White Album Season 2 Review

Rating: 3.5/10

Plot: Same as the first season, only with more sex and drama.

Breakdown: (Spoiler alert: Also, this is not to be confused with White Album 2)

Nihon rater, I apologize. You had perfect reason to name Touya on the same level as Makoto. He didn’t leave a pregnant girl on her own so he could bang other girls, but I can see why you’d put them on the same level.

Touya’s upped the assholery 1000 fold in this season. The first one only had him cheating on Yuki with Yayoi. He seemed to feel guilty about it, he kept pretending Yayoi was Yuki because he missed her. Okay, somewhat understandable, I suppose. Cheating’s still a major dick move, but it is slightly understandable here. Understandable, not excusable. He also kissed Misaki and proclaimed his love for her….okay that’s much less understandable. Especially if his one ‘love’ is Yuki.

In this season he continues to sleep with Yayoi until about three episodes from the end, sleeps with Haruka, makes out with Misaki (again), has sex with Misaki, almost has sex with Menou, makes out with Rina, goes out on a date with another woman (whom he later ditches from said date to go with Yayoi for no reason whatsoever. And when I say “ditch” I mean he said he needed to go to the bathroom and never intended on coming back. She was a nice pretty girl and Touya just ditches her in the middle of a date for no reason. What’s worse is that the final shot they show of her is her waiting in the restaurant saying she’ll never date again. Touya, you’re a dick. At least say something came up and you needed to leave. Don’t act like you’ll be right back and then ditch her. What’s even worse is that he strung her along first by calling her a savior goddess. Jeez.) and strings along Mana.

All without remorse and eventually even becoming blase about his relationship with Yuki – the one he still won’t friggin’ end.

This season also brings up a lot of confusing and pointless moments. Like, though I don’t mind the thought, why did Akira get hit by a car? It added nothing, he suffered no actual injuries besides a scratch on the head and he was back to work days later. I’ll tell ya why. It got you to watch the next episode because that was a cliffhanger moment. So useful!

I could’ve done with White Album if they left it as it was in season one, but no…

Characters

Touya: You can basically understand my thoughts on his character already. He turns into a super-ultra ass in this season, yet still holds his relationship with Yuki for no reason. Did you know they barely ever have screentime together? Ever.

How can you root for a couple that we hardly ever see together? We see him with the other girls a lot more than Yuki. Again, I honestly don’t understand why he never dumped her. Why pretend you guys are in love when you barely even like each other by this point?

In addition, in the scene where Akira gets hit by the car, all he’s worried about when he gets to the hospital is how he’ll handle it if Haruka’s upset with it. Nice. Some friend you are. He’s completely unlikable, boring when he’s not being an ass and I wish HE had been hit by a car at some point.

Akira: Like Touya, he’s upped the assholery quite a bit this season. He’s still an angry jackass, only now he’s a sex hound. He tries to sleep with Misaki in Touya’s father’s house (right after he came home from having a heart attack!) and then gets pissed because she doesn’t want to do it, justifying it by that they’ve been dating for a month (a whole MONTH! Wow, why aren’t you married yet?) and it’s time that they did. Feh.

Also, he states that if she ever had tea with Touya, he’d dump her in a heartbeat. True love right here, folks. I mean, I wouldn’t trust Touya to be alone with my shoes, but that’s a complete lack of trust in Misaki as well. He also seems barely bothered after she broke up with him. He was even on a date with Haruka smiling a few days later…

Eiji:
Eiji didn’t have that much of an impact on the first season, but he was a jerk there and he’s still one here. Also, he’s out of his damned mind. I’m dead serious. The reason he’s a jerk is that he basically treats his sister, Rina, as an object. He believes Rina has overstayed her welcome in the music world and keeps trying to replace her with his new star, Yuki, despite the fact that Rina is still a huge sensation.

