Monday, February 6, 2012

Manga Review: Fruits Basket, Volumes 4-6 by Natsuki Takaya

Fruits Basket, Vol. 4 (Fruits Basket, #4)

Title: Fruits basket, Vol. 4
Author: Natsuki Takaya
Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: Tokyopop
Release Date: August 10, 2004 
ISBN-10: 1591826063
ISBN-13: 978-1591826064

When the infamous Akito makes an in-class appearance at the start of the school year, the Sohma family worries that his arrival will be an uncensored exercise of show-and-tell about Yuki's past. Meanwhile, when Ayame vows to rekindle his brothers' lost friendship, he begins to realize that you can choose your friends but you can't choose your family -- especially when they're acting like animals! (Goodreads)


I know this has nothing to do with the story, but I love how Natsuki Takaya has a Q & A at the beginning of this volume. I like her manga form.

Volume 4  starts off with Hatsuharu and Momijiare now at school with Tohru, Yuki, and Kyo. Momiji’s uniform choice leads to a bit of a scandal but no more than than Hatsuharu’s hair. The way that Hatsuharu proved to the class president that his hair color was actually natural was hilarious.

The very mysterious Akito shows up but I didn’t get any of my questions answered about him. Why is everyone scared of him? What does he turn into? Also I got to meet Ayame in this volume, who is Yuki’s older brother. He claims to want to build a relationship with Yuki but he is so self-absorbed I don’t know that that is possible.

The overall theme for this volume for me was loss and how to deal with that loss. Momiji broke my heart with the story of his mother. I won't say more just in case you haven't read the manga or watched the anime series. But for me, even though he is younger, Momiji is one of the stronger characters in this series. It has also been a year since Tohro’s mom's death and they go to the grave to pay their respects. I really liked the way they celebrated her mothers life rather than just morn her. It reminded me a lot of the Day of the Dead.       

Fruits Basket, Vol. 5 (Fruits Basket, #5)

Title: Fruits basket, Vol. 5
Author: Natsuki Takaya
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Tokyopop
Release Date: October 12, 2004
ISBN-10: 1591826071
ISBN-13: 978-1591826071

The Sohma household takes to the lake for a vacation at their summerhouse. However, the peaceful silence is deafening, as Yuki and Kyo are once again not on speaking terms. Will Tohru's klutzy kindness get the dueling duo back to their old cat-and-mouse antics once again? (Goodreads)


Volume 5 starts out with a trip to the Sohma lake house. I liked seeing the interaction between the older three Sohma’s. I don’t think I realized how close of friends Shigure, Hatori, and Ayame are. I know that it seemed that Shigure planed the lake house trip to be mean to his editor, but I think he and Ayame just wanted to get Hatori some time away. The woman he loved had just gotten married.

I really liked Kisa. She is a new Sohma, who is the youngest one to be introduced so far. She has been having a hard time at home and at school so she has stopped talking. She latches onto Tohru. And slowly, with help from Yuki, Hatsuharu, and Tohru, she gets better.

OK, so you can probably tell by now that I seriously love this manga series I can’t wait to read all of it. But I have to be honest: this was my least favorite volume I have read so far. Tohru really got on my nerves this volume. She made bad grades on a test and had to take a makeup test and she was very whiny about it. She was also overly whiny at the lake house about Yuki and Kyo acting differently. I don’t know what the change in dynamic was, but it really got to me in this volume. I will say that I love the maturity I got to see in Kyo in this volume. What he does for Tohru when she is sick is really nice.


Fruits Basket, Vol. 6 (Fruits Basket, #6)

Title: Fruits basket, Vol. 6
Author: Natsuki Takaya
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Tokyopop
Release Date: December 14, 2004
ISBN-10: 159182608X
ISBN-13: 978-1591826088

Delving into the recesses of Kyo's past, we find the Sohma trio returning home on a rainy day. There, a mysterious man who has known Kyo for a long time meets them. Trust, loyalty and the bonds of family and friendship are tested, as Tohru must help Kyo deal with the "monsters" that he's been trying to avoid. (Goodreads)


If you are a fan of the Fruits Basket anime series and have watched all the episodes, this volume is were the final episode ends. This volume was crazy good!

Technically this is at the very end of the volume but I want to get to all the Kyo stuff so: Ayame is still trying to build a relationship with Yuki. Yuki decides to go to Ayame’s shop and he takes Tohru with him. They are in for some big surprises. There's not a big Oprah moment when everyone all of a sudden gets each other, but you can see some walls are starting to crack.

This volume starts out with Kyo and Kagura, and Yuki and Tohru going out on two separate dates. When they all get back Kazuma is there. Kyo is really excited to see Kazuma because he raised Kyo and promised that when he could he would come back for him. At first I didn’t know if I could like Kazuma or not, but after I heard his full story and how much he loved Kyo I couldn’t help but love him, too.

Kazuma wants Kyo to truly heal and he feels the only way that can be done is if someone other than him can accept Kyo’s other form. I am not going to tell you exactly what Kyo turns into but I will say this is the first time I have ever read about someone who is cursed to turn into a monster of some kind and that monster also smell of rotting flesh! I felt so bad for Kyo. The flashback of how his mother would check to see if he had his bracelet on all the time that kept him from turning when he was a child. How she would never let him go out around other people out of fear. I felt like I had new understanding when it came to Kyo.

The Anime and the Manga are a little different. There is a lot more foreshadowing in the manga. I am super excited to read all of this series still and I am totally team Kyo!!!

Happy Reading

Recommended For
Teen and up  

Manga Monday was turned into a meme by the awesome Alison Can Read!


  1. Your Fruit Basket reviews are making me want to read this manga after all. Or pick it up again after a lenghty abscense, depends on how you want to look at it... Anyway, thanks for sharing. Love your manga comments!


  2. Akito just gets more and more confusing. A very interesting character though. I loved Momiji too. Such a sad story for a sweet boy.


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