The title Fruits Basket comes from a popular children's game played in Japan. In the game, everyone sits in a circle and the leader of the game names each person after a type of fruit. When the name of a child's fruit is called, the child gets up and has to find a new seat. For the series, the word "fruits" in the title is always plural. The spelling originates from the transcription of "fruit" into Japanese; because there is no "tu" sound, "tsu" is used instead.
Tohru Honda is the main character, ans she was recently orphaned when her mother died in a car accident. Tohru lived with her grandfather, until remodeling needed to be done on the house. Tohru ends up living in a tent in the woods, with her clothes and a picture of her mother being her only possessions. While heading to school one day, Tohru discovers that Yuki Sohma, one of her classmates, lives in a house in the forest. When Yuki and his cousin Shigure discover she's living in a tent, they are surprised by her inner strength. Feeling sorry for her, the Sohmas offer her a place to stay in exchange for cooking and housework. After her tent is buried by a landslide, and the Sohmas retrieve her belongings, Tohru has no choice but to accept their offer.
Tohru discovers that the Sohma family has a secret, and why Yuki is so secretive at school. 13 members of the Sohma family are possessed by the 12 animal spirits of the Chinese Zodiac, as well as the spirit of the cat that was left out of the Zodiac (according to legend). The Sohmas can transform into animals when hugged by a member of the opposite gender, are under a great amount of stress, or are weak in any way. When Tohru promises to keep their secret, the Sohmas allow her to keep her memories, instead of hypnotically erasing them. The 26 episodes of the series follow the lives of Tohru and the Sohma family as they deal with each other and with society.
Themes in Fruits Basket include rejection and acceptance, gender stereotypes and identity, and suppression.
A grassroots effort has been mounted to have a second season of the series produced in Japan. However, in 2006, both the manga writer and the anime director announced in separate interviews that there will not be any more work on the anime.
Fruits Basket is a very well-done shojo anime series, and I would personlly recommend it to anime viewers who are 12 or 13 years of age and older.
|Fruits Basket||26||2001||Akitaro Daichi||Studio Deen||FUNimation Entertainment|