The reason he’s insane is because he’s completely obsessed with this painting he saw when he was a musician. It was so amazing that he was moved to tears whenever he saw it. He was so obsessed with it that he tried to obtain the painting for years, but kept getting ‘copies.’ However, he was just under the delusion that they were all copies of the same painting, when, in reality, the paintings were all drastically different and he was just imagining that they looked exactly the same.

He has a mental breakdown and it’s revealed that he doesn’t even remember what the painting looked like. So impacting that he doesn’t even remember what it looked like….just that it had a girl and a lily. Wow.

Yuki: Yuki’s even more of a doormat in this season. She actually finds out that Touya has been cheating on her and lying to her along with a bunch of other people, yet she still doesn’t dump him or even confront him about it.

Yuki wants the best of both worlds by trying to maintain her relationship with Touya and staying as a pop idol, but she makes little to no effort to see him or make time for him. The most conversations they have is by phone tag – just leaving messages for each other on the answering machine.

It’s obvious that she cares more about her career than him, yet she still won’t let him go. I questioned many times whether or not Yuki actually loved Touya at all during this season. Their relationship has the emotional depth of a sippy cup. Why are they the main couple?

Oh and, get this, she won’t make an iota of effort to see Touya because she doesn’t want to hinder her career, but she says she’ll quit her career because Rina said she was leaving the record label. LOGIC.

Also, when she finds out that Touya’s a lying ass, she bites into her hand so hard that she creates a puddle of blood on the ground….Ya know what? Maybe they deserve each other…

Rina: Rina was the one character who I still pretty much liked in the end. However, she does make out with Touya. She owns up to it with Yuki immediately, though. And she still shows that she’s a strong character and a good friend.

Misaki: Misaki turned horrible in this season. She makes out with Touya, later sleeps with him (granted, he was grieving, but still.) takes a job from an old boyfriend who apparently got her pregnant and wouldn’t support the baby. Then he became a huge dick to her and tried to stab her later.

By the way, I have no clue what happened to the baby, if there was one. She willingly creates a trashy article for him as well. It’s a side plot that seems unfinished and sloppy. She’s also not being fair to Akira by being with him. It’s obvious she went with him because he loved her and she couldn’t have Touya. She dumps him, which is more than I can say for Yuki, but geez.

Haruka: Haruka also lost her likability in this season. Not terribly much, but she ends up practically throwing her(naked)self at Touya and then sleeps with him. Also, we have no clue what happened to her brother, nor why she stopped playing tennis because of it. In addition, I really got sick of her monotone personality….

Yayoi: Still a whore. Next.

Menou: Not much comes out of the new character of Menou. We find out that she’s Mana’s older sister that their mother uses as a singing icon, she was Touya’s first savior goddess and…she’s pretty…what’s the word….sleazy? I don’t know.

Mana: Mana’s still a brat in this season, but she never kisses or makes out/sleeps with Touya. Her affection, what she chooses to show of it, remains stilted and one-sided. However, she does have a complete and utter flip out mid-season. Destroys her entire room for very little reason.

Misc. Issues

There’s no couple that you really want to root for…in this romance anime. There are three main guys in this series, Touya, Akira and Eiji. I’ve already explained why they’re either assholes or jerks plus insanity. Most of the girls also become very unlikable.

If you root for any pairing, you will definitely find a reason to not want them together. At the beginning, I wanted Touya to go with Haruka, but seeing what an ass he was to her this whole series, I believe he didn’t deserve her and she didn’t deserve to be with an ass. Later on, I rooted for Rina and Touya, but again I liked her too much to encourage her to go with Touya. So I figured, screw it, let him go with Yayoi. They’re perfect for each other. Both heartless sex fiends.

If anything, the best pairing in this series is Rina and Yuki. They have a really great relationship where both would gladly sacrifice everything for the happiness of the other and they get along really well. I usually don’t purposely make yaoi/yuri pairings in shows unless the characters themselves are solidified as being gay, but tell me this relationship wouldn’t work.

In a show that is based off of a dating sim, especially when you go the extra mile to try and explore every avenue, you have to have at least one pairing that you can root for. Even if it’s not the main pairing.

