character wasn’t for her. Every time I heard that Tooru speak made my head hurt. I’m disappointed in the dub cast of this anime. I regret not watching this in subbed.
The opening song was a good choice! Until the episode started. When you watch an anime, the opening is a crucial element to the whole story. It’s what sets the watcher up, prepares them for an epic journey, gets them pumped and makes them feel what the anime is all about. The opening song gave a clear message: This anime has a tragic/ angst type story. The slow beats and the melancholy feeling it gave me was promising, but it didn’t tie into the genre, style, or atmosphere of the story. I mean sure it might’ve in the ending episodes, but through the first twenty, when they showed happy scenes with happy characters, it just made me shake my head. I skipped the opening since I had no interest in it.
One character: Tooru Honda. I think from reading the last part of my review will tell you all how I feel about this character. She’s whiny. She’s annoying. She’s someone who pretends that nothing is wrong. Okay…the world is not all sunshine and rainbows and this girl tries way too much to try and make it so. Can I please shake her to her senses? Does she not have an angry bone in her body? I don’t think she shows more emotion than just joy until the climax. She’s probably one of my least favourite characters.
Through the zodiac members, the only one I really liked was Shigure Souma and Kyou Souma. They should the humour in the anime and made me keep watching. Perhaps it was Kyou’s past that made me want to know more about him. These two characters were the only interesting part of the anime. End of story.
In short, or to summarize what I just said, this anime was a basket full of rotten fruit. And when your fruit gets rotten, you throw it out. I just didn’t throw it out in time. This anime may be well known, but don’t waste your time. If you do want to watch it…watch in subbed.
I give this a 32% on the Rotten Fruits Basket scale. read more
I can't believe I haven't written a review about my favorite anime of all time. Well here it is. Fruits basket is a great anime to watch if you are into romance/comedy/drama. Not only does it have a nice storyline but it has great characters. I am sure that you will have a favorite character in this series because each one is special in there own way. Here are three main reasons Fruits basket is my favorite anime.
1. The main character (Tohru Honda) is so likable. She is caring, puts others people's feelings before her own, works hard, and doesn't judge by appearances (you will know what I am talking about if you watch it). Me and her can relate in a lot of ways.
2.The romance in this anime is so cute. It's nothing over the top and is mostly expressed by feelings and actions (not the sexual actions). I couldn't even really call it romance but something special. Everyone sort of has this little bond or special feeling towards the Tohru. The one with Kyo and Yuki towards Tohru is my favorite because it's like this cute love triangle in its special way.
3. The amount of emotions you get from this anime. I cried out of happiness on some scenes and I cried on some other scenes because it was so touching, not really sad but you can sympathize with the situation. And then you have the comedy where you can just laugh and be happy.
Of course the story is also wonderful. I gave Fruits Basket a 10 for each category because it deserves it. The story was great and so was the ending. The art was beautiful. The music fit the anime. The characters were well thought out and likable and had there specialness in there own way. I surely enjoyed the anime all the way to the end and it rewatched it 3 times (not my last).
It was just amazing and very likable. That's all I can say to finish this review. read more
I'll try to make sure not to give any plot spoilers nor will I compare it with the manga (as I have yet to read the manga). With that, I'll begin my review with the hope it makes sense.
1. Story (8/10)
"Fruits Basket" had a great plot. I loved the idea of the animals from the Chinese zodiac being incorporated into the characters. For this reason, I had very high expectations when going into this anime. Sadly, for as great as a concept as the story was, I simply couldn't relate to it or find myself engaged in the episodes. More than once I kept looking to see if the episode was going to be over soon so I could go ahead and watch the next one and finish the series. So while it was a great concept, it didn't live up to the standards I had for it when I started watching it.
Now it had pretty good pacing and the overall story in this anime was well done. Just because I didn't really enjoy the anime, doesn't mean that I can't appreciate that the plot was good. I just didn't think it was done as well as it could have been and it left me disappointed. Really disappointed. So, pushing personal bias aside, I will give the story an 8 out of 10. While I didn't think it that great, I do understand what the anime tried to do and it mostly did that.
2. Characters (4/10)
The characters were, in my opinion, the worst part of the show, which became the main reason I didn't enjoy this as much as I could have.
