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[ a parent's guide to anime ]

[ rated pg ]

Fruits Basket

A Parent's Guide to Anime
Rated: PG

Parental Guidance Advised

Reviewed by Kathryn Carmody:

This is a story about a high school girl, Toru Honda, that decides to live on her own, in a tent, after her mother dies and her grandfather doesn't have room for her while his home is being renovated. The thing is that she didn’t know that she had set up camp (literally) on the land of one of her classmates, Yuki Soma. She happens to be discovered by them after she returns from work on night. Once they learn of her general lack of living quarters they invited her to live with them if she will keep house. The thing is that the Soma family has a secret. They have a curse on 13 members of the family that curse them with the animals of the Chinese Zodiac and the cat that was lest out of it. When these members are hugged by a member of the opposite gender or are in poor health they turn into the animal they were cursed as. Toru discovers this secret in the first episode. Her reaction is funny. The rest of the show consists of her meeting most of the other cursed members of the Soma family and the relationships of these people with head of the family, Akito.

The music, while at first can seem out of place, is fitting in the long run. And the animation is nicely done.

Overall this is a very good and funny show with good plot and character development.

Parent's Guide Rating:

yellow (parental guidance advised)

The main extent of the violence involves two of the characters who do some martial arts fighting but these scenes are meant to be, and are funny, like the Warner Bro. cartoons. There are a couple of scenes where there is a little blood. Like when the head of the family learns that one of the cursed members, Hatori, wants to get married, he gets very upset and attacks Hatori, almost completely blinding him in one eye. Then he blames it on Hatori’s girlfriend. This scene does have a little blood but the whole scene is done in this off color/ flashback thing so the color of the blood is off. And the last three episodes are emotionally very intense. Not something I’d recommend for younger viewers. There are also issues of overprotective parents and abandonment in a couple of episodes.

Even though the people are naked when they change back nothing is shown below the waist and the female transformations show nothing either (there are only two I can think of). There is a visit to a hot spring but the people wear towels and the men and women are separated.

There is some language sprinkled through the show, usually consisting of d*** or c**p and occasionally h*ll.

There is a little suggested sexual innuendo between a few of the male characters but these are very limited and I may be reading some of it wrong.

I think that this show is really intended to be funny but there are some definite moments of drama. Most of the show is light-hearted. Many of the episodes I’d recommend for family viewing, however, due to the natural of a few episodes I must say that parental discretion is advised. If I were a parent I’d watch each episode first to decide if they want their kids to watch it. As I said most episodes are good for family viewing but I’d watch out for the following episodes: 8, 24, 25, and 26.

This only covers the fan-subbed episodes. The English dub won’t be released for awhile. Most episodes are okay for kids but a couple of them make me rate this PG.

edit: The official English version has been released and is available by Funimation.

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