This review only covers volumes 1 12 It was last year when I realized that I am so done with shoujo manga stories especially in a school setting It wasn t as if it was a constant presence in my life growing up or anything, but after a while I realized that its formulaic sweetness and often predictable climactic moments just doesn t appeal to me any In fact, there are only three shoujo manga stories I was really into and two of them were adapted to anime which I preferred Ouran KoukThis review only covers volumes 1 12 It was last year when I realized that I am so done with shoujo manga stories especially in a school setting It wasn t as if it was a constant presence in my life growing up or anything, but after a while I realized that its formulaic sweetness and often predictable climactic moments just doesn t appeal to me any In fact, there are only three shoujo manga stories I was really into and two of them were adapted to anime which I preferred Ouran Kouko Hostabu and Kimi ni Todoke , and one was a manga series I followed and read because I related to the heroine Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge But last year I read a fairly recent and popular one alongside a josei manga Sakamichi no Apollon, baby I even forgot its title and NO, I m not even going to bother googling it The fact on the matter is that I m a twenty six year old woman and, as much as my nerdy inclinations make it seem like I m not an adult functioning in my fullest capacity, there are just some stories about teenage relationships that don t click with me at this point in my life I m a sucker for coming of age stories, true, but the ones that get to me were usually the ones I ve come across back when I was also a teenager on the verge of self discovery and sexuality So reading a shoujo manga series now at my age presented problems.That s never to say the shoujo romance genre isn t producing good stuff any In fact, there are two series right now which I adore, but wereor less a parody of the genre Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki kun , or a change in perspective where the male love interest is the protagonist Ore Monogatari Those two for me were exceptions Others are the same formula of girl meets boy girl is bland clumsy pure hearted while boy is popular bad boy pretty boy emotionally closed off and the entire volumes would stretch out their will they won t they as they get into shenanigans with their oddball friends and the run in the mill bully, etc You know, that formula Anyway, enough about me and let s talk about Fruits Basket Much like any shoujo romance in a school setting, Fruits Basket has those same elements that adhere to its genre s conventions If you ve been reading manga long enough, you d catch my drift The reason I chose to read this series was because it was commercially successful and received rave reviews and praises for its story and characterizations of its ensemble cast It ran for twenty three volumes, though, and since I have other material to read and review for this month of July, I have to cut down to finishing only twelve of them I m probably going to pick up this series againnext year I have plenty of things scheduled for 2016 and this wasn t that much of a priority So please keep in mind that my official review for this series is based on the first 12 volumes and only those.Let s keep it simple I thoroughly recommend this series If you re a teen looking for something sweet, earnest and heartbreaking, then Fruits Basket fits the criteria to the tee If you re my age, and you could look past genre conventions or don t even have my personal bias, then this manga will tug at your heart strings as well Let me break it down for you CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGES THE STORY Tohru Honda is your average nice girl whose mother just passed away so she had to live on her own She became neighbors with a mysterious family who has a dark secret they keep under wraps This family belonged to the Souma clan whose members were apparently cursed to transform into the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac every time someone of the opposite sex hugs them It s a pretty quirky premise that could be potentially wacky and entertainingly disastrous which was why you will never see coming the underlying poignancy and emotionally stirring revelations that Fruits Basket impressively tackles The story is at its most heartfelt whenever it focuses on a character s struggle with self love, pursuit of acceptance from his or her peers, and courage to stand up for themselves in the face of diversity As much as there are moments in the volumes that annoy me because it still has those shoujo romance antics that I find grating by now, Fruits Basket can be an immense tear jerker too I find that it s when I underestimate the series that it finds a way to shine Sure, a few volumes out of the twelves ones I read made me skim the pages a bit, but there were four or six of them that were solid in both content and substance Those were the volumes that got high ratings either because they touched upon a delicate topic and handled with maturity, or they focused on a particularly favorite character and made them evolve as better people This is definitely one shoujo manga series that may not be always interesting but when it drives home a point, that resonates with a reader, even with someone who can be a tad cynical about PG 13 romances Hey, I told you I don t like this genre any, so the fact that I m singing praises for a manga that is beholden to said grating genre should say something THE CHARACTERS In the course of the series, Tohru Honda gets introduced to each new relative from the Souma clan, all the while there are three core male characters she interacts with on a daily basis after she moved in with them They re the dog, mouse and cat signs of the zodiac Shigure, Yuki and Kyo respectively The last two were the ones she has a love triangle with Tohru is also surrounded by two close female friends whose backstories will be revealed as the manga progresses Meanwhile, each chapter would feature a