Fruits Basket ~Special Review~

Tuesday, August 26, 2008 rinachan
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This is my third installment of special reviews.

Fruits Basket is about, basically, a girl who meets the Sohma (Souma) family. They’ve been cursed for eternity; thirteen of them turn into animals when hugged by the opposite sex. There is one that stands out–Kyo, the cat–who is not apart of the zodiac. In the ancient story, he was tricked into being late for the “bash” that all the animals should have went to, and so he was stuck being an outsider, unapart of the zodiac. A cat. The girl, Tohru (Touru), wants to free them of their miseries, despite having some of her own. Her father died of a sickness when she was young, and, more recently, her mother died. She was left alone, burdened with the fact that asking others for help would burden them too. And so, she sets up in a tent and gets sick one day, on the Sohma family grounds. They take Tohru in with the exception that she has to, basically, be a maid.

Anime

There isn’t much of a different between the anime and the manga art. The only difference, really, is their art. However, in general, the manga and the anime are almost completely different.

The anime clocked in at twenty-six episodes, and has no scheduled second season and probably never will, despite the profits that’d be gained. It ends around volume six of the manga and closely follows the plot up until then, abruptedly ending. Although I love the anime, I prefer the manga because I get to see how it truly ends.

Manga:

The manga more-recently ended back in 2006 with twenty-three volumes, with twenty of those volumes published here in America.I have yet to read the ending, of course, so I can’t say much other than I’ve read all of the chapters available to the US audience. So far, so good. The story’s getting pretty good and I can’t wait to finish it. I’ve been working on this manga since I was eleven, and when it’s finally over, I can breath a sigh of relief and know how it went down.

I certainly hope it’s a happy ending.

Anyway, down with the characters. I’ll introduce you to the most important characters — Tohru, Kyo, and Yuki

Tohru Honda (Touru Honda)

An orphaned high school student who, at the start of the story, begins living with Shigure, Yuki, and Kyo Sohma in exchange for housekeeping. She loves to cook, describes herself as an excellent housekeeper, and has an after-school job as a janitor to pay her tuition fees to avoid being a burden on her grandfather. She is depicted as polite, optimistic, extremely kind, and selfless; several other characters, including Kyo, Rin, and Hanajima, tell her she needs to look out for her own interests and not shoulder everyone else’s burdens. In the original Japanese, Tohru habitually speaks formally, but not always correctly, a habit she picked up from her father, Katsuya, after he died when she was three, as a way of replacing him in her mother’s eyes. Tohru’s mother, Kyoko, raised her alone until she died in a car accident shortly after Tohru entered high school, a few months before the start of the story. Tohru repeatedly calls Kyoko the most important person in her life and treasures her photograph; when she falls in love with Kyo she feels guilty of being “unfaithful” to her mother’s memory.
In the first half of the series, as Tohru learns about the zodiac curse and its effects on those she loves, she becomes distressed, and when she learns that the dangerous Akito is the “god” of the zodiac, she resolves to break the curse. Only later does she admit that she wants to free Kyo most of all. Despite setbacks, she stubbornly persists in her goal and eventually frees Kyo and her friends. In the last chapter, she begins moving with Kyo to another city so he can continue his martial arts training, and in the final pages they are shown as a loving elderly couple with a granddaughter.

Kyo Sohma (Kyo Souma)

I decided on two pictures because, while one is a great profile of him, the other is more of his “natural” look.

