Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Fruits Basket A Great Transformation v1|
Actor: Fruits Basket
Genres: Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
A classic anime at a great low price - don't miss this fan favorite shojo anime! The Sohma family is cursed. When a member of the family is embraced by a person of the opposite gender, they transform into an animal of the... more »
Similarly Requested DVDs
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 09/02/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Imagine if you moved in with a new family and friends... and found out they turn into animals when you hug them.
That's the odd situation in the first volume of "Fruits Basket," the adaptation of Natsuki Takaya's hit manga. And this anime adapes the material very nicely -- quirky characters, slapsticky action, and a lovably sunshiney heroine who helps her cursed friends, despite her own unhappy past.
As the story opens, Tohru Honda is living in the woods in a cheap tent, with only her late mother's photo for company. One day she wanders down to a large house nearby, and encounters the flirtatious Shigure Sohma, and his gorgeous cousin Yuki -- the school's mysterious "Prince." After Tohru becomes ill and her tent is destroyed, Yuki and Shigure take her into their home as their new housekeeper.
But Yuki and Shigure are keeping a secret from her. When martial-artist Kyo bursts in to fight Yuki, Tohru tries to stop him -- and the three men end up turning into a dog, a cat, and a rat. Their family is cursed with the thirteen spirits of the Chinese zodiac, and they turn into those animals whenever a member of the opposite sex hugs them.
Surprisingly, the mysterious family head Akito allows Tohru to stay with Yuki and Shigure, as long as the volatile Kyo also stays. And soon she starts encountering new problems -- the intermittently crazed Kagura (the boar) invades the house, Yuki and Kyo trash the house, and Tohru's pals Hana and Uo come for a sleepover. But when Tohru's grandfather calls her back to his house, will the Sohmas lose their new friend?
The first volume of the "Fruits Basket" anime is somewhat weak compared to what comes after it -- the first three episodes are devoted almost exclusively to introducing the main four characters, and setting up the whole idea of the zodiac curse. It just takes the story awhile to get going.
And when it does get going, it's genuinely charming -- there's lots of romantic tension, slapstick fight scenes (Kagura twirling Kyo's body like a lasso), and amusingly tongue-in-cheek dialogue ("Since when do we have a rice cooker?" "I found it in the trash!"). But there's also a melancholy side to the story, such as Tohru's tragic past and the Sohmas' inability to interact normally with other people.
Tohru herself is the most lovable character of the bunch -- she has a lot of sorrow over her mother's death and the unkindness of some of her relatives, but she compensates with optimism and friendliness. And the Sohmas rule as far as quirkiness is concerned -- there's the shy, strong "Prince" Yuki, the volatile loner Kyo, and the charmingly kooky Shigure ("Sometimes it feels like the whole world is conspiring to destroy my house!").
It's graced with some solid animation, and an excellent English dub. I should explain that in this case, the Japanese dub isn't quite as good: while most of the voice actors in either language are great, the Japanese "Yuki" voice is... a girl. I don't know why they did that, but they did. The English voice actor is definitely better for the role -- smooth, deep and gentle.
The first volume of "Fruits Basket" starts slowly, but once the storyline gets its footings, it's a quirky, sweet-natured little comedy with lots of lovable characters. Delightful all the way."