I Didn’t Like Fruits Basket

Meh.

I suppose I should note that I am referring entirely to the anime – I don’t think I’ve even so much as flipped through the manga.

I recently found Fruits Basket on Hulu, and decided I’d give it a go – I’d seen the first eight or nine episodes several years ago (prior to its American release, so it really was a decent amount of time ago), but never managed to wrap it up. I’d seen these episodes courtesy of a friend who had episodes burned to CD’s, but in those days of sludgy internet connections, it didn’t manage to quite catch our interest enough to justify the dozens of hours required for more episodes. Anyway, the version available on Hulu was dubbed, and I was looking for something to “watch” that didn’t require me actually looking closely at the screen because I needed to mend some of my clothes, fold laundry, clean my room… etc. So when I saw it, I had a “Well, why the hell not?” moment.

I somehow managed to blitz through eighteen episodes of it in about three days, even though I was deep in the heart of finals.

But then I slowed to a trickle; I felt kind of like I wasn’t actually enjoying the show, but had simply kept watching because a. I’d already started, and b. it was good for “watching” when I was performing dull tasks. But something was nagging at me – there was just something missing here, or something that was preventing me from truly enjoying the show. Without other things to do, I just really didn’t feel like watching it any more. I felt a bit puzzled – there didn’t seem to be anything objectively wrong with it, and I knew it was quite well-liked with many people. Yet from around episode twelve, something had begun picking at me from the back of my skull.

Then it hit me – Tohru is boring.

Seriously. What is there really about this girl? Let’s see… well, we know she’s an orphan because her mother died recently. And she is good at cooking and cleaning. And she’s nice. And she’s not extremely bright. But she wants to finish school because her mother wanted her to. And… uh… she’s nice… and… um…

Hmm. She kind of smells a hell of a lot like a Mary-Sue. She’s very bland, ultimately, and she just happens to fall into what is essentially a reverse harem set-up. I mean, think about it – what does Tohru like? What are her hobbies? But, hey, maybe cleaning and laundry are supposed to be her hobbies…

I was kind of shocked when I realized this considering that one of the things people like to talk about in regards to this show is how good the characterization is. I might be able to agree with that as far as some of the other characters are concerned, such as Yuki or Kyo, but it just feels absent from Tohru. If I didn’t know better, I might be forgiven for thinking this was based on an otome game, not a manga. Tohru’s lack of characterization, combined with the fact that she doesn’t seem to possess any “real” flaws (her variety of dumbness is of the type intended to be charming, after all, not irritating) makes her just seem like a self-insert character.

Now, I’ll admit that this is purely from the anime – maybe this was a case of adaptation decay, after all, and in the manga she’s better-rounded and not so Mary Sue-ish. In fact, I would hope so, given that the anime only scratches the surface of the narrative as I understand it.

Anyway, I’ll probably force myself to finish off Fruits Basket (I’m twenty-one episodes in, after all), but I don’t think I’ll really be able to get past the fact that Tohru herself is so dull. Ah well…

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32 Responses to I Didn’t Like Fruits Basket

  1. chikorita157 says:

    I did try one episode of Fruit Baskets and it bored the heck out of me. It felt so cliched and didn’t have any energy. Pretty dull lead character from what I have seen in any Shoujo Anime… I ended up dropping it after the first episode. It wasn’t for me…

    • adaywithoutme says:

      I also find it disheartening that these kinds of female leads seem fairly common in shoujo franchises – its basically telling girls they have to be nice, love domestic chores, and show no interest in anything unless the guy we’re interested in shows interest in it. Are we really supposed to take this as something to aim for? Yuck.

  2. Haley says:

    Lol I don’t like fruits basket either

  3. Dan says:

    Aww 🙂 As an avid fan of the series, I can safely say she has tons more characterization in the manga. She’s given motivations and *gasp* flaws even. That said, it’s not really gotten into until later, so the anime didn’t have base to work with… :/

    Still, you gain so many kudos for finishing a series you don’t really like D: I can’t force myself to get through something I don’t like, even if I’ve gotten over half-way. haha

    • adaywithoutme says:

      I actually ended up spinning a post off of this, because you made me wonder if it really is such a good thing to have finished off a series one has disliked.

  4. Akemi says:

    Wow… You hit it right on the spot!! Overall I enjoyed the manga, but toward the end it got sooooo draggy! And you’re 100% right about Tohru being boring! She has no dimension! She isn’t afraid of anything, nothing bugs her, je never gets mad, and to point out.. Her dumbness isn’t rlly charming, but just unreal..

    • adaywithoutme says:

      Her dumbness is meant to be kind of ‘charming’, though – if anything, it seems to be a precursor to the whole moe craze. Actually, Tohru fits into that constellation of tropes pretty well, all things considered.