Kyo is cursed by the cat, an animal not in the Chinese zodiac but which legend says would have been if it had not been tricked by the rat into missing the induction feast (see Zodiac origin stories). He is depicted as an orange-haired young man who is short-tempered and charismatic, if initially awkward around people; Arisa Uotani once calls him “anger management boy,” and Yuki Sohma expresses envy of his ability to make friends easily. He is also fiercely competetive, and can be easily manipulated into doing things he does not want to by turning it into a competition—especially against Yuki. As the cat, Kyo hates Yuki, the current rat of the zodiac, who he sees as never having to work hard at anything, and has dedicated his life to defeating him. Shortly before the series beginning, Kyo made a bet with Akito: if he defeats Yuki before graduating high school, he would officially be accepted as part of the zodiac; however, if he does not, Kyo would be confined inside the Sohma estate for the rest of his life. Despite many months of strict training, however, Kyo never lands a decent blow on Yuki. Their rivalry distresses Tohru, who likes them both, but she comes to worry even more when they do not fight. The two eventually tell each other, during an argument, they envy as well as despise each other and come to a truce for Tohru’s sake.
At the start of the story, Kyo moves into Shigure’s house with Yuki and Tohru. When Kyo was young, his mother died in an accident rumored to be suicide over her son’s curse, and after his father rejected him, Kyo was taken in by Kazuma Sohma. The two love each other as father and son, but Kazuma insists he continue to live with Shigure because he believes Tohru is helping him open up.[39] Aside from his foster father, however, Kyo runs away from the people who want to help him, because he is ashamed of his true form—a grotesque, foul-smelling, larger version of his zodiac animal—which he turns into when his bone juzu bead bracelet is removed. When Tohru sees his true form, however, she is initially repulsed but follows him to beg him stay with her, which strengthens their bond. However, Kyo also blames himself for the death of Tohru’s mother, whom he could have saved at the risk of turning into a cat, and he was shaken by Kyoko‘s last words, “I’ll never forgive you…” As the story progresses, Kyo falls in love with Tohru, but he refuses to subject her to the pain he is convinced he will cause, so when she confesses she loves him, he calls her “delusional.” Only when Uotani, Hanajima, and Yuki impress upon him how deeply his rejection hurt Tohru does he get up the courage to accept her, and when he does finally confess to her, his curse lifts—along with the rest of the zodiac. In the last chapter, he and Tohru begin moving out of Shigure’s house to another city, where he will study at another dojo in preparation for inheriting Kazuma’s, and in the final pages they are shown as a loving couple with a grandaughter.

Yuki Sohma (Yuki Souma)

Yuki is the rat of the Chinese zodiac. Yuki is depicted as an attractive, reserved, and accomplished young man with many admirers, but who finds being friendly difficult. When Yuki was young, Akito Sohma kept him isolated and convinced him no one liked him; because of this, Yuki has low self-esteem and feels isolated. He is known as “Prince Yuki” and “Prince Charming” at school, where he has a fan club headed by Motoko Minagawa that tries to “protect” him from other admirers, with the result that Yuki is further isolated, and he is pressured by his popularity to become president of the student council despite his misgivings. Yuki, however, wishes that he could be with people as friends, rather than be admired from afar, and envies both Kyo Sohma‘s and Kakeru Manabe‘s easy ways with others. He is touched when, faced with the prospect of having her memory of the Sohma family secret erased, Tohru Honda asks that he remain her friend, which no one had asked him before. With Tohru’s help Yuki is gradually able to “open the lid” on his feelings, and the summer after she begins living in Shigure’s house, Yuki admits to himself that he loves her.
When Yuki was around six or seven years old, he ran away from Akito and was the one who returned Tohru to her mother when she was lost. For that, Yuki has always had fond feelings for Tohru for actually “needing” him. However, he later admits to Manabe that he was looking for a mother-figure and found her in Tohru. As the rat, Yuki despises the current cat, Kyo, despite envying him, and is contemptuous of his attempts to defeat him. Even when he recognizes the true nature of his feelings for Tohru, Yuki is uncomfortable when he recognizes her and Kyo’s growing feelings for each other. Yuki becomes attracted to Machi Kuragi, a student council secretary who also had a traumatic childhood, and falls in love with her. When he knows that Kyo will be confessing to Tohru that he loves her, Yuki meets with Machi, and is with her when his curse lifts, whereupon the first thing he does is embrace her. In the last chapter, he gives Machi a key to his new apartment, where he will be living as he attends university.

There you have it, folks. I reviewed one of my favorites for you and now I hope you can enjoy it. If not, thanks for reading! Rina-chan will follow up with her usual lesson later, bye bye!

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Entry Filed under: Anime,Manga

One Comment Add your own

  • 1. Ridrix  |  Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    AWESOME, =3


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