**THE SPOILERS! THEY'RE EVERYWHERE!
I'm trying to think of how I can review this unbiasedly, but I really don't think that's going to happen. Be prepared to enter the realm of the mind of a fangirl attemping to be unbiased.
I fell in love with Furuba at the tender age of 14. The STORY follows Tooru Honda, an orphaned girl who is sickeningly optimistic, as she finds herself camping out on Souma property. The Souma's are a family group posessed by the Chinese Zodiac. Everytime they're hugged by a member of the opposite sex, they turn into whatever animal they are possessed by. The catch is that as soon as they transform back into a human, they're naked.
Of course, as the plot progresss, things run deeper. Certain people betray each other and Tooru finds herself in the middle of her own blossoming feelings and a civil war between family members. They all desire to be free of their animal, and she will do the best she can to make that happen.
I feel as if I'm the only one who felt this way, but did anyone else feel that the ART in Furuba changed around volume 9 or so? I don't know; it felt like the mangaka's style became different. I understand that she broke her hand so this could definitely be the reason. While I prefer the original art style, I did enjoy the new one as well. The people weren't as detailed, but the animals were absolutely adorable.
The CHARACTERS of this manga really made it what it was for me. It was so easy to relate to at least one of them because there were so stinking many. This might put some people off, so be warned: this manga has an abundance of characters. Some stay, some go. I'm not sure if people will find them hard to keep up with -- personally, I didn't; but I also read and re-read this manga at least ten times.
Each character also undergoes a significant character development, from Kureno's acceptance of leaving Akito, to Shigure's selfishness being revealed to be selflessness, from Kyou's anger turning into gentleness, from Yuki's ice being melted by love, from Kagura's self inflicted guilt being placated, to Tooru's ultimate development throughout the series. I really loved seeing all of them grow and mature and I really felt that the mangaka did an outstanding job portraying said maturity.
OVERALL, I'd rate Furuba a 10/10 if it was solely for personal enjoyment. I did try to keep this review as unbiased as possible, although it's really probably just full of fangirl mush. I do believe that it deserves the 9/10 it got. I'd also like to note that the manga itself doesn't really take a darker turn until later in the series. I especially remember volume 17 being particularly depressing. Some might be turned off from the light hearted transition into a darker and more mature take. Read through it and see what you think.
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