Fruits Basket (フルーツバスケット Furūtsu Basuketto), sometimes abbreviated as Furuba, is a shoujo manga series written and illustrated by Natsuki Takaya. The series started out in the semi-monthly Japanese magazine, Hana to Yume, published by Hakusensha, where it ran from from 1999 to 2006. The series was also adapted into a 26 episode anime, directed by Akitaro Daichi. A sequel to the manga is currently in development, titled Fruits Basket Another, and features an entirely new cast.
The story of Fruits Basket follows Tohru Honda, a high school student who had been recently orphaned after her mother died in a car crash. She is found camping out in the woods so that she may not be a burden upon her friends as renovations were happening at her grandfather's place, which was where she had been originally. Eventually Tohru comes to learn that the land she had been camping out on was owned by the Sohma family––more specifically Shigure Sohma who lived there with Yuki Sohma, one of Tohru's classmates who was rather popular with the girls (and boys even) and was often referred to as "Prince Charming". Begging them to allow her to camp there, even offering to pay rent for the space, they offered her a room at their place instead when her tent is buried under a landslide. In exchange she must do the cooking and cleaning. Although hesitant at first, Tohru accepts their offer when feeling she is left with no other choice.
Soon Tohru learns a horrible secret after accidentally falling onto Kyo Sohma, who had just crashed through the ceiling to fight with Yuki. After they all turn into animals Tohru learns that they––and many other members of the Sohma family––are cursed with the thirteen animal spirits of the Chinese Zodiac. As a result, whenever they become weak or are hugged by someone of the opposite gender they turn into their animal forms. If Tohru promises not to tell anyone their secret she will be allowed to keep her memories and remain living with them. Agreeing to this she came to learn more about the Sohma family, and about Yuki and Kyo, and all the dark secrets that come along with knowing about the curse...
I have no idea when I got into Fruits Basket, or even how I was introduced to it to begin with, but truthfully, I'm not all that worried about it. I'm just glad it happened, because this series means so much to me. It's hilarious at times, but it also has those moments where it makes me cry so much that I can't see the pages. The words are so powerful and resonate with me deeply. If you have not read Fruits Basket ever I suggest you do so now! Fruits Basket is a wonderful series that will make you laugh, cry, and think deeply about the meaning of things.