ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Clan of Secret Jerks: A Look At "Fruits Basket"

Updated on December 23, 2015

Fruits Basket may have ended almost ten years ago, but people are still talking about it. It's the finishing diamond on the tiara of Takaya's career, the foot to her boot, the mac to her cheese--oh, I do go on. But you get my drift. This bad boy is a shojo classic, ladies and germs, using an innocent art style and seemingly shallow genre to suck you into a tornado of existential darkness.

And if you're thinking, "Why are you reviewing this? Dude, comics aren't literature," see the link below to a previous post, oh padawan.

Says the grouchy-exterior-mushy-interior male hero in a shojo anime who is in no way typical himself.
Says the grouchy-exterior-mushy-interior male hero in a shojo anime who is in no way typical himself.

Some God-Awful Boring (But Not Really!) Background

This is a story about a clan possessed by spirits of the Chinese zodiac; when hugged by members of the opposite sex, they turn into these spirits. They naturally want to keep this creepy curse to themselves, but alas, they are discovered by an orphan girl who stumbles (literally) upon their secret.

This manga was pretty hot stuff here in the great U.S. I may or may not have been drawn into its sparkles and charm. I also may or may not have frequently lurked under the covers and scoured the internet to download crappy scans in Japanese (hey, I could at least look at the pictures, all right?).

But this wasn't just a weird American obsession. Fruits Basket was considered by both critics and audiences to be one of the best shojo (or shoujo, if you're not too lazy to type that extra vowel) manga in Japan.

Why, you ask? Because of its characters. Takaya fleshes all of them out with lengthy back stories, dark pasts, and a humanity that you don't usually see in a genre dominated by gender ambiguous males, glittery backgrounds, and puffy hair.

Granted, it does have its far share of clichés: the ditzy heroine, the bad boy with a heart of gold, prince charming,etc. Yet these setups are where the talent of the author comes into play. She uses them as vehicles to explore darker issues of obsession, abandonment, and the dismal reality that there's no such thing as earthly eternity.

Da Characters

Maybe you still aren't interested. Maybe you think the whole genre is garbage and that one story about animals is hardly going to change your mind. Well, climb off your high horse, loser, and check out our main players.

Meet our usual bubbly heroine, who actually uses her appearance of ditziness to hide all of her emotional baggage, such as a terror of change that's utterly psychotic. And her “quirky” friends aren't the usual schoolgirl comedic relief. They come from pasts of gang brutality and violent telekinetic powers (which sounds a lot weirder than it is, I swear).

Now meet the school's usual prince charming. Go on, shake his hand. Good. Now wipe it on your pants so you don't catch his psychological trauma, because man, doesn't this guy have insecurity issues, along with a wild (though not entirely unfounded) fear of neglect.

And finally, check out the bad boy. Fine, isn't he? Sure, if it wasn't for his petty grudge-holding, built-up resentment, and social awkwardness which cancels out any potential sex appeal (though it gets better).

"The hell?" you're thinking. "This sounds awful and depressing. " That's what makes it cool, not to mention memorable.For at the end, Fruits Basket is a story of hope. We get to watch these characters fight, struggle, and finally stumble out of the dark path and into the first rays of new beginnings.

So what're you waiting for? Have at it.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)