Fruits Basket volume 1 by Natsuki Takaya

Fruits Basket 1Title:  Fruits Basket Volume 1

Author:  Natsuki Takaya

Paperback:  216 pages

ISBN:  1591826039

Challenges:  Manga Challenge

From the back cover:

A family with an ancient curse…

And the girl who will change their lives forever…

Tohru Honda was an orphan with no place to go until the mysterious Sohma family offered her a place to call home.  Now her ordinary high school life is turned upside down as she’s introduced to the Sohma’s world of magical curses and family secrets.  Discover for yourself the Secret of the Zodiac, and find out why Fruits Basket has won the hearts of readers the world over!

First off, a caveat:  This is my first manga, and my first review of a manga book.  I’m not exactly sure how one writes a review for manga.  I could read a bunch of reviews then write it, but I’d probably end up regurgitating what I’ve read, then.  I don’t even know if the title is supposed to be italicized like novels, and can’t exactly use a quote from the book since it uses pictures to tell the story.  But, here goes….

I first heard about Fruits Basketfrom a friend who said his niece loved it.  I’d been circling the manga pool and dipping my toe in every time I went to the book store, but had not as yet jumped in.  I’d also been sampling anime with Maggie, and so I thought this series would be a great place to start.  This book was originally published in Hane to Yume magazine in 1999.  It was finally published in English in 2004 by TOKYOPOP (if you click the link, you can read the first chapter online).  It is also a 26-episode anime series, AND an online petitionpleading FUNimation to make a second season of the show (I’ve signed, btw 😉 )

So, right from the start, I know I’m going into a beloved series and am fairly safe in thinking I’ll like it, which, of course, I did.

The story is about how orphaned Tohru, who has never fit in anywhere, comes to stay with the Shigure, Yuki and Kyo Sohma, members of a family who suffer from a strange curse that transforms them into the animals of the Chinese Zodiac.  It’s a book about transformations, both the humorous, and often inconvenient, physical transformations of the Sohmas themselves (and embarrassing, especially since transforming back to human form renders them naked).  It’s also about how Tohru’s kind and quiet spirit affects them, causing them to mature and let go of some of their anger and bitterness, and to grow in affection and acceptance of one another.

Maggie’s Review:

I really love-love-LOVE Fruits Basket!  Yuki and Kyo are cute and it’s so funny when they fight.  Yuki’s mysterious and it’s funny when Kyo gets mad (which is all the time) and gets cat ears, eyes, teeth and tail and hisses at Yuki.  I like the whole Zodiac thing.  It’s funny, especially when Shigure is acting like a pervert 😀  Kagura is CRAZY!  She’s in love with Kyo, and she shows it by destroying him and beating him up and flipping him through the wall.  One thing I did NOT like about it is that it’s got a lot of cuss words in it.

Maggie is funny, she says she doesn’t like the cuss words, but she sure does laugh a lot at them.  BTW, the cuss words used are Damn, Dammit, and Bitch and Bastard are used once in the second book when Kyo and Uo are playing a card game (both have anger issues).  No F-bombs, or other strong words are used.  The books are labeled for teens, which I didn’t catch until after she’d watched the whole anime series, read book one and got halfway through book two. 

and now, a few moments of love’s reflection by Kagura Sohma 😀

and, after writing this, I realized that, technically, Vampire Kisses:  Blood Relativeswas my first “manga,” though it’s not really manga because it reads like a normal American book, not right to left.  It’s the right-to-left reading of FB that’s made it so dificult for Mags to read on her own.  I’m sure a few books in and she’ll be okay.  Also, since she won’t let me put FB on BookMooch or PBS… she’s already made off with the book… I guess she’ll be re-reading it on her own, which should help her manga-reading abilities.

Well, off to Hardee’s for dinner and to finish up FB vol 2 😀

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6 Responses

  1. My nephew loves manga, so I’ve tried it at his urging. It’s just not for me. I know he’s read and enjoyed this series, though.

  2. Good review. I always see manga as being just like any other book. I have not reviewed any manga as the current manga I read is all ongoing not completed.

    Try and get your hands on Ranma 1/2 it is very similar (though older manga/anime from 87-96) and it is hysterical. It is one of my all time favorites and is what sucked me in years ago.

    I have actually never read Fruits Basket but I have seen the anime. I think I will have to pick it up now.

  3. Bermuda, it might take the right one to do it. I know I wouldn’t have jumped in manga for Naruto, though it’s on my manga TBR pile. At least I don’t have a Mt. Manga… yet.

    Caspette, LOL… funny you should mention Ranma 1/2, because the first volume is in the mail and on it’s way here now. We’ve watched a lot of the episodes of the anime on YouTube, but haven’t had any luck getting it from Netflix as it seems no one ever wants to return them. We had the same problem with FB, and in fact never did get disc 3 as it mysteriously went unavailable right after we sent back disc 2 (which was the best one, it had Kagura and Momiji in it!) They seem to average one book=one disc, so when we get to book 5, it should all be new.

    Yeah, the Ranma 1/2 anime is frickin’ HILARIOUS! I’d have to agree that it has a similar feel to FB, both have a “curse” that “transforms” the characters. But you definitely have to admit that it’s hilarious to watch “macho boy” become a “princess.” 😀 And the dad and Ranma have a similar relationship and interaction as Kyo and Yuki, or maybe Kyo and black Haru, since Yuki plays it cool a lot.

    lol… well, that was a bit of a comment vomit 🙂

    FB vol 2 will probably be up tomorrow or Monday, as fast as we’re reading through it. Too much fun to put down

  4. I’ve read Fruits Basket a couple of years ago and absolutely loved it! With time and life and other books I didn’t keep up with the series, but I read at least 10 or 12 I think. I loved the characters and the idea, and thought the drawings, even if simple, were adorable. I’ve never watched the show, but I’d be curious to.

  5. My husband reads manga on a regular basis, but I have yet to try it. This does sound like a good one. I am glad Maggie likes it. 🙂

  6. http://www.change.org/petitions/natsuki-takaya-and-tokyopop-create-a-season-2-of-fruits-basket-manga

    Hey here is a link to a petition to get another season of Fruits Basket manga! Check it out!

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