Natsuki Takaya’s story “Fruits Basket” first arrived in the U.S. in 2004 when Tokyopop published translated versions of her 1998 series. Now younger and newer manga fans can check out this popular shoujo series with Yen Press’s collected editions.

“Fruits Basket” focuses on the young high school student Tohru Honda that lives on her own in a tent in the forest after tragically losing her mother. To avoid becoming grief stricken, Tohru finds a job and makes her own place to stay while people renovate her grandfather’s house. Misfortune strikes her again (or is it luck this time) when she finds her tent was destroyed in a landslide. Yuki Sohma, a classmate who learns about Tohru’s struggle, lets her live with him and his cousin, Shigure just until her grandfather finishes renovations. Yuki Sohma’s offer surprises Tohru, especially since Yuki is known as the “Prince” of the school and has quite a popular following. Tohrutries to act modest and humble, thinking she will be a nuisance to them, but ends up becoming both tenant and housekeeper,, which brings delight to the young men for they are terrible cooks

Takaya’s series is one that some could say they grew up with. Readers follow Tohru, Yuki and Kyo as they go through high school and essentially grow up into their own. The story develops too, from innocent beginning to mature drama. As with the story, so does Takaya’s art transform. It is amazing to compare her style in the first pages made in 1998 to its last chapter which she drew in 2006.

Studio Deen created a 26-episode anime adaptation of the manga back in 2001. It follows the manga mostly, but since Takaya still worked on the books at the time, the show has its own ending. Still, it Studio Deen is faithful to the source, and even the English dub that Funimation adds to it is really good.

Yen Press’s translations are different to the Tokyopop ones, but still keep the same meanings including some of Shigure’s puns. For more information, visit Yen Press or your local comic vendor.

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