The Fruits Basket series (manga) by Natsuki Takaya
A recent visit to Barnes and Noble confirmed my suspicions … The Fruits Basket manga series has been republished. It’s so popular with teens and it’s so hard to find. This after I painstakingly found every one of them and purchased them for my daughter. But that’s okay. She loves her set. It was collected over a year or so. As she earned money I purchased the books for her.
The main character is Tohru Honda. The series opens with Tohru living in a tent because her grandfather was remodeling his home. She lived with her grandfather because her parents were killed in an accident.
While out exploring, Tohru happens upon the Sohma family home. This family is not normal. They are possessed by the vengeful spirits of the Chinese zodiac.
But by the time Tohru finds this out, she has already made an attachment with them.
This curse has some advantages and some drawbacks. Without giving too much away I will share the most embarrassing drawback: If one of the Sohma family is hugged by a person of the opposite sex, they turn into their animal. For example, Yuki, when hugged by Tohru, turns into a rat. Yes, embarrassing.
My daughter’s favorite character is Kyo Sohma, the cat. He acts tough, but deep down he’s kind and possesses an awkward smile. The cat is not part of the zodiac, but Kyo, when hugged, turns into a cat anyway. There is quite a sad backstory as to why the cat is not in the zodiac (he originally was supposed to be), but you’ll have to read the books to find that out.
Yuki (rat) and Shigure (dog) Sohma invite Tohru to stay at their home when her tent is destroyed by a storm. Inevitably, personalities clash.
My daughter’s favorite part of the series is when Kyo (cat) in his true form leaves the Sohma house. Tohru goes on a journey to find him when she realizes he won’t return.
You can find the books here: https://www.amazon.com/Natsuki-Takaya/e/B001K8CP4A/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_book_1
The books were so good they were made into an anime’ series: …https://www.amazon.com/Fruits-Basket-Complete-Laura-Bailey/dp/B00GSPKRN6/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1509223000&sr=8-1&keywords=fruits+basket+anime+dvd
A note to my older readers, if you haven’t read manga you owe it to yourself to give it a try. Once you get used to the back-to-front format and the symbols for expressions and emotions, I think you will enjoy yourself.
By the way, I was born in the year of the boar. It fits me.