Manga Diaries – Fruits Basket Volume 1

Fruits Basket Volume 1
If you don’t know what my diaries are, please go here. Spoilers ahoy!

Otherwise, let’s go!

  • Cover: I never liked this image. When I first saw it, I assumed it was just “early volume syndrome”, but her eyes are big and kind of dead-looking. Also, what a lame logo.
  • Pg. 5: Nice intro. I don’t remember Fruits Basket using honorifics…shows you how much I remember.
  • Pg. 6-7: Seriously, ugly art. I know it’s still early, but we have “non-bishounen” Yuki and “no-neck” Tohru back-to-back.
  • 8: Gosh golly gee, isn’t Tohru adorable? Let’s all hold hands and sing! Maybe I’m just too much of a negative Nancy for this series…
  • 10: I actually think Shigure looks the best out of everyone.
  • 13: Lol, Yuki wears his bag like an elemntary schooler.
  • 15: Uo-chan. Darn, so close. Hana-chan’s BEEP is pretty funny.
  • 16: Still not feeling Yuki’s handsomeness.
  • 18: If I remember correctly, all the teachers get harassed by everyone. They must get so drunk after school.
  • 25-26: This is how kids fall through the cracks of the system…
  • 35-38: Seriously, Tohru is an early/old Disney Princess. She just needs to burst into song.
  • 48: Kyo looks so different here…
  • 50: Yuki looks like Yuki-chan instead of Yuki-kun here.
  • 56: Mosaic dog…
  • 82: If only more tsundere guys got a roundhouse kick…
  • 102-104: I’m trying to keep an open mind, but I’m so bored…Too many life lessons already.
  • 133-134: Ditto.
  • 142: I didn’t remember her showing up so early.
  • 149: More Kyo harassment. I approve.
  • 156: At least Kagura doesn’t blow up at Tohru here. Nice change of pace from other fiancees in manga.
  • 161: Is he always “Master” in this version? Or do they use “shishou” later?
  • 189: Yeah, this household is going to work out real well…

So the volume ends with Tohru officially living in Shigure’s house. Honestly? I tried to be more open-minded, but it’s just too saccharine sweet for me. I really don’t feel her personality is really deep. She’s just basically a big ball of love.

As for the overall story, Yuki is pretty unique as the “nice guy” who is actually tough and a bit standoffish. But at best, I like the story, but it’s nothing I would declare “story of the year” so far, yet alone “best shojo ever” that many people declare. It’s still only volume one, but I’ve been more hooked by other series at this point. Of course, I’ve had series where I was bored early but became addicted later, but…sigh. I wonder if die-hard Fruits Basket fans were enchanted by the first volume or if it took a few before they became addicted.

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  1. sarie

    Huge Furuba fan here that has been following you for your deals and otome stuff for a few months. Fruits Basket is literally the most read series on my shelf and I hope eventually it gets rereleased again. It’s literally my favorite story ever but I know everyone has different tastes and I can respect that. I’m actually excited that you’re doing this, because I love reading people’s reviews of things I love, even if they are critical.

    That being said, I’m going to give you a little advice to think or look for while you are reading to hopefully open your heart and mind a little to the series as you get into this.

    First, I don’t know how old you are and how old you were when you first read the series. I first read this series in my 20’s and it’s definitely a series that can be appreciated more the older you are. Through life experiences and hardships, you can start to relate to the issues that crop up MORE as an adult and grasp things that you might have missed as a young adult/teen. It tackles the issue of neglect, child abuse and relationships in a very real way that aren’t always easy for someone with a younger perspective to see.

    Second, Fruits Basket is one of those series that I think takes more than one read to really understand and appreciate the actual storytelling of Takaya’s. There is a massive amount of foreshadowing throughout the entire manga that sets up things later. It’s VERY easy to miss on the first read through, so I always recommend people read it twice. So if you pay attention and look for the foreshadowing, you might find yourself appreciating and enjoying it more. There are, what I refer to as ‘black panels of doom’ that start very early. Keep your eyes open for those sorts of things.

    I hope the re-read is somewhat enjoyable, and yes. It took me several volumes to really get into it. I read part of the series (I think 8 volumes) and wasn’t impressed, but stumbled across the anime and found myself giggling about all the things I’d forgotten in just those few episodes. So I started the manga again and was hooked again right away.

    1. krystallina

      I find it very interesting that it took the anime for you to really like the series, especially since you weren’t too impressed by the first 1/3 of the story. Perhaps I would have a different view of the manga if I had seen the anime. But it’s nice to know that even huge Furuba fans weren’t hooked right away. I remember the clamoring when it was licensed, but perhaps my experience wouldn’t have been so colored if I had received advice like yours, that the beginning is a bit unimpressive. There are things I found that were revealed much earlier than I remember, so I do give Takaya credit for having somewhat of a game plan in advance.
      Great to hear about your experience, and I hope you enjoy my read-through!


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