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Fruits Basket vol.1: A Great Transformation? back to product details

written by rpmfla May 24, 2007 - 1:49 PM PDT
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
My wife and I loved this series. I watch a lot of anime, from "Disneyesque" titles to hardcore hentai, and this little yarn is definitely in my top 5 all time.

Take one irrepressibly optimistic young teenage girl, add a little tragedy, mix in a mystically cursed family, and a touch of romantic comedy, and you get this charming basket of fruits.

Too Sappy
written by arancarlisle May 19, 2006 - 7:35 AM PDT
1 out of 3 members found this review helpful
I first read the manga version of Fruits Basket and found it surprisingly entertaining, so it was with some disappointment that the anime version of the show failed to hold my interest.

I really truly "get" what the show is about, and I definately relate to the concept of being the odd one out. I like the story and general idea of the show. But the execution was too weak for me. It is just too slow and sappy, and by the fifth episode I was ready to give up.

I might continue following the story, but I will stick with the much more humorous and entertaining books.

Not an interesting anime
written by clee August 2, 2005 - 11:24 PM PDT
4 out of 11 members found this review helpful
I am fooled by the good rating on this site & rented all. The 1st disk is interesting enough for me to keep watching. The show has an interesting start, very good music & good character developemnt. However, starting the second disk, the shows goes no where start to repeat the theme... sweet stupid girl with her mother's axioms & touches everyone around her. If it were made a little more believeable (& less corny), this show maybe watchable. That is not the case. What a waste of time in watching this show.

Not what you'd expect, really!
written by KidFox February 11, 2005 - 9:36 AM PST
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.

A Touching, Warm, Funny, Sad, Altogether Beautiful Show!
written by Ming December 9, 2004 - 2:23 PM PST
5 out of 5 members found this review helpful
Fruits Basket stands out among all the fluff in anime today, but it definitely requires a bit of patience to discover the deep emotions and meanings hidden among the seemingly ordinary, even derivative, storyline. After watching almost all episodes of this series, I can say without a doubt that it's one of the best anime, much better than Ranma (shallow fluff), even better than His and Her Circumstances (very good show, but a bit too self-indulgent and over-the-top compared to FB).

I think people who dismissed the show only saw the surface of it: the ever-cheerful and cute heroine, the wacky animal transformations and even wackier characters, with a bit of "martial arts" fight from time to time (very rare actually). If this is all you see, then you missed the point entirely.

Beneath the seeming cheerfulness and wackiness, there's a touchingly sad and dark undertone which made the show so different from all others. Almost every character in this show (including especially Honda Tohru, the heroine) has a sad and dark past which haunts him/her, and which he/she
alone probably would never be able to bear, but through friendship and kindness to others, one can learn to live with the sadness of the past. The beautiful opening song encapsulates the theme of the show well:

Waiting with patience for the Spring
When the flowers will bloom renewed again
Knowing there's more beyond the pain of today
Although the scars of yesterday remain
You can go on living as much as your heart believes
You can't be born again, although you can change
Let's stay together, always.


If you're tired of all the fluff in anime today, you should definitely give Fruits Basket a try, and again be patient and watch at least all the episodes in the first DVD. I'm sure most will find FB to be a treasure, a breath a fresh air.

For a more detailed review with pix, try:

Not for everyone.
written by fdguarino April 28, 2004 - 10:03 AM PDT
3 out of 12 members found this review helpful
I've watched 'shoujo' anime before and sometimes I can find something worthwhile in them that makes them enjoyable for me to watch. Fruit Basket is not one of them. Fruit Basket is a combination of shoujo, bishounen and shounen-ai. While I appreciate that there are many straight men who would enjoy these types of themes, I'm not one of them. If your not in to watching sugary sweet teenage girls, 'pretty' boys and boy-boy relationships, you will probably not enjoy watching this series.
I have a rule that for anime series, I watch at least two or three of the DVDs before deciding to drop the series if I'm not enjoying it. This series has convinced me that I need to change that rule. Greencine shipped me volume 3 before I watched vol 2. Otherwise, I would have canceled vol 3 since by the end of vol 2 I was no longer really paying any attention to the show. I was cleaning my family room and washing dishes in the kitchen. Yes, it was that tedious for me.
I wish Greencine didn't require a rating for a review. I'm not the targeted audience for this series and my rating does not provide an accurate rating for others to use on their decision whether or not to rent this series. I'll give it a 5 since I don't know what else to give it.