  5. Scamp says:

    Nope, the manga and anime are pretty much the same. Tohru is as dull and Mary-Sue-ish in both

    …why the hell did I both watch this and read it anyway? I bloody hated it

    • adaywithoutme says:

      I briefly flirted with the idea of reading it…. and then decided I’d rather to continue to consume obscene amounts of BL instead.

  6. omisyth says:

    Oh god, my anime club watched it a couple days ago as part of harem/reverse harem day. TOHRU’S EYES ARE LIKE STARING INTO AN ABYSS OF AIDS.

  7. glothelegend says:

    YESSSS.

    I’ve always rated Fruits Basket as one of the most boring, crappy anime ever made. Tohru is one of my least favorite characters ever. That could be because this show is aimed at girls, but I like to think it’s because the show puts you to sleep.

    • adaywithoutme says:

      There are lots of shows aimed at girls that don’t suck, so I’m pretty sure its just that Fruits Basket sucks.

  8. jpmeyer says:

    I have NO IDEA why I liked Fruits Basket, and am even more confused because I am not in any way the target audience.

    • adaywithoutme says:

      I’m not sure why I watched so many episodes of it before it finally hit me that Tohru is such a dull character,

      • I says:

        Fruits basket sucks.

        I’ve no idea why heaps of people LOVE this show. What the hell? The drawings and animation is crappier in the anime, the curse is just weird and I never even wanted to finish the anime. I literally fell asleep when I watched it. The manga doesn’t make much of a difference. With Tohru, u could probably shit on her face and she’d agree. Everyone has a limit of tolerance until when they can’t stand it anymore. Everyone has done something bad in their lives, even a saint.

  9. TheBigN says:

    As others have said, Tohru definitely gets very fleshed out past where the anime stops in the manga, as this anime is more of a spotlight on the entire zodiac first. After all, we have to cover their problems first before we focus on the main characters, right? That being said, those moments that focus on Tohru in the manga are some of the best in my opinion.

    “She kind of smells a hell of a lot like a Mary-Sue.”

    And it’s great to see the deconstruction of Tohru progress as the manga goes. >:D

    • adaywithoutme says:

      Yeah, I figured there may’ve been a degree of adaptation decay present… although I guess it can’t exactly be termed that since the anime only covers a slice of the manga itself.

      • I’ll have to say that the manga wasn’t much better. She’s a DOORMAT- THE END. and we have too much drama (ok, i did cry) and too many coincidences… almost everyone knows Tohru’s mom, can you believe it? I wrote a anime & manga rant for this series over at my blog, too.

  10. TheBigN says:

    Yeah. It’s not really adaptation decay, since that was basically what the manga was focusing on at the time. Now if Fruits Basket was 52 episodes, then we’d see more of the “good” stuff down the line. 😛

  11. whatever says:

    i cannot really go through all 136 chapters to just see some character development

  12. The Leo Ego says:

    Like an IDIOT! I watched the whole series thinking someone might KISS someone. IT NEVER HAPPENED!(Crying) That anime doesnt fall into the romance category AT ALL. I wasnt feel’in the love and no one was bang’in on anyone. What was the point of that anime?

  13. The Leo Ego says:

    Can someone reccomend me good ramance animes that are wayyyyyyyyyyyyy better than this one? >.<

    • Chun says:

      You should watch Lovely Complex or Kimi ni Todoke, if you haven’t watched then already😄.

  14. kaylex says:

    wow i love that show idk wat u guys are talking about haha i guess some shows just are meant for certain people haha

  15. anime gurl luverz says:

    Haters, i luved Fruits Basket maybe ur not meant 4 anime

    • random name says:

      Just because there is a few people that don’t match your opinions on an anime doesn’t mean that they’re not meant for anime. That said this anime was terribly boring. There isn’t any serious problems through out the whole anime so there is no real conflict, and tohru is one of the worst female leads I’ve ever seen not at all likeable

      • I says:

        Or maybe it’s because the idiot didn’t bother to watch some better anime. Tohru’s a idiot.
        Enough said.

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  17. cheesemist says:

    this show was shit, there was a cute moment every episode, the girl talks to herself alot, theres always a fucking sad moment every time, and the guys look ridiculous. seriously, what the fuck? my aunt who is a fucking anime freak, watchs anime everyday, she reads it on the computer and listens to dark gothy and dark lovey songs all the fucking time, not to mention the videos have anime in it. its stupid as hell really, and she does this every fucking day and stays on the pc all day like its her life. anime sucks, nuff said. its boring, and people act retarded in it and people just need to grow the fuck up. my aunt is like 23 years old.

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