Thursday, June 26, 2008

Fruits Basket

You may be wondering why I'd bother watching something clearly aimed at younger girls. Believe me, I asked myself the same question. Although I don't think it's a bad thing to get a variety of experiences. Fruits Basket is about a ludicrously kind high school girl who becomes friends with the younger members of a reclusive family. The twist at the end of the first episode is that some of them turn into animals of the zodiac when hugged or bumped into by a member of the opposite sex. Holy crap! Hilarity ensues. I'd say it's a reverse of the normal romantic comedy with a girl in the middle instead of a dopey guy, but the show's really more about developing the constantly growing cast and making you depressed once in a while than real romance. It's not particularly funny either, but few animes are.

My real problem with the show is a common one for the medium. It's based on a manga, and instead of adapting the entire story, they only adapt part of it, presumably so people curious about what happens next will start reading the source material. I just noticed I've never defined what manga is for any normal people who stumble upon this, so it's just a Japanese comic book. Anyway, Fruits Basket is at times pretty well animated, usually mildly entertaining, and the story has more emotional depth than is standard. Sometimes they're a little too obvious with making the backstories of the various characters as sad as possible, but they develop it pretty well. They build to a decent climax and resolution, but the story still feels incomplete at the end because it is. The villain isn't really that nefarious, he's just a huge dick who only shows up randomly to act like a huge dick. In the end, I didn't wish I hadn't watched it, so there you go.

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