This is one of my favorite mangas! It’s very unique and full of awesome couples!!! XD Read my review!
Here’s some awesome info from My Anime List:
Tohru Honda is a high school freshman who is having a serious bout of misfortune. Not only was she recently orphaned with the tragedy of her mother’s death, but she also has no where to live and is currently residing in a tent! However, when her luck to seems to be at its worse, she meets the Sohma family – and is invited to stay with them in exchange for taking care of the household chores.
But it isn’t long before Tohru discovers the Sohmas have deep a secret. The family is cursed by the spirits of the Chinese Zodiac, and some of the children born into the Sohma family are possessed by these spirits. When possessed, they cannot be “huggled” by the opposite sex, or they transform into their respective Zodiac animal!
However, this doesn’t phase Tohru, who promises to keep their secret. She continues living with them, and her grave humbleness and thankfulness never wanes. As a result, they come to be very important people in her life, and the Sohmas begin to realize how very lucky they are to have her.
Now here are some great comments from My Anime List. Both reviewers gave Fruits Basket (the manga) a ten out of ten, which really goes to show how great this manga is.
“Fruits Basket is epic in length. Dozens upon dozens of volumes carefully illustrate the growth of each character, the development of the plot. It is romantic, funny, and extremely bittersweet. Each character has specific chapters or volumes dedicated to them, and the story never wanes or loses steam. Its slow but natural pacing allows the reader to becoming involved with the tale as it unfolds. The plot also is extremely well done. Moments in this manga are shown throughout the volumes, scenes that seem insignificant on a first read are later revealed that they have been deliberately planted into the plot, growing unnoticed throughout the story, only to flourish and surprise a reader later on.
Being a manga that had been developed and published over the span of several years, the art for the manga changed as the mangaka’s skill developed. The manga has a clean look, well defined backgrounds, and absolutely gorgeous character art. The panelling is well done and there are scenes that are drawn rather beautifully. The character art for the most part is the most noticeable change in the manga throughout its run. And if you pay attention, you can see that the artist knew to develop the characters’ appearances as the time passed in the manga.” – tehnominator
“The story is like nothing Ive ever read before. Yes, Ive read lots of stories with people transforming into animals, or with the Zodiac as a genre. But Furuba was different. The more you get into the story, the deeper the meaning. Its tragic, yet cute, suspenseful and heart-wrenching. It kept me wanting more, kept me rereading each book over and over. The plot thickens, and doesn’t have breaks like other stories do, like Naruto, Bleach, or anything like that. This is a story where once the plot thickens, it will not thin out until the very end. Its a mystery where you HAVE to read the whole thing to understand it. Skipping chapters and/or volumes will have you lost and confused, just like some characters in this story. Its a roller coaster ride of love, romance, hurt and tragedy. Its a shoujo manga that boys and girls alike can enjoy!
Art – 10/10
This is my favorite thing about Furuba. The art. Natsuki Takaya’s are was cute to begin with, but you can how much she evolves her art, through out the manga. As the years go by, her art slightly changed, and now, if you look at that in volume one, and the art in volume 23, you cannot even tell they are the same artist. Her most recent art is beautiful and smoother than her art from 8 years ago. I loved Kyou’s design the best, he seemed to be the character she worked most on, and it showed throughout his smooth expressions and movements. I hope to see more of Takaya-Sensei’s more recent arts.
Character – 10/10
This is were Furuba has become on of the most popular shoujo manga out there. Character development. Every single fricken character in this story goes through huge transformations. In personality, looks and etc. Kyou especially. From the beginning there are characters I HATED, but by the time the end came around, that character had changed so much because of traumatic and heartbreaking events, they became one of my favorite characters. I had characters I liked from the beginning, and at the end, I LOVED them. I rooted for so many pairings, got what I wanted, hated some of the pairings that were strangely created, and wanted to murder a few characters. But without those certain characters, the story would have sucked, and that’s what it didn’t do.
Overall — 10/10
Fruits Basket was a perfect start to my shoujo obsession. It kicked it off and kept me going through the years. 7 years of waiting for the finale, and I got what I wanted. Each chapter was unique in a sense, and I loved the story. Like I said before, this manga is perfect for both girls and guys. There’s: Fighting, blood, fear, death, suspense, transformation, tons of zodiac reference, lots and lots of romance, Tsnuderes, animals, and cute bishounen.” – MoMo-Da-Gr8
Unlike MoMo-Da-Gr8, Fruits Basket was not my start to my shoujo obsession (sadly). Still, it was one of the best. I didn’t like the manga at first because I was unused to the drastically different type of art, compared to Arina Tanemura’s (which I had been reading excessively beforehand, you see) and at the beginning Yuki and Kyo’s little “catfights” kind of annoyed me.
After a year or so, I decided to try Fruits Basket again, because I was so into the zodiac theme.
And I absolutely loved it.
The characters were all so unique and they went through so much character development, which does not often happen in manga. Their stories and their “bond” with Akito and how they found what you would call “self-actualization” I guess was so interesting, and to top it all off there were so many amazing couples in the manga. The ending was fantastic and I found myself loving every moment of Fruits Basket.
There was a tad too many characters, I would say, but that is necessary, since it’s the twelve zodiac. Plus Natsuki-sensei (the mangaka) wove such a complex web, connecting all the characters and events together, it’s an amazing work of art and a excellent story paired with many outstanding characters.
I definite-must read, and unlike most shoujo manga, despite having a girl as a main character, emphasizes and includes the male characters a lot as well, so it opens to a wider audience (including boys and adults and such).
Ha ha, one of the only shoujo mangas boys would actually admit to reading :P
AND to make it all even better, this manga has a cute nickname! FURUBA- FURUtsu BAsuketo. You get it?
Rating: 10/10 for this one. Brilliant from the start to the end. :D