Hey again everybody! Goodness I am being such a lazy blogger lately. I apologize, I swear, and hopefully on Monday I’ll have some time to really catch up. That being said I did spend some time yesterday reading Volume 2 of Fruits Basket so I could do a review for you all 🙂 If you didn’t catch my Fruits Basket Revisited: Volume One post please check it out before reading further if you are unfamiliar with this series. While there will this post written without any spoilers for volume 2 there will be spoilers for volume one. You have been warned.
Okay now it’s time to go full steam ahead! The first volume one is a great introduction to the series. Our lead character is Tohru Honda is a sweet (if not a bit of an airhead) first year high school girl who’s been thrust into unfortunate circumstances. Her father died when she was three and after his death her mother raised her as a single parent. Her mother never graduated high school and dreamed of seeing her daughter graduate. To Tohru’s horror though her mother dies in a tragic accident shortly after Tohru begins high school.
Tohru eventually moves into her grandfather’s place but it’s not long before that becomes inconvenient. Her grandfather will be remodeling his house in order for his daughter’s family to move in with them. He asks Tohru if she has anywhere she can stay while the house is under construction. Not wanting to be a bother she tells her grandfather she does, even though she doesn’t. Instead she finds a tent on clearance and pitches a tent in the middle of some woods. You got to give her props for resourcefulness… Granted Shigure mostly laughs when he finds out.
While living in the woods she stumbles upon the Yuki Sohma’s home. A boy in the same grade as her who is considered the prince of her school due to his good looks and polite nature. She mentions that she lives around the area and Yuki and Shigure (Yuki’s uncle) seem surprised by this. Yuki and Shigure later stumble upon Tohru’s little tent home and after a landslide crushes it, convince her to stay at their home for the night.
She later learns that the land belongs to them and that is why they found it so curious that she said she lived nearby. Tohru offers to pay rent in order to continue staying there but Shigure comes up with a better solution. Their home is a total man cave so Shigure suggest she stays with them until she can go back to her grandfather’s house. He also explains that if she feels uncomfortable staying without paying she can be in charge of all the housework and cooking. Tohru readily accepts.
It is after this she discovers the Sohma curse. Certain members of the Sohma family cursed and whenever they are hugged by a member of the opposite sex or are under intense physical stress (like being sick) they turn into a member of the zodiac! After Tohru finds out she promises to keep there secret but Yuki warns her it might not be that simple. The head of the family, Akito, will be the one to really make that choice and if he choses to he will have Tohru’s memory erased. Tohru accepts this as a possibility but asks Yuki to remain friends with her even if her memory is erased.
This is really a clue into Tohru’s personality and what she brings to the table. Yuki is floored that even though she knows he turns into the rat she isn’t repulsed or scared of him. I was dig deeper into the Sohma family curse we see that there is a history of them feeling like total outsiders because of their curse.
This is also evident when Tohru meets Kyo a member of the Sohma family who represents the cat in the zodiac story. While Yuki is accepted into the Sohma family as the year of the rat, the Sohma family shuns Kyo. Like the story of the zodiac the cat was tricked into not attending the banquet so the Sohma’s seem to carry on the tradition by excluding Kyo.
At the end of volume one it is decided that Tohru will stay permanently with the Sohma’s (Shigure, Yuki, and Kyo) after it is discovered that her Aunt and family (excluding her grandfather) are total douchebags. It is also hinted at by Kagura (another member of the zodiac who proclaims her love for Kyo) that Kyo has another form besides his cat form. On top of that Shigure and Akito (whom we haven’t officially met) discuss Tohru as the woman who will possible break the family curse. How or why she would be able to still remains unclear.
It is on this note where volume 2 begins. I like volume 2 because you start to learn more about Tohru’s friends and the dynamics between Yuki and Kyo. Through Toruh’s friends you begin to see tidbits of the type of person Tohru is. While she may be a smidge of an airhead you see through them that her dedication to her friends is unmatched. Not only that but when talking with her friends we learn that when Tohru was a young kid a boy helped to lead her home after she was lost and left her his hat. Tohru describes him as her first love. Kyo over hears this and the drawings pan to Yuki as well. Could one of them have been this boy? Or do the know who he was?
You also learn more about Yuki and Kyo. While they seem to thoroughly hate each other it becomes evident to Tohru that their hatred is more like misplaced jealous of one another. They each have traits the other values and this cause them to lash out at each other. Almost like looking at each other causes them to constantly come face to face with their shortcomings.
Volume 2 shows that while they may fight with each other they both agree on the importance of Tohru to themselves. This causes a bridge of shorts between them. They may not be running through meadows singing about starlight but they are able to get through meals (most of them) without destroying the dinning room.
Tohru is also able to meet two more members of the zodiac during this volume. Hatori and Momiji show up on the scene in style crashing the kids’ cultural festival. While Momiji seems like a lovable elementary school kid Yuki warns Tohru to never be alone with Hatori.
Yuki reminds her of a childhood incident he told her about previously where he accidently transformed in front of a bunch of kids. Hatori was the one who erased their memories after Akito explained to Yuki that he was repulsive and that was why it needed to be done.
Hatori is determined to meet with Tohru on his own and arranges for Toruh to come to the main house on the Sohma estate. Once there he warns Tohru that she should distance herself from the Sohma family as he fears that Akito as well as Shigure are only manipulating her.
Listening to Hatori reveals a very interesting side to the family curse the Sohma’s are subjected to. While transforming seems like a curse in itself Hatori’s story and Momiji’s input hint that the curse also seems to be tied to Akito as well and how they view him.
Totally enjoyed this volume! I really do enjoy the humor in this story and how the characters’ personalities seem to work so well with each other. My favorite part is where Hatori and Momiji show up to the festival only to find Yuki dying a little inside as he parades around in a dress. You’ve got to read the volume to find out why! I also live for the scenes where Kyo and Tohru are alone. They’re just too funny.
This volume also raises serious questions as to the relationship between Shigure and Akito. While Shigure seems lighthearted and funny while at home with Yuki, Kyo, and Tohru you see a definite personality switch in his interactions with Akito. Could Hatori’s suspicions be right?
Finally it seems pretty evident that the members of the Sohma family do not go against Akito’s expressed wishes but when Kyo and Yuki put the needs of Tohru over the expectations of Akito what will the repercussions be?
Don’t forget to comment below with your thoughts on Fruits Basket 🙂
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