Review: Fruits Basket
Orphaned after her mother was killed in an accident, Honda Tohru was taken in by her grandfather. Now, he has gone to live with his son whilst his house is being renovated. Honda is supposed to be staying with friends, but in reality she is living rough; in a tent in the woods.
On her way to school, she stumbles across a house in the woods. The house is the home of one of her school colleagues, Sohma Yuki, and his elder cousin Shigure. When her campsite is destroyed by a landslide, the cousins offer her a room in their house. Tohru offers her services as a housekeeper in return. This is the start of an extraordinary adventure, for the Sohma family has been cursed by the Ancient Chinese Gods. Whenever they are embraced by a member of the opposite sex, they turn into an animal from the Chinese Zodiac.
As you can imagine, comedy and drama abound! Having avoided female contact for many years, the Sohma “boys” have difficulty keeping out of Tohru’s way, and she learns their secret very quickly. The situation gets even worse, when Sohma Kyo comes to stay. He is also a cursed Sohma, and Yuki’s rival in Martial Arts. He and Yuki always end up fighting and wrecking the place. When Shigure arranges for Kyo to join Yuki and Tohru at school, the situation becomes explosive.
Somehow, Tohru manages to make her way through school, and keep the Sohma secret. Her calm manner and the practical common sense inherited from her mother helps the boys to grow and mature, and learn to live with each other. Gradually, Tohru meets other cursed family members, and becomes friends with most, and maybe even falls in love with one! However, there are secrets within secrets. The Head of the Family, Sohma Akito, is not pleased with this intrusion, and sees it as a challenge to his authority. Will her new friendships survive the shock of a devastating truth!
A compelling story, which is sure to touch a chord. There is both laughter and tears as Tohru encounters the variety of characters that make up the Sohma family. What do you do when your doctor turns into a seahorse? How do you cope with a Tiger that refuses to eat? How do you relate to a boy who dresses as a girl, and changes into a rabbit? Above all, how do you stop a rat and a cat from fighting?
Cast of characters:
Honda Tohru leads a very odd life! Her mother was the leader of a motorcycle gang. Her best friends at school are social outcasts. (A psychic witch, and a neophyte gang member.) She refuses to let her grandfather pay for her keep, and so, has a part time job to provide extra money! She is determined to lead the life her mother wanted for her, and is still very attached to her memory. She uses her mothers lessons as guides in all her life!
Sohma Yuki is the “Prince” of the High School which he and Tohru attend. Slim and athletic, he has many female admirers, yet is well known for not dating any of them. A skilled martial artist, he is none-the-less quite sickly, and not good at games. Having Tohru live with him is unsettling at first, but very welcome as she transforms the boys typically untidy house. Rat Zodiac sign
Sohma Shigure is a successful author, with a distinctly dirty mind! He rejoices in the thought of Tohru dressing up in a Maids outfit. His chief recreational activity appears to be avoiding his publishers agent, and the poor woman gets more and more frantic as deadlines approach. Despite his sometimes childish behaviour, he can act quickly and decisively when required! Dog Zodiac sign.
Sohma Kyo has an immense chip on his shoulder. The cat is not an official Zodiac sign, so why is he cursed? In the fairy stories, the cat is tricked by the rat. He sees Yuki as being his enemy, and has vowed to defeat him. Despite years of training, he still can’t match Yuki at Martial Arts. Initially, he goes out of his way to ignore Tohru and be disruptive about the house. It is he who becomes the target of Akito’s machinations, and may be the way to get Tohru out of the Sohma household.
It is suited towards a slightly younger audience, and mature watchers may find it a bit simplistic at times. Most people I have “spoken” to seem to have watched it at some time. I thoroughly enjoyed this series! There is quite a bit of humour throughout, but the ending is pure drama! A little bit ecchi in places, but no over the top stuff!