Customer Reviews: Fruits Basket Complete Series: Collector's Edition
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on July 26, 2011
Fruits Basket is one of my favorite anime series, rivaled only by Full Metal Alchemist and Trigun - though it shares little in common with those titles aside from quality. While Fruits Basket is technically Shojo, as President of my University's Anime Club I can provide testament to it's broad appeal even to Shonen fans. It offers a wonderful mix of comedy, drama, and even action.

I could ramble on about it's merits but I'm guessing that, like me, what you really want to know is how this Collector's Edition ranks against earlier releases of Fruits Basket. The answer, in my opinion, is that this Collector's Edition is surprisingly better save for one annoyance.

In my opinion, the box art and DVD menus are far superior to previous releases of Fruits Basket. There's a lot more original artwork here, particularly decorating the interior of the cases, and it's clear that a lot of effort was put into making this Collector's Edition stand out aesthetically.

The core footage has been remastered and unless I'm mistaken some additional subtitles have been tossed in to explain Japanese text, but honestly I didn't notice many differences between this release and previous releases. Where this release really shines is the additional content, which is why it's more geared towards "hardcore" fans rather than casual fans. To break it down by content...

o-Episode 26 Video Commentary: Found on Disc 4, the English Voice Actors for Yuki, Tohru, Kyo, and Shigure provide commentary on Episode 26 of Fruits Basket. This was recorded nine years after the English dub was finished and it's very American - reminds me of a morning radio show, none of them quite know what the say at first but eventually it gets more interesting. Overall though, I have to say that I was a bit disappointed.

o-Trailers: Disc 4 comes with trailers for a lot of other Funimation anime. At least these trailers are optional...though the only one that really caught my eye was Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

o-Textless Opening & Closing Songs: Not much to say on this, it's the opening and closing without text. Vocals are available in both English and Japanese.

o-Fruits Basket Rooms 1-3 (Japanese with subtitles): The Japanese Voice Actor for Tohru interviews the Japanese Voice Actors for Yuki, Kyo, and Shigure. I always enjoy the surprise of seeing what Voice Actors really look like and the interviews were fun but interesting. I thought this feature was the highlight of the additional content and I wish that the English cast had done something similar.

o-Behind the Scenes Featurette (Japanese with subtitles): This featurette is scattered but has some interesting information. Honestly, I found it rather boring and didn't finish watching it. I may go back but I already knew a lot of what it was sharing - a danger of being too much of an Otaku, I suppose.

o-Akitaroh Dachi Interview (Japanese with subtitles): This interview with the director of Fruits Basket took place before the American release of the series and I thought it was fairly interesting - though, not really a highlight of the disc. There are some interesting points, like the question of a second season of the anime since the manga was still being released at the time.

o-Eyecatch Galleries (Japanese with subtitles): This is a slideshow of the "ka-ching" wipes used throughout the series, narrated by the Japanese voice actor for Tohru. I thought it was pretty interesting but then the "ka-ching" wipes always catch my eye while watching the series and it was nice to watch them more slowly with some explanation of the details involved. For instance, who that giraffe represents.

o-English Cast Interview: This mass interview is interesting and fun, but a little overwhelming, it might have been more in-depth one on one. I also wish that it had video - I really enjoy the surprise of seeing what Voice Actors look like.

o-Illustration Gallery (Japanese with subtitles): A small selection of Fruits Basket pictures in slideshow format.

o-Outtakes: This is a short series of outtakes from the English dub, it doesn't last very long and it seemed to focus on the early series. There's no video to go along with it and it all gets a little jumbled together, which cuts back on it's humor in my opinion...but it's still amusing.

o-Outtakes, English Closing Theme & English Auditions: These were fun but again, like the Outtakes, there's no video and it's all jumbled together. There's not a lot of content and the English Closing Theme is woven throughout.

My only complaint with the Collector's Edition is that Funimation decided to include unskipable commercials at the beginning of discs 2, 3, and 4. I know this is just an inconvenience but it still really pisses me off - if the commercials were skipable this would be a minor complaint, probably not even worth mentioning, but the fact that Funimation forces customers who purchased their product to watch commercials before viewing said product really annoys me. I'm planning to send an irate letter their way.

