I really love Fruits Basket. 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 have ever read in a period when I didn’t think reading manga was any good or even better than anime. 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 per se isn’t a continuation, but more of an… adaption, so to speak. What I mean is: ‘Fruits Basket; another’ feels like a recycled, 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. Which is, because they are the children of Yuki and Kyo. Though, at least, the Yuki and Kyo lookalikes have a good friendship). And lastly 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 cared for compared to Tohru. This story isn't the same as 'Tohru brings light to the Souma’s lives'. Instead, it’s '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’.
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 copy card boxes of those characters minus the proper plot building—that it could come off as slacking and a limply failure. By making copies, 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 than 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 us to know the other characters (who are the children of the characters in Fruits Basket), rather than understanding Mitoma and 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!
Fruits Basket was the first manga I ever read and open my eyes to the world of manga and anime (sorry this was so cheesy). Hence, I was delighted to find that a sequel had been made. However, I must say that I am rather disappointed with Fruits Basket Another as it seems to, so far, lack originality and appears to be a copy of the first series with a slightly different art style but identical characters. Consequently, I am only continuing to read this series due Fruits Basket and I have remained optimistic that it will become more interesting as the series progresses since there are currently only 7 chaptersread more