School days even had me rooting for Kotonoha and Makoto to some extent, even if he was major assholedickjackass who didn’t deserve her and likely would’ve kept up his cheating ways—okay I’m starting to regret this one now. Rumbling Hearts had me rooting for Haruka. I rooted for no one in the end of this. I hope he ended up alone and so did Yuki….

Let me try to explain the actual ending. Touya flashes back to when he really first met Yuki. Apparently he saved Haruka and Yuki from bullies by pissing his pants, putting it on his hands and chasing the bullies away by showing them his hands.

“If only a boy with piss on his hands wasn’t here” Wow writing staff, did you write that as a serious line? Like, really?

Afterward, Yuki is prompted by Touya’s father to encourage him or whatever so she gives him a medal made out of a piece of wood. He throws it into the woods. His father yells at him to retrieve it, but he never does. The emotional trauma from that string of events (that’s actually how they describe it) made him seal off his memories………..Does anyone need to fertilize about 300 gardens because that is a massive pile of bullshit.

Also, the reason he never found it was because Haruka took it and hid it. Don’t ask. I don’t care and they barely explain why.

The end is a big mystery. Rina and Yuki sing together on stage and apparently become a duo act now being handled by Frankie. Someone (either Rina or Yuki) writes a goodbye note to Touya on the mirror of the dressing room. Yuki leaves Touya a note that doesn’t say anything. Then Touya waves to someone as we fade out for the last time and hear all the girls (and guys, because…..I dunno) say Touya’s name. Basically, though the writers seem to want to point to one couple the entire series and this episode, the ending is left ambiguous to please any fan of any other pairing. Or please none of them. Take your pick.

Art and Animation: Same quality level of the last season.

Voice Acting: Same.

Music: Didn’t like the music as much in this season. The final song was fairly nice, though.

Bottomline: If you, for any reason, liked the first season, leave it at that. This season will make you hate almost everyone. In addition, if you do root for any pairing, there’s no real satisfying ending to any pairing. Even his relationship with Yuki amounts to little to nothing. I guarantee that you won’t find happiness over the horizon.

If you do like it, stop at the end of season one. Still no happiness over the horizon, but it’ll likely save you from hating practically every character and pairing.

Additional Information and Notes: White Album season 2 was produced by Seven Arcs. The second season was directed by Taizō Yoshida. It was written by Hiroaki Sato.

Episodes: 13

Year: 2009

Recommended Audience: More sexual situations and fanservice shots than the last season. Also more mature themes. 15+?

White Album Season 1 Review

Rating: 6/10

Plot: Touya Fujii has been dating Yuki Morikawa since they were in high school. However, when Yuki wants to pursue her dream of becoming a singer, she puts her relationship with Touya on hold because she can’t balance her career and dating him. This leads Touya through a tough time trying to continue at least keeping in contact with Yuki, but failing numerous times. Luckily, he has plenty of ‘goddesses’ to keep him company and help him through his troubles one way or another.

Breakdown: (Spoiler warning) I haven’t had such a love/hate relationship with an anime since Fushigi Yugi.

Let me get the ‘goddess’ thing out of the way. Touya basically lists one woman a day as his ‘goddess of the day.’ Criteria for this is being female and seeing him on a day. Yuki is supposed to be special because she was his ‘everyday.’ This doesn’t matter. At all. But the show keeps pointing it out, so there ya go.

One of the reasons I was so interested in this show was that I read on Nihon anime reviews that Touya was seen as being more despicable than Makoto of School Days. Not as hated, but more despicable. That’s a pretty bold statement seeing as how Makoto was complete garbage.

I haven’t seen season two as of this initial writing, but from what I gather of season one….he’s not as bad as Makoto by a long shot. Makoto was a heartless sex fiend who cheated on about five different girls, one claiming she was pregnant, without any remorse or caring whatsoever. The only time he ever showed an iota of caring is when he got caught doing something bad and even then it wasn’t much.

