If you thought the anime series was good, try the manga. With a much more fleshed-out storyline and really no time limit regarding a story-arc, the manga goes places the anime series never could. (The anime series ends at volume 8 in the manga, while the entire manga series runs 23 volumes!)
Orphaned Tohru Honda is living in a tent in the woods. But one day she bumps into the large house of school idol Yuki Sohma, and his older cousin Shigure — and after a landslide buries her tent and most of her belongings, they take Tohru in as a housekeeper, cook, and general gal-friday. But when the volatile Kyo Sohma breaks in to fight with Yuki, Tohru slips and accidentally hugs him — and he transforms into a cat. The Sohma family, it turns out, has an interesting secret — when hugged by members of the opposite sex, they turn into their Chinese Zodiac animal!
Author/Aritst Natsuki Takaya peppers the manga with notes and remarks, some as sidebars, and some at the beginning of each chapter to help the reader through any confusing situations, and Tokyopop's translators have done an admirable job keeping the flavor of the experience intact, which has helped Fruits Basket become one of the most popular shojo mangas in Japan as well as here in the USA.
Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, November 2007
Fruits Basket Box Set
Anime DVD Review
If you ask me, Tohru Honda is taking this whole ingénue thing a little too far. After her mother died, the 16-year-old has taken to living in a tent in the woods. Even Jane Eyre didn't go that far. Her hunky classmate, Yuki Sohma, learns of her plight. He hires her as a housekeeper to his family estate. Fans of gothic romance will expect the ingénue to uncover a sinister secret like a family curse or something.
They won't be disappointed. Yuki and his relatives, Shigure and Kyo are possessed. They transform into animals every now and then. Not overly cartoony ones like they do in Ranma 1/2. Just animals that correspond to the signs of the Zodiac.
The young beauty is surrounded by beasts in the wildly popular Fruits Baskets. This anime is based on the manga by Natsuki Takaya. It's a delightful romp that asks the question, "Can a perfectly normal ingénue find happiness when the people giving her free room and board shed frequently?"
Reviewed by Lawrence Sufrin, August 2005
Memory of You
Anime Soundtrack Review
This is the background music (soundtrack) for the TV series and this release is essentially the exact same disc as released in Japan but with slightly different packaging. It does not feature the English versions of the songs, but does include the Japanese opening and closing songs.
So, if you're a Fruits Basket "purist", go for it, this is definitely for you. If you don't care either way, this music is still great and will get you humming along if you are a fan of the series.
So stick this in your boombox if you happen to be living in a tent which gets destroyed by a landslide and then you're stuck working in a house where people transform into animals. Yes, you'll appreciate this excellent music to a truly wonderful, wacky, twisted series.
Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, August 2004