If you're a casual watcher this Collector's Edition doesn't offer that different of a viewing experience aside from the remastered footage - so go with what's cheapest. If you are a Fruits Basket fan, than this is the definitive edition packed with tons of extra content to help you get your Otaku on. I would rate the Collector's Edition Five Stars if not for the unskipable commercials at the start of discs 2, 3, and 4.
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on May 29, 2005
The story of Ms. Honda and the strange family that adopts her is my number one anime of all, and I have now seen about a hundred of the things. From the sweet opening song through the sweet closing song, it's pure joy.

This isn't to mean it's saccharine. Lots of conflicts occur. You'll laugh a lot, and you might cry a bit. The operative word is "charming". If you are not charmed by this series, you have no heart at all. Hitler would laugh and cry with their adventures.

The odd conceit is that the family has thirteen members who turn into the animals of the Chinese zodiac (you know, year of the rat, and stuff, with the cat added to the normal 12). They adopt a plucky girl who has been orphaned.

Honest, if you don't find this worth the money, send me a letter, and I'll make it up to you. This is easily the most charming anime ever created.
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on January 22, 2004
The final disc of Fruits Basket starts out with a few stories almost unconnected to the main plot. Yuki decides to try to get to know his brother better and makes a surreal visit to Ayame's store...Tohru meets Hiro Sohma, Kisa's ill-tempered little friend....we get to have a peek into the head of Yuki's fanclub president, a reminder of teenage passion which is as touching as it is funny and psychotic....and we briefly meet Ritsu Sohma, who definitely takes getting used to. The final three episodes are grim, dark, suspenseful and emotionally powerful, as once again, Tohru must confront the fact that parts of the Sohma curse--and family--are not at all adorable. And this time, rising to the occasion to offer comfort and encouragement might even be beyond the abilities of Tohru. Kyo's horrific darkest secret is revealed, and Akito finally finishes playing with Tohru, and makes his move to destroy her spirit utterly, and plunge his family back into the condition of unresisting despair which is their true curse.

People who love this series should be aware that, although it feels complete and resolved, the anime only covers the first 6 books of a manga series which is just about to be released in English. I hear that there are 13 books completed in Japanese at this point. ...
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on November 2, 2005
This is the most heart-warming and touching anime series I've ever seen. It's shoujo, meaning it's geared towards girls but anyone would enjoy watching this. There are no gun or sword battles, transforming robots, or flying demons but even my teenage son loves it because of all the funny and outrageous characters (our favorites are Shigure, Kyo, Momiji & Ayame).

You meet and get to know the cursed Sohma family through the eyes of orphaned high-school student Tohru Honda. Everyone has a story to tell, some quite heart-wrenching. I was touched by all their stories. Heck, I even felt sorry for Akito!

Although I prefer to watch anime in their original Japanese, I think that Funimation did a SUPERLATIVE job of dubbing and translating these series. In my opinion all the American voice actors were excellent! I really liked Laura Bailey as Tohru but my hat goes off to John Burgmeier who was just AWESOME as Shigure!

Only 26 episodes long, it ends a little too soon. Nevertheless, this is a worthwhile investment. BUY this and add an excellent anime series to your collection!
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VINE VOICEon September 23, 2005
Fruits Basket is totally original. It is sweet, funny, and totally different from what you usually see. Plus, it has a lovely soundtrack. It has all the beauty you could want from a anime and a better story line then most. I'd highly recommend giving it a try. I love it and don't know why they don't make more!
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on July 10, 2003
If you can get past the weird name of this series (refers to a Japanese kid's game similar to duck-duck-goose) and the girly-girly packaging, it's a surprisingly deep and poignant character study.
The premise: an orphaned & homeless high-school girl is taken in as a housekeeper by one of her classmates, a very shy but very popular boy named Yuki. He's living with his novelist-cousin Shigure in a rather isolated house in the woods, having run away from the main Sohma compound. But the guys have a big secret--they're shapeshifters, two members of a cursed family.
Our heroine soon makes a place in their hearts with her relentless optimism and unconditional love & gratitude, and soon other disaffected members of the cursed family start to gather at Shigure's house. Chief among the arrivals is a violent-tempered but good-hearted young man known as Kyo, who bears the most difficult curse of all, and who's an outcast even within the Sohma family.
The head of the family, cursed himself, is intensely and malevolently possessive of "his" family, and he starts to plot his revenge...but at the same time, he hopes Tohru can save the family from the worst effects of the curse.
Very interesting mixture of genuine pathos and wild slapstick, and a great job portraying the gradual change in characters of not only the two boys, Yuki and Kyo, over a period of 18 months, but also the maturation of the heroine, as she develops courage and strength to match her innate compassion. She goes from being essentially a sweetly-smiling doormat to someone brave enough to stand up for herself and the people she loves--without getting mean about it.
I have to admit I started watching this series with some skepticism, thinking it'd be hopelessly silly, but ended up loving it. A definite keeper!
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on January 20, 2005
This is my favorite anime of all time! I-....why are you looking at me like that? Oh I see. Yes this is a kids review. I promise that the few naughty words and stuff shall not warp my fragile little mind. ((If you recognize that line, you'll know why.)) Although I really can't say much for a lot of people my age these days. Little monsters........