Touya….is an ass. I won’t deny that. He’s an ass to Hakura for no reason even though she is nothing but nice to him, he admits his love for Misaki even though he knows his best friend likes her and he’s supposedly in love with Yuki, he makes out with and sleeps with Yayoi, Yuki’s manager, as a replacement for Yuki (even though Yayoi’s one of the main things keeping them apart) and he’s incredibly difficult to like as a main character.

However, unlike Makoto, he actually shows remorse for cheating.

….Sometimes.

He doesn’t use the girls he knows for sex beyond Yayoi. In fact, he only kisses one other girl besides Yayoi and Yuki for the entire show. And, being partially fair, Touya actually has somewhat of a reason to cheat (even though I think cheating is horrible no matter what reason, and I find it damn near impossible to forgive, personally, at least Touya had a reason beyond Makoto’s ‘I WANT SEX!’ reason.)

The anime pulls you into so many directions that it’s exhausting at times. Why? Because this anime is based off of a visual novel. More to the point – a dating sim. He has six, count ’em, six different girls to choose from. However, unlike a lot of visual novel based anime (Like Rumbling Hearts or even School Days) this anime wants to travel down every romance path possible. It wants you to root for way too many pairings. Focus on Yuki, Rina or Haruka, some mixture of those. We didn’t need Yayoi, Mana or Misaki’s relationships with him muddling it up.

In addition, their relationship is so flimsy that they should’ve just fully broken up with she became a singer. If you still want her to remain as a romantic interest, make them miss each other. Try to get back together. Keeping them together only highlights what an ass Touya is and what an idiot Yuki is. None of this would’ve happened otherwise, and I was never really rooting for him and Yuki to begin with.

Characters

Touya: He’s in love with Yuki, but is willing to cheat on her and declare his love to other women. He never seems to try very hard to see her or do stuff with her etc. He’s also a doormat. Besides Haruka, he does what everyone tells him to do with little fight.

Speaking of Haruka, I’d really like a reason as to why he’s so cold to her. She does tons of things for him, and he barely acknowledges her existence, which is odd, considering they’re supposed to be childhood friends.

Yuki: Yuki’s not terribly likable either. Her personality is fine, but she chose her career over her boyfriend, which would be fine if she actually fully chose one of the other. Things don’t always work out, and they could’ve had a very civil break. But she still tried to string him along without really trying that hard to be with him.

Lots of singers and actresses can still live their lives and have relationships. What makes Yuki so special that she can’t date Touya anymore?

Akira: He’s the token ‘best friend’ but he’s almost as annoying as Touya. He’s always angry, hardly ever smiles and his only real character point is that he likes Misaki for no given reason whatsoever.

I love this scene where he and Misaki spot Touya in a library. Touya’s just staring out the window, he sees Akira and Misaki together so he quickly waves and goes back to staring. Akira says with a snarl “What does HE want?” I think he wants to look out the window and mind his own damn business, Akira.

Even after he gets together with Misaki, he’s an angry whelp. He’s constantly making unprovoked comments about being jealous of Touya, and it’s obvious, even when he’s with Misaki, that he’s being treated as runner-up.

Rina: Rina is Yuki’s mentor and best friend. She is also a pop idol who has taken Yuki under her wing to help her career. I really liked Rina, especially towards the end, but before the actual end.

She finds out Touya’s cheating on Yuki, so she does the logical thing and asks if she can date him too….Right. I will never understand that logic. Rina doesn’t seem like the kind of person who would be in it for the sex, so why try to build a relationship with a guy who nonchalantly admitted he was bonking his girlfriend’s manager behind her back? However, she is likable, and I liked watching most of her scenes.

