Unleash the Magic of Fruits Basket Manga
Fruits Basket is a critically acclaimed manga series written and illustrated by Natsuki Takaya. It was first serialized in the Hana to Yume magazine from 1998 to 2006 and was later compiled into 23 volumes. The story centers around Tohru Honda, a high school girl who moves in with the Sohma family, who are under a curse that transforms them into animals from the Chinese zodiac whenever they are hugged by someone of the opposite sex. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to the Fruits Basket manga series.
Plot of Fruits Basket
Fruits Basket is a manga series that follows the life of high school student Tohru Honda. After the death of her mother in a car accident, Tohru decides to live with her grandfather. However, renovations on the house and an unsupportive family member cause her to move out temporarily. With nowhere else to go, Tohru begins living in a tent and supporting herself.
After a landslide destroys her tent, Tohru discovers a nearby house inhabited by her popular classmate Yuki Sohma and his cousin Shigure. On her first day living there, she meets Kyo, Yuki and Shigure’s orange-haired cousin, who crashes through the ceiling and challenges Yuki to a fight. Tohru tries to stop him and accidentally falls into him, causing him to transform into a cat in front of her. This is how she discovers the Sohma family curse - twelve members of the family, excluding Kyo, are possessed by the spirits of the Chinese zodiac.
Tohru promises not to tell anyone about the curse and is allowed to keep living with the Sohmas. As she gets to know the family, she uncovers their past traumas and helps them confront their emotional wounds. Although the curse is deeper and darker than Tohru initially thinks, her presence and acceptance of the Sohmas soon becomes a positive influence on those possessed by the zodiac.
Throughout the series, Tohru navigates her growing feelings for Yuki and Kyo, who are both affected by the curse in different ways. She sets out to break the curse and, on the way, meets and discovers the Sohma’s vengeful zodiac spirits, including their leader, Akito, who occupies the position of “God” in the Chinese legend. As Tohru and her friends confront their inner demons and the challenges of their cursed lives, the series becomes equal parts heartwarming, heartbreaking, and heart-stopping.
Read The Manga
It was originally serialized in Japan by Hakusensha in Hana to Yume from July 1998 to November 2006. It comprises a total of 136 chapters, which were later collected into 23 tankōbon volumes. The tankōbon volumes were published from January 1999 to March 2007. The first two volumes of Fruits Basket: Collector’s Edition were released in Japan on 4 September 2015 under the Hana to Yume Comics Special imprint, with the 12th and last volume published on 20 July 2016.
The series has been licensed in English in North America, the United Kingdom, and Singapore. Tokyopop holds the license for the series in North America and the United Kingdom, while Chuang Yi has the license for the Singapore edition. All 23 English-language volumes have been released in North America and Singapore. Tokyopop has also released a box set containing the first four volumes and started re-releasing earlier volumes in “Ultimate Editions” that combine two sequential volumes into a single larger hard-cover volume with new cover art. After Tokyopop ceased publication, the series was re-licensed by Yen Press, which plans to release it as twelve omnibus editions corresponding to Hakusensha’s collector’s editions.
In addition to the original series, there are several spin-offs. Fruits Basket Another, a new series, began serialization on 4 September 2015 in HanaLaLaOnline, and was later transferred to Manga Park. The first collected volume was published on 19 August 2016, and the series finished with its fourth volume, released on 18 February 2022. Yen Press has acquired the manga. Another spin-off, titled Fruits Basket: Three Musketeers Arc, was published in Hana to Yume in 2019 and 2020, with the chapters later collected in the fourth volume of Fruits Basket Another.
Fruits Basket is a highly acclaimed manga series that has captured the hearts of fans around the world. It has sold over 18 million copies in Japan and more than 30 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling manga series of all time. The English adaptation was also very successful, with the 15th volume becoming the highest-charting manga volume on the USA Today Bestseller list, and the final volume topping the New York Times bestseller list for 12 weeks. Fruits Basket has received several awards, including the Kodansha Manga Award and the “Best Manga” award at the 2007 American Anime Awards.
