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Reviews Comments: Sweet and original, but ultimately a failure Fruits Basket arc review by Brutannica

Fruits Basket is one of the most popular shoujo series in both its manga and animated form and has zealous defenders ready to tear apart its detractors. I know because a friend of mine posted a critical review of it and he got hate mail over it for months. Regardless, I will follow in his footsteps and explain why this series is overrated.

The main reason why Fruits Basket is so beloved, I think (BTW, I have friends who like it so I sympathize with both points of view), is because of its original premise. Not the hugging thing, but the emphasis on emotional problems and human companionship over generic romance (which is what most Shoujo revolves around). From what I've read, Tooru genuinely cares about the Souma boys, and although they're all very pretty 'cause it's a shoujo manga, she doesn't seem to have ROMANTIC FEELINGS for them. It's all about helping people with their problems and forming healthy relationships with them.

That said, it is poorly executed. First off, although part of me has a tug of sympathy and smiles on Tooru for her cute Pollyanna-ness, she is unrealistic. She is totally a Purity Sue. C'mon. Her only possible flaw is being psychotically concerned with others and dismissive of her own substantial problems. People like that do not exist, period. It may be nice and heart-warming, but it's also annoying because it makes the whole series seem that phony.

And then there's everything else. Takaya is a so-so writer and her characters aren't very interesting. From what I've read, for the most part, it's difficult to sympathize with their dramas. Kyo in particular is a jerk and it's frustrating to see Tooru feel sorry for him when he's being so pointlessly hostile. The martial arts aspect feels tacked-on. Heck, even the Zodiac premise is dumb. O noes, I turn into animals when someone hugs me. Cute, cute animals. How can I live with myself?

I also find the English translation by Tokyopop to be unnatural-sounding and inappropriate with the tone at times. Finally, the art is mediocre (by professional standards, at least); in particular, the eyes look creepy most of the time.

I have both read the manga and watched the anime, and although I understand that the anime cuts off the story rather badly, I enjoyed it more than the manga from what I saw.


  • rickdakirb
  • 19th Feb 12
Did you actually finish the manga? All your comments about Kyo being an unrelatable jerk and Tohru having no flaws are completely wrong, as by the end of the manga both are explained. There's a reason Kyo acts like such a jerk to Tohru. EVERYTHING in the manga has some reason behind it. Even when you think you know all the backstory, there's more. You don't finish with the backstory until around Chapter 134 of the Manga. So just saying, a lot of your comments are innaccurate considering you didn't finish the manga.
  • Kaizoku20
  • 19th Feb 12
This so-called review is a complete joke. Your complaints about Tohru are poorly thought out. It's not your place to say what type of people live in this world. If you just need her to have more faults acknowledge her naivete, how overemotional she is, how hard she is on herself for making mistakes, how fearing to impose on others causes her to burden herself unnecessarily, how she is so soft-spoken and unassertive that she does not always say what she really feels, how she doubts her own self-worth due to being either ignored or bullied by her classmates early in her life and being rejected by her father's family (except her grandfather) who judge her mother for being a delinquent in her youth and will gladly badmouth her in Tohru's face even after she died horribly, and how much of a ditzy klutz she is. She has faults that are called out by the other characters and she needs their friendship and support to get her through her own issues.

How is martial arts aspect tacked on? What was actually wrong with the tone Tokyo Pop used? Actually explain a talking point you make for a change.

Your complaint over the zodiac curse is pretty shallow as well. The curse is more than just turning into a cute animal. For one thing, it causes the cursed characters to have to act with extreme caution in public unless some bystander freaks out and the whole family's privacy is in danger. The zodiac members are all psychologically linked to a "God" that treats them like objects whose feelings, wants, and opinions are irrelevant. Akito is so wrapped up in her own issues she neither thinks about nor cares about the moral implications anything horrible she does. For example, there is her obsessive need to keep all male zodiac members to herself. This has led to the maiming, Mind Rape, or imprisonment of other women whether they are cursed or not. The males suffer from having any happiness they crave with a female companion taken from them because "God" said no. Even without Akito, being cursed leads to other problems the zodiac members have to overcome. There's Hatsuharu's complex over being the "stupid ox", Kisa being bullied over her hair color, Momiji being rejected by his own mother for a condition he was born with, and Yuki's overbearing mother using him for social status. Then there's Kyo being held responsible for his mother's death when he wasn't, being hated by his birth father, being fated to live in isolation for the rest of his life after he finished high school, and that hideous transformation he undergoes if his beads come off.

  • fordelulzst4rawr
  • 24th May 12
tohru isnt a purity sue, she seems like it in the first few books, but she is acting like that because her parents died.AND THE EYES ARE NOT CREEPY, well when there not angry.
  • Rinne
  • 20th Aug 12
I would give a rebuttal here supporting the OP, but I can't think of good enough words to sum it up. Therefore, I'll quote someone's response to an Okami review that found itself in a similar scenario.

"Finding faults is the line between being a fan and being a fanatic."
  • Kaizoku20
  • 20th Aug 12
The OP wasn't pointing out any legitimate faults the series actually had and we are not fanatics for defending it. The OP lacks basic knowledge of the series and so they were responded to.
  • Rinne
  • 22nd Aug 12
Reviews are merely voiced opinions - when you refuse to acknowledge their side of the argument and insult their reasoning instead, it becomes disconcerting. I don't agree with some of the O Ps concerns, mainly the fact that animal transformation =/= trauma (if I turned into an animal for any reason I'd be upset), but from what I read of the series I can agree with their points. Yours, however, come off as overly aggressive and seem more there to prove the OP wrong rather than to present another view of the story.

Additionally, I will say I only read Fruits Basket partially, after which point the story failed to hold me and I read summaries for the rest. No matter how much character development is present in the second half, if they remain uninteresting or even unlikeable for the first half, you won't be able to keep everyone.
  • Kaizoku20
  • 22nd Aug 12
Why shouldn't I prove the OP wrong if they are objectively wrong? How can relate to the opinions of someone if they aren't based off fact? Her simple description of the plot and main character was legitimately wrong so I called it out. She treats the main character as a faultless saint even though she is not and her faults are obvious from the start, as I explained. Simplifying the trouble being a cursed person was already discussed so I won't go into it again. If your going to say the translation was poor, your going to be asked why. The OP doesn't explain.

I didn't complain about the OP finding Kyo irritating or some of the characters uninteresting because they can feel that way if they just do. I didn't argue about how she should feel about the artwork either.

The parts of her review that were opinion based were largely left alone but everything else was responded to.
  • Mimimurlough
  • 23rd Aug 14
Spot on. The romance with Kyo in particular I found disturbing, since what he's doing is basically emotional abuse and no amount of feudian excuses in the world can undo the effect it has. The same goes for Hiro's and Kisa's relationship. Tohru does come across as a Mary Sue (likes to do housework, really?) but there is also an interestnig element of extremely low self esteem that is perhaps unintentional.
  • Austin
  • 16th Oct 14
review points out that the series defenders can be fanatical
gets jumped by multiple fanatical fans

It's hilarious how lacking in self-awareness people can be.

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