Anyways first I'd like you to do something for me. Look back at all of the other reviews although there aren't many. Do you see a bad review? No. You do not and probably never will. Fruits Basket is the best I repeat and I can prove it. I lent my books to 10 of my friends. 10 of my friends liked it. :D Now my best friend is practically beating me up to sleepover and see the boxset!

When people say, you'll laugh and cry they aren't lieing. I am a 12 year old tomboy, admitting that I cried. Mostly it was because I laughed so hard but oh well! The dubbing and animation are perfect! I prefer the dub version because the original japanese speaks really fast and I can barely say, "Hi how are you?" In Japanese without accidently saying something I'm REALLY not supposed to........but that's besides the point. Yes the name sounds weird! Forget that! Once you read the manga or better watch this the name will become much clearer. Now I want you to do one more thing for me. Yeah you! The one with the face!I want you to scroll up to the top of this screen right now and buy this boxset! I promise you will not regret it! What? Is that doubt I see in your eyes? That's it you asked for it! *Gives puppydog pout* Lol. Ok enjoy!
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on June 16, 2003
If you have followed Fruits Basket THIS far, definitely finish it off. The series meanders as it tells the stories of a bizarre family in modern day japan with the odd curse that makes them turn into Zodiac animals when hugged by the opposite sex. Tohru becomes the loving (but flightly) bolt of remedy and healing for this tortured house throughout the series, and in form, she caps the series by finally opening up all the old wounds and letting everyone heal through her forgiveness and love.
While these stories on this DVD do tend to be a bit more harsh and slightly darker, the task is obviously no feat for the girl who cherishes her new, odd family. Slightly puzzling is Kyo's dark secret, which is revealed towards the end of the series. Why is he hampered with an even DARKER past, and what is that thing? In a series that, although ambling with a staggered gait through a central plot, everything makes fiarly reasonable sense did they toss in this decidedly bizarre tangent? It didn't really harm the series, and helps bring a great sense of resolution but it seems contrived at the same time.
A very, very pleasant anime. For what it is, the direction and art and writing is all excellent without being too showy, inappropriate or bizarre. And the sexual side of the relationships are never delved into with the letchery of reckless abandon seen in most anime. Fruits basket is a nice series for almost any age, and is a great family series for adults and children that like a good anime without sex, blood, gore, robots, guns, or lazer beams.
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on February 26, 2006
Definitely, Fruits Basket is a series that will capture you with its charm, friendliness, and especially, its philosophy.

Talking strictly about the series, it features Tohru Honda, a 16-year-old high-school girl that lives in a tent at the beginning of the story. One day, while going to school, she finds out that the garden where she lives is private property, as she meets Shigure Sohma, the owner. She also finds out that Yuki Sohma, one of her classmates, lives there. At the evening of thay day, she is found in the garden by Shigure and Yuki; she apologized and requested for additional time, but then they make a deal and Tohru becomes the housekeeper of the Sohmas as exchange of a room. At first she did not want to bother them living there, but she accept the proposal of the Sohmas. That is the base point where Tohru Honda begins to build a strong and enviable friendship with Yuki and Kyo Sohma, Yuki's cousin who appears later in episode 1. However, the Sohmas are not a common family. Several of its members have a strange curse: when hugged by someone of the opposite sex, they transform into an animal of the Chinese Zodiac; the animal depends on the year the cursed member was born. This fact, at first, surprises Tohru a litte bit, but then she takes it as normal. First proof of the philosophy that Tohru Honda demonstrates: Be respectful of your friends no matter what they look like!

