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Jason Thompson's House of 1000 Manga - Fruits Basket


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Myaow



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 1059

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:38 am Reply with quote
Man, I love Fruits Basket. It's like the golden retriever from Homeward Bound in manga form. It's so wise and gentle and loveable and cute. I really hope that somebody picks it up for a reprint soon-- plus Takaya's later works that have for some reason never appeared over here!

I'd never thought about the ending being "too neat" before. In the montage spoiler[where everyone's curse is broken, there's a lot of internal monologue about how lonely and alienating it is to no longer be part of the zodiac-- that pervasive fear of isolation that characterizes the series continues to linger even at the happy ending.] I'll have to re-read the whole series again with some of these ideas in mind. If only I had the time!! (sob sob sob)
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keichitsu0305



Joined: 24 Apr 2010
Posts: 971

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:39 am Reply with quote
Crying or Very sadCrying or Very sadCrying or Very sadCrying or Very sadCrying or Very sadCrying or Very sadCrying or Very sad

I love Fruits Basket so I shamefully admit that I don't have the last seven volumes from my collection. Anime cry
Even with it's flaws, it's was the first Shojo manga to make me cry, first
anime box set I ever bought, and spoiler[one of the first Shojo manga where I paired so many characters~]

But yeah, reading all 23 volumes at once is probably the worse way to read it; I used to read two or three at a time depending on my allowance growing up.

Quote:
I'm not surprised that, in a manga, everyone lives happily ever after, but…compared to the beginning, I miss the kinkiness, I miss the cute animals, I miss the magic. I'm glad it didn't have an inconclusive non-ending but does "happy ever after" just mean pairing off all the characters so that no one's alone, making them all good parents, and giving them all 'normal' happy lives?


I sort of agree with this. I used to think that Takaya just wanted to end all of the drama on high note where everyone in the Zodiac, more or less, get the normalcy that they never had (or lost) before Tohru influenced their lives.

I won't say it's a complete cop out though (I like my happy endings, after all :3) but I still enjoy this manga immensely and I'll look for the final volumes. (Maybe Right Stuf's Print on Demand could bring it back? Anime smallmouth)
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Yorozuya



Joined: 11 Mar 2009
Posts: 332

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:32 am Reply with quote
Seems you've got a slightly different translation to me since for me it was the 'Foolish Traveller' rather than tourist. I also noticed that you said it was Yuki's teacher who said Kisa should like herself more when it was Kisa.

While this format for the review was a novelty (and interesting as I'm re-reading it at the moment), I would have preferred a more normal review, simply because I felt that most of the review was spent describing what was happening and quoting the series rather than discussing it in any depth.

As a side note, I know some people on ANN like discussing what makes a strong female well I think that Tohru is one of the strongest out there. Cooking and cleaning aside, she is wonderful. Almost a saviour in some respects, on the emotional side of things I see her as a role model. Maybe the only problem with her is that's she's almost too perfect and shoulders too many other people's burdens to hide from her own issues.
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cl-shojo



Joined: 04 Sep 2011
Posts: 66
Location: New York

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:12 am Reply with quote
Quote:
If you haven't read Fruits Basket, you probably haven't read any shojo manga in the last 10 years.


I think Fruits Basket is a very emotionally moving series, and it's nowhere near bad. But I do not think it is the be-all, end-all of shojo manga. Sorry, but there are other shojo series that are better at doing all of the things Fruits Basket gets praised for. There are many other shojo series more romantic (Boys Over Flowers), funny (Lovely Complex), dramatic (Nana) and bittersweet (We Were There) than I found Fruits Basket to be.

Yorozura wrote:

Quote:
As a side note, I know some people on ANN like discussing what makes a strong female well I think that Tohru is one of the strongest out there. Cooking and cleaning aside, she is wonderful. Almost a saviour in some respects, on the emotional side of things I see her as a role model. Maybe the only problem with her is that's she's almost too perfect and shoulders too many other people's burdens to hide from her own issues.


