Thursday, January 27, 2011

Review : Fruits Basket Vols 14-16

 Fruits Basket has consistently been number one in sales in the United States. It is equally popular in Japan. the series has officially been concluded as of issue 23. I first discovered Fruits Basket through the Anime series. It was one of the most beautiful series I've ever seen. Many an episode left me in tears. There is a wonderful sweetness and sharing of life's experience wrapped into this series coupled with all the fun aspects of a shojo/girls manga.
the star of this series is Tohru Honda a young teen girl who through a series of misfortunes finds herself living in a tent in the woods. She doesn't let her friends know and her one remaining relative who cares: her grandfather, is in the hospital recovering from a surgery.  Tohru is discovered at her campsite by the Sohma family. One of the elder members of the family Shigure , invites Tohru to live with them. Tohru accepts
only if they agree to let her handle the cooking and cleaning chores. As she settles into the pace of the household and begins to get closer Yuki Sohma she learns about the curse on the Sohma family: If any of them afflicted with the curse are hugged by a member of the opposite sex they or if they are exhausted or sick the turn into one of animals representing one of the animals of the zodiac.
Along with this curse there are additional dark secrets and pain inside the Sohma family. Tohru's natural warmth and spirit bring a life to this family that never existed before. Tohru decides rather quickly that she is going to do her best to break the curse.
Volumes 14-16 are midpoints in this tale. Yuki, Tohru and Kyo another Sohma cousin who is the Cat are growing up and facing their fears and thinking about there future. In volumes 14  we learn more about Isuzu who is the zodiac sign of the horse. She passes out sick on the steps of the Somha household and Tohru immediately is concerned for her. she rebuffs Tohru's initial advance  for help afraid to show weakness to admit she needs help. Isuzu is equally obsessed with fixing the curse mostly because of her love fro Hatsuharu. This issue also shows Yuki and his connetion to a new friends. Yuki also begins to come to terms with his past and his feelings towards Tohru.
In issue 15 We delve more into Yukis past and his personal pain. Yuki also realizes that his feelings for Tohru are not necessarily romantic but deep nonetheless. Kyo is suffering along with Tohru and their group of friends in a retelling of Cinderella for the schools Cultural festival.
This issue balances fun and serious issues which is a talent of Natsuki Takaya in her series.
In issue 16 The focus is on Kyo as he remembers an interaction he had with tohru's  mother Kyoko. We finally get to know more about Kyoko's past and tohru's father. A beautiful bittersweet issue with some foreshadowing about a dark secret Kyo is hiding about his involvement in Kyoko's death. A secret tht keeps him from confessing his feelings to Tohru.
These three volumes really move the action and plot in a direction to conclude the series. I cant wait to read the remaining volumes.



1 comment:

Orchid said...

Fruits Basket is definitely one of my absolute favorite mangas. Thanks for sharing (I have volumes 15 & 16 checked out from the library). I accidentally already found out how the series ends, but I still can't wait to actually read how it ends. ^_^