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Yenesis C. from CAGUAS, PR Reviewed on 10/22/2009...
One of my favorite animes! The best of this anime is the story and characters, i really recommended to any anime fan!
The most heartfelt series I've ever seen.
lemonzest | Pennsylvania | 10/18/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"(As of the time this review was written, no information on this series is posted, so I'll give a brief synopsis of this series.)Fruits Basket (called "Furuba" by fans) is the story of Tohru Honda, a high school student who has lost both of her parents. Her mother died only a year before the start of the series, and Touru misses her so much that she always carries her picture around with her. Tohru was living with her paternal grandfather until he began renovations on his home, so he asked her if she'd mind staying with some friends for awhile. Touru didn't want to impose on either of her friends, so she decided to set up a tent in the woods until the house was finished.. until one day she stumbles across the home of her classmate Yuki Sohma, and accidentally discovers his family's BIG secret - when "huggled" by someone of the opposite sex, they are cursed to turn into the animals of the Chinese zodiac. Tohru ends up moving in with the Sohma family as a housekeeper/cook in exchange for room and board, and she is introduced one-by-one to the rest of the clan (some of whom are.. VERY.. unusual).Now, you might be telling yourself "I've seen this before, and it's name was 'Ranma 1/2'.." - and you have NO IDEA how very wrong you are. Fruits Basket is a one of a kind series that manages to take a premise that could very well have followed the same path as Ranma (namely, relying on perverted jokes and accidental transformations to convey most of the plot and comedy), but instead becomes a chronicle of truly believable characters struggling to belong and dealing with what life has given them, both the good and bad.Over the course of its 26 episodes, Fruits Basket has made me laugh harder than any other anime I've ever seen, and then it goes right ahead and takes me on an emotional rollercoaster ride until I'm bawling along with the characters onscreen. But no matter what happened, it always leaves me with a smile and a feeling that if I could just have an ounce of the inner strength that these characters display, I would be all the better for it.Don't let me mislead you into thinking this is merely a cheesy tearjerker - Fruits Basket has PLENTY of high-energy martial arts battles, slapstick comedy, and wacky plot twists, but underneath all of this lies a deep emotional current that EVERYONE can connect with. If you've ever been jealous or angry with your family, undergone the loss of a close relative, felt completely alone, watch the people you love leave you behind, or have simply been misunderstood, you will regret missing this series. The true power of this series is found not in the comedy, but in the relationships between both family and friends.On a more shallow level, the characters are mostly rather good-looking, the animation is attractive - no amazing special effects, of course, but consistently high quality and well-suited to the story, and the music is very beautiful. Overall, this is a series for everyone to see, from the shoujo (girls') romance fans to comedy lovers to drama affectionados. You will NOT be disappointed - by episode 26, I guarantee you'll find yourself upset that ANOTHER season doesn't exist (yet). ^_^"
My Favorite Anime!
reedekullervo | Edina, MN United States | 06/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's hard to categorize Fruits Basket. It's not very action-oriented. It's probably aimed more at girls than boys, yet I think any number of people, male or female, young and old would enjoy it. The story seems simplistic on the surface. It could be called "cute." It could also be called "sweet" but I believe that those descriptions short change this rather complex story of how kindness, being true to yourself and trying to find the good points in everyone can be woven into an entertaining and satisfying story. Throw in plenty of drama, a hint of mystery, a little romance, some humor and you'll be hooked. Although it has it's sad moments, more often then not, this series will genuinely make you smile.Fundamentally Fruits Basket is a story about finding your family, a place where you can "just be yourself". When Tohru Honda loses her mother, the only family she has ever had, she is fortunate enough to stumble across the home of "Prince" Yuki, the most adored boy in her high school. When he and his older cousin Shigure learn of Tohru's circumstances (she's living in a tent) they offer her a place in their home in exchange for housework and cooking. This girl is possibly the only other person they will meet whose life is filled with as much sadness as theirs. Such bravery in the face of adversity touches their hearts, although you can be sure that Shigure is also happy to have hot, home-cooked meals everyday and clean laundry! Before she can truly appreciate her luck, she soon learns that her new family has a secret curse. When hugged by members of the opposite sex, or when under a great deal of stress, they turn into the animals of the Chinese Zodiac. Although the transformations sometimes are used playfully, the Sohma's truly are burdened by their curse. Tohru promises maintain their secret and thereby is allowed to stay with them. The greatest transformation of them all might be when the one the Sohmas undergo by opening their