Haruka: Haruka is Touya’s childhood friend and is treated like crap by him. According to a line of dialogue in episode one, she had some sort of accident in tennis and we never hear of it again. Haruka is extremely quiet and softspoken, but she enjoys biking and going for walks. She frequently asks Touya to go with her, but Touya almost never goes with her. Haruka obviously likes Touya, but claims she just likes him as brother. Oh and as a final “screw you, Haruka” before the second season, Akira runs over her bike…

Misaki: Misaki is good friend of Touya because they relate to each other with books and poetry. There’s not much else to say about her besides she’s in love with Touya, but knows she can never be with him because he ‘loves’ Yuki. She knows Akira loves her, but ignores his feelings. Misaki’s likable but boring.

Yayoi: Yuki’s manager, Yayoi has an amazing character design. Seriously the colors, the design, the eyes, they’re all great. The art’s great in this show, but her character design is very well-made. I guess that’s to ensure that she’s a good seductress.

Yayoi’s a whore, essentially. She does everything in her power to keep Touya away from Yuki and vice versa because she doesn’t want anything distracting Yuki from her singing. She knows this hurts Touya, so she jumps him every chance she gets to be a replacement for Yuki. It should be noted that he does fight this at first, but not much and not for long. She hardly ever cracks a smile and she’s not likable at all.

Mana: A girl Touya happened upon at a train station, then came to be her tutor. Mana just started following Touya, even though she seemingly hated him from first sight. She started screaming “MOLESTER! PERVERT!” just because he bumped into her. She does this twice and each time she’s by a security guard or cop and each time she has her mouth covered by Touya who promptly drags her away….Good job cops. You hear and see that and don’t move a muscle. Nice.

Mana’s annoying. She’s a brat who also has a thing for Touya (School Days effect will kill you in this series.) She’s also on a crusade to find who ‘Yuki’ really is because she believes he’s simply under the delusion that he’s dating Yuki and knows Rina. Every girl he sees her with she accuses of being Yuki. It stopped being cute the first time she did it.

Art and Animation: The art and animation are really great. Nothing spectacular, but still high quality.

Voice Acting: Japanese – The voices are very well done, and none of them got on my nerves or seemed flat.

Music: Being rooted in a lot of pop idol culture, there’s obviously a focus on music in this series. The music is okay, I guess. The vocal songs in the series are forgettable except “White Album” itself. The opening and ending are bland, but fairly memorable. The background music is bland and forgettable.

Bottomline: Focusing on just season 1, it’s a confusing mess at it’s worst, keeps your attention at best. By the end of the series, you’ll feel like you went through a blender. I had no clue who I was supposed to be rooting for, and to make things worse, the season ends on a cliffhanger. There was hardly a happy moment throughout the entire show, and, when there was, it was almost always followed up by a dark cloud.

If you like a lot of possible pairings, this is a decent anime to go to. The technical quality is good, but don’t expect great things from this.

Additional Information and Notes: White Album season 1 was produced by Seven Arcs. The first season was directed by Akira Yoshimura, who also did episode directorial work on Witch Hunter Robin, Gundam 00, Rurouni Kenshin (TV) and Zegapain. It was written by Hiroaki Sato who also wrote the screenplay for….Fushigi Yugi: Eikoden….That…explains…a lot.

Episodes: 13

Year: 2009

Recommended Audience: There’s sexual situations, but no nudity. That’s about it for questionable material. However, considering the tone of this show, I’d recommend 14+

30DAC – Day 12: Favorite Anime Scene

Well, since I see ‘Most Epic Scene Ever’ on this list, I guess I have to go a different route here. There is one scene that I can keep watching over and over and for some reason it never gets any less funny, and that is a scene from episode 13 of Fruits Basket.

 

Background on the show’s not entirely important here, barring a note I’ll get to in a minute, but the three main characters, Yuki, Tohru and Kyo meet up with Yuki and Kyo’s cousins, Hatsuharu and Momiji who recently started going to their school. Momiji looks really young for his age, and decided that he’d look cuter in a girl’s uniform than in a guy’s. The class president sees this and demands that he change into a boy’s uniform immediately to conform to school dress code.

