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Fruits Basket, Vol. 1 Paperback – Unabridged, February 10, 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 162 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

""Do not walk, do not run - fly out and get it."" -- AnimeOn DVD.com

From the Publisher

Story by NATSUKI TAKAYA.
Anime also available.
The #1 Selling Shojo Manga in Japan!
#1 most requested Manga in the U.S.!
Inspired the Hit Anime
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Product Details

  • Series: Fruits Basket (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: TokyoPop (February 10, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591826039
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591826033
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 4.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,949 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on February 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
Living in Montreal, I bought the first volume of this series in French, about a month ago. I was feeling very depressed, and thought I'd cheer myself up with a new manga. I came upon the Fruits Basket series, which was already up to volume 7 here. The cover looked cute and the summary was intriguing: a girl living with a family of boys who turn into animals of the Zodiac in "particular circumstances"... I'm normally not a big fan of shojo (girl manga/anime), but I figured I could use some fuzziness.
After reading the first volume, I found myself completely infatuated with Fruits Basket. It's absolutely adorable, but not in an excessive way. The basic story has been summarized by other reviewers, but here it is again: Yuki Sohma lives with his elder cousin, Shigure, on the outskirts of town. Yuki is one of those people everyone is drawn to: he is intelligent and extremely good-looking, and even has his own fan-club at his highschool (although he doesn't exactly endorse it). Despite everything he's got going for himself, Yuki remains a distant, mysterious person, with apparently no true friends and he never dates anyone.
On the other hand, you have Tohru Honda, a classmate of Yuki's, who recently lost her mother. To make a long story short, no one in her family could take her in, and she didn't want to impose on her friends, so she decided to live in a tent in the woods, until things got better. Tohru is so naieve a lot of readers consider her to be a bit of an idiot, but she's actually a very pure-hearted, caring person, with a lot of courage and an eternally positive attitude. The emplacement she chose to set up camp happens to be close to Shigure's home, so it's only a matter of time before she stumbles onto the house and meets its two inhabitants.
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Amazon once again has pushed reviews over from a different version of this product. In this case, most of the 150+ reviews here are for the out of print Tokyo Pop version of this manga. I do not like Amazon's practice of doing this and I want you to know that THIS review is for the actual Yen Press Collectors Edition of Fruits Basket that came out in the U.S. in June of 2016. My "real" score for this version would be 4.5 stars if Amazon would let me dock a half star. This edition is not perfect but because Fruits Basket is such a strong manga, it makes up for the few shortcomings.

The book itself is an over-sized manga, a bit bigger than most that are released today. If you get other manga from Seven Seas or Shonen Jump, you will see immediately that the size of this book is bigger by an inch on both sides. That's a good thing as there is more room for Takaya's art to spread out as intended. I always found Furuba a difficult manga to read as a fan-sub because of the odd panel shape that Takaya uses for much of her layout. It is wonderful to see in print and flows well in a two-page layout.

The book is also not without a few shortcomings. The Tokyo Pop version released previously contained all the authors side notes that had been included in the Japanese versions. Those have been removed in the new Collector's Editions and Takaya explained that she did this because most were out of date and not relevant anymore. If you are familiar with these, you will know that many of the notes were about her gaming habits and eating habits - interesting tidbits but hardly worth saving for posterity. I, personally, do not miss them but some purists might balk that they have been removed. Another thing I do not like about the book is the cover.
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Format: Paperback
I am very picky about the manga I read, since it takes a bit of a financial investment to start and complete a series. So when I was looking to start a new manga series, I thought about Fruits Basket and how it was so popular. I figured 'why not give it a try', so I picked up the first 2 volumes.

And now I am addicted. This is flat out one of the best series I've ever read. It has humor, action, romance, and quite a bit of drama. I'll admit, there where a few volumes (4 and 6, I beleive) that had me in tears.

The basic premise of the story is of a young girl, Tohru, who just lost her mother, and to make a long story short, is living in a tent in the woods (don't worry, this is all explained). It turnes out that Tohru is actually living on the property of the Sohma's, and in a strange turn of events, Tohru finds out their secret; they turn into animals of the zodiac when hugged by a member of the opposite sex. Yuki and Shigure Sohma feel bad that Tohru is living in a tent, and in exchange for her housecleaning services, they let her live with them. And that's just in the first few chapters!

I don't want to give away too much of the story, because half the fun is going through all the shocks and surprises that Tohru goes through. But it is all done at a pace that isn't too quick, yet it keeps the story moving. It's just one thing after another, and some of the discoveries are sad, and a little frightening (these happen in later volumes). Tohru and her eternal optimism and cheeriness can get a little grating; I'd like to see her get really mad at least once (and maybe that does happen later; only 7 volumes are out so far), but I don't think the story would be the same if she were any different. The same goes for all the other characters.
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