hearts and home to TohruThis first disc has 6 episodes, all of which are outstanding. They introduce the core characters, set up the tone and direction of the story, and each one builds on the other in a logical and satisfying progression. The main characters are of course, Tohru Honda, an ordinary girl who has known plenty of sadness in her life, but is also able to find happiness. You also meet the Sohmas, Yuki, the charming and emotionally reserved "prince" of high school, his goofy but generous older cousin Shigure, whose house they live in, as well Yuki's hated rival, the short-tempered and brash, Kyo. You also catch a glimpse the mysterious and sinister Akito Sohma, head of the family who conditionally allows Tohru to stay. He is a dark and menacing presence that is seldom seen, yet always felt and his promise to have Tohru's memory erased remains a constant threat to fragile happiness of Tohru and the Sohmas. We also meet Tohru's steadfast friends, the weird Hana who senses electrical signals and Uo, a former gang member as well as Tohru's beloved mother, seen only in flashback.As Tohru adjusts to her new life in Shigure's house, she comes to know each of the boys a little better, often seeing their good qualities when they can't see any for themselves. It's such a simple thing, yet it's easy to see how that, coupled with Tohru's willingness to make the best of any situation and her unfailing kindness begin to make a difference in all of the Sohma's lives. Perhaps she can even bring Yuki and Kyo, who loathe each other's guts, if not into friendship, at least to an understanding of each other. The standout episode on this disc is number 5, where Tohru is torn between her new-found family with the Sohmas and returning to her old life with her paternal grandfather, where she just doesn't quite fit in. It nicely encapsulates all of the good qualities of the story so far, and further illustrates the profound effect that her short stay with the Sohmas has already had on them.In addition to the wonderful story, the animation is done beautifully. The lines are crisp, elegant and spare. I really liked the muted colors and pastels that are used and the music is gentle as well. Taken all together it gives the whole series a certain restful quality in keeping with the story that is more about characters and emotions then action. I applaud FUNamation for putting together such a nice package and for putting 6 episodes on one disc, as well as some nice extras. If you are at all like me, you'll devour the first disc and be ready for the second in no time. I had to go out the next night and buy the rest of the DVDs since I couldn't wait to finish the story. Fruits Basket is a really unique anime that is off the beaten path and well worth your while. It's become my new favorite anime series and hope many people discover it's wonderful qualities and enjoy it as much as I did."
Comparing US Version and Japanese Version
Jennifer Kish | California | 10/28/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Originally posted: October 28, 2002 Edited: To remove '?' that appeared in place of apostrophes.
There are a lot of excellent reviews here describing the series, so if you're looking for info on the anime, look elsewhere. If, however, you want to know how this DVD stacks up to the original version, read on.
Voices: B First off, I should say that I was introduced to the series through fansubs so I have a bias toward the original voices. Sadly, I must admit that I find Tohru's English voice on the annoying end of the spectrum. Innocence and youth are usually connected but in the original Japanese version, Tohru's voice was sweet and innocent, but not necessarily 'young' sounding. In this English dubbed version our high school aged heroine sounds like a squeaky ten year old. However, that's just my opinion. Others might not have a problem with her voice. Tohru's voice could have been better, but I must admit that it could have been a lot worse. Wednesday evening will find me rewatching my DVD in the hopes that I'll learn to enjoy her voice.
Kyo's voice isn't really remarkable one way or the other. His English voice isn't bad, but it's not excellent.
Yuki's English voice, although nice, is quite deep and far from the alto that he has in the Japanese version... to the point that most of the time, Yuki sounds much older than Shigure. He also tends to be rather emotionless when delivering his lines. Yuki's keyword would be 'subtlety' so this doesn't work in his favor.
On the positive side, Shigure's voice actor deserves some applause. The English voice absolutely matches his character and can keep pace with Shigure's quick-changing emotions. He also gets most of the best English dialogue lines. (See the translation section.)
As a last note to voices... I found it sometimes difficult to follow the English dialogue because there is no change in sound quality to signify thoughts. Speaking voices and thinking voices are the same and I find myself missing the misty, echoing quality that usually accompanies spoken thoughts.
Translation: A+ Between my own extensive knowledge of Japanese language and the aforementioned fansubs, I consider myself a fairly decent judge of the translation job. The DVD is rated 13+ so fans can hear all of the mild Japanese swear words in their English counterparts. On the whole, I was impressed with the quality of the translation. The English dialogue sticks very close to the Japanese, but avoids the awkward sentences that sometimes occur with direct translation. Departures are made with good reason.
