Fruits Basket Ultimate Edition Volume 1

The author, Natsuki Takaya, is most famous for her work ‘Fruits Basket’ which is one of the top-selling Shoujo series on the market.

This special Hardcover edition of the acclaimed Shoujo series collects Volumes 1 and 2 in a larger format with a wealth of extras, all for the price of less than two individual volumes. Cover image and preview pages can be found at the Fruits Basket Ultimate Edition page.

Volume 1:

 

This volume introduces the basic plot about the members of the Sohma household and their struggle with the Chinese Zodiac curse that transforms them into animals whenever they are hugged by the opposite sex. Tohru Honda, a recently orphaned girl, comes across a strange house and meets Shigure, Yuki, Kyo, and Kagura Sohma, whose character traits resemble those of the animal that possesses them. Thus begins Tohru’s adventures with the quirky Sohma family!

 

Tohru is a genuinely kind and likable character. We start to see traces of a love triangle between Tohru, Yuki, and Kyo. Because this is Shoujo, the love triangle will most likely be developed in future volumes. I would say I’m cheering for Kyo to win Tohru’s heart because underneath his crabby exterior is a sensitive and caring guy. Plus Yuki felt a little too stuck-up to me, even though we see his sensitive side, too.

This volume doesn’t start off very plot-heavy, but it does a good job of introducing the characters and their conflicts to us. There’s already a rival for Kyo’s affections, but Tohru’s not too concerned with that right now. The art is not spectacular-it seems simple compared to other Shoujo-but it gets the job done right. The events of this volume aren’t too exciting, but the depth of the characters is what really hooked me.

Volume 2:

Tohru’s school prepares for the annual Cultural Festival which makes for funny, heartfelt moments. Crossdressing seeps its way into the story with hilarious results as the author states she had really wanted to draw it (why not?). Before the festival starts, random smooching foreigners abound when Tohru meets a German-speaking boy who knows her name for some reason. We then meet two more Sohmas, Hatori and Momiji (another cute addition), each possessed with their own unique animal.

 

The last few chapters devoted to Hatori and Tohru’s meeting were the most touching of all and confirmed to me that it is worth it to collect consecutive volumes of this series to see how this engaging story plays out.

The emotional effect of the Sohma family curse is heightened as we discover it negatively affects their relationships with others. After all, how can you find love with somebody when you can’t even hug them properly? The characters in this manga really do grow on you, which make it a pleasure to read with them. The characterization is well-rounded with unique characters who have amazing depth.

It looks as though the art has improved a little since the first volume but it was never lacking to begin with. The word balloons flow from one to another really well, so there’s no question as to what’s being said next (sometimes word balloons can be placed in a confusing order in Shoujo). I truly would like to stay with this series until the very end.

You can find Fruits Basket at just about any comic or book retailer. If not, special order it! If you haven’t yet read Fruits Basket, I highly recommend buying the Ultimate Edition because it’s a great bargain, and it’s just plain fun to read manga in a larger format.

1 Response so far »

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    […] 29, 2008 · Filed under New Review Posts The Fruits Basket Ultimate Edition Review is now up!Please excuse the different fonts throughout the review because it doesn’t work out in […]


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