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KidFox's reviews view profile

Not what you'd expect, really!  
on February 11, 2005 - 9:36 AM PST
  of Fruits Basket vol.1: A Great Transformation? (2002)
7 out of 7 members found this review helpful

When I first heard about this show, I'll admit that I snickered. It's called "FRUITS BASKET"?!! And its about people that get turned into animals??! I thought it would, at best, be a schmaltzy shojo show or at worst, a straight Ranma 1/2 copy.
But its so much more! I would suggest everyone give this show a chance... you'll be more than pleasantly surprised. Sure its got some anime standards: relentlessly kind heroine, pretty boys, wacky rivalries... but just a few episodes in, you'll notice something. You actually start caring about the characters. Which is quite a feat, considering the huge cast. The focus is mostly on the main 3 (Tohru, Kyo, Yukito) but the show is so well written that even characters that make one-episode appearances are well developed. Furthermore, there are a few episodes that even focus on what would at first glance appear to be throwaway unlikable sorts.
The whole transformation motif actually ends up being a very strong metaphor for the shame that we all carry. The inner part of ourselves that is weak, that we don't want anyone to see.
Because what this show is really about, behind all the silliness (and when it is silly, its actually very funny), is neuroses and insecurities. Each character, like real people, has their issues. Fruits Basket doesn't pretend that these will just magically go away, but it does show that friendship, compassion and the strength to honestly look at yourself can make life a lot more bearable. While its easy to get locked up inside your pain; it takes strength to be able to share it with someone.
I have been guilty of sentimentalism, but any show that made me cry as many times as this one did has to be touching some important nerves... and pretty universal ones at that.

The Late Great Battousai  
on December 3, 2004 - 12:07 AM PST
  of Rurouni Kenshin Vol. 1: The Legendary Swordsman (1997)
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful

This is a great series, and one that I think can be appreciated by fans of anime as well as those who are are just starting or may not usually enjoy it much. I watched the entire series with my old roommate who had a lot of hangups about anime, and she loved it. Its got humor, suspense and tragedy and some episodes even got me to cry a little. The characters are all very likable--to the point where you might find yourself liking them a little TOO much. I know I found myself biting my nails even considering that Kenshin, Kaoru, Sano or Yahiko might get hurt.
Some episodes are animated very well, but all of the episodes have a clean and easy style with little CGI touches that really add to the storyline. In my opinion the series reaches its peak in about the 18th or 19th volume, all of the storylines afterward feel kind of hashed together, with very little character development. That would be my only disappointment.
The greatest joy in this series is Kenshin, hands down. He's a wonderfully thought out character, and his loyalty, friendship and courage is heartwarming and touching. Without him, it would be just another swordfighting episodic show. Just be careful not to hold your friends up to the standard of character he sets, or you'll always be disappointed. :)

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