On this first DVD there are two spots that stick out in my mind where the English did -not- follow the Japanese. In the first example, it looks like FUNimation is trying to interject some humor. Rather than being angry about it though, I appreciate it since it matches Shigure's personality.
Shigure (Episode 5) Japanese: "However, his becoming angry at you, Tohru-kun, is what you would call misdirected rage. Though I do understand why he would miss her." English: "We've just witnessed a classic example of what I like to call 'misdirected rage.' ... I believe the technical term is 'being an a$$'?"
The second example also injects humor, but it also serves to circumvent a potentially confusing cultural reference. Frankly, I find Shigure's English comment more appropriate to the situation.
(Episode 2) Yuki volunteers to help Tohru clean the kitchen. Shigure responds to Tohru:
Shigure Japanese: "Yuki-kun is so maladroit, he can't even fold a paper crane properly." Shigure English: "You'd better not. The closest thing Yuki's ever seen to a mop is his hair."
Music: A The opening and ending songs, "For Fruits Basket" and "Chisana Inori" have been remade into similar sounding English versions that manage to incorporate both the style and meaning of the originals into the songs. They're actually pretty good and, of course, the originals are there on the Japanese audio track for purists. Other background music seems to have been redone on the English track as well, but don't quote me on it.
Subtitles: C- There are two sets of subtitles -- one that matches the English dialogue and one that translates the Japanese dialogue. They're accurate, so why am I complaining? Horrible graphical quality. As a literature student, I do a lot of reading. I love watching things subtitled. But even with my glasses, I can't watch these subtitles for long. They're narrow, jagged, and overall hard on the eyes. The animation style of FB is so smooth, the ugly yellow subtitles hurt to look at. Are decent-looking subtitles really that difficult to produce?????
Extras: A What would DVDs be without perks? Well, perhaps to make up for the ridiculous price, FUNi has included some nice extra features. There are the standard textless openings and endings and the standard character profiles... but the really cool feature of the DVD is the subtitled featurette focusing on the anime's creation. I'd seen the featurette before and was pleasantly surprised to see it included on the DVD. It's roughly 25 minutes long and has interviews with the director, his assistants, and the Japanese voice actors. Let me tell ya, it's really cool to see the faces behind the voices.
Overall: A- My biggest complaints are with Tohru's voice actress and the poor quality subtitles. Everything else is excellent. The voices I'll eventually get used to and as for the subtitles, hopefully someone at FUNimation will do something about them (but that's not likely to happen). So my recommendation: BUY IT! Support Fruits Basket in the US and buy the...DVD. From what I've heard, DVDs 1 and 2 will have six episodes each and the last two will have seven episodes each (for a grand total of 26 wonderful episodes). I'm eagerly looking forward to the next DVD coming out in January."
Terrific adaptation of the manga
Colette T. Bezio | 03/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought the Fruits Basket DVDs after having read 8 volumes of the manga (sadly, the English publication has only just begun). For a detailed summary and commentary of the manga, read my review of Volume 1, written on February 13, 2004.Basic plot: Pure-hearted, brave, completely selfless highschooler Tohru Honda, having recently lost her beloved, inspiring mother, finds herself, through a series of circumstances, moving in with Yuki Sohma, the most popular boy in her school, and his older, slightly perverted (but oh so lovable) cousin Shigure. Soon after Tohru moves in, a third member of the Sohma family, Kyo, arrives. This all takes place in the first episode; in this episode and the next, Tohru also discovers the Sohma family's secret: when pressed against a member of the opposite sex, thirteen of its members each turn into an animal of the Zodiac (Yuki is the rat, Shigure the dog), plus the cat (Kyo), the animal who was, according to the legend, left out of the Zodiac.Of course, the Sohma secret must be well-guarded, and Tohru's discovery certainly complicates things. Should Akito,the mysterious head of the family, decide so, her memory would have to be erased. However, for the present, she is allowed to remain in Shigure's home.This 1st volume basically describes Tohru's integration into the Sohma household. Although her task is originally to be the housekeeper (all the Sohma boys being hopeless in this domain), she inevitably forms closer relationships with the inhabitants (especially Kyo and Yuki), as she gets to know them bit by bit. She is like no one they have ever met: a bit ditzy at times, but invariably kind, understanding, optimistic and almost always able to help them. However, just as things are starting to settle, it turns out Tohru may have to leave Shigure's house after all... How will the boys be