Tohru: I found Tohru to be the most annoying. The more optimistic and happy she appeared, the more I came to dislike her. While I know it was her genuine personality, it didn't appeal to me in any way. I've never been overly fond of happy, ever-optimistic characters that never seem to grow or have more complex human emotions, and that's exactly the type of character she was to me. While other people may be able to connect to Tohru, I simply couldn't do that. In my eyes she was nothing more than the proper, polite, obedient, great-at-cooking homemaker that everyone adores while having no real personality or depth. I know this is a harsh assessment that many others may very well disagree with, but that's how she came across to me.
Kyou: If not for Kyou, I may have been more likely to drop the anime. While his character isn't the best character I've seen, I do consider him one of the best in this series. I can understand his internal conflicts and he has, I think, the most problems. Maybe it was for this reason I enjoyed his character the most and I really wish the anime would have developed his character more (actually, I wish all of the characters were developed more).
Yuki: He was easier to like than Tohru, but not nearly as interesting to me as Kyou. While he had his shining moments, and I did enjoy his character as well as I could for this anime, he still came out as just okay. Decent, but not definitely not exceptional. I think he was a great opposite to Kyou and I liked the dynamic of his character, but the anime fell short in developing him like I think he deserved to be developed.
Others: The other characters weren't particularly memorable, but they weren't horrible to watch either. Some even came off as annoying at times. With that being said, I will admit that some of the other characters did have pretty good moments that made you really feel for them, but the overall of the characters still left a lot to be desired (including the leads).
I really wanted to like these characters, and while I liked them enough, it wasn't enough to give this part a high score, so this part earns 4 out of 10 from me.
3. Sound (7/10)
Now, I will admit that I watched the dubbed version, and the voice acting in it wasn't that great in my opinion. Sadly, that's the version I ended up with since I foolishly forgot to check the audio track on the one I got and didn't feel like getting another version with the Japanese audio. Perhaps I would have liked this much better if I'd watched the subbed version. So, because of this, I'm only judging the music, and not the voice acting.
The music was decent. I really enjoyed the opening song and didn't mind sitting through it every episode. The ending song wasn't as impactful, though it did fit with the feel of the anime. So while I didn't personally care for it, it did work, as did the music throughout the show earning a 7 out of 10 from me.
4. Art (6/10)
I don't have much to say about the art one way or the other. It was not impressive or awe-inspiring. It was not horrible or bad to look at either. Overall, it was good and I really can't find anything to complaint about or praise, so I'll give this a 6 out of 10.
5. Enjoyment (5/10)
I think my main problem with this anime is that I expected too much going into it. After reading a bunch of great reviews (both here and youtube video suggestions), I had great hopes for this anime. If I had gone into this without the high hopes, I may have enjoyed it much more.
I found the same themes being repeated (fighting, arguing, unbelievable optimism, etc...) and it kind of annoyed me, but at the same time I get why the same things kept happening and I can't really fault the anime for this, even if I didn't really enjoy it much.
You may think that I felt that "Fruits Basket" is a bad anime, but it's not. The plot is good, and some may even find the characters to be endearing. It just so happens that I didn't. There is a lot to like about it, and there were many heartwarming and (very) funny parts. To be fair this anime did make me laugh fairly often, and it because of this that I give it a 5 out of 10 when it comes to enjoyment.
5. Overall (7/10)
Regardless of my bias against it based on numerous personal annoyances with this anime, I can still admit that the "Fruits Basket" anime was good. It wasn't bad nor was it even just average. It also wasn't a masterpiece nor was it great. It was just good. If you like slice of life, comedy, with heartwarming stories of friendship and moral support, then this is an anime that would probably appeal to you. If you're looking for a deep story involving the Chinese zodiac or a romance for the ages, then it has the potential to disappoint you. read more
I remeber seeing the DVD in the shop and thinking how different it was, a story about zodiacs? who turn into animals when hugged? but i was thrilled at how many episodes were in each dvd, once it begun.
Soon as i watched the first episode i just couldnt stop watching, each new introduction for a new character would equal more love for the series. Each character had a wonderful trait about them.
There was so many characters and you just kept wanting to know who would be what animal. You follow Tohru as she stumbles upon them and from then on you enjoy discovering each new secret and story with her.
Falling so in love with each characters sub story.
Bringing tears of sadness and tears of laughter. I couldnt ask for a better anime, it captured sweet romance, and sadness as well as a beautiful developing storyline between everyone as well as the secret of the Sohmas.
I would recommend this to anyone who loves some sweet light hearted romance and a great laugh.
