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Last checked: October 29, 2014
Fruits Basket (フルーツバスケット, Furūtsu Basuketto) is a manga written and illustrated 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 series tells the story of Tohru Honda, an orphan girl who, after meeting Yuki, Kyo, and Shigure Sohma, learns that thirteen members of the Sohma family are possessed by the animals of the Chinese zodiac (十二支, Jūnishi) and are cursed to turn into their animal forms when they are weak or when they are embraced by anyone of the opposite sex that is not possessed by a zodiacal spirit. In the anime it is possible to transform through torso contact.
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.
When high school student Tohru Honda's mother died in a car accident, Tohru begins living in a tent and supporting herself. That is, until she finds a home in the least likely of places, inhabited by her classmate Yuki Sohma and his cousins Shigure and Kyo. The Sohmas however, live with a curse. Thirteen members of the family are possessed by spirits of the Chinese zodiac and turn into their zodiac animal when hugged by the opposite gender, are weak, or when under stress. When Tohru discovers the Sohmas' secret, she promises not to tell and is allowed to keep living with them. The Sohma's curse, however, is deeper and darker than Tohru realized, but her presence soon becomes a large, positive influence on those possessed by the zodiac. She sets out to break the curse, and on the way, meets and discovers each of the Sohma's vengeful zodiac spirits. Each has a different personality, just like the animals in the Chinese Zodiac. Tohru's existence changes the Sohma clan's lives forever...