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Fruits Basket #01by Natsuki Takaya
Synopses & Reviews
Tohru Honda was an orphan, living with her grandfather, when one day fate kicked her out of the house and she was forced to take up residence in a tent in the forest. Little did she know that the land she was staying on belonged to the Sohma family, a clan of beautiful and mysterious people. After stumbling upon the teenage squatter, the Sohmas invite Tohru to stay in their house in exchange for cooking and cleaning. Everything's going well until she discovers the Sohma family's greatest secret: when hugged by members of the opposite sex, they each turn into their Chinese Zodiac animal!
"Takaya's romantic comedy brims with teenage melodrama, corny humor and hijinks. In the vein of Ranma 1/2, the work's humor also derives from the transformation of humans into animals. It goes like this: Tohru Honda is unsinkable; when her mother dies and her grandfather denies her a place to live, the homeless high-schooler is determined to make it on her own by pitching a tent alone in the woods. En route to her tent one day, Tohru encounters Shigure, who informs her that the tent is pitched on his family property. He's appalled by her squalid living conditions and invites her to his estate. Tohru becomes part of the household on the condition that she helps guard their family secret: when hugged by members of the opposite sex, Shigure and his family transform into animals from the Chinese zodiac calendar. Tohru soon learns Shigure is the cousin of Yuki Sohma, a quiet, mysterious boy at her high school whom all the girls adore. (Yuki, incidentally, has spurned any female advances for fear of revealing his true form: a rat.) And it's not long before she finds out another cousin, Kyo, transforms into a cat. As an animal left off the zodiac, Kyo feels he's been wronged. As Tohru and Kyo become friends, they realize that as misfits they may have a chance at understanding each other. Similar to other romance manga, this tale's illustration style is cartoonish and whimsical. Each panel-packed page conveys a melodramatic event or upturn, giving the story a fast rhythm. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Natsuki Takaya made her manga debut in 1992. She was born in Tokyo and her Blood Type is A.
Her previous series include:
The enigmatic Sohma family shares a great secret, its members are possessed by spirits of the Chinese Zodiac, and when they are hugged by members of the opposite sex, they transform into their Zodiac animal! Tohru Honda, an orphaned high school freshman, is given lodging in the Sohma household in exchange for taking care of household chores. The humble Tohru is quite grateful for the Sohma family's generosity, and the longer she stays with them, the more they realize what a blessing she is in their lives, as well.
Fruits Basket, the manga, is the basis for the smash-hit runaway anime show of the same name. It is most eagerly-awaited manga series - as voted on by thousands of fans visiting the TOKYOPOP website - in many, many years.
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