Joe and Jenny Recommend : Fruits Basket
The plot centers around Tohru Honda who after her mother dies in a car accident is sent to live with her grandfather. But due to renovations that need to be done to the house she has to move out again and has to live in a tent and provide for herself. But Tohru keeps a positive outlook on things and always has a spring in her step each day going to school.
One day she stumbles upon a house in a forest that belongs to the Sohma family, which is where one of her classmates Yuki lives with his cousins Kyo and Shigure. After a series of unfortunate events Tohru finds out that that Yuki and the rest of his extended family are under a curse where if a member of the opposite sex touches them then they will turn into an animal from the Chinese zodiac for a varied amount of time. For Yuki it’s the mouse, Kyo the cat and Shigure the dog. She swears she will keep their secret and is invited to live in the Sohmas house until her grandfather’s house is finished.
Joe’s Opinion – I remember hearing about this anime series about 3 years ago as it was a popular one with anime fans but as the storyline sounded so bizarre I decided not to watch. But since then Jenny had watched the series and said she loved it and urged me to watch it, and I’ve got to admit I really enjoyed it. The series has some very funny moments that made me giggle and even though overall the series is light hearted it had some genuine dramatic parts that had me glued to the screen. I really like the comedic relationship between Kyo Sohma and Kagura Sohma (who appears later in the series) she is cursed with turning into a pig/wild boar and has a short temper and impulsive nature because of it. She is infatuated with Kyo and tries to chase him down every chance she gets!
Jenny’s Opinion– This was one of the first anime series I ever watched and is still one of my absolute favourites. It manages to be at turns funny, touching and at moments even slightly sinister. The nature of the curse is the main comedic point of the series, but as the storyline progresses you find yourself becoming curious and fascinated with the history of it and the way it works, as well as being amused by its consequences. The animation of Fruits Basket is a charming example of traditional shojo, with enormous eyes and soft colour tones in abundance. My favourite character of the entire series would have to be Shigure, who outwardly swings between foolish dramatics and benign calm around Tohru and the other young characters. However he is constantly plotting and manipulating situations and people behind their backs in order to try and break the curse, which give him some very dark undertones.
We give this series four out of five rats!
If you like this series we suggest you check out the manga of Fruits Basket, which you can reserve on the Swindon Libraries catalogue for free.
Fact from the Know-it-Owls
Did you know….that the twelve animals that are part of the Chinese Zodiac represent years rather than months? For example here are the last twelve year’s animals, this year being the Year of the Horse.
Sheep – 2003, Monkey-2004, Rooster – 2005, Dog – 2006, Pig – 2007, Rat – 2008, Ox – 2009, Tiger -2010, Hare – 2011, Dragon – 2012, Snake – 2013, Horse – 2014.
[Jenny and Joe work at the Central Library and they LOVE manga and anime! They are going to share their favourite books and films on the Swindon Libraries blog, so watch this space for more great reviews in coming months! ]