able to survive without her?What I love most about this anime, as in the manga, are the characters and their interaction. Tohru's sweetness gradually has a calming effect on the popular, but extremely reserved and awkward Yuki and the short-tempered, sarcastic, but surprisingly friendly Kyo. Shigure pretty much stays the same (obsessed with highschool girls, always poking fun at people, but pretty wise when he gets serious), but that's just fine. He does have a darker side in the manga, which is completely absent from the anime, but I don't mind, the anime works this way, too. There are other great characters, like Kagura Sohma, another Zodiac member (try to guess which one before it's revealed), who also appears in this volume and causes quite a commotion. There are also Arisa Uotani and Saki Hanajima, Tohru's two best friends, who are rather eccentric (one is an ex-gang member, the other is a psychic) and who add lots of fun to the series. And finally, there are the "Prince Yuki Fanclub" girls (that's right, the kid has his own fanclub, but he doesn't really approve of it), who certainly don't appreciate Tohru's new closeness with their dreamboat.Fruits Basket has many heart-warming moments of tenderness: if you're depressed, this is the anime for you, it will definetely give you a positive outlook on life! But it also has a lot of humour. Torhu is so quick to panic... Also, Yuki and Kyo are forever fighting like cat and mouse (which makes sense) and their opposite characters (cool and calm vs hyper and angry) give rise to very funny moments. Shigure is absolutely hilarious, as is Kagura's very... special personnality. Arisa and Saki make an entertaining odd couple (in this volume, you'll discover how a juvenile delinquent like Arisa ever became friends with a goody-goody like Tohru) and the Yuki fanclub girls, although they get a little annoying in later volumes, are also funny in their psychotic/pathetic obsession with poor Yuki. The last episode is particularly funny, with elements that aren't present in the manga (multiple transformations, anyone?).I really like the animation in this series. It's pretty realistic at times, fluffy at others (flowers floating in the background to emphasize sweet, crucial moments, you know what I'm talking about) and zany the rest of the time (sweatdrops, people falling over, etc.). There are also pretty interesting animaton effects, like the various ways flashbacks are shown, you'll have to see for yourselves. Also, the opening and ending theme songs always make me smile and give me this fuzzy feeling.The sub version is very enjoyable, if you're used to them (Yuki's high-pitched voice may be disturbing at first); but the dub isn't bad either. I usually prefer subs, and was initially disturbed by the dub (Tohru sounded too mature, Kagura's voice was too deep, Kyo's American accent was too emphasized, etc), but it grew on me with time. Shigure's voice is extremely well done.Now... Is this anime strictly for girls? It's hard for me to say. I'm a 20-year-old girl and I adore it, but I think a boy who is really into anime wouldn't dislike this series. I'm not really into gender classifications (used to play with a boy who loved My Little Pony), so I guess this is merely a question of taste."
Deeper than it looks at first glance
Colette T. Bezio | SEYMOUR, WI United States | 01/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This series is a sweet, tender, introspective story. While each episode can probably be watched individually, they all build gradually toward the dark and suspenseful ending. I have laughed and cried watching Fruits Basket, watched the entire series through about six times, and still enjoy it. There is not a lot of action, but there's lots of verbal comedy and plot development.
This particular video serves as an introduction to the characters. Tohru Honda is a girl orphaned recently by the death of her mother. She is also temporarily homeless, as her grandfather's house is being renovated. After attempting to live in a tent, so as not to be a burden to anyone, she is taken in by the Sohma family as a live-in housekeeper. Soon she discovers the Sohma family curse. (They transform into animals when stressed-out or hugged) Gradually, over the first four episodes, she gets to know the denizens of Shigure's house, the popular, reserved Yuki, the hostile extrovert Kyo, and the relentless tease (but the closest thing to a responsible adult) Shigure. Tohru herself, not the brightest bulb in the drawer, but hardworking, kind, and always striving to understand people, soon endears herself to the Sohmas, and begins to help them heal from the emotional wounds their curse--and their somewhat nasty family--have inflicted. In the fifth episode, when Tohru is able to move out, they all finally realize what they have begin to mean to one another. (First tear-jerker episode, but hardly the last.) In Episode 6, Tohru brings her friends to meet the Sohmas, resulting in a rather slapstick episode of accidental transformation and coverup.
The series only goes on to get better after this: it doesn't fall into any predictable pattern of slapstick or compete-for-the-girl romance."