Manga Review: Fruits Basket

I want to start this off by saying this was one of my first shoujo manga that I have read. Usually I stick with the shonen manga. Second, this one aught me by surprise.

Shoujo manga are usually about love and happiness. Well, this one is, too. But its also hilarious at some points and very dramatic at others. The fight scenes kind of sucked, but then, this isn't a fighiting manga. I've only read the first volume of this and that's all I need to read.

Story: This manga is about a girl named Tohru and the 12(13 if you count the kitty)Asian zodiacs(you know, the chinese zodiac.) Tohru's mother died a little before the story starts and she goes to live with her grandfather. After a little while there, her grandfather tells her he's going to have the house renovated and she'll need a place to stay while its being renovated. Tohru, who has a yearning desire to be independant, lives in a tent, telling everybody who asks that she's living with her aunt. One day, she stumbles upon the house of one of the pretty boys at he school. To cut to the chase: The pretty boy(Yuki) and all of his family are actually the 12 zodiacs, plus the kitty who missed the ceremony to become a zodiac. There is a huge internal conflict between Yuki(rat zodiac) and the kitty zodiac, Kyou. Long story short, a long time ago the rat zodiac made the kitty zodiac miss the ceremony where God made them zodiacs and the kitty won't get a place as a zodia until he beats up the rat, which doesn't happen because the rat kicks bum at fighting and the kitty is kind of wet-behind-the-ears.

All of the characters were kind of cool, each with their own little problems. The zodiacs, for instance, change into their animal form when embraced by a member of the opposite gender, which leads them to be saw as rude because they push girls who have crushes on them away and at one point, Kyou almost breaks a girl's arm for trying to hug him. And Tohru just can't seem to express any emotion other then happiness, trying to make her dead mother happy.

Over all, I give this 4/5 points. I really underestimated this when I first heard of it because it was a shoujo manga. It is soon to be released in America by Tokyo Pop.