Also Known As: FB, Furuba
Genre: Comedy/Drama
Format: 26 Episodes
Allegiance: Studio DEEN
Director: Daichi Akitarou
Vintage: 2001
Intelligence Agency Report by: Drake
After Honda Tohru’s mother died in a car accident, Tohru was left to her grandfather who at the time resided with relatives who did not look so fondly on Tohru due to her mother. However, when her grandfather’s house was slated for renovations, Tohru set off to a forest and set up a tent until renovations were finished to avoid being a burden to others. One fateful day, as she was leaving for school; Tohru noticed a house in the middle of the forest, inhabited by members of the Sohma family. Eventually, she took up residence with them, and becomes entwined with a deep dark secret.

Field Agent Report by: Drake
Plot
Characters
Impact
Visual
Audio
8.50
9.75
10.00
9.50
8.00
Overall 9.50

At first sight, Fruits Basket appears to be your typical shoujo anime with a young girl surrounded by a bunch of bishounen. However, looking past that first impression you’ll find a very touching story with a very realistic premise, despite how people turn into an animal of the Chinese Zodiac when hugged by a member of the opposite sex.

The thing that made Fruits Basket so special, compared to most other anime, was the usage of plot to further develop the viewer’s relationship or understanding with the characters. In most cases, it was possible to associate with each and every character regardless of the amount of screen time the character received. In some scenes the bonds I felt with some characters was so intense that I was brought to tears, happiness or grief given the situation. While such emotion may not come to many viewers in the opening episodes, over time, the characters do show enormous signs of development and are truly fleshed out into three-dimensional people.

Many people may question the level of the plot since the characters are the main focus. However, this concern is futile considering how beautifully interwoven the plot and characters are. The process of unveiling the secret curse of the Sohma family through day-to-day life and revelations of the next Zodiac member is beautifully done through out the series along with the drama that ensues in the series. The only qualm I hold with the show is the slow progress of the second half and a quick ending with many loose ends to tie up. Hopefully someday Studio DEEN will make a sequel to tie up those loose ends.

Not only did the premise and character development make a great impact on me, but the art was terrific was well. The character designs for the most part were very vivid and well-drawn. Also, with great seamless movement from one frame to another, there’s no reason to doubt the animators put their hearts and souls into Fruits Basket.

Overall, this is probably of the best anime I’ve seen in a long time. Of course not everyone will be full of praise for this anime, but I feel this is a very touching story. So if you’re in the mood for a great story with much comic relief, love, drama and a little action, check out Fruits Basket!