I know it seems completely random for me to review "Fruits Basket," and in a way, it is. So here's why I chose now: I was looking through my list of anime to find something to review and BAM! there was this. Now STFU because it works.
Story: Honda Tohru, a goody-goody, sweet, innocent girl lives alone because her mother and father are dead. She can't burden the rest of her family, so she sets up a tent and goes on with her daily life. That tent, though, is set up on the property of a certain rich family called the Sohma. As it turns out, two of the boys living there (well, one joins up five minutes later) go to her school. Feeling sorry for the poor girl, Shigure (the "dad" [I use the term REALLY loosely]) and Yuki (pretty boy numero uno) take her in. Thus starts up the shoujo reverse harem mega-hit.
The story is cute and all, but incomplete. The anime covers only six+parts of two more volumes of the manga, which has 23 volumes. And that's just the thing. The manga is FAR superior to the anime, but that isn't unexpected in any way.
Animation: The characters look really generic, but the fact that they have animalistic features makes sense. (Oh yeah. The Sohma family has an ancient curse--the members are cursed to be zodiac animals [plus the cat] and, when hugged by a member of the opposite sex or when weakened, they transform.) The animation is not the most fluid of any anime by a long shot, but it serves its purpose. The comedy scenes work out well enough, and is actually quite funny.
Sound: A word of warning--if you watch this thing in English (as I did), you have to sit through the opening song, which has been dubbed. But it doesn't really matter, because the OP and ED are both completely forgettable and just boring. The insert songs are good, but could have been better. The voice acting is fine in both the dub and Japanese, but nothing too fantastic. However, John Burgmeier dubs a fabulous Shigure!
Characters: THANK YOU, DAMMIT! I've been waiting for the time to finally same something nice about this! Wait... aah, most of the characters are nice and all, but no one is truly incredible due to lack of development (this is ANIME ONLY). Some of the backstories are so touching you will cry rivers, and some tender moments between characters will make you hug your best friend. Unfortunately, since this covers so little of the manga, basically no development occurs. Heck, not even every character is introduced! Many of the members of the Sohma characters are seen for one episode and then never reappear, and two of them never even show up. Plus, the fact that the School Defense Force isn't mentioned just SUCKS. I love them, so MAKE A SECOND SEASON!
Overall: Screw the anime; it's only average. Go read the manga, though. Right now. Read it. READ IT.
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