Tohru is my biggest problem with Fruits Basket. She has no backbone, and I've always found that the most important function of her character is to heal those around her rather rather than grow into her own. Sawako from Kimi ni Todoke is a similar type of character because neither feels comfortable speaking their minds and always go out of the way for others, but I much prefer Sawako because she has an excuse for being introverted (she's been teased her whole life) and because she's quirky. Most importantly, the series is about her growth.
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Mohawk52



Joined: 16 Oct 2003
Posts: 7374
Location: England, UK

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:15 am Reply with quote
Quote:
This is a good read and a well-written, well-thought-out manga, but I wish Takaya left some spells unbroken, some mysteries unrevealed.
I'm glad she didn't because that also is the biggest reason FB stands out so much above the the rest, at least for me anyway. There are far too many of the others you wish for already.
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ptolemy18
Manga Reviewer/Creator/Taster


Joined: 07 May 2005
Posts: 348
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:36 am Reply with quote
Yorozuya wrote:
Seems you've got a slightly different translation to me since for me it was the 'Foolish Traveller' rather than tourist. I also noticed that you said it was Yuki's teacher who said Kisa should like herself more when it was Kisa.

While this format for the review was a novelty (and interesting as I'm re-reading it at the moment), I would have preferred a more normal review, simply because I felt that most of the review was spent describing what was happening and quoting the series rather than discussing it in any depth.


Sorry about the typos! I got mixed up rereading my notes because it was Yuki thinking about what Kisa's teacher had said to her.

I like Fruits Basket. It's good readin'. I should have ended this review on a more upbeat note rather than making it seem like my complaints about the ending are a big wet blanket over everything. Basically my main complaints about the ending are: spoiler[ (1) as an excessively literal-minded fantasy fan, I wish all the fantasy hadn't vanished from the story in the end; (2) as someone who likes queer stories, I'm a little annoyed that even the gayest-seeming characters (Ayame) ended up with ladies. Not surprised, since this is how it often happens in bishi manga, but meh; (3) Also, I would have preferred more drama & action in the climax (just ONE eye gouging in the story, Takaya!?!? Just ONE? That's like leaving me waiting for the other shoe to drop!!!), but I suppose I knew that wasn't in the cards.]

To continue the inaccurate Ranma 1/2 comparison -- since Ranma 1/2 has one of the most frustratingly INconclusive non-endings in the world, you could say that Fruits Basket has one of the tidiest endings. They're opposites in that way, too. There's a lot to write about in Fruits Basket. It deserves a deeper analysis, but for now, I wrote a commentary track.
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RestLessone



Joined: 02 Aug 2009
Posts: 1033
Location: New York

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:40 am Reply with quote
I don't like romance but, for some reason, collected almost all of Fruits Basket. It was good enough, though I quit when spoiler[I read that everyone winds up in some relationship, like that's all you need to be happy.]

Also, the fact that spoiler[Kazuma, right out the blue, is implied to be dating Tohru's teenage friends, who happens to be the same age as his son. There absolutely no build-up, except for Kyo having a misunderstanding volumes before the end.]

To me, it felt like the author was trying too hard to pair up every character with someone else. I know it's shoujo, but c'mon.
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Mohawk52



Joined: 16 Oct 2003
Posts: 7374
Location: England, UK

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:59 am Reply with quote
RestlessOne wrote:
spoiler[I read that everyone winds up in some relationship, like that's all you need to be happy.]
What else does one need?
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sailorsarah



Joined: 01 Sep 2006
Posts: 186
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:33 am Reply with quote
Fruits Basket is so amazing. I now want to reread it.

Well, if the theme of Fruits Basket is dealing with loneliness, then spoiler[giving everyone someone so they won't be lonely] pretty much solves the main problem of the story anyway. Sure, there are tons of different aspects to life, but once your physical, basic needs are met, it seems to me that relationships with other people (not necessarily romantic) are all that really matter in the end. Love and kindness prevails and all that. It's like the hedgehog's dilemma though, it is both the hardest thing and the best thing to be close to someone. Losing the people you love is just pretty much impossible to get over, but you do have to just learn to move on. Fruits Basket has very universal themes running through it, and I like that it gets a nice thorough ending.
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manhiem



Joined: 23 Oct 2011
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:35 am Reply with quote
"9:27
Of course, Tohru does the cooking. Just once, I'd like to read a manga about a guy who lives in a house full of girls and does all their cooking for them."

