Sawa Mitoma, a nervous, skittish girl who prefers minimal human contact, has just started high school, and it's already not going well...until she meets the "it" boys—the "prince-like" Mutsuki and the sharp-tongued Hajime. But little does she know, they're Soumas!?
I really love Fruits Basket, let's get that out there first. It’s my number one favorite manga of all time and there’s little that manages to come close. Fruits Basket is the first manga I read in a period when I didn’t think reading manga was any good or even better than anime. Reading Fruits Basket was a whole different experience for me. The story moved me for reasons I won't be getting into, because this is a review about Fruits Basket: Another.
With such an amazing story as Fruits Basket though, it was really only a matter of time before I became obsessed with manga—hungry
for something that could make me feel as good and invested as Fruits Basket did.
I was seriously hesitant to read this sequel, mainly because Fruits Basket ended fulfilling and beautiful and didn’t need any sort of continuation. This isn’t a continuation per se, but more of an… adaption, so to speak. What I mean is: ‘Fruits Basket: another’ feels like a recycled and mediocre version of Fruits Basket.
We’ve got a Yuki lookalike, who is loved by his peers (both male and female), a Kyo lookalike, who is slightly crass and cold but endearing in his own way (I kid you not, they all look exactly the same and behave the exact same way and that's because they are the children of Yuki and Kyo. Only in this case, the Yuki and Kyo lookalikes have a good friendship). And lastly with have our Tohru lookalike, an innocent and kind girl. The only difference between Tohru and our new main character, Mitoma, is that Mitoma is more hated than liked compared to Tohru.
This story isn't the same as: 'Tohru brings light to the Souma’s lives'. Instead, this story is about: 'the Souma bring light to Mitoma’s life'.
It may sound interesting and different because of that slight change, but it’s just… not. It falls flat, because there’s nothing original going on. I think one of the appeals of Fruits Basket was its originality: the mystery behind the Souma family, the sweet girl who was kind without being annoying, the tender friendships that eased over the dark atmosphere of the plot and the beautiful love that was quite literally the definition of growth and 'you make me a better person’-trope.
You can imagine that if the story is recapped for the second time without the characters we have come to know and love, but instead weak cardboard copies of those characters and minus the proper plot building that it could come off as slacking and turn into a limply failure. By making a copy, we can’t help but compare them to the original and find out that it’s not as great and because of that: a huge disappointment.
That said, If you haven’t read Fruits Basket, then this story is more bearable—though it’s rushed sometimes; jumpy at parts and it lacks proper build up. Our main character has it rough, but it almost appears as if her predicament was jammed into the overall story, so we could get to know the other characters (who are almost all the children of the characters in Fruits Basket), rather than understanding Mitoma, living with her pain and properly experiencing what for effect these characters will or can have on her life.
All in all, it’s an average stand-alone and an unfavorable ‘sequel’.
Personally, I loved Fruits Basket. It was one of the first manga I ever read and to this day is still at the top of my favorites list. Nothing will ever replace it; hardly anything even comes close.
That being said, when I found out about Fruits Basket: Another, of course, I was both really excited and very hesitant. For a long while, I tried not to read it... then I gave in, and what I discovered is that it was actually not all that bad.
First, I will say this. Furuba: Another isn't really a sequel but more like an extended epilogue. It's main purpose
is not to pull you into another fantastic story on par with Fruits Basket. In fact, the entire reason for its existence is to make the readers, the target audience - Furuba fans, feel nostalgic and want to go read the original again. Why? Because it's currently going through a republishing/reselling in celebration of the anniversary.
That's not to say that Furuba: Another itself isn't a great read. It really is. What I believe, however, is that whether you enjoy it or dislike it depends on what type of fan you are and the attitude you have going into it. If you're the type who's wanting something as wonderful, emotional, and dramatic as the original, there's a high chance you're going to be disappointed. If you're the type who is open to anything and can keep in mind that this sequel is really just a sweet after story (and will only span 2-3 volumes max), you'll most likely greatly enjoy Fruits Basket: Another.
To paraphrase something another Furuba: Another fan said:
Where Fruits Basket was about one girl - having been loved and cherished growing up and who has a warm and caring heart despite her own share of hardships - helping a group of burdened and broken people find a better outlook; Fruits Basket: Another is the opposite. This time, the Sohmas - being loved and raised well by parents who went through hardship - are there to bring hope and light to one girl who is lost and broken.
That's exactly what this sequel is: a light-hearted and sweet look at how the next generation of Sohmas turned out because of the events in the original. Like I said earlier, this is more of an extended epilogue than another stand-alone epic.
All in all, I really like this manga so far and am looking forward to more of it.
7/10 for Story.
Ten chapters in, not much has happened yet other than meeting the cast. So on that note, there isn't much of a story yet. What there is so far, though, is very enjoyable and nostalgic enough to pull you in. Story rates a 7 because it is a bit lacking if only because the chapters are much shorter than the original and exposition is prevalent in what's available so far.
9/10 for Art.
I mean, come on, this is still Natsuki Takaya. Of course, it's wonderfully drawn. I only docked one point because, in my own opinion, it's not as sharp and polished as in the original. Still, even with the slightly softer style, it's beautiful. Much love for Takaya-sensei.
7/10 for Character.