Critics have praised the series for its intellectual and thought-provoking storyline. The characters are well-developed and relatable, with a good mix of comedy, drama, and action that appeals to a wide range of readers. Natsuki Takaya’s artwork is also highly praised for its ability to convey the character’s emotions without any dialogue.
The success of Fruits Basket is evident by the fact that it was one of the top anime series in Japan, ranking third in Anihabara’s list of top televised anime series in February 2002, and in the June 2002 issue of Animage magazine, it was first on a list of the best 20 anime series in Japan. Critics also praised the anime adaptation, with some noting its similarity to Ranma 1/2 and others praising its sleek, stylish character design and refined animation.
Overall, Fruits Basket is a must-read for any manga fan, and its universal themes and relatable characters have helped it stand the test of time.
Fruits Basket Anime
The first anime adaptation aired in 2001 and ran for 26 episodes. Directed by Akitaro Daichi and animated by Studio Deen, the series premiered on TV Tokyo on July 5, 2001, with the final episode airing on December 27, 2001.
The opening and ending themes were performed by Ritsuko Okazaki, and the series was released in Japan in nine individual DVD volumes by King Records. Funimation aired the English dub of the series on the Funimation Channel and licensed it for Region 1 DVD release. They later released it as part of their lower-priced Viridian line and on an upscaled Blu-ray. In the United Kingdom, Funimation distributed the series through MVM Entertainment and Revelation Films.
A new anime adaptation of Fruits Basket was announced in November 2018, and it premiered in April 2019.
The new adaptation covers the entire manga and features a new cast and staff, as per Takaya’s request, with TMS Entertainment handling the production. The first season ran for 25 episodes from April 6 to September 21, 2019. A second season aired from April 7 to September 22, 2020, and a third and final season, titled Fruits Basket: The Final, aired from April 6 to June 29, 2021.
The reboot is a co-production of Funimation and was released through a Crunchyroll-Funimation partnership. Mighty Media has licensed the series in Southeast Asia and South Asia, and it is streaming on Netflix and Animax Asia.
The English dub features many of the English voice actors that were voiced in the first Fruits Basket series. Crunchyroll streamed the English-subtitled version, while Funimation streamed the English-dubbed version.
The Characters of Fruits Basket
- Tohru Honda - The kind-hearted and optimistic protagonist of Fruits Basket, Tohru is an orphaned high school student who discovers the Sohma family's secret and becomes involved in their lives.
- Yuki Sohma - One of the Sohma family members cursed by the Chinese zodiac, Yuki is the Rat. He is the student council president and initially appears reserved but has a complex relationship with others.
- Kyo Sohma - Another member of the Sohma family, Kyo is cursed by the Cat of the zodiac. He is hot-tempered and often clashes with Yuki, but he harbors a deep sense of loneliness.
- Shigure Sohma - The laid-back and eccentric cousin of Yuki and Kyo, Shigure is also cursed by the zodiac as the Dog. He works as a novelist and enjoys teasing those around him.
- Hatsuharu Sohma - Known as Haru, he is the Ox of the zodiac. Haru has a calm demeanor but can transform into a more aggressive and assertive personality, especially in his Black Haru form.
- Momiji Sohma - The Rabbit of the zodiac, Momiji is a cheerful and energetic boy with a tragic backstory. Despite his past, he maintains a positive outlook on life.
- Kisa Sohma - The Tiger of the zodiac, Kisa is a shy and soft-spoken girl who initially struggles with communication. She forms a close bond with Tohru.
- Hiro Sohma - The Sheep of the zodiac, Hiro is a young boy with a brash and confrontational attitude. Despite his initial rudeness, he undergoes character development throughout the series.
- Ayame Sohma - The Snake of the zodiac and Yuki's older brother, Ayame is flamboyant and eccentric. He runs a clothing store and has a complicated relationship with Yuki.
- Akito Sohma - The head of the Sohma family, Akito holds a mysterious and powerful presence. Akito's actions and decisions significantly impact the other cursed members of the family.