I just wanted to care for each and everyone just how Tohru did.read more
To begin with I will just say that I have never been a slice-of-life kind of girl. I always go for the action/fantasy story lines, though I enjoy a dash of romance and some comedy here and there. Although this may be in-part a fantasy anime with tidbits of action it is by no-means an action fantasy anime. To be honest it has a very slice-of-life feel which I'm not usually too drawn to, but THIS, this anime has buried itself deep into my heart. At first, I thought the characters were mediocre and too innocent for my taste. At first I thought it was going to be a no-story line episodic anime. This was not the case. This anime has brought me to reevaluate my own character and to want to become better. It literally through me for a loop, It is a must-watch all the way through the end and I would say the last-two episodes are the most profound and outstanding I have ever seen. This is probably the only anime ever that has thoroughly and completely caught me by surprise. Profound is the only way I can describe the feeling this story has left me with. Usually an anime leaves me wanting more and obsessing over the next season. This one however leaves me with complete closure and a thoughtful ending to a beautiful story. read more
In the mood for something calm and relaxing? Something that charms you to your core and makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. That grants you great life lessons, and that inspires you through tough times. Yes? Well then, it's time to sit down and let Tohru Honda take up the screen in front of you. Somehow, watching this anime seems to have the effect of drinking tea, lighting incense and sitting in a massage chair combined. Bye bye stress!
Now, if you want non stop action that gets your adrenaline racing then you might find yourself still lacking that 'hit' after watching this. Likewise if you're a severely unemotional person then you might not appreciate the rather dramatic side of this anime. But if you appreciate drama, human emotions, snippets of comedic brilliance, and, as aforementioned, just generally want some time to de-stress and wind down from a long day, then you've hit your mark!
The characterisation is diverse and purposeful. These are not your stereotypical or archetypal characters. From Kyo to Hana, the range of unique personalities (and their problems!) will keep you entangled in a web of emotion. But unlike a spider web which will scarily snare you, this one will cuddle you and let you leave when you want to. Watching a few episodes of Fruits Basket means you'll always be left satisfied with a truly comforting life lesson – especially if you're going through tough times. Seriously, if you're having a rough time in life then this anime will help pick you up (in most cases), so I would highly recommend it to those who fill this criteria.
Unfortunately I feel the plot is not as strong as the characters themselves. Don't get me wrong, the plot isn't bad. This isn't an anime made to rely on an intensely intricate plotline. It's simple, and that suits it. But sometimes I feel there's just a little bit more to be desired from it. I know what you're thinking, and no, not in a sexual way!
The sound and animation are by no means bad, but they are a little outdated. However considering how old the anime is, they still stack up quite well, and I believe they fit well with the lifestyle nature of the show and the soothing vibe it brings with it.
For a while I had to ponder why this anime was called Fruits Basket. But I personally feel it's because this anime has a bit of everything...except action. Perhaps that was the metaphorical pineapple that got left out of the basket! Poor thing!read more
So, this will be my first review of an anime, so please bear with my newbie-ish review. This review will be talking about my first ever anime series: FRUITS BASKET! Because I thought it would be appropriate for a first review. I haven't watched it in some time so i might get some facts wrong, also if you think the review was helpful/not helpful, then i want you to explain why so that i can get some constructive criticism.
Alrighty, so the story is pretty new and refreshing, its pretty different from any other anime that i have seen but I guess its nothing really special and exciting, but its still good. Long story short, it's about a girl named Tohru Honda who lives with 3 guys (No, its not what you think it is...damn pervert) who are cursed, this curse involves them turning into an animal of the Chinese zodiac every time they are hugged by a person of the opposite sex. You might think this Chinese zodiac thing is just an excuse to make funny moments and stuff, but I'll tell you this: things get pretty sad and tear-jerking down the road. Mark. My. Words.
OH MY GAWD! THE COLORS! For an anime that is 13 years old, it has some of the most beautiful scenery I've seen, don't forget the colors as well! I've seen over 50 anime series and this series' art is in my top 10.
This series OP and ED is probably something you'll never forget because its just so memorable. The OP will have you slowly swaying your head sideways and will make you try and sing along because it's just so fucking soothing. The ED is pretty goddamn relaxing, you could just listen to this outside when it's all sunny and just fall asleep like a baby.
