DVD Review: “Fruits Basket” – Complete Collection written And Illustrated By Natsuki Takaya
It will make people smile and think positive about their own lives!
Adapted from the phenomenally popular manga written and illustrated by Natsuki Takaya, the complete animated version of Fruits Basket has now been collected together on the four-disc DVD release Fruits Basket Complete Collection, which features all 26 episodes plus a generous helping of extra features including an interview the series’ director, Akitaro Daichi.
The Sohmas are a family cursed, the circumstances of which have led to their isolation from the rest of normal society. For theirs is no ordinary family curse…
Thirteen members of the family are possessed by the spirits of the Chinese zodiac and when embraced by a person of the opposite gender they transformed into their own personal zodiac animal. The Sohmas have managed to keep the curse private for generations, but when a young girl named Tohru Honda stumbles upon their secret, life at the Sohma household changes forever and conflicts erupt as zodiac rivals clash in this most unusual of situations.
Young Tohru’s presence proves to be a positive influence upon the family members and she takes it upon herself to find a way to break the curse. But first and foremost she must promise to keep family’s secret safe or face the consequences.
The definition of ‘family’ can be really difficult to define sometimes. Whether there are actual blood relations or not is not a matter if the emotional bonds are firm and strong between people.
Tohru is a pure and honest girl who lives on her own after losing her parents. Her father died when she was little and her mother raised her until she became a high school age, but the mother was killed by an accident. People wonder why Tohru can stay positive and always can smile. She is such a strong person and she always pictures her mother’s smile in her mind whenever she has difficulties. Her cheerful smile and attitudes make everyone happy and in the story, including two boys, Yuki and Kyo.
Yuki has a spirit of a rat. His charm is the neutral appearance and the beautiful face. He attracts lots of girls at the high school and his popularity is so high that some girls form a ‘fan club’. However, he is troubled with the destiny that he has the zodiac spirit within him and he has difficulties building an ordinary relationship with other people. His complex gets eased by Tohru after she gets to know his secret and tries to understand all the fears and problems that have been laying in his mind for all his life. Yuki is saved by Tohru and he can finally smile naturally. The process of Yuki’s emotional improvement can be expressed as the growth of the affection towards Tohru. Since she started living in Yuki’s house, her existence has become something necessary and precious for Soma’s family.
Another member of the family, Kyo, has a spirit of a cat. A cat and mouse chase comes from the story of the rat’s cheat against the cat, so Kyo and Yuki are not getting along very well. Kyo behaves in a rough manner, but his actual intention is very sensitive and cares about Tohru very much. In the scene Tohru falls ill with a temperature, Kyo cooks a meal for her with leeks, which he hates to eat and smell. It is adorable to watch Kyo with goggles and mask, trying to cook for Tohru even if he hates to see or smells the leeks. His affection towards Tohru is also huge and he started realising how precious it is to have someone who recognises his efforts and motivation.
Two boys and one girl, the love triangle is something thrilling, however, the real theme of this anime is probably ‘family’. Knowing the pain of losing her parents, Tohru tries to understand the cursed Soma family’s agony. Yuki are Kyo are not the only people that Tohru helps in the story. Shigure (dog), Momiji (rabbit), Kisa (tiger), Hatori (dragon), Hiro (sheep) and many more Soma’s zodiac members get to know the strength of Tohru’s way of living and gain lots of energy from her. It is pretty certain that everyone will laugh out loud after watching the scenes of Soma’s transformation into the animals. Also it will make people smile and think positive about their own lives. Fruits Basket is a must see anime series.
Special Features include: behind the scenes featurette: textless opening and closing; character profiles; Akitaro Daichi interview; Fruits Basket Room Numbers 1, 2 and 3; Eyecatch gallery Numbers 1 and 2; illustration gallery.
Release date: 13th February 2012
Director: Yasuhiro Takemoto
Alika Mochida is an Enka (Japanese blues) singer. She started singing Enka at the age of three. She studied drama in Cambrige and contemporary music in London and began working as a professional singer in 2009. She has performed at many occasions such as WOMAD 2010, HYPER JAPAN, and Japan Matsuri 2009 & 2010