Fruits Basket (フルーツバスケット, Furūtsu Basuketto), sometimes abbreviated Furuba (フルバ, Furuba), is a Japanese manga series by Natsuki Takaya. It was serialized in the semi-monthly Japanese magazine Hana to Yume, published by Hakusensha, from 1999 to 2006. The series was also adapted into a 26-episode anime series, directed by Akitaro Daichi.
The word "Fruits" in the title is always plural; the spelling originates from the transcription of the English word "fruit" into Japanese, where because there is no "tu" sound, "tsu" is used instead. The title comes from the name of a popular game played in Japanese elementary schools, which is alluded to in the series.
The name spellings used in this article correspond to those given in the official Region 1 DVD and English manga releases. Romanization style names are given in Western order, with the family name last.
PlotFruits Basket follows the life of high-school student Tohru Honda, who was recently orphaned when her mother, Kyoko Honda, died in a car accident. After that, Tohru lived with her grandfather, but when his house needs remodeling, Tohru resorts to living in a tent in a forest and holds down a job to support herself. Despite suffering many hardships, Tohru remains optimistic.
One day, Tohru comes upon a house in the forest that is the home of her classmate Yuki Sohma and his cousin Shigure Sohma. When the Sohmas discover that Tohru is living in a tent, they are quite surprised by her inner strength. The entire area is Sohma property, and Tohru asks to be allowed to stay in her tent (affectionately dubbed "her castle"). Feeling sorry for her and desperate to end their bachelor days of filthy living conditions, the Sohmas offer her their spare room in exchange for cooking and housework. After a landslide buries her tent, including her mother's picture and school clothes, she has no option but to accept. Soon after she moves in, Kyo Sohma comes to challenge Yuki.
Tohru soon discovers the Sohma family's secret, and the reason why Yuki is so private and secretive at school: thirteen members of the family are possessed by the 12 animal spirits of the Chinese Zodiac (jyūnishi in Japanese) plus the spirit of the cat who was, according to legend, left out of the Zodiac. They transform into animals when hugged by the opposite sex or when put under a great deal of emotional or physical stress (such as being sick). When she promises to keep their secret, the Sohmas allow Tohru to keep her memories rather than hypnotically erasing them, a fate that had previously befallen anyone not "Inside" the Sohma family who had discovered the secret.
The story follows the lives of Tohru and the Sohma family, as they deal with each other and a society where neither quite fits in, as well as the feared Akito Sohma, head of the Sohma family. Soon, after living with the Sohma family she began to like, then love, all of the Sohmas, and sets out to break the zodiac curse.