new relative from the Souma clan who were also cursed, and their characters and conflicts will be then explored if not resolved just a little through their key interactions with the lead heroine Tohru In a sense, there is definitely an established formula to how the stories is framed and patterned It could get a little worn out in some chapters even Tohru with her bleeding heart and good intentions can be such a clich if not altogether bland , and the pacing and main conflict with the antagonist were both drawn out since that s just how the genre works.However, they say that the strength of an ensemble cast can make or break the plot of a book or show, and Fruits Basket was able to accomplish the former because each secondary character introduced is well developed with core weaknesses, issues and surprising warmth and humanity These characters have been cursed to live with shameful secret of transforming into animals, and while the manga does play up on the cuteness factor of those transformations, the trauma and alienation that it entails with were still addressed and explored.I believe what made Fruits Basket such an awesome series and why it got such an acclaimed reception is the way the mangaka lovingly crafted each character that instantly makes them personable, sympathetic and gosh darn endearing The manga series has 23 volumes, so it does take its time weaving plots and progressing through meaningful climactic moments, but the slow burn quality of the journey has fantastic moments of character insights in between thatthan makes up for whatever flaws its narrative has This is still a slice of life manga after all I can t count all the ways so many moments between or among characters have made me tear up, especially when the mangaka delivers emotionally resonant themes about family politic, friendships, self acceptance and bereavement Tohru s role as the protagonist does make it seem like she s often standing still, servingas an anchor or as someone who merely reacts with a new character in a way that makes it accessible to readers That being said, she eventually gets some depth and character development later on Kyo and Yuuki, the lead males, also grow and evolve alongside her I have a strong preference over the tortured and hot headed Kyo as her love interest than Yuuki, mostly because I like getting to know Kyo better, and Yuuki just came off flat to me at times but he s beginning to change too, and that s great This is my ship, yoFAVORITE QUOTES In a nutshell, Fruits Basket is a splendid shoujo manga series that almost breaks the formula every now and then, starring a beautiful and relatable ensemble cast you will easily love, and tackles real life issues in an earnest way that doesn t pander to the readers, or diminish said issues seriousness by belittling their message.RECOMMENDED 8 10DO READ MY REVIEWS AT 2nd book read for BTAT2017 read a book entirely outdoors This manga has an enjoyable enough storyline and characters, but the art style really doesn t work for me I might read a couplevolumes to give it a chance, but I may just watch the anime instead. This really was an adorable book I hadn t read manga before this one, and I only picked this up based on some of my friends reviews with no expectations But it really didn t disappoint I fell in love with the characters and the story from the beginning There s Tohru, who is very cute, but also awkward with a lot of things, and that resulted into some very hilarious moments And if there are guys like Kyo and Yuki, I don t need anything else There s a secret of Sohma family, in which the This really was an adorable book I hadn t read manga before this one, and I only picked this up based on some of my friends reviews with no expectations But it really didn t disappoint I fell in love with the characters and the story from the beginning There s Tohru, who is very cute, but also awkward with a lot of things, and that resulted into some very hilarious moments And if there are guys like Kyo and Yuki, I don t need anything else There s a secret of Sohma family, in which the members have a curse of turning into an animal of one of the animals of zodiac Which was really interesting and funny at times The graphics were just too cute 3 And for me, the plot was very refreshing and unique because I hadn t come across anything like this until now so I really enjoyed it If you still aren t convinced to read it, here s another reason it has naked men too I loved it and I am definitely continuing with the series However, the only reason for giving it 3 stars is that I kind of struggled with this one, and I can t blame the book because it was me who wasn t familiar with the genre, so there s that 1.5 StarsThis was a boring, hot mess I never read this as a kid and I definitely haven t watched the anime, but I heard that this was really good from a lot of people I m so let down.None of the characters were named or fleshed out, the plot is nonexistent, there s absolutely no emotion to this, and the scenes skip around so much that I could never tell where we were or what was happening It genuinely felt like I d just skipped to the fifth book of a series because I had no idea what was supp 1.5 StarsThis was a boring, hot mess I never read this as a kid and I definitely haven t watched the anime, but I heard that this was really good from a lot of people I m so let down.None of the characters were named or fleshed out, the plot is nonexistent, there s absolutely no emotion to this, and the scenes skip around so much that I could never tell where we were or what was happening It genuinely felt like I d just skipped to the fifth book of a series because I had no idea what was supposed to be happening.I almost DNF ed this, and finishing it just secured its status as something that totally isn t my taste I ll definitely be tryingmanga from the library in the future until I figure out what my taste is in the genre, because this is only the third one i ve read While I enjoyed this book, and the artwork was adorable there was something that I just didn t like The entire plot seem very messy and half