Yep, every single character is different and I love it. Tohru Honda is the kindest and sweetest girl you will ever lay your eyes on, you thought you knew who the kindest anime girl was? Well i guess it's time to bring up a damn dictionary and look for the word "kind" or "sweet", Tohru Honda will has all of that and more! Yuki Sohma is maybe an exception to the whole "different characters" thing. I guess he's just your typical popular boy who could get a girlfriend faster than you can say "Forever Alone" but yet, he only has eyes for that one girl who doesn't really see him as a love interest and that makes every other girl mad. The only new thing with Yuki is that he turns into a dog every time a girl hugs him, oh and he sounds like a girl. Kyo Sohma is a guy with anger issues and a desire to be the strongest in the world. He hates Yuki more than anything and will do anything to beat him ever once. He's quite a mixed guy, he'll try to surprise you with a present and then he'll destroy the present because he thinks the present sucked, and then he'll take his rage out on Yuki. One little misstep and he'll be flying all over the room. These three are just the tip of the iceberg, I'd love to tell you about all of them but then this review will just be too long and stupid.
I've mentioned that this was my first anime series ever, so it definitely left a sweet taste inside my mouth. It's such a heart-warming story as it goes along and there are some pretty funny moments that had me laughing out loud like a psychopath at a hospital.
If you want some good ol' slice of life with a glass of comedy and a side dish of drama, then Fruits Basket is for you: the reader! Thank you so much for following me through my first review ever and remember to say your thoughts about my review, whether i kept rambling on about Yuki or how my jokes aren't funny, let me know! read more
Aw, Fruits Basket is a cute anime. I'm really into action shows like Fullmetal Alchemist, Inuyasha, Naruto, Gundam Wing/Seed, etc. so I wasn't sure if I would like this series or not. However, when I watched it, I just couldn't stop. Tearing myself away from the TV was heart-wrenching! The plot is well written and you'll love the characters. The show is hilarious and very cute and it'll have you laughing and smiling during every episode. Even if your an action fan like me, you should definitely give this anime a shot.
There comes a time for every generation of Otaku or general anime viewer, when they are done taking their baby steps into anime i.e. when they’ve stopped/watched enough of the most popular Shōnen or Mecha show/s and they become confident enough walking on their own that they start to go off and explore what’s around that big bad internet to see what other animes are out there, that, they stumble, or rather are introduced to (like myself) their first Shōjo/Harem/Moé/Yaoi show; You know, the K-On!’s, the Ouran’s, the Clannad’s, the Chobits, the Free!’s (for all you newbies) or hell, even Sailor Moon from back in the day. A show that compared to what you have been watching up until now is the absolute sort of thing you DON’T want to watch. Something that screams, “IT’S SO GIRLY!” or in my case, “IT LOOKS TOO SILLY, I WANT SOMETHING A BIT MORE SERIOUS!”. Although issues like these are nowadays, for the most part (in Scotland), non-existent, but back in say 2004 when I was a tender 12 years old, watching these kinds of shows was a whole different story. But for those brave & bold enough to watch shows like these and for those who were able to get past the insecurities they had, whether it was about how the show would make us feel, or if the art would be a problem or we just couldn’t get into the story, were introduced (depending on the show of course) fantastical worlds (and sometimes incredibly realistic worlds) chock full of charm, humour, compassion, friendship, family, love and also heartache, loss, despair, loneliness and emptiness with the latter emotions being the reason why some of these shows are some of our all-time cherished favourites.
Now (finally) the anime I’ll be talking about today, my first Shōjo, I’m glad to say, is such a show, whose manga I just finished not two nights ago and is firmly cemented into my heart as something I will cherish for the rest of my current life. Otaku’s, Otakette’s and the young’uns – I present my written review of, Fruits Basket, CUE THE MUSIC!!!
Now to start off with, the boring history stuff:
Fruits Basket began, and ended, life as a semi-monthly manga series written and drawn by Miss Natsuki Takaya (an interesting woman who both is left-handed and loves Final Fantasy much like myself) from 1999 to 2006 spanning 136 chapters and was then adapted into a 26 episode anime series. The anime was made by Studio DEEN - also responsible for things like, Initial D Third Stage, Rave Master, Getbackers, the Beyblade movie & Fate/Stay Night, so, not too shabby - and was directed by Mr. Akitaro Daichi, who has also directed Kamisama Kiss (a show I’m real interested in watching) and a show called We Were There (which also sounds right up my street).