As the story goes, Tohru Honda is always caring about others, especially Yuki and Kyo Sohma, and these demonstrations of her thinkings are the most appealing stuff of this series. She shows that one must be oneself, that one must never give up, that one must be kind with everyone without considerations... and so many other phrases that all together define Tohru's personality. I can say that is why Fruits Basket was in 2001 winner of almost every existent award in Japan: Fruits Basket won even more than Inuyasha, and by a considrable difference: Tohru Honda was so far the most popular character, even more that the sum of the votes for Inuyasha and Kagome Higurashi. This was the main reason I bought this box set, and after analyzing the series, I can say the same results.

About the box set itself, it is bigger that ADV thin boxes, but the discs are a lot better used in terms of content. This set not only contains the episodes but also extras about several facts such as how the anime was made, the seiyuus, interviews and curious features. However, although I understand that Funimation is serious about illegal copy, they go a little bit too far by putting seals on every side of the box set, even over the slots where you put your fingers to open a single DVD case. I ended up with a medium bag of garbage, full of seals and plastic. But this is a minimum and superficial matter, so it is not important after all (unless you consider it).

Therefore, Fruits Basket, this box set, is definitely a great product by all means. The series present a great philosophy that breaks any barrier, which is doubtlessly the main reason of the success of this anime. With these reasons, you must buy this one.
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on January 22, 2006
Tohru Honda is a 16-year old girl who lost her mother to an automobile accident. She lives with her grandfather, but his house is being remodeled and she wants to stay in the area so that she can go to school. Deciding she can't be a burden to her friends, she pitches up a tent in the nearby woods to live in. On her way to school, she comes across the home of Prince Yuki Sohma, who is the most admired guy in school.

Yuki and his cousin, Shigure, are walking back home one evening when they stumble across Tohru's tent. Feeling pity on her, they invite her to stay with them because of the impending dangers one might face out in the woods. Sure enough, a landslide claims Tohru's tent and all her belongings are buried. Yuki, along with some "friends," clean up the area and restore Tohru's things to her.

Shigure and Yuki offer Tohru a place to live, and in exchange for her room and board, she becomes their housekeeper. Things are just getting settled in with Tohru and her new "family," when wayward cousin, Kyo Sohma, comes back from training in the mountains. Kyo and Yuki do not get along. During a scuffle between the two, Tohru decides to step in and break it up. In doing so, she tackles Kyo and he turns into a cat!

So begins the adventures in Fruits Basket (episode 5 gives the explanation of the show's title). Come to find out, the Sohma clan are under a curse. If they are embraced by someone of the opposite sex, they turn into animals of the Chinese zodiac! Yuki becomes a rat, Kyo a cat, and Shigure a dog. The consequence of an outsider knowing their secret is to have their memory erased, but the exception lies in Tohru. She is trusted with the family secret and she vows that she will tell no one.

I took Fruits Basket as a very lighthearted and romantic comedy. Tohru seemed a bit too happy-go-lucky for my taste, but her sugary viewpoints seem to be just the right thing in helping members of the Sohma family cope with their particular problems. Even fiery Kyo can't help but let his guard down and talk sensible with Tohru sometimes, which is really saying something about her persona.

I was first drawn into FB by the voice acting. The English dubbing is exquisite, although Justin Cook being in charge of the VA made FB feel like a Yu Yu Hakusho reunion of some sort. Immediately, I was calling out the names of Yusuke, Suzaku, Kayko, Kurama, and Botan when it was Hatsuharu, Kyo, Tohru, Shigure, and Shigure's editor on the screen, respectively. If you are fans of the VA from YYH, then FB should be enjoyable to listen to.

Speaking of sound, be prepared to be bombarded with a lot of background music and realistic sounds. It just about drowned out the dialogue in some parts and at one point I had to put on the subtitles to find out what they were saying.

Character design is something worth seeing too. Prepare to be throttled by big eyes, especially those of Tohru. Perhaps the animators did that on purpose to really emphasize Tohru's bubbly and lovey-dovey personality. The Sohmas are all attractive, especially Yuki and Kyo, but Shigure is my personal favorite, as he is ever carefree and accepts all the Sohmas for who they are. He also likes to tease his editor and get playful with high school girls. His dialogue is quotable stuff and my sister and I like to talk in Shigure-tongue now and again.

Plenty of laughs and action (if you're into house demolition and the occasional bout of martial artistry). Language is clean for the most part - no sexual slang and the majority of swearing belongs to Kyo (because of reasons you'll find in the show).

Fruits Basket is not to be missed. Enjoy plenty of comedic performances, heart felt moments and have a hankie in hand for the finale. A must have in any anime collection!
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