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bellaboo's Fruits Basket Tv Review

Fruits Basket

Fruits Basket tv Review

Story & Characters

Tohru is a high-schooler who lives in a tent.

No, seriously! But not for long. An earthquake destroys her home halfway through the first episode. Luckily for Tohru, Yuki Sohma (a classmate of hers) has recently befriended her and invites her to stay with him and his cousin Shigure. Before long a third Sohma cousin, Kyou, literally comes crashing in to beat the crap out of Yuki. And that's when things become interesting.

Tohru eventually learns that the Sohma family carries a Big Dark Secret Curse: certain members are posessed by animals of the Chinese Zodiac and that, amongst other things, when touched by someone of the opposite sex they transform into that animal. Can you guess where this is going? Yup. Yuki, Shigure, and Kyou are all cursed. And there's always plenty of opportunities for accidental touchings.

Beyond what seems to be a rather stupid wacky-hijnk-gimmick, the series explores the psychological and emotional issues of the characters. Tohru may be a normal girl, but she's quite impressive. She has this talent to make people talk to her about their problems, and make them feel better. Not that Tohru knows how to solve her OWN problems...

In short: the Fruits Basket anime is a light-hearted shoujo comedy. It is amazingly constructed, and if you're not happy after watching this series, then there must be something wrong with you. Not seriously.

Rating: 8

Art

Considering the source material, I'm rather amazed at how pretty the series came out. The coloring is soft, yet deliberate, and the color choices pleasing to the eye.

The animation itself is also ingenius. The director of the series is the same as Kodomo no Omocha, if that means anything to you. If it doesn't, this is what it should: the timing for humor and emotion is tops. There are some scenes and jokes in the series that, had they not been timed properly, would have completely flopped. And yet they get it right?

There's also some lovely unexpected bonuses. Most anime have one, or two, eye-catches, but FB has a couple dozen! Which aren't used just to break from and to commercials, but to separate scenes. Some are adorably cute, like Hiro-Sheep and Kisa-Tiger holding paws, and others crazy, like an Onigiri parading around the screen in a Sailor Suit declaring that it'll take over the world.

So to my eyes the series is visually perfect, but I refrain from giving it a top score because while wonderfully designed, there's nothing truly innovative about it.

Rating: 9

Sound

Decent, and appropriate to the series, but nothing spectacular. The tracks for the humoristic scenes in particular, I feel, could be a little more crazy instead of just... up-beat and peculiar. Most of the soundtrack, however, consists of soothing songs, and though I'm loath to call it elevator-music level... I have to at least mention the possibility.

The openning and ending, by Ritsuko Okazaki, took a long while to grow on me. At first I thought it was stupid-- "why is it so sloooow?" But, again, this is appropriate to the series. And once I heard the op version by Yui Horie (the voice actress for Tohru), I fell utterly and completely in love. I play it whenever I need cheering up.

Rating: 6

Presentation

Takaya-sensei (the mangaka) has commented that she doesn't understand how the series ended up as a light-hearted comedy. This seems an odd thing to say seeing how that's what it IS. What else is Fruits Basket but a light-hearted comedy?

Ah, but then you read the manga and reach the later volumes, you understand. The story becomes... darker, as well as more melodramatic, frightening, and mysterious. I like to call it an Emotional Suspense because you're constantly learning unexpected things about the character's feelings and relationships.

Another thing the manga has going for it is that the past is more structured and explored. The anime is happy to drabble in the present and little but. In the manga the present and past combine, so that you only understand certain characters (and their reactions to events) by knowing their past.

Mmm... let me put it this way. For the past three years, everytime I read a new chapter I inevitably start howling "TAKAYA-SENSEI YOU DEVIL, YOU GENIUS." It is seriously that good.

The manga is currently at 15 volumes and going strong; just when you think that the story is *close* to ending, a new plot revelation proves that the end is still a ways away. I STILL think, however, that the series has to end in the next three volumes or so. It can't exceed 20, at any rate!

So, my advice is, watch the anime, fall in love, and then try out the manga. They come in different flavors but they are so, so worth it.

Rating: 9

Final Verdict

8.17 (good)

Reviewed by bellaboo, Nov 24, 2004

Comments

  1. eliana04 Nov 24, 2004

    :)

  2. Nebfer Nov 25, 2004

    I am cuently on episode 17 its prity intersting.got to love Yuki's fan club...

  3. Kiarame Nov 27, 2004

    i dont know about the manga stopping at 20, inuyasha goes on foreva 45 +, i haven't seen the anime but i really wanna

  4. puu2003 Nov 29, 2004

    This is a pretty good show. I especially love the funny episodes, when the guys are being constantly turned into animals. I was a bit disappointed with the ending. It seemed a bit plain when compared to the rest of the anime. But I guess it leaves a pretty good opening for all the fanfic writers out there ^_^

  5. elfofdarkness Jan 31, 2005

    I think it is a good anime. i havn´t seen to many but this truly is a good one. Tohru's way of acting makes you stop for a moment and think over what truly means something to you. you learn to care more of those who are closest to you. But it is very funny as well, se them turn to animals in moments when they would have done anything not to.

  6. enaj Jan 31, 2005

    i really like this anime... i love yuki!!! why?? because we're kinda similar with the attitude.. not wanting to be with other people.. living alone... :) :) i also like shigure.... the ending is not that good for.. i want to know who's the one for Tohru!!!! XD XD

  7. soujiokita Mar 31, 2005

    I haven't seen the anime yet but your review is good. I've read the manga and is really funny. did you know that Ritsuko Okazaki has passed on?

  8. nainoi Oct 06, 2009

    it's great anime.

  9. back07 Sep 24, 2012

    thanks for the nice review
    :)

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