Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fruits Basket

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Fruits Basket is a shojo manga series written by Natuski Takaya and in 2001 was relased as an anime directed by Akitaro Daich. It is a very popular series as both an anime and a manga and has won awards for both. The anime follows the manga up to vol. 8 and centres on Tohru Honda and the Soma family. The Soma family has a curse on it where certain members are affected; if they are hugged by a member of the opposite sex they will turn into an animal from the Chinese zodiac. Now even I thought this sounded cheesy when I read this and passed it off as another silly girly anime. But I was wrong in a big way; this anime has so many different layers to it and you can watch it over and over again and not get tired of it (and yes I have done this).

One of the main reasons why Fruits Basket is so good is because it has many themes in it: rejection, gender stereotypes, and acceptance just to name a few and a lot of people can relate to these. The title Fruits Basket is a children’s game in Japan; and we find out that as a child Tohru was rejected by her classmates when playing this game. This anime is very dark in places (even more so in the manga) but it is also very funny and will have your sides splitting with laughter. The manga is a lot longer then the anime and there are some major differences in the manga that the anime left out. Therefore if you love this anime I would suggest that you read the manga as well you won’t be disappointed. Now I would not be doing my job if I did not mention there has been many attempts from fans to get a second season to the anime made. But in 2006 both Takaya and Daich announced in two interviews that there would not be any more work on the anime for a number of reasons. I think one factor in this decision is that in the manga Akito is a girl raised as a boy and in the anime Akito is just a boy.
I would recommend that you watch this anime and don’t let the fact that it may seem girly put you off, it wont disappoint. For all you guys out there that may be thinking I could never watch this because it’s a girls anime, I say to you 'if you have a girlfriend then watch it with her no one will be the wiser. If you don't then what does it matter watch it on your own no one will know, that is, until you start talking about it and you will because it is that good.

(This is a clip that will give you a taster of the anime but it does have some spoilers in it so be warned before you watch it.)