Book Review: Fruits Basket Another1-3

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Did you like OG Fruits Basket? You’ll like this.

I decided to read this series entirely because quarantine has led me to read tons of of anime I used to love. The original Fruits Basket manga has been remade last year and wow it’s fantastic. It spurred me on to reread the original series, which I’m slowly going through, and to pick up this one. If you’re a Fruits Basket fan, you will enjoy this.

This series is three volumes (it should have been longer!) and is written in nearly the identical form of the original. Whereas in the original our protagonist, Tohru, was an optimistic, happy girl who finds her life intertwined with the Sohma’s, in this series, Sawa Mitoma is a nervous, anxious girl who prefers to not socialize if possible. She ends up somehow making friends with many members of the Sohma family, who are all the children of the characters in the original series. There’s callbacks to instances in the original, but not so many that someone who was just picking this up on a whim wouldn’t understand.

The biggest difference between the two series is, for me, this series is a lot more grounded in reality. Sawa has legitimate issues dealing with other people and is constantly plagued by anxiety. Her relationship with her mother is abusive at best, and her new friends try to help her accept herself and prove to her that she is fun to be around and not worthless like she’s been told her entire life. It’s pretty powerful and I think any teen who has dealt with emotional manipulation may really relate to this series.

That isn’t to say this series doesn’t have it’s fun, light moments! It absolutely does, but I think this series does a good job of expressing how the choices parents make can befall their children and stigmatize them forever. Many of the children are trying not to live in the shadow of their parents and make the same mistakes they did, while others are trying to embrace the family they come from and accept their role. It’s a pretty interesting story of family dynamics and the idea of a found family, and I really enjoyed it. Not as memorable as the original series, but I think it’s a pretty apt change for our current society. I would absolutely recommend this if you enjoyed either the original manga or anime.

Title: Fruits Basket Another 1-3
Author: Natsuki Takaya
Format: Paperback
Pages: 192 / 194 / 178
ISBN: 9781975353391 // 9781975382247 // 9781975358594

Three Descriptors: Nostalgic, Heartwarming, Cozy

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