Embracing the "other"
written by kiume July 31, 2003 - 3:03 PM PDT
15 out of 15 members found this review helpful
Fruits Basket belongs to that genre of Anime that involves people turning into something else at inopportune moments (Ranma 1/2, Birdy the Mighty). In the case of the Souma family, they are the incarnate forms of the animal spirits of the Chinese Zodiac. These twelve creatures--the dog, boar, rooster, dragon, ox, goat, horse, rabbit, snake, monkey, rat, tiger--not only lend to their human hosts their personalities, but their affections, obsessions and grudges.

The fiercest of these blood feuds is between the Rat and the Cat. The Cat missed making it into the Zodiac because the Rat (his friend then, and not since) tricked him and hitched a ride with the Ox. Thus the eternal enmity between felines and rodents. The conflict between Yuki (the Rat) and his volatile cousin Kyo (the Cat) is the source of much of the ongoing mayhem in Fruits Basket. The lackadaisical Shigure (the Dog), a hack novelist, provides a nominal parental presence.

Again, like Ranma 1/2, the fights involves various forms of the martial arts, and Yuki and Kyo have gotten quite good at beating each other up, with Kyo the eternal loser. Into this very nontraditional family steps sixteen-year-old Touru Honda. A spunky kindred spirit to Anne (of Green Gables) Shirley, her mother's death in a traffic accident made her an orphan, and the refurbishing of her grandfather's house has left her homeless as well.

When a landside wipes out her campsite, the Soumas, in desperate need of domestic help, take her in. As it turns out, she already knows Yuki, a popular guy at her high school, handsome though distant and aloof. It doesn't take long for her to figure out why. The nature of the curse, as it turns out, is that the embrace of a member of the opposite sex (affectionate or otherwise) momentarily (from minutes to hours) turns them into their Zodiacal doubles.

So an inadvertent hug from Touru and--poof!--Yuki turns into a rat. She recovers quickly from this surprise, equipped as she has become to cope with the unexpected. But the message is clear: embracing the other will--literally--turn them into the thing you least expected. But embrace them Touru does. "Traditional" or not, a family is what you make of it. Fruits Basket is an excellent example of how fantasy can address such a done-to-death subject without tripping over the politically-correct soapboxes.

There are other subtle twists to our expectations as well. Yuki (you realize after a while) is portrayed by female voice actor Aya Hisakawa, who lends the character a slightly disconcerting, androgynous personality. Additionally, Yuki, driven to act the model citizen/student, is socially paralyzed by the thought of being "found out." Kyo, on the other hand, always the rambunctious cat in the China shop, finds it far easier to fit into high school life--once he can be physically forced to attend.

Just as Ranma 1/2 sneaks in commentaries about the confusing nature of contemporary gender roles under the disarming guise of pratfalls and farce, Fruits Basket hides sharp and poignant insights about the darker aspects of human relationships between its disarming fairytale covers. It hands you a saccharine angel food cake, but with a tart lemon drop buried in the whipped cream, so when you bite down, you bite down hard, and are all the more surprised at what you find there.

Sugar, huge eyes, and social isolationism
written by hneline1 December 20, 2002 - 7:19 PM PST
14 out of 20 members found this review helpful
This is a shoujo (girls genre) romantic comedy and includes the typical, cute, genki (cheerful) girl; the cute, reserved, adored-by-all, martial-arts-expert boy; the cute, rough and tumble, martial-arts-expert rival; and a host of other characters. On the one hand, I got tired of the against-all-odds cheerfulness of Tohru the genki heroine and the too positive philosophizing ("be yourself!", "everyone has goodness inside", "accept XYZ for what he/she is"). It got laid on pretty thick in these first episodes. On the other hand, I got drawn into the relationship among the Sohma family members and the theme of social isolation that is being explored -- the Sohma members feel isolated because of their "curse" to turn into Zodiac animals and Tohru feels isolated because she's a little slow in the brain.

If you can get past the heavy sugarcoating, some of the story themes are pretty intriguing (isolation, acceptance, friends as family vs. blood family). However, if you want more sophisticated romantic comedy, watch something like His and Her Circumstances. If you want a funnier take on unwanted physical transformations, watch Ramna 1/2. So far, this series tries to walk that line between comedy and deeper issues, and doesn't quite grasp either.

Also, the disk also contains a "Making of" extra that includes interviews with several production staff, including Director Akitaro Daichi (Kodomo no Omocha, Jubei-Chan the Ninja Girl, Now and Then, Here and There).

Oh, one more thing -- if you watch this series, get used to huge eyes.


(Average 8.38)
333 Votes
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