Hatsuharu, hearing his loud and obnoxious blatherings, gets incredibly irritated, snaps and ‘goes black’. The note I was mentioning before was that Haru and the Sohma family, Momiji, Yuki and Kyo included, are cursed with different animals from the Chinese zodiac. Yuki’s the mouse, Kyo’s the cat (different story), Momiji’s the rabbit and Haru’s the ox. Because of this, Haru has a bit of a side effect where he has basically two sides of his personality; the white side which is extremely calm, kind and respectful and the black side which is really intense, angry, violent, flirtatious and sometimes rude. He doesn’t get many moments to show off this side, and this is definitely the best black Haru moment in the series.

He chews the living crap out of the Class President going on the best tangent ever trying to argue his side for Momiji. The Class President keeps trying to fight back, but gets shot down time and time again. Even when he gets put down a peg with a bit of logic, he calls out Haru for also not obeying the rules by assuming his hair is dyed because it’s both black and white. (It’s really that way because….well, moo)

 

Oh he can convince you, alright.

 

I don’t really want to explain the scene full out, watch it for yourself, but it did include one of the most shocking and risque moments in the series at the end of the scene. It’s absolutely hilarious when you realize what he did.

Technically, Momiji was in the wrong here as you agree to school rules when you enroll, including dress code, but it was incredible to see this loud hothead get his ass verbally handed to him.

Fruits Basket Review

Fruits Basket

Plot: Tohru Honda is an incredibly polite and kind girl. She’d never want to bother anybody or impose. That is why, when her mother died, she decided to live in a tent in the woods instead of bothering anybody for a place to stay. That is until a boy named Yuki Sohma and his cousin Shigure found her and decided to take her in.

She accidentally discovers the Sohma family secret – they have been cursed with the animals of the Chinese zodiac. Whenever they get hugged by a member of the opposite sex or if they fall under a good deal of stress, they transform into an animal of the Chinese Zodiac. Only 13 members of the family have this curse. Yes, 13. 12 of the regular zodiac plus the cat from the stories.

Usually they have a person’s memory erased when they discover the secret, but the family leader, Akito, has decided to leave her be as long as she promises to keep their secret. Now living with Shigure, Yuki and the cat Kyo under the condition that she be their housekeeper, Tohru does everything she can to help them while learning of the darker side of the curse.

Rating: 9/10

Breakdown: If you want a feel-good anime with tons of comedy and touching moments, watch this show. It’s hilarious, it’s emotional, it has plenty of good life lessons and advice, and, if you’re into it, it’s technically a reverse harem. Hooray!

I love this anime with all my heart. It’s definitely one of my absolute favorites. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s without its flaws, most notably with the ending.

The last two or three episodes take a really drastic turn in mood. Kinda like how Angelic Layer was really bright and happy-go-lucky until the final two episodes. Fruits Basket has plenty of drama, some of it stemming from the Sohma family curse and some from other sources, but, for the most part, it’s a really lighthearted comedy show. The final three episodes, however, are much darker compared to the rest of the series.

I won’t spoil anything, but let’s just say there’s a bigger secret beyond Kyo’s chosen zodiac animal that changes the entire game.

The actual show ends on a light note, but not before a ton of very heavy scenes.

Now, if the change in tone doesn’t bother you, the actual ending might.

Spoilers

We end with Akito confronting Tohru and he starts assaulting her until she talks him down. She’s allowed to stay with the Sohmas despite now knowing all of their secrets and accepting Kyo for who he is.

The problems are as follows – 1) We never get a resolution to the curse. The curse never gets lifted from the family. Thus it kinda ends on a cliffhanger.

2) We never get to meet the other members of the zodiac that are, as of now, manga exclusive. We never meet Rin (Hatsuharu’s girlfriend. She’s the horse of the zodiac) or Kureno (The rooster of the zodiac. However, some have speculated that the little bird that’s always around Akito is actually Kureno, but that’s debatable. Why would Kureno be transformed all the time? What would trigger the transformation anyway? And, even if it was, we still never get to meet the actual character.)

