Anime DVD Review: Fruits Basket The Complete Series

Fruits Basket The Complete Series is a four disc DVD set packaged in slim DVD cases, that are packaged into an outer box. I was really impressed by the fact that the outer box for this set is sturdy, compared to many other outer DVD boxes, which tend to be flimsy cardboard. The first two discs contain six episodes, while the final two discs contain seven episodes.

Fruits Basket The Complete Series
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: DVD
Release Date: November 20, 2007

Tohru Honda is the main character of Fruits Basket; she’s a high school girl who was orphaned after her mother died in a car accident. Tohru lived with her grandfather until remodeling needed to be done on his house. Tohru ends up living in a tent in the woods, with her clothes and a picture of her mother being her main possessions.

While heading to school one day, Tohru discovers that her classmate Yuki Sohma, lives in a house near her tent. When Yuki and his cousin Shigure discover that Tohru is living in a tent that’s on Sohma property, they are surprised by her inner strength. They feel sorry for Tohru and offer her a place to stay in exchange for cooking and housework. After Tohru’s tent is buried by a landslide, and the Sohma cousins retrieve her belongings, Tohru has no choice but to accept their offer.

Tohru comes to discover that the Sohma family has a secret, and why Yuki is so secretive at school. 13 members of the Sohma family are possessed by the 12 animal spirits of the Chinese Zodiac, as well as the spirit of the cat that was left out of the Zodiac. The members of the Sohma family that are possessed by the curse transform into animals when they are hugged by a member of the opposite gender, are under a great amount of stress, or are weak in any way. Tohru promises to keep the family’s secret, and she is allowed to keep her memories instead of having them hypnotically erasing them.

When it comes to the actual DVD box set, all four of the discs contain a textless version of the opening credits and trailers for properties that FUNimation was promoting at the time this box set was released in the “Extras” menu.

Each disc also contains character profiles, which include a picture of the character, a write-up for each character, as well as listing who provides the voice for the character in the English dub; the voice credit is a link to a bio for the English voice actor. The first disc contains profiles for Tohru, Shigure, Yuki, Kyo, Arisa, Saki, and Kagura. The second disc contains profiles for Tohru, Shigure, Yuki, Kyo, Momiji, Hatsuharu, and Hatori. The third disc contains profiles for Tohru, Shigure, Yuki, Kyo, Ayame, Megumi, and Kisa. The final disc contains profiles for all of the characters listed above, and also adds in Kyoko, Motoko, Akito, Hiro, Ritsu, and Kazuma.

Disc one also includes a behind the scenes featurette that runs for about 25 minutes; it’s a promotional piece that aired on Japanese television before the premiere of the Fruits Basket anime. The second disc also includes an interview with the director of Fruits Basket. Discs two, three, and four contain a “Fruits Basket Room” segment. Each one runs about 15 minutes, and the Japanese voice actress for Tohru interviews one of the other voice actors in the series; the segments feature the Japanese voices of Yuki, Kyo, and Shigure.

The second and third discs include an “Eyecatch Gallery”; disc two features the eyecatches and ka-ching wipes from episodes 1-12, while disc three features the eyecatches and wipes from episodes 13-26. You get to see the stills for each one, and the Japanese voice actor for Tohru explains the images in them. This was kind of an interesting feature, since some of the wipes can go by so quickly, that you don’t really get to take them in. Also, it was nice to hear the explanations for some of them.

The fourth disc contains an illustration gallery, which includes CD and DVD covers, posters, and trading cards. The final disc also contains interviews with the English voice cast; however, I was disappointed that you don’t actually see the voice actors, because they just talk over primarily still images from the series.

All in all, this is actually a rather strong DVD box set. There’s quite a bit of bonus features included, and they’re spread out rather evenly between the discs. If you’re a fan of the Fruits Basket anime and don’t already own the series on DVD, I would highly recommend picking up this set. Unfortunately, this particular set may be harder to come by, because it’s now out of print. About four years after this particular Fruits Basket set was released, FUNimation released the Fruits Basket Complete Series: Collector’s Edition box set; as of this writing, this newer DVD box set appears to still be in print. If you can’t find the Fruits Basket The Complete Series, you could try to get the Fruits Basket Complete Series: Collector’s Edition box set instead.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of Fruits Basket The Complete Series that my husband and I purchased.

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