Have you tried ToraDora? Admittedly, there are only two girls in the house, but Ryuuji does all the cooking and cleaning.

Also, Familiar of Zero is a harem comedy where Saito (at least early on) does all the laundry and cleaning.
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dormcat
Encyclopedia Editor


Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 9577
Location: New Taipei City, Taiwan, ROC

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:20 pm Reply with quote
cl-shojo wrote:
Quote:
If you haven't read Fruits Basket, you probably haven't read any shojo manga in the last 10 years.

I think Fruits Basket is a very emotionally moving series, and it's nowhere near bad. But I do not think it is the be-all, end-all of shojo manga. Sorry, but there are other shojo series that are better at doing all of the things Fruits Basket gets praised for. There are many other shojo series more romantic (Boys Over Flowers), funny (Lovely Complex), dramatic (Nana) and bittersweet (We Were There) than I found Fruits Basket to be.

Seconded. I think Jason's comment might be applicable to the majority of American manga readers; not quite so for people not fitting into the two criteria.

Furuba was popular in Taiwan a decade ago, but far from becoming a phenomenon as it was in USA (which continues to thrive even today). Unfortunately it is mostly forgotten by most shojo manga readers here nowadays.
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lys



Joined: 24 Jun 2004
Posts: 522
Location: mitten-state

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:15 pm Reply with quote
manhiem wrote:
"9:27
Of course, Tohru does the cooking. Just once, I'd like to read a manga about a guy who lives in a house full of girls and does all their cooking for them."

Have you tried ToraDora? Admittedly, there are only two girls in the house, but Ryuuji does all the cooking and cleaning.

Also, Familiar of Zero is a harem comedy where Saito (at least early on) does all the laundry and cleaning.

I have to comment on this (I know, it's not even close to the main point of anything here) because I got stuck at 9:27 for several minutes while reading. I think the majority of shoujo manga I've read show the girls to be fairly clueless when it comes to cooking, and it's often the hot boy who unexpectedly makes adorable/delicious bento lunches for himself: the stereotype-reversal has become a stereotype itself! (Otomen is the extreme example of this.) As a girl who loves cooking and baking (and knitting and gardening and so on...), I appreciate the occasional heroine who isn't a total clutz when it comes to domestic skills.

Anyway, I agree with others that for Fruits Basket, a story about loneliness and isolation, ending with most of the characters paired off isn't just settling for a typical "happily ever after." I also think it's acknowledged that finding the person/people you can connect with isn't going to magically solve all your problems at once, but it can set you moving in the right direction.
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Aylinn



Joined: 18 Nov 2006
Posts: 1586

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:24 pm Reply with quote
RestlessOne wrote:
I don't like romance but, for some reason, collected almost all of Fruits Basket. It was good enough, though I quit when spoiler[I read that everyone winds up in some relationship, like that's all you need to be happy.]

Not everyone. As far as I remember, spoiler[Momiji and Kagura] didn't end up in any relationship, but you are right that some couples were out of the blue.
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st_owly
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 20 May 2008
Posts: 3712
Location: Edinburgh, UK

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:37 pm Reply with quote
As far as I remember, most of the relationships were set up along the way spoiler[Kisa and Hiro, Rin and Haru, (to me it was always fairly obvious Kyo was going to get Tohru) Did Kazuma and Uotani end up together? My memory is not 100% on that... I don't think Shigure ended up with anyone either... Again I could be wrong]

Definitely want to read this series again now, so glad I made it my mission to pick it up when I heard of Tokyopop's death. I remember my friend from school seriously considering importing some of the Aussie volumes because they were further ahead than Tokyopop. Those were the days...

Dormcat: Are there any shojo series which achieved similar levels of popularity in Taiwan as Furuba did in the US?
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Aylinn



Joined: 18 Nov 2006
Posts: 1586

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:55 pm Reply with quote
st_owly wrote:
As far as I remember, most of the relationships were set up along the way spoiler[Kisa and Hiro, Rin and Haru, (to me it was always fairly obvious Kyo was going to get Tohru) Did Kazuma and Uotani end up together? My memory is not 100% on that... I don't think Shigure ended up with anyone either... Again I could be wrong]

spoiler[Shigure ended up with Akito. Very Happy]
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