Now, Fruits Basket’s story may end up how all the other Shōjo tales do, one male or female “main” main character is surround by many numbers of the opposite sex (Fruits Basket does have females too but the results the same) who all each get their own episode and in turn they all fall in love with said “main” main character. But how it presents this worn-out formulaic type of story-telling is far for the status quo (which I will get to soon, so remember this part okay?). So, as we begin our journey through a Basket of Fruits, we have our “main” main character, Torhu Honda, a optimistic, kind-hearted, warm, selfless, oblivious and at time ignorant, but most lovely and genuine sweetheart, girl who at the beginning of our tale is living in a tent in the woods all by herself, through her own doing, as she was staying with her grandfather after her mother and father died, but decided to move out when her poor old grandpappy also had to let his kids and their families stay in his small house to which Tohru (being Tohru) felt she was being a burden. Then one day as Tohru is on her way to school, she stumbles upon a random house, which she obviously never noticed before, and these cute-sy little figures shaped into each animal the 12 zodiacs – now be aware that Tohru favours the Cat spirit of the zodiac and has a wish to become friends with the Cat as he is shunned and left-out by the rest of the zodiac. As Tohru observes the figures we are then introduced to the Sohma relatives, Shigure Yuki and Kyo who all decide to let Torhu stay after her tent is washed away in a landslide, so she can have somewhere solid to stay and may be a little bit because their house is dirty and nobody knows how to cook.
Now remember WAAAY back when I mentioned that although this show does eventually follow traditional Shōjo but presents it to us in a way that is more acceptable?
No!? Shame on you!
Yes? Fantastic, well done!
Well, anyways, the show’s unique spin to the boring Shōjo format is that it is revealed to Torhu that Shigure, Yuki, Kyo and ten others in the Sohma family are all possessed by the spirits of the zodiac and thus such are all related and bonded (spiritually) together because of it. Also in a very strange, and very Shōjo way, the Sohma’s turn into their animal forms when hugged by a member of the opposite sex, which, (ah, I hate to admit this) was kind of funny on more than one occasion. Shigure is the dog, Yuki is the rat & Kyo is the cat coincidently, which should paint a massive red target in him labelled, “OBVIOUS LOVE INTEREST IS OBVIOUS”. But the show does a great job of leading us astray at all times, “One episode it’s Yuki, the other it’s Kyo”, sort of thing.
And THUS, my friends, we have passed the Genesis of FruBa. From here on it’s par for the course really: Tohru, episode by episode, meets each of the Sohma’s possessed by the animals, they all fall in love with her & we don’t find out until the last episode who Tohru really wants to be with and thus presents us with no real conclusion other than the, “The road is long, our journey has just begun, I hope all days are like this forever” BULLSHIT that these sort of shows can give you. And yes, it is an anime-only ending which further cements the show’s disappointing end. Which is a real crying shame to be honest because the show does have bags of charm and character and when more than one Sohma is on the screen is does create some great watching as, because there are so many Sohma’s, it seems that a single emotion/trait has been attributed to the one character and no-one else and that one emotion all the only one they confidently portray, for example, Shigure is mischievous, Yuki is charming & Kyo is short-tempered and that IS ALL these three portray, obviously they smile, frown, laugh and get upset but they do it based off these emotions/traits.
For characters, I’ll just skin over the main four, Tohru, Kyo, Yuki & Shigure as they have the most screen time between them.
As mentioned before Tohru is probably the nicest person you’ll ever meet, but she’ll also be the most oblivious one as well. But that’s great for Tohru as she has this childlike way of doing these things that no matter what, you can’t help but hug the girl. The more you learn about Tohru, the more time you spend with her, the more familiar you become with her way of life, you cannot help but fall in love with Tohru. Try as you might, it’s impossible not to, unless you have no soul of course. But behind all the goofballness (I’m coining that) and just a plain nice person, is that serious side to Tohru’s life which like most of the other characters is quite heart-breaking and lonely. You get to understand that she has been through so much and most of the time she hides it through her innocence and optimism. She’s a true gem of a character and one I personally resonate with. I consider her a good friend of mine, and if you get to know her, she’ll be yours too.
