Saturday, March 13, 2021

Review: FRUITS BASKET ANOTHER, VOL. 1 by Natsuki Takaya

Rating: 3/5 stars

The original Fruits Basket manga is very beloved to me. It was the first manga I ever read and the first manga series I completed, and it’s the only manga I own, and I own every volume in the original editions. I love the series so much, so I was intrigued and excited but also nervous to see a spin-off of the series one day when I was browsing the bookstore. 

Fruits Basket Another follows Sawa Mitoma as she meets a bunch of Sohmas at school and eventually gets invited over to their house for dinner. That’s pretty much the whole book, and I hate to admit this, but I didn’t really see the point? I was pretty confused the whole time. 

First of all, this felt and looked so similar to the original series that it bothered me. Sawa looks almost identical to Tohru. Hajime looks just like his father, Kyo, and Mutsuki looks just like his father, Yuki, to the point that if I didn’t know better, that’s who I’d assume they were. Even the Prince Yuki Fan Club president’s daughter was the Sohma Family Fan Club president in this book and looked just like her as well. It just seemed a bit . . . unrealistic and borderline humorous, almost like Furuba fan fiction because of how uncannily similar this story was to the original storyline and art. Kids do not always look like their parents or follow in their footsteps, so the fact that the entire cast looks exactly like their parents and are all the same age at the same time and are in the same school and even have the same personalities as their parents felt like deja vu, and that really prevented me from fully loving and embracing this story like I did with the original series. 

I am so happy that we got to see Kyo and Yuki’s children, but I would have liked to see more originality with their personalities. I also really want to see Tohru and Kyo and Yuki as adults so I hope they at least make a cameo sometime in the next two installments. 

I felt like this story was largely unnecessary, but I love Fruits Basket with my whole heart so I will read any stories or spin-offs set in this world even if they have no plot. Fruits Basket Another is only three volumes long so I intend to finish it pretty soon, and hopefully the story will make more sense and come together more in the next book. It also probably doesn’t help that I read this book during my breaks at work spread across a week. I feel like if I had read the whole book in one sitting then I might have got more out of it? I don’t know for sure though. 

Overall I was a bit disappointed with this book, but I have hopes the next two books will be better. Fruits Basket pretty much owns my heart and nothing can hold a candle to it, even a spin-off of itself, apparently. 

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