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Fruits Basket
FB-1
Manga
Genre Fantasy, Romance
Authors Natsuki Takaya
Artists
Publishers Hakusensha (Japan)
Tokyopop (North America)
Demographic Shōjo
Magazines Hana to Yume
Original run January 1999-November 2006
Volumes 23
Chapters 136 (Volume listing)

Fruits Basket (フルーツバスケット Furūtsu Basuketto), sometimes abbreviated Furuba (フルバ), is a popular Japanese manga by Natsuki Takaya. It was serialized in the semimonthly Japanese magazine Hana to Yume, published by Hakusensha, from 1999 to 2006. The series was also adapted into a 26-episode anime series, directed by Akitaro Daichi. Several drama CD's, artbooks, fanbooks, and various toys of Fruits Basket have been released.

The series tells the story of Tohru Honda, an orphan girl who, after meeting Yuki, Kyo, and Shigure Sohma, learns that thirteen members of the Sohma family are possessed by the animals of the Chinese zodiac (十二支 Jūnishi) and are cursed to turn into their animal forms when they are weak or when they are embraced by anyone of the opposite sex that is not possessed by a zodiacal spirit.

SynopsisEdit

When high school student Tohru Honda's mother dies in a car accident, Tohru begins living in a tent and supporting herself. That is, until she finds a home in the least likely of places, inhabited by her classmate Yuki Sohma and his cousins Shigure and Kyo. The Sohmas however, live with a curse. Thirteen members of the family are possessed by spirits of the Chinese zodiac and turn into their zodiac animal when hugged by the opposite gender, are weak, or when under stress. When Tohru discovers the Sohmas' secret, she promises not to tell and is allowed to keep living with them. The Sohmas' curse, however, is deeper and darker than Tohru realized, but her presence soon becomes a large, positive influence on those possessed by the zodiac. She sets out to break the curse, and on the way, meets and discovers each of the Sohma's vengeful zodiac spirits. Each has a different personality, just like the animals in the Chinese Zodiac. Tohru's existence changes the Sohma clan's lives forever.

CharactersEdit

Tohru Honda (本田 透 Honda Tohru)

A kind hearted orphaned high school student who, at the start of the story, begins living in a tent. She is then found by Shigure and Yuki, who offer to take her in in exchange for housekeeping. She loves to cook and describes herself as an excellent housekeeper. She also has an after-school job as a janitor to pay her tuition fees to avoid being a burden on her grandfather. She is depicted as polite, optimistic, extremely kind, and selfless; several other characters, including Kyo, Rin, and Hanajima, tell her she needs to look out for her own interests and not shoulder everyone else's burdens. In the original Japanese, Tohru habitually speaks formally (see Honorific speech in Japanese), but not always correctly, a habit she picked up from her father, Katsuya, after he died when she was three, as a way of replacing him in her mother's eyes. Tohru's mother, Kyoko, raised her alone until she died in a car accident shortly after Tohru entered high school, a few months before the start of the story.

Kyo Sohma (草摩 夾 Sōma Kyō)

Kyo is cursed by the cat, an animal not in the Chinese zodiac but which legend says would have been if it had not been tricked by the rat into missing the induction feast. He is depicted as an orange-haired young man who is short-tempered and charismatic, if initially awkward around people; Arisa Uotani once calls him "anger management boy," and Yuki Sohma expresses envy of his ability to make friends easily. He is also fiercely competitive, and can be easily manipulated into doing things he does not want to by turning it into a competition—especially against Yuki. As the cat, Kyo hates Yuki, the current rat of the zodiac, who he sees as never having to work hard at anything, and has dedicated his life to defeating him. Shortly before the series beginning, Kyo made a bet with Akito: if he defeats Yuki before graduating high school, he would officially be accepted as part of the zodiac; however, if he does not, Kyo would be confined inside the Sohma estate for the rest of his life. Despite many months of strict training, however, Kyo never lands a decent blow on Yuki. Their rivalry distresses Tohru, who likes them both, but she comes to worry even more when they do not fight. The two eventually tell each other, during an argument, they envy as well as despise each other and come to a truce for Tohru's sake.

Yuki Sohma (草摩 由希 Sōma Yuki)

Yuki is the rat of the Chinese zodiac. Yuki is depicted as an attractive, reserved, mysterious, and accomplished young man with many admirers, but who finds being friendly difficult. When Yuki was young, Akito Sohma kept him isolated and convinced him no one liked him; because of this, Yuki has low self-esteem and feels isolated. He is known as "Prince Yuki" and "Prince Charming" at school, where he has a fan club headed by Motoko Minagawa that tries to "protect" him from other admirers, with the result that Yuki is further isolated, and he is pressured by his popularity to become president of the student council despite his misgivings. Yuki, however, wishes that he could be with people as friends, rather than be admired from afar, and envies both Kyo Sohma's and Kakeru Manabe's easy ways with others. He is touched when, faced with the prospect of having her memory of the Sohma family secret erased, Tohru Honda asks that he remain her friend, which no one had asked him before. With Tohru's help Yuki is gradually able to "open the lid" on his feelings, and the summer after she begins living in Shigure's house, Yuki admits to himself that he loves her.

MangaEdit

Main article: Fruits Basket volume listing

The 136 chapters of Fruits Basket were originally serialized in Japan by Hakusensha in Hana to Yume from January 1999 to November 2006. These were collected in 23 tankōbon volumes, with the final volume published in Japan on March 19, 2007.

The series is licensed in English in North America and the United Kingdom by Tokyopop. In addition, Tokyopop released a box set containing the first four volumes in October 2007, and started re-releasing earlier volumes in "Ultimate Editions" combining two sequential volumes in a single larger hard-cover volume with new cover art. As of June 2008, six Ultimate Editions have been released, covering the first twelve volumes of the series.

Other mediaEdit

AnimeEdit

Directed by Akitaro Daichi, the twenty-six episode Fruits Basket anime series was animated and produced by Studio DEEN. It premiered on TV Tokyo on July 5, 2001, with the final episode airing on December 27, 2001. The series aired in France on France 4, in Spain on Buzz Channel, and in Vietnam on HTV3. FUNimation aired the series, in dubbed English, on their anime television channel as well as on Colours TV.

OtherEdit

In 1999 the magazine Hana to Yume released a special Fruits Basket drama CD which had a four chapter original story and short talk sections between each section. Released before the anime came out, this CD had a completely different voice cast. The CD was a promotional item with a limited run and is now unavailable.

Natsuki Takaya has created one art book and two fan books for Fruits Basket. The art book, containing 101 pages of illustrations, was published by Hakusensha on April 16, 2004. The first fan book, Fruits Basket Fan Book: Cat, which contained 192 pages of story summaries, character biographies, and activities, was published in Japan on May 19, 2005. Tokyopop released it in English on September 11, 2007. The second fan book, Fruits Basket Fan Book: Banquet, was published in Japan on March 19, 2007 and contained 187 pages; it was scheduled to be published in English by Tokyopop on April 27, 2010.

See alsoEdit