|Fruits Basket is a sweet, very shoujo
manga series about Handa Tooru wanting to fit in
somewhere. Tooru's mother has died recently, leaving the
energetic Tooru to defend for herself. She decides to get
a part-time job and buy a tent to serve as her home. As
she is walking by a house near her tent, she sees some
rocks painted of the animals that represent years of the
calendar. A young man who lives in the house, Shigure,
talks with Tooru about the rocks and the legend of why
there is no year of the cat. Since childhood Yooru has
always felt bad for the cat who was left out. Souma Yuki
(top pic, left) enters the room, surprising Tooru. He is
a boy who goes to Tooru's school. It turns out the home
belongs to the Souma family.
As it happens, it is high winds season, and poor Tooru's tent is buried in a mud slide along with the picture of her mother. She tries to dig it up, but since she is ill, Shigure and Yuki convince her to go back to their home to rest. She wakes up the next morning to find that Yuki had somehow gotten her mother's picture out of the large mound of dirt. With her tent gone and little money in her pocket, Tooru becomes a new member in the Souma household.
And that isn't the fun part. Souma Kyou (top pic, right) returns home to finish a long going battle with Yuki. When Tooru attempts to stop the boy, she accidentally hugs him instead...and *poof* Kyou turns into a cat. Tooru, in high distress, runs about until she bumps into Yuki and Shigure...who turn into a mouse and dog respectively. And thus Tooru learns the secret of the Souma family: some of the family are "possessed" by the twelve animals of the calendar, while Kyou is the cat who got left out. Whenever a member of the opposite sex touches them just right, they turn into their respective animals for short amount of time. Needless to say, this creates some interesting living conditions for Tooru.
The best part of this series the mixture of insanity and shoujo-ness. The characters all have their "interesting" aspects that really carries the series. First starting Fruits Basket, I wasn't that impressed, but this is certainly a series that gets better once the base has been laid. I have to highly suggested the anime series as well since it follows the manga rather closely and really gives the manga life.
Rating -- 8.5