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So, confession time:
I don’t really like Fruits Basket.
And by “don’t really like”, I really mean “I don’t like”.
I mean, I don’t hate it, but I’m pretty “meh” about it. Even now, just before I’m going to start the first volume, I really have no desire to read it. When the sequel was announced, I really didn’t care. I still don’t care. In fact, I started this post months ago, but I’ve been putting it off because I just plain don’t want to reread this series. I even could have done this for NaBloPoMo, but I put it off again. And so it’s my holiday special now.
I just don’t get the appeal of this series. When I first read it (which was the only time), I just couldn’t figure out why so many were singing its praises as if the manga was the greatest thing ever. Tokyopop proudly proclaimed on each cover Fruits Basket was “the #1 selling shojo manga in America!” and I didn’t understand why.
That being said, this could be a huge example of a series being hyped to the point of ruining it for others. There is no greater way to ruin something than to feel like the world is shouting in your face, “THIS IS THE GREATEST THING EVVVERRR!!! YOU MUST WATCH/READ IT!!! IT’S SOOO GOOD!! IT’S AMAZING!!! IT’S THE BEST!!!” on a constant basis. I remember soooo people being soooo excited when it was licensed, so I was expecting something really, really, really good. And it just never reached that level to me.
So, as I mentioned, I’ve only read this once, reading each volume when it was originally published. So what do I remember?
- Tohru is a Mary Sue.
- Kyo is a cat monster obsessed with shishou. I have no recollection of who shishou is.
- Yuki gets together with some student council girl(?) after discovering he loves Tohru like a mother. Because I guess it would be terrible to just have him be a loser in the love triangle?
- In the anime, Yuki is Sailor Mercury and Kero-chan.
- Kyo is a tsundere who gets beat up.
- Everyone loves Tohru because she’s a Mary Sue who says spring is what happens when the snow melts.
- There’s her psychic friend Hana who has a brother.
And the other one is a yankee named Kyoko. Or Ukyo.Or something. Maybe Kyoko’s the mom. Yeah, sure. That sounds like it.
- WAIT! I just remembered. It’s Arisa, isn’t it? But isn’t there a -cchi somewhere? Unocchi? Something like that.
- Tohru’s big secret is lame. She kind of blames her father for almost taking her mother away after his death.
- Tohru is dumb in a moe way.
- There’s the ox. His name may or may not be Hatsuharu. It sounds right, but I could be mixing the name up with the manga Hatsu Haru. His hair is naturally two-colored, much to the surprise of others.
- There’s the boar who I’m pretty sure was voiced by Koto-chan of Sailor Moon. She loves Kyo and will punch him out.
- Everyone gets a happily ever after.
- Akira the boss is a girl.
- Shigure is a dog and he has two friends. One is Ayame, the other is a doctor. The doctor gets the spring line from Tohru. The doctor is a dragon but is actually a seahorse? Or something like that.
- The manga ends with an old Tohru and Kyo.
- Before the anime Ouran High School Host Club was announced, I knew the voice of Momiji had to do Honey. He’s the monkey.
- Kisa the kid is the tiger.
- The art gets worse and everybody looks old by the end. But even in the beginning, Takaya’s style wasn’t great.
This sounds like a lot, but I sort of cheated since I saved all the manga covers for the future posts. Otherwise, I would have eliminated a bunch of these, like the ones like with Kisa and the ox. And despite me mentioning the voices, I think I’ve only seen one episode and then some clips on YouTube.
As you might infer from my list, I am pretty hard on Tohru. Some people may disagree with me on her being a Mary Sue, but, at the very least, she is Disney’s Snow White. She loves all. She cares for all. She’s a ball of sunshine with little to no flaws. Even though her common sense is supposed to be one of her negative sides, it’s presented as, “Gosh darn it, she just isn’t very smart, golly-be. Isn’t she adorable, trying so hard?” It’s more of a trait to make her more lovable rather than relatable.
But Fruits Basket has its good points!
- Kyo gets beaten up.
- Kyo gets beaten up some more.
- Kyo gets bossed around.
I told you I’m not a fan.
(I don’t hate Kyo. He’s just fun to harass. I’m always a fan when the tough tsundere is being bossed around. Seriously, I’d love to see more “bad guys” in shoujo get their butt kicked.)
Oh, wait! The scene where Hatsuharu has to prove he has two hair colors is pretty funny.
So what else do I like about Fruits Basket?
I guess we’ll see.
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