Genre: Shoujo / Comedy
Natsuki Takaya (creator). Hana to Yume comics.
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Tohru lives in a tent and has a part-time job, which she takes after school, since her mother died. When the Soumas discovered her in this situation, they asked her to live with them in their house. Tohru agreed and lives there to take care of the Souma's chores.
All seemed to be well in the Souma household until one chaotic day, Tohru accidentally slipped and wrapped her arms around the Soumas, particularly Yuki, Kyou and Shigure. She then learned of the Souma's secret -- they turn into animals of the Juunishi (Chinese zodiac) when hugged by the opposite sex.
Will life ever be normal in the Souma household?
There's always more in the manga. >>> by firesenshi
The Fruits Basket manga is a totally engaging read. The main advantage over the anime is that it spans more chapters and therefore more background. You will clearly see the stories in the relationships. There are chapters however that I preferred in execution in the anime, such as the entrance of the kooky ecchi Ayame Souma. Reading his weird entrance has more impact with the audio and camera pans in the anime.
Reading the manga, however, I never really felt that there were important stuff that the anime skipped. However, there are certainly fun episodes and details about the characters that you will read about there. That is, of course, typical with any manga to anime transition. The manga, however, has a more in-depth look at each character which was never seen in the anime. For one, there is something about Shigure scheming something and talking about "the one I love in a dream" in the manga. Shigure is a very honest, funny and mild-mannered ecchi character in the story. Having omitted that kind of detail in the anime won't thoroughly affect the main point of the story. However, if you're like me who loves Shigure, you would be disappointed about that. I would understand though that the Juunishi having 12 characters would be hard to put up so much background in just 26 episodes. Even anime like Sailormoon, which has 15 characters and adds more each season, makes you hate the fact that your favorite character only has a minute appearance in the scenes. Such character background can be thoroughly covered more in the manga.
Of course, since the anime is only until volume 6 of the manga, real Furuba fans who have continued to read on will find more background on the characters plus the fact that other characters will be introduced! (2 characters in the Juunishi were not introduced in the Fruits Basket anime.)
On the other hand, the artwork is nicely drawn and not as detailed as Yuu Watase's (Fushigi Yugi, Ayashi no Ceres) work. But the mangaka is loads of fun in illustrating her points! She's very fond of using the Juunishi symbols of the characters. Tohru is symbolized by the onigiri and onigiri saying something is just kawaii!
Read the manga. Learn more about the characters. If you are into bishounen comedies, this is a very very good buy!
Individual Rating: Art 9; Story 8; Characters 9