"If my memories are erased... can we still be friends?"- Tohru Honda
Synopsis: Tohru Honda lives in a tent after the death of her mother. She moves into the house of the Sohma, after her tent is destroyed by a landslide. The current occupants that reside in the house are Yuki, the “prince”, Kyo, a destructive person, and Shigure, the legal guardian of the household. Tohru finds out that the Sohma family is cursed. When the opposite sex hugs a Sohma member, they will turn into their respective Zodiac animal. After learning this curse, Tohru is determined to break it and free the Sohma family.
The plot is unique and interesting. It does a great job on focusing three main characters: Tohru, Yuki, and Kyo. The story focuses on the change of the three characters throughout the manga. But, I thought that the manga gave Yuki more “story” time than Kyo. What gives the manga a score of nine is the pacing of the story. At some points, the story is slow, and at other points, the story changes its pace and moves fast, which caused me to back-track a couple of times. There are a lot of emotional scenes, but each of them was too similar to each other. The ending was very satisfying, and it did a great job resolving every character’s
The strongest point of the manga is the character development. Having three main characters and fifteen-plus supporting characters, I was amazed how the manga developed every character that was introduced. Every character that was shown played their part in the story very well. There was not one character I did not like. If the character wasn’t cool, then they were cute. If the character was cute, then they were cool. Each Sohma family member had a dark past that forced them to act the way they are. My only complaint is that the problems that occurred to each Sohma family member were similar to another. Other than that, Fruit Basket did a great job on character development, showing how each one of the character grew up and changed.
As stated before, if the character didn’t look cool, then they were cute, vice-versa. The artwork fitted the story of the manga. I had some trouble distinguishing male-female characters, but I got used to it. Beautiful sceneries, accompanied by the cute/cool artwork of the characters, the artwork of the manga receive 9/10.
Final Thoughts- I really liked this manga. There were no characters that I disliked, and the background of each one is very emotional. The story does a great job balancing the fifteen-plus characters in the manga, making sure that each one had its “story” time. The concept of using the Zodiac animals was great and original. The artwork made the characters look more feminine, but it was perfect for the story. I recommend reading the manga first, then watching the anime. Simply, because the manga doesn’t feel rush like the anime.