a late note on Fruits Basket

25 Feb

fb1.jpgFive minutes into the pilot episode, i knew i was going to love this series, without prior knowledge of how the story was going to unfold. What prompted me to buy the series (26 eps) though was the consistently good buzz it generated from various sources — reviewers, fans, etc.

The series starts on a funny-bittersweet note. You just can’t help but instantly empathize with Tohru Honda, a recently orphaned 16(?)-year-old high school girl who unwittingly sets up camp (literally!) in the wooded vicinity of the Sohmas’ house. After a series of interesting events, she eventually became part of Shigure Sohma’s (an author of steamy romances) household, which consisted of Yuki Sohma and Kyou Sohma, who went to the same HS as Tohru. In exchange for room and board, she worked as a housekeeper for the colorful trio.


It wasn’t long afterwards that she stumbled upon the family’s well-kept secret (and what a funny scene that was — you ought to see it to appreciate the slapstick humor), and — in the process of interacting with the mind-boggling, fascinating members of this chaotic family —  manages to teach everyone that there was more to strength than stoical toughness.

However, the road is not smooth for our slightly ditsy protagonist. In the course of the 26-episode story, Tohru learns to cope with jealous schoolmates (Yuki’s rabid fan club) and judgmental relatives, and to survive the chaotic, mind-boggling and hilarious reactions of various ‘cursed’ Sohma clan members. Her major stumbling block is Akito Sohma — the frail, but bitter and manipulative leader of the Sohma clan.

fb51.jpgFortunately for Honda (for all her quiet resilience and unquenched optimism), she has two protective and devoted friends, Hanajima and Arisa, who are both a study in mental toughness themselves. She also forms an unlikely but strong bond with Yuki and Kyou, who in their own touchingly awkward fashion, try to help and shield Tohru from the worst of Akito’s vengeful wrath.

This is one series where the characters are sharply delineated; despite the huge cast, it’s easy to single out and identify a character, mostly due to the concept of Jikkan-Juniishi (based on the Chinese zodiac, which comprises 12 animals that each ‘cursed’ Sohma clan member correspondingly personifies), and the way the show’s creators deftly handled the story. The fact that it is based on a hugely popular manga series (still ongoing, i think) in Japan also works hugely in its favor.

Other factors that contribute to its appeal is the art and the music it employs to complement (but never gratingly overwhelms) the scenes being portrayed. The opening and closing songs are  also appropriate for the series.

3 Responses to “a late note on Fruits Basket”

  1. Melina December 20, 2007 at 4:54 pm #

    very interesting. i’m adding in RSS Reader

  2. onyxx December 23, 2007 at 5:07 pm #

    thanks melina. a lot of people love FB. try it and you’ll see why. have a nice day 🙂


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