Now for my favourite character, Kyo, the Cat. Now where there are those parts of Torhu that I mentioned that are within me, there are also those “other” parts of me, which are within Kyo, more so than with Tohru. Kyo is very easily frustrated and angered, most of the time because he is incredibly defensive or has had his words taken in the wrong context and that sometimes upsets people which is the one thing Kyo doesn’t want to do, but his frustration gets the better of him, but he does make it up to people in the best way he can – niceness. This defining thing about Kyo is why I love him to death because it’s so like me, because we’ll both get frustrated over the littlest things and then when we calm down we’ll be like, “That was pointless, why did I get so upset with (insert name), better go apologise”. Kyo likes to do things his own way, much like myself, and likes to take themselves out of the group picture is he feels it will ease things, much like myself. Although Kyo may be hot-tempered, people can still tell he has a kind heart, he just doesn’t know how to express it without getting embarrassed which them gets him frustrated which then leads to him blowing up. Which is why having Tohru around is the best thing for him as slowly but surely, he finally loosens up and learns to just go with the flow. He’s a really great character and person who just wants to be accepted and has a big heart.
Now Yuki is easier to get past as for me, like Kyo, I don’t really care for Yuki too much. He’s a nice guy and all, and he treats Tohru with nothing but respect. But he’s the “prince of the school”, the most popular kid, the “best looking”, the prodigy child, he can’t do nothing wrong, does everything right and never seems to have any problems. Me & Kyo HATE “perfect” people. But then, I started to get to know Yuki, and I started to look deeper into what made Yuki, Yuki and found out, like Kyo does, that he hates being perfect, he hates being the centre of attention all the time. Yuki actually wants what Kyo has: solitude. So in learning that, Yuki (who still don’t really care that much for), becomes a whole different person to me. Someone with more admirable qualities than I care to imagine and honour made of steel.
But I still don’t care for him, stupid Rat.
Ah, Shigure. Shigure isn’t everyone’s absolute favourite character, but he’s the close second though. He would love that though, being all mischievous and such – every little slip-up the first favourite would make, there would be Shigure, laughing, teasing, and making the first sweat. I love that about Shigure though is that he loves to tease, not because he’s evil, but because he knows he’ll get a kick out of it and it’ll be real funny. He’s LOVES embarrassing Yuki and Kyo in front of Tohru. He is a real creature of comfort (very akin to the dog funny enough) and very rarely ever wears anything other than his dressing gown. If he was a real guy, he’d be your drinking buddy, let’s put it that way.
Art wise, it’s very simply drawn and animated. It does contain many many MANY Moé moments where there are super cute animals on screen or when Ayame is on the scene of when Tohru is, well, being Tohru. It never impresses, but it never disgusts either. It’s as standard as standard gets, although it is very faithful to the manga.
The soundtrack is standard fare really, nothing you haven’t heard before. The opening and closing themes are decent enough that fans will download them. The only real star, music wise, isn’t even a proper song, it’s a made up verse sung by Momiji – but it is great though. Voice acting in the dub does have some saving graces (on paper) by the way of Eric Vale (Trunks in DBZ) as Yuki, Jerry Jewell (Claire Stanfield in Baccano!) & Laura Bailey (Amber in Darker Than Black) as Tohru, with only the latter putting in an above average performance.
Despite having flaws in the art and sound departments (with the problems in sound just being about enthusiasm), Fruits Basket is rife with entertainment, but only if you want to find it, as it’s till after a few episodes (or really after Momiji is introduced) that the series really shifts gear into full “HAHA” mode. It also has some tender moments when Tohru is alone with either Yuki or Kyo that are lovely to watch - the plum on the back speech in episode 7 is the best example of this. And even though the ending is piss poor, you still cheer and want Tohru to succeed, so I guess, that’s enjoyment.
So, in summary, I’ve decided that Fruits Basket (as an anime) is the most special, un-special thing you’ll ever see, which is good in a way because when I look back on the anime now and how it ends; it’s really just a stepping stone to get you to the manga. The anime hardly covers anything the manga has to offer. So while the anime is nothing special and has a terrible ending, it’s supposed to be the platform to get you ready for the manga, which you should definitely read after watching the anime first. As the anime is just but a taste of what’s to come, as the manga, especially in the later half is an acquired taste to say the least. But it does have a satisfying ending. See, when I first watched Fruits Basket, it was just a simple enjoyable pass-time that I wished there was more of; and since there was and I’ve finished the story, I now look back on this anime and smile with nostalgic glee at all the memories contained within. So although this anime is not that special, if you read the manga after it, then come back, it soon will be. It’ll become one of your favourite shows, that you’ll eventually show your kids when your older and pass it down the generations with love, which is something that the manga is big on later on in the series.
Thus ends my very first review on MAL and my review of Fruits Basket, the anime. If people like this enough, I may do a short review on the manga. I hope I kept this spoiler-free and y’all enjoy it.
Thank you very much if you read this and I certainly hope it convinces people to pick up the series.