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Fruits Basket Vol. 1, by Takaya Natsuki

(Image credit:

Natsuki, Takaya. Fruits Basket. 1. Los Angeles, CA: TOKYOPOP, 1998. Print.

Annotation: When her mother dies, leaving her an orphan, self-sufficient Tohru finds herself living alone in a tent while she goes to school and works. But some new friends take her in, and accidentally share with her a family secret—they’re cursed, possessed by the spirits of the animals of the Chinese Zodiac!


Tohru Honda’s a pretty determined girl. After her mother dies, she’s left an orphan, and her extended family isn’t able to keep her. Living alone in a tent, keeping up with a job, and going to school every day is enough to wear anyone out. One of her classmates lives nearby, the fantastically cute Yuki Sohma! When they hear of her living situation, he and his family invite her to stay with them. But there’s more to this quirky group than meets the eye. Their secret? Sometimes—and they can’t always control it!—members of the Sohma family turn into animals. Living in their house, Tohru sees this happen. All the members of their family, they explain, are possessed by the spirits of the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac…and the angry, displaced cat.

If you’re a newcomer to shoujo manga (Japanese comics for young adult girls), this is a fun place to start. Meet the Sohmas and learn their secret along with Tohru. Maybe you can find out why Kyo, the cat, is so angry…


Kodansha Manga Award, 2001

American Anime Award, 2007


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