I’m really not one to harp on differences between manga and anime. Even if I prefer one medium’s version over another, I realize that some stuff has to be changed because of the shift in medium. However, completely cutting two major characters and leaving us hanging, even if there is a slight resolution with hope for the future, just seems like a bit of a rip off.

Another moderate issue is the fact that Akito got a gender change for the anime. In the manga, Akito’s a woman who is forced to grow up and act like a man so that she can be the head of the family. In the anime, Akito’s a guy.

I’d really like to see a season two of the show where we get to continue on alongside the manga, maybe a semi-short OVA, but I doubt that’d ever happen….Well, Inuyasha eventually continued so maybe there is hope.

END OF SPOILERS

Let’s run through the characters before hitting the bottomline.

Tohru Honda: Tohru is an incredibly nice and caring girl who never does anything in her own interests (Even to the point of making herself so stressed that she makes herself sick several times). However, this makes her a tiny bit annoying as she’s pretty much a doormat. She never sticks up for herself and never gets angry. Ever. This is why I dislike her pairing with Kyo. He may get nicer as he goes along with Tohru, but Kyo still yells around and at her constantly, and he’s even physically hurt her on occasion. Not on purpose, of course, but still. She never defends herself, so it really seems like a slightly abusive relationship.

Still, I love Tohru, and I always wished I could know someone like her in real life.

Yuki Sohma: The rat of the zodiac, Yuki is incredibly smart, kind and gentle. Because of this, he is loved by all of the student body at his school and is hailed as “Prince Yuki.” He even has his own fanclub called the Prince Yuki Fanclub. I really like Yuki even if he seems somewhat blunt sometimes. I much prefer pairing him with Tohru over Kyo, but that’s just my opinion.

Shigure Sohma: The dog of the zodiac, Shigure is a published author who’s as goofy as he is perverted. I adore Shigure. He’s such a fun character, and he’s another one of those characters that you’d love to know if they actually existed.

Kyo Sohma: The cat of the zodiac, Kyo gets treated like crap in the family (but at least better than the previous cat who was basically imprisoned) because the cat is seen as the outcast in the zodiac and not even an official member. Because of this, Kyo’s a bit of a defensive jerk.

He’s loud, mean and rude, but can be nice when he actually tries. He has a long standing rivalry against Yuki. It seems like he hates him, but he’s actually fairly jealous of him and vice versa.

Kagura Sohma: The boar of the zodiac, Kagura is deeply in love with Kyo and wants nothing more than to marry him as he ‘promised’ when they were younger. She seems to have two sides to her. One that is incredibly shy and kind and another that is basically like a rampaging boar. I really liked Kagura and would prefer her with Kyo over Tohru. At least Kagura would be able to deal with him if he went off the rails.

Momiji Sohma: The rabbit of the zodiac, Momiji is an energetic and spirited boy who gets excited over practically anything. Despite his child-like appearance, he’s actually 15 years old. Momiji actually has one of the sadder pasts in the series, but that doesn’t stop him from making the most out of his life. I really love Momiji even if he doesn’t get to be a little too much sometimes.

Hatori Sohma: The dragon of the zodiac, Hatori actually turns into a seahorse when he transforms (this is because a seahorse is called the dragon of the sea) Hatori is seen as evidence that the curse is slowly fading because he doesn’t turn into an actual dragon (I guess that means that the dragons before him were actual dragons. That must’ve been a lot more awkward…)

Hatori is the family doctor and also possesses the ability to erase the minds of anybody that learns of their secret. Hatori also has a pretty sad backstory and is a really likable character. Poor guy, though.

Ayame Sohma: The snake of the zodiac, Ayame is a flamboyant man with long silver hair and bright yellow eyes. He’s Yuki’s older brother, but Yuki doesn’t really like him much. Ayame was best friends with Hatori and Shigure in high school and they still very much hold their dynamic. Ayame’s a fun character, but I don’t much care for his loud background music.