I hesitated between 6 or 8 for this rating. Mainly because I'm biased, I mean, who wouldn't be. I settled with a compromise and rated 7. I wanted to rate 8 because... well, the principle of the matter is This Is The Second Generation! How could you not love them? On the other hand, I was close to rating 6 because the second generation is like a literal 'The Apple doesn't fall far from the tree'. I understand genetics, so yeah, but even then. Still, that wasn't the deciding factor. I have no real problems with the Sohmas. It's the MC that dropped my rating. She's the "Tohru lookalike" though she looks hardly anything like Tohru. It's her personality that grates... seriously. I understand that there are reasons for the way she is, but what's annoying is annoying and I'm not a big enough person to ignore that. So overall character rating ended up at 7.
9/10 for Enjoyment.
Now, I can't speak for everyone, but I personally really like what I've read so far. It was enjoyable and very amusing, fun and sweet with the little tiny bit of emotion and drama still hidden in there. There are a few great side character cameos from the original and a few second generation characters that are descendant from previous side characters as well; all of which add to the amusement. It's a story pandered to Furuba fans, so if you're the type to love cameos and inside jokes there's a greater chance you'll enjoy it.
And so, because I had ratings of 7-9-7-9, my Overall rating for Fruits Basket: Another is 8/10 Very Good.
I hope this review helps! And to all those Fruits Basket fans who are still on the fence about this sequel, I encourage you to give it a chance. I'm not going to guarantee you'll like it, everyone is different, but you'll never know one way or the other if you don't take the plunge!
I was really nervous about reading Fruits Basket: Another, because i didn't want it to influence my enjoyment of the original manga.
I have heard really mixed reviews about it, with some people saying that it just recycles the characters and dynamics from the original but without any of the substance, and so even though I was excited to hear about it when it came out, I steered clear from reading it.
However with the 2019 anime reboot my Fruits Basket feelings CANNOT be contained and I was desperate enough to start reading Fruits Basket: Another. Surprisingly, I really enjoy it so far. In addition to
thinking of it as an additional epilogue, as many commenters have mentioned, reading this manga is also like reading a canonical fanfiction straight from the mangaka herself.
The story is pretty basic, and reading it as a standalone manga I would not be very impressed, but as a supplement to the original Fruits Basket, it's incredibly enjoyable. It's also really fun to guess which characters are related to who, and to see the personalities and mannerisms that have been inherited from their parents. I also really like the shift in dynamic as someone from "outside" the Sohma clan is welcomed and supported through her emotional struggles and shown unconditional love for the first time (paying it forward from how Tohru affected everyone's lives!)
I can't wait to read more of this series and meet more characters who will undoubtedly be showing up in the future.
Fruits Basket is one manga series I will never forget. With its unique story that just sucks you in, it certainly didn't take too long before it became my favorite series of all time. And to this day, after years of reading it, it still is a favorite of mine.
It was only recently that I found out about this "continuation" of the series, with the next generation of the Sohma kids. I was a bit reluctant reading, however. The manga ended so well, and in such a satisfactory manner, that I just didn't think it needed to have a continuation (I mean, aside from your
initial 'I just want to see their day to day lives now!' phase after a series ends).
Though I finally got down to it, and read it. After all, it was a continuation from a beloved series that I just loved!
Safe to say, I felt... disappointed, when I finished reading it.
The story of this continuation was, essentially, the same thing as the original, but the roles reversed. Mitoma, a shy and sweet girl, being hated on and abused. Suddenly the Sohmas' come in, and they turn her towards a new lease on life, in hopes she can better herself and come to terms with who she is! You see where I'm getting at? It's the same thing.
The story felt rushed in some of the sections here and there within most, if not all, chapters, and you never got to fully understand what was truly going on; and right as you were beginning to comprehend it, the plot was onto another section that didn't really go along with the last part. It was just too clustered, never giving you the time to understand what was happening, or why it was happening.
As this was done after the Fruits Basket series ended, the art is much better compared to when the original series began. It being my favorite manga style, I have no complaints!
I was never able to attach to any of the characters present in this series. Even though Mitoma was the main protagonist, and had the most backstory, I just couldn't find myself wishing to protect her, or really... feel bad for her. She was bullied and generally hated, and it is well understood from the very beginning. But why? Why was she always hated, friends and family alike? You never get a full explanation, or when there "is one," you're still confused.
Near the end, it just threw a group of Sohma family members, how they're related, and a general assumption of what their characters are like. And that's the problem.
Throwing so many characters in at the last second is a bad thing to do, because you never remember them, and they're just... unimportant to the story at hand. This was a story of Mitoma (basically) trying to better herself, with the aid of Hajime Sohma, and Mutsuki Sohma. The other characters didn't matter, aside from basically going 'Yeah, we're the children of the main characters of the original series!" Riku and Sora showed some form of importance, but not much--they were main side characters, at best, and the others seemed to just be filler.
I did enjoy this to some extent. I found it interesting to see the lives of the next generation of my favorite characters, but IT wasn't all that great.
Fruits Basket: Another was a continuation of something that ended well. And due to that, there really wasn't much to go off of to make a proper storyline. The curse was broken, everyone achieved the happy ending and life that they wanted at the end of the story. Even Akito recieved her happy ending. What else could you make of the series aside from making comics of their everyday lives?
This might've been interesting, had it been set in the same time as Kyo, Yuki, Tohru, and others. Of course, they wouldn't be the same characters, but perhaps if it had been about some students trying to crack down what exactly was happening with the Sohmas', it could have gotten to be very intriguing. Of course, I am no writer.
It was mediocre, at best, and I just couldn't help but just lose my sense of satisfaction. I will certainly continue reading once new chapters are released, but as of now, this is not a favorite of mine.