of the time I had trouble understanding what was actually meant to be going on There was no character development and the scenes jumped around continuously, so it was difficult to figure out where the story was going.I actually felt like I jumped into the middle of a series,it was THAT confusing There was no excitement, no action and really it ended up b While I enjoyed this book, and the artwork was adorable there was something that I just didn t like The entire plot seem very messy and half of the time I had trouble understanding what was actually meant to be going on There was no character development and the scenes jumped around continuously, so it was difficult to figure out where the story was going.I actually felt like I jumped into the middle of a series,it was THAT confusing There was no excitement, no action and really it ended up being a pretty dull experience for me, which is a shame as I was really looking forward to reading this due to a lot of positive reviews But now, if I m honest, I don t think I m going to bother continuing with this series as there is a lotmanga out there to be discovered I LOVE this series It s really cute This was one of the first manga series I ve read I own a few of them As always, I won t add all of the books to my self Way too many. Total impulse read 4.5 I really just felt like continuing this story I watched the anime about 5 years ago now, and the ending is still bothering me, and I just need to know what is going to happen next Cute, funny, typical rom com anime manga However, I hear it gets darker, which should be interesting. Initial thoughts 1 I felt so nostalgic reading this manga again 2 Toru is such an adorable, although naive, character Love her 3 Shigure and also Hanajima and Uotani are hilarious 4 The fights between Yuki and Kyo seem to never end.5 Amazing artwork Check out my full review on my blog Initial thoughts 1 I felt so nostalgic reading this manga again 2 Toru is such an adorable, although naive, character Love her 3 Shigure and also Hanajima and Uotani are hilarious 4 The fights between Yuki and Kyo seem to never end.5 Amazing artwork Check out my full review on my blog Fruits Basket is probably my very favorite manga that I have read to date Now, I wholeheartedly admit that the premise is weird and unlikely, but, hey, it s fantasy Anyway, if you can get past the initial outlandishness, you discover a story full of heart and darkness This is my fourth or fifth time through the series, and I just love itevery time.Having read through a few reviews on Goodreads, I know that this series, and the character of Tohru especially, gets a lot of flak for being Fruits Basket is probably my very favorite manga that I have read to date Now, I wholeheartedly admit that the premise is weird and unlikely, but, hey, it s fantasy Anyway, if you can get past the initial outlandishness, you discover a story full of heart and darkness This is my fourth or fifth time through the series, and I just love itevery time.Having read through a few reviews on Goodreads, I know that this series, and the character of Tohru especially, gets a lot of flak for being too cutesy It seems that some people did not buy Tohru s consistently positive attitude or her naivete For me, it worked Tohru has her painful past, and she does occasionally struggle to put forward that happy face In fact, I think that she s an incredibly strong character, because she tries so hard and does her best to be happy no matter what life throws her way.Also criticized is the zodiac curse Yes, it s crazy and not likely Who cares The least popular aspect seems to be the fact that one of the side effects of the curse is that hugging a member of the opposite sex will turn them into their animal It sounds so arbitrary and like it was solely introduced for hijinks and humor Actually, I think that there sto it This part of the curse is what really separates the Sohma s from other people They are drawninto the family and unable to mingle in society for fear of discovery Their curse is being stuck together.What really makes me love this story so much though is the way that it grows and changes In most series, there isn t too much of a marking of time, but in Fruits Basket, the characters change a lot in both personality and appearance I love that you can literally see the characters growing up from children to adults Additionally, I really appreciate the level of depth in pretty much all of the rather extensive set of main characters Each one gets at least one chapter focusing on their own issues.If you don t believe me about the depth of the story, here s a quote, which pretty much perfectly sums up being young It s good to be young, without experience in how to live, struggling desperately as if you were going to drown, even though you could float if you just drew on your own strength I just love that Above and beyond the fantasy plot, this is really just a touching story of a lot of broken people coming together and trying to find the courage to believe in themselves and to really love.Not only that, but the art is gorgeous It takes a couple of volumes for Takaya to get into the swing of things, but after that I occasionally find myself pausing and just staring at a particular frame to admire the beauty therein Of course, manga art gets criticized a lot for being ridiculous, so if you don t like it, then you won t like the art here either, since it s got the standards like big eyes versus narrow ones to indicate degrees of masculinity femininity.Do not be fooled by the pretty shoujo artwork and cutesy opening chapters, though Fruits Basket is very dark and tackled a lot of painful issues, such as parental abuse However, it does so with heart and hope This will always be one of my very favorite works of literature A family with an ancient curseAnd the girl who will change their lives foreverTohru Honda was an orphan with no place to go until the mysterious Sohma family offered her a place to call home Now her ordinary high school life is turned upside down as she s introduced to the Sohma s world of magical curses and family secrets