- Kagura Sohma - The Boar of the zodiac, Kagura is known for her intense and passionate personality. She harbors unrequited feelings for Kyo and struggles to control her emotions.
- Ritsu Sohma - The Monkey of the zodiac, Ritsu is a nervous and apologetic character who often feels inadequate. Ritsu struggles with self-esteem but finds support from others.
- Isuzu 'Rin' Sohma - Also known as Rin, she is the Horse of the zodiac. Rin is determined and independent, with a complex relationship with Haru.
- Kureno Sohma - The Rooster of the zodiac, Kureno is unique in that his curse has a different impact compared to other Sohma family members. He plays a significant role in the later parts of the series.
- Machi Kuragi - A later addition to the series, Machi is not cursed but becomes involved with Yuki and the Sohma family. She struggles with her own personal issues and insecurities.
- Katsuya Honda - Tohru's father, Katsuya has a significant impact on Tohru's life despite not being present in the story's present timeline. His influence is explored through Tohru's memories.
- Kyoko Honda - Tohru's late mother, Kyoko has a lasting impact on Tohru's character and values. Her memory is a source of strength and inspiration for Tohru throughout the series.
What is Fruits Basket about?
Fruits Basket is a Japanese manga and anime series written and illustrated by Natsuki Takaya. The story follows Tohru Honda, an orphaned high school student who discovers the Sohma family's supernatural secret. Members of the Sohma family are cursed to transform into animals from the Chinese zodiac when hugged by someone of the opposite gender.
Who is the main character in Fruits Basket?
Tohru Honda is the main character in Fruits Basket. She is a kind and optimistic high school student who becomes involved with the Sohma family and tries to help them break the curse that afflicts them.
What is the Sohma family curse?
The Sohma family curse is a supernatural affliction that causes members of the family to transform into animals from the Chinese zodiac when hugged by someone of the opposite gender. There are twelve animals in the zodiac, each representing a member of the family.
Who are Yuki and Kyo Sohma?
Yuki Sohma is the Rat of the zodiac, and Kyo Sohma is the Cat. They are two of the cursed members of the Sohma family and play significant roles in the series. Yuki is the student council president, and Kyo is known for his hot-tempered nature.
What is the significance of the zodiac animals in Fruits Basket?
The zodiac animals in Fruits Basket represent the members of the Sohma family who are cursed. Each member transforms into their respective zodiac animal when hugged by someone of the opposite gender. The curse has a deep impact on the characters' lives and relationships.
Who is Akito Sohma?
Akito Sohma is the head of the Sohma family and holds a mysterious and powerful presence. Akito's decisions and actions significantly affect the other cursed members of the family. Akito's character is complex and plays a central role in the series.
What themes are explored in Fruits Basket?
Fruits Basket explores themes of family, friendship, love, acceptance, and self-discovery. The series delves into the characters' personal struggles, traumas, and the impact of the Sohma family curse on their lives.
Is Fruits Basket only a romance story?
While romance is a significant aspect of Fruits Basket, the series also incorporates elements of drama, comedy, and supernatural elements. It explores the characters' relationships with each other, their personal growth, and the challenges they face due to the Sohma family curse.
Are there differences between the manga and anime versions of Fruits Basket?
Yes, there are differences between the original Fruits Basket manga and its various anime adaptations. The 2001 anime has a different ending from the manga, while the 2019 remake follows the manga more closely. Reading the manga provides a more comprehensive understanding of the story.
Who are some supporting characters in Fruits Basket?
Fruits Basket features a diverse cast of supporting characters, including Hatsuharu, Momiji, Kagura, Ayame, Hatori, and more. Each character has their own unique personality, backstory, and contribution to the overall narrative.
Is Fruits Basket suitable for all ages?
Fruits Basket is generally suitable for a teenage audience and older. It explores mature themes and emotions, including trauma and personal growth. The series is known for its depth and emotional impact, making it more appealing to older viewers.