~Fruits Basket~

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Title: Fruits Basket (Furuba)

Translated: N/A

Form of Anime: Series/Manga

Released in the U.S.: Yes

Ryo Dark says: A WONDERFUL anime, chock-full of bishis, cuteness, angst, and everything girls go gaga over.  One of my personal favorite shoujo animes!

All right, Fruits Basket, (or Furuba for anyone who cares enough to nickname the show) is a wonderfully, almost painfully cute little anime about love and friendship and acceptance.

It's the story about Honda Tohru (yes, like the car!), who is an orphaned high-schooler living in a tent in the woods. Now lets recap Tohru's life here. Her father died when she was really young, and she grew up with her mom. However, just a little while before the story begins, Tohru's mom died in a car crash. She decides to live with her grandfather, but his house is under renovations so there's no room for Tohru. (Haha.) So, she decides (a stroke of genius if you ask me) to live in the woods in a tent! She doesn't want to burden her friends, and she thinks it'll be a good life experience. (The thought of a girl like Tohru living in the woods in a tent rivals the thought of Miaka from FY living in a Trigonometry classroom with only peanuts and assorted vegetables to sustain her. In other words, Tohru isn't the out-doorsy type.) One day when she's walking to school, she sees the Sohma household and goes down to look at these little rocks that are painted as the 12 Zodiac animals. Sohma Shigure, a man in a man's yukata walks out, and immediately begins to hit on her like there's no tomorrow. She, being Tohru, goes for it, and they get in a conversation about the zodiac animals. She tells him that her favorite zodiac was always the cat, because the cat got tricked from going to the party, and she felt bad for it. Shigure makes some suggestive comments about Kyou, and before she can ask, Yuki comes out! Yuki is the really really really popular stereotypical 'doilies and bubbles pop up when I make an experience' guy who is called the prince of the school. (For cripes sake the man has a fanclub that would creep even Gackt-groupies out.) So, Tohru and Yuki walk to school together, and then they walk home together. Stuff happens, and Yuki and Shigure discover Tohru's tent. Shigure laughs like a maniac at her (which is probably the only logical thing to do in the situation) and finally she's invited back to the Sohma household. She stays there, and when they return to the tent, a landslide fell right on Tohru's tent. Well IMAGINE THAT. If that isn't an anime romance set-up, well then gee, I don't know WHAT is. So, all in all, Tohru ends up staying at the Sohma household until her grandpa's place is done, and her obsession over her mother's photograph is revealed for all to see.

As the story progresses, you meet Kyou, Momiji, Hatori, Ayame, Kisa, Hiro, Hatsuharu, Ritsu, Akito, and Kagura. Being as vague as possible, all of these people have their own sets of deeply introverted issues which should not be touched with a 50-FOOT POLE. All whom I just mentioned are fellow members of the zodiac, although there is also Uotani and Hanajima who are unbelievably codependent on Tohru. (I'm not even going to comment.)

In the end, many fun, humorous misadventures are had by all, and it's safe to say that every character has their own episode. Even though I've made some sarcastic comments, I really love Furuba. It's cute and it's happy, the characters are fun and original, and it has a nice meaning in the end. I have to say the only think that bothers me is the END. It is melodramatic and it COMPLETELY goes over my head. Kyou transforms into his 'true form' (why the DEVIL does he have a true form anyway?! There's no demented corrupted mutated cat listed ANYWHERE in the zodiac) and they make a big deal out of it when Kyou shows his 'true form' to Tohru. Tohru REALLY miffs me off here. She all runs away because she sees him and she's crying at his motherís grave as if he just ripped off her leg. She's like, 'Now I can't go back, I have no right too.' That's when I start thinking, 'Why am I still watching this?' I don't understand why Tohru has doubts and why everyone else is sobbing just because she sees Kyou looking like one of those tree things from

the second Lord of the Rings movie. It's ridiculous and melodramatic.

But, all in all, Furuba is a cute anime that can really brighten your day if you watch the right episodes. Like I said, the characters are well done and well developed, and it's just really huggable. I would defiantly put it on one of the 'must see' anime lists. You'll especially be interested if you're into cute love relationships (especially love triangles,) loyalty in friendship, and really strange crackhead Japanese humor. But, if you're like me, just don't watch it twice. Because Tohru's sweet niceness and Yuki's serious headcase issues really pluck at your nerves the second time around.

Music: 5 out of 5. The music in Furuba is UNBELIEVABLY cute and adorable. Listen to the theme song (For Fruits Basket) just once, and you will fall in love. It's so so so so so sweet...And everything else is just cute and genki.

Animation: 4 out of 5. It's not horrible, but sometimes the Utena-esque style bothers me. The eyes are just creepy...It's really well done though, it just doesn't totally suit my tastes.

Plot: 5 out of 5. Some things may bother me, but I really love the Furuba plot. It's not 'Let's save the world and do something REALLY important!' It's just the lives of some people who have it a lot different than us. Very cute and huggable.

Character Development: 5 out of 5. All things considered, they established the characters really well. Tohru and Yuki bothered me at points, but they grew up wonderfully. So did their relationships with everyone else, and everyone was just original and fun, and it was just very well done!

Overall: 5 out of 5. It's a must-see, and a classic. Not for people into blood, gore, and darkness, but they can write their own damn review.