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’.