Hatsuharu Sohma: The cow of the zodiac, Hatsuharu also has a bit of a dual personality problem, only much worse than Kagura. He has two sides to him, white and black. When he’s white Haru, he’s very mild mannered and kind. When he’s black Haru he’s very loud, rough and blunt.

Haru’s my favorite character. His character design is really cool, his personality’s awesome and Justin Cook plays him so well it’s amazing. I can’t watch that scene where he turns black in episode 13 enough.

Kisa Sohma: The tiger of the zodiac, Kisa is an incredibly quiet girl who is SO ADURRRRABLLLLLLLL. ❤ Not much to say about her but she’s SO KYUUUTTT….*cough*

Hiro Sohma: The ram/sheep of the zodiac, Hiro’s a brat. He’s even more annoying than Kyo. Hiro’s only at his nicest when he’s around Kisa, whom he has a crush on, but even that’s not really nice. Again, this seems like an abusive relationship waiting to happen. Hiro’s even more of a jerk than Kyo and Kisa’s more quiet and reserved than Tohru…

Ritsu Sohma: The monkey of the zodiac and the final zodiac member we ever meet, Ritsu is a crossdresser that has no self-confidence. No matter what he does, if something bad happens at all, he flails around the room going crazy asking for forgiveness and saying he’s sorry. Ritsu’s okay, but he gets annoying after a while. He’s best in small doses. I guess it’s a good thing he’s only in one episode.

Uo: Uo is one of Tohru’s best friends. She really looked up to Tohru’s mom and even sometimes takes the guise of her mom’s old gang uniform mask. Uo is very much a tough girl who keeps the bullies, such as the Prince Yuki Fanclub, away from Tohru. However, she’s still incredibly kind and a great friend to Tohru.

Hana: Hana is Tohru’s other best friend. She’s a monotone psychic who is also incredibly protective of Tohru and will send out her psychic energy to any that threaten her. Hana’s actually very funny because she keeps bringing this creepy deadpan monotone humor to this otherwise lighthearted show. Despite seeming creepy to many, she’s very kind and loving.

Akito Sohma: The ‘god’ of the zodiac and the head of the Sohma family, Akito has caused more than his fair share of despair across the family. He’s an incredibly skinny and frail person who likes keeping his family under his thumb. Akito’s a bit of a psycho, bit of a jerk and pretty scary, but that’s his purpose.

Art: The art is great and pretty unique. Both the character designs and the backgrounds are wonderful to look at. The animation is also fluid and lovely.

Music: The music, for the most part, is lighthearted and cheerful. It’s very calming and fun, even if Ayame’s is just a bit too annoying. The soundtrack is great and yet another CD I’d gladly own.

Voice acting: Dub wise, I’m not much of a fan of Aya’s or Ritsu’s voices, but that might just be me. Everyone else is spot on and perfect for their roles. Sub wise, Yuki’s voice always seemed way too girly and high pitched for me. I get that he’s a gentle boy, but he has gone through puberty, people.

Bottomline: Most of the characters are really likable in some way and many are so likable I wish I could know them in real life. The story is very engaging and entertaining, and I wish it continued. This is one of those anime that I could watch over and over again and never get tired of it. I recommend everyone to give it a shot, but don’t get your hopes up too high about the ending.

Additional Information and Notes: Fruits Basket is based off of a manga by Natsuki Takaya. The anime adaptation was directed by Akitaro Daichi who also directed Kodomo no Omacha and Animation Runner Kuromi. It was written by Higuchi Tachibana and produced by Studio Deen.

Funimation currently holds the licensing rights to the English Dub in the US.

Episodes: 26

Year: 2001

Recommended Audience: There are some hints of nudity because the zodiac members don’t transform back to humans with their clothes on. However, you honestly can’t see anything. Kyo swears a bit and the ending is pretty heavy in tone. 10+

Final Notes: This review was written long before the 2019 version of Fruits Basket was announced. To put it in perspective, this is one of the first reviews I ever wrote. This page will be updated when I have fully watched and reviewed the reboot……but I am so excited to see it!