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Friday, February 8, 2008

Friday Movie Review - Fruits Basket





I am reviewing something a little different today. Inspired by both Valentine's Day and the Chinese New Year, as well as MoMo's campaign for a "Year of the Cat," I have decided to review the anime series "Fruits Basket."





Fruits Basket is a charming manga (comic) which was made into an animated series for one season. Fruits Basket centers on a young girl, Tohru Honda, who has recently become an orphan after her mother dies in a car accident. After briefly living with her paternal grandfather, she is forced to move when his house undergoes renovations and other relatives move in. Instead of asking for help from friends, the independent Tohru decides to spend the time it takes for the house to be renovated camping out in a tent in the woods, while going to school and working a part-time job as a janitor.

Tohru and the Sohmas

One day Tohru discovers that her classmate, Yuki Sohma, lives very close to her tent . . . in fact, her tent is in the woods on his family's property! Tohru does not share her secret with him, but it is later discovered anyway by Yuki and his uncle Shigure as they walk home one night, and come upon Tohru and her camp. Taking the sick and feverish Tohru home with them, Shigure and Yuki hear her story and offer to let her live with them. Knowing how independent she is, they deny that they are offering her charity, and instead ask her to become their housekeeper in exchange for room and board. Soon Yuki's cousin Kyo also moves in, and Tohru discovers the Sohma family secret.

The Sohmas have lived under a curse for many generations. Under this curse, thirteen of the Sohma family members are possessed by the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac . . . plus the spirit of the Cat, which was left out according to Chinese legend. For example, Shigure is the Dog, Yuki is the Rat, and Kyo is the Cat. The curse shows itself by transforming the person possesed into the animal under several conditions: when the person is sick, weak, tired, overly emotional, or hugged by a member of the opposite sex. Normally when their curse is discovered, the outsider has their memory erased and is discouraged from having any further contact with the family. However, in the hopes that Tohru is the one who will eventually break the curse, she is allowed to continue to live with the Sohmas. Will Tohru be able to break the curse?


Shigure, Yuki, Tohru, and Kyo

The legend of the Chinese Zodiac permeates the entire story and lives of the characters. Kyo and Yuki, being the Cat and Rat, have a strong rivalry between them, just as if they were truly the Cat and Rat in the legend. Kyo struggles for acceptance in his family, just as the Cat wishes to be included in the zodiac. Tohru finds herself sympathizing more with Kyo and his struggle, as she has always supported the Cat from the legend since childhood. However, she also grows close to shy and insecure Yuki, who fears becoming too close to anyone due to the curse. A romantic tension springs up between the three, even as friendship grows.




Yuki transformed into the Rat

"Fruits Basket" is a heart-warming series, full of humor, drama, romance, and whimsy. Tohru captures your sympathy from the first episode, with her optimisim even in the face of tragedy and hardship. The Sohma family members are each as unique and lovable as the animal spirits that possess them. This series can be highly addictive, and once you see the first episode, you will not be satisfied until you reach the end . . . and then you will be saddened that they did not produce more than one season.



Kyo transformed into the Cat

This kitty gives "Fruits Basket" two paws up, a warm purr, and a tail poof. Not only is this a wonderful anime that gives us proper support for including the Cat in the Chinese Zodiac, it also provides fantasy with a warmth and rare insight into the troubles of adolescence. I am sure that every kitty out there would love this series. Even my grandmama, who is very picky about anime, enjoyed this one. Celebrate the Chinese New Year and watch this series today!

24 meows:

Diamond Emerald-Eyes said...

Is the series available on DVD? I guess it must be.

It still bothers me though this "inclusion" of the Cat into the Zodiac. Cat was not left out...we just did not show up on the face of the planet until another 1,000 years after the Chinese Zodiac was set, and our wild forefathers were limited in distribution to the Egyptian Valley so the Chinese didn't know of them. But I guess as long as there is a Rat in the Chinese Zodiac people will think there should be a Cat (other than a Tiger). All the Cat and Rat legends are nice, but they are just that...legends that explain something which does actually have an otherwise rational explanation.

Humans. What do you expect...

Dragonheart & Merlin said...

Very cool! That sounds like a great anime. :) Thanks for the terrific review, Tybalt.

Samantha & Tigger said...

Sounds like something Tigger and I would like!! Yes, come on over and play. Trixie, Bounce and Lucy are coming over, too! We'll have a lot of fun!
Nosekisses,
Samantha

DEBRA said...

Tybalt

This wuz a wonderful review. I had never heard of Fruit Baskets before. I will have to let Momma know. YOU are a terrific reviewer.

Purrs
Abby

PB & J said...

Oh that loosk good one - we'll have mommy add it to the netflix que!

DK & The Fluffies said...

What no bunnies?

Kelly Cat said...

A show that features a cat certainly has something good going for it, even though it would be even better with a bunny. Thanks for the info!

Daisy said...

I have never heard of this one before. It sounds very cute!

Kellie The Orange Cat said...

I have never heard of Fruits Basket, the girl kinda looks like Sailor Moon!

HRH Yao-Lin said...

hmm that sounds awfully interesting. i do like your reviews - very informative.

I wonder...why would the chinese consider it a curse to become a cat? And why would they leave the cat out of the chinese zodiac? Hmm? I sense a conspiracy! x

MISS PEACH >(^.^) said...

A tiger is in the Zodiac so we are just little tigers! That's my story!
Amazing insight into these reviews by you the prince of cats!!
Mommy aways goes ahhhh when she sees that you have stopped over for a visit. She has to help me blog more so my dearest friends don't think me a slacker....darn cold of hers all she wants to do is sleep! At least this is something we can do together so I am happy.
Happy weekend to you and stay warm and snug. Purrrs from little Miss Peach

Samantha & Tigger said...

Oh Tybalt, that was a wonderful Valentine!!! Your words made my heart flutter!!! I am so honored to be your Valentine!
Purrrrrs and nosekisses,
Samantha

JB's Big World said...

Hi Tybalt,
My mom has not heard of this movie. Thanks for the review and sharing this!
--JB

Mickey said...

Cool review.Mom is not a big fan of anime,but you never know :) We are waiting to see "Red River" with John Wayne on PBS


Purrs Mickey

Hot(M)BC said...

I don't think Mom likes me to see your reviews cuz then I make her go out to pick up movies. hehehe
Purrrrrrrrrs,
your bud Pepi

Skeeter, LC, and Ayla said...

Sounds cool! The Big Thing likes those kinna cartoons, but hasn't seen that one.

Rascal said...

We've never watched anime before. Well, my humans haven't. I'm a Cat so I don't watch anything on TV.

Karen Jo said...

I have seen very little anime, but I might try this one. It sounds very interesting.

Sassy Kat said...

Great review, not sure about the movie. Will have to give it a try and rely on your review.

Chairman Mao said...

Whatta kool review, Tybalt! Momma had nefur hearded of that movie but we all agree it sounds superduper!

Kittyhugs and purrs from MaoMao!

Marilyn MonREOW said...

That sounds like a fun movie! I like anime. I think it's so cute! Thanks for a fabulous review!

Purrs and snuggles from Marilyn.

The Cat Realm said...

Thank you for the interesting review. I had never ever heard of this before...

michico*Adan said...

Although this is a Animation from here, but I haven't seen it before, I should rent it~! Sounds great!!

MoMo said...

Thanks for the great review! Must try to get hold of a copy of the series, but SS is always so slack about getting anything. I just know that Diamond would get all upset about the legends of the Cat exclusion! Just relax, you can't bring DNA studies into folklore and anime.