Fruits Basket Vol. 1 by Natsuki Takaya
Japanese Titles: フルーツバスケット, Furūtsu Basuketto
Original Run: January 1999-November 2006
Published by TokyoPop
Volumes: 23

GENRE: Manga, Comedy, Romance

TEASER: Has Torhu finally found a real home? Can she keep the Sohma’s curse a secret and avoid the attention of the head of the family?

SUMMARY: Fruits Basket is the story of Tohru Honda. Tohru is and orphan who has been living in the woods in a tent because she has no where else to go. When Yuki and Shigure Sohma find out they offer her a job as their housekeeper. But there is as curse on the Sohma family. Anytime they are hugged by a member of the oposite sex, they turn into a animal of the Chinese zodiac. After she discovers their secret through a series a of hilarious events, will Tohru be able to keep on living with the Sohmas?

CRITIQUE: This first volume is a great entry into the series. The dialogue is very funny and entertaining. There are elements of comedy, romance, and action. The first volume doesn’t get too dark or heavy. There are a few moments when dealing with Tohru’s family. When she moves in with her relatives after the remodeling is done on their home they are very cruel to her. They make it clear that she is not wanted their. There are also hints of future tensions within the family. Akito will prove to be a character of conflict within the story.

The art is very feminine and sometimes childlike which is common for girls manga. i am not always a fan of this style of drawing but this manga was so funny and cute that I hardly noticed. Torhu is also the type of character who annoys me but I found myself actually liking her in this series. This cast of characters is quirky and fun. THis should be very entertaining series.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Natsuki Takaya is the pen name of Naka Hatake, a female mangaka (manga artist). Other series by Takaya are Phantom Dream, Because You Smile When I Sing,, Hoshi wa Utau , and Tsubasa: Those with Wings. Fruits Basket has been adapted into a twenty-six episode anime series.

Takaya grew up in Tokyo. She enjoys drawing girls and children the most. She also is a fan of the Final Fantasy video game series.

AUTHOR’S WEBSITE: N/A

READING LEVEL Rated T 13+

CHALLENGE ISSUES: N/A

DEFENSE: N/A

CURRICULUM TIES: N/A

BOOKTALKING IDEAS: Talk about the Chinese zodiac and all of it’s respective parts.

WHY INCLUDED: I have been hearing for years about the glories of Fruits Basket. It is also one of the most popular shokjo mangas in the world.

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