Books before food (and any sort of comfortable life).
Summary: Tohru Honda was an orphan, living with her grandfather, when one day fate kicked her out of the house and she was forced to take up residence in a tent in the forest. Little did she know that the land she was staying on belonged to the Sohma family, a mysterious clan. After stumbling upon the teenage squatter, the Sohmas invite Tohru to stay in their house in exchange for housework. Everything’s going well until she discovers the Sohma family’s greatest secret: when hugged by members of the opposite sex, they each turn into their Chinese Zodiac animal!
The first time I heard about this manga, I was honestly just like, “… What. What is this.” The entire premise is odd, to say the least. But it is the best-selling manga of all time in the US, so I wanted to give it a chance. And can I say that I can no longer utter the name “Fruits Basket” without bursting into inconsolable tears? This book series ruined my life. It’s a life ruiner. I now understand what all the hype was about. The storyline is touching yet heart-wrenching. The characters are flawed and loving them comes easy. If you don’t immediately love them, you grow to love them. And the story of the Sohma family curse? Extremely thoughtful. Natsuki Takaya put a lot of thought into the story of the curse. And the backgrounds of the characters were very well thought-out, also. Everyone was connected in some way. It was brilliant. How could this series get any better?? you ask! The whole time… throughout the manga… YOU CAN VISIBLY SEE THE CHARACTERS AGING. Mind=Blown. Do I even have to mention the little things that bothered me since it was so amazing in general? *Sigh.* I guess I should. The very first volume (23 in all—I was very dedicated) was first published in 1999. The English version was published in 2004. I don’t know whether it was the space in time or the English translator, but the first half-dozen or so volumes actually sound like they were written in the 90’s. I found myself going, “Wow, the characters sure talk funny…” Another thing that bothered me a little was the fact that there were many side-stories—some of which were unnecessary. I felt that Takaya could have condensed the story into less volumes if she had gotten rid of them. Not to say they weren’t good. Just unnecessary. So these are my two grievances. But the fact that the story was one of my top favorites that I’ve ever read, I forgive them. I debated on not reviewing this series because it’s actually out of print. *BOWS AND REPEATS HER THOUSANDS OF SORRIES.* But I think everyone should try to read this series if they can. There’s always the library. :]