Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Monday, March 28, 2011

Plot Summary:
Based on the popular Shojo Manga, Miyazaki has brought Natsuki Takaya's beloved story to life. Tohru Honda has never had it really easy. She lost her father when she was just an infant and her mother was killed in a car accident a year ago. She currently lives with her grandfather, who is the middle of remodeling their home, so Tohru has taken it upon herself to live in a tent to spare her grandfather any hardship. However, none of her family, or friends, know that she is "camping out" until Yuki Sohma, the most popular guy in school, discovers her secret (she is living on Sohma land). When things could not get worse, Tohru's tent is later swallowed up by a landslide and finds herself the newest resident of the Sohma house (she is the live in housekeeper). Things seems to be working out well for Tohru and Yuki, until she meets Kyo (Yuki's cousin) who not only barges in, but Thoru runs into him turning him into a cat. What she doesn't realize is this family has a dark secret--whenever a member of the opposite touches them they turn into animals of the Chinese Zodiac. 

Critical Evaluation:
After reading the entire manga, I must say that this series is just wonderful. The only problem with the anime is that it only cover about the first 15 volumes of the manga, which is due to the fact that the series was released before Takaya finished the series. However, despite the fact viewers don't get the full story, it is spot on with the series, which makes the viewers want to read the entire manga. The English and Japanese cast are both wonderfully done (translations are pretty good). Although this series is aimed at teenage girls, boys will enjoy the anime since the tumultuous relationship between Yuki and Kyo is rather entertaining. Moreover, the simplistic drawings and dialogue not only capture viewers hearts,. but provide an exceptional example of kindness, love, and empathy.  

Information about the Author/Director:
Unfortunately, there is not a lot of information on Nagisa Miyazaki; however, she has had an extensive career working an a director, animator, and writer. According to IMDB.com, she has been involved in nineteen anime television series and uses an alternate name, Haruka Ninomiya, for other series. 

Genre:
Teen Anime

Curriculum Tie-In's:
N/A


Reading Level/Interest:
Teens 13 & up


Challenge Issues:
N/A


Series Similar to Fruits Basket:
Awards & Recognition:
N/A

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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