Manga First Impressions: Ranma 1/2 and Fruits Basket

I’ve started two new manga series in the past month or two and I think it’s time I shared some of my first impressions. I think it’s interesting that they both share the same initial hook, cursed transformations that make life awkward. I


Ranma 1/2

Dyring the past few weeks of the school year I had to spend a lot of time at the local libraries in my area, because my computer was out of commission and at the repair shop. It is really hard to take online classes when you don’t have access to a computer at home.

On some days, getting my work done was a breeze, meaning driving the 15 or 20 minutes to the library (depending on which one I went to) felt like a waste of time if I didn’t stay longer and make the most of the facilities. So, I decided to stick around and read the manga that was available. I managed to finish Alice in the Country of Hearts while I was there and managed to read a couple of the available spin off stories for that series. Once I had had my fill of those and I’d read the few Fullmetal Alchemist volumes available, I decided to pick up something new.

I’ve thought that Ranma ½ looked interesting for a while so, when I saw that they had the first volume I happily picked it up and started reading. If you follow my Chuckle and Chortle Collection posts, then you know I read it back a couple weeks ago.

It is definitely fun and I love the art style. Its about a boy, Ranma, and his father who are cursed while on a training trip to china. They both fell into different hotsprings, which put these curses on them. Ranma turns into a girl whenever he is splashed with cold water, including rain, and his father turns into a panda. Both revert back to their normal forms when doused in hot water.

To make things even more akward, they have recently moved to a new town so that Ranma can choose and get to know his fiancée, one of three sisters in the family they are now living with. Its funny, but the choice is made rather quickly, because two of the sisters quickly throw one under the bus, claiming the match is perfect. See, Akane, hates boys and Ranma is half girl, so its perfect.

I read this entire volume in disbelief as Ranma continuously gets into trouble and continuously changes genders. There are a handful of nude top shots presented in here, but I had no problem with them whatsoever. They simply conveyed that Ranma has no sense of female modesty and he acts the same way he would if he were always a boy. Theres nothing dirty here, just another reminder and I really enjoyed it.

The one thing that threw me off, and it’s a cosmetic things, was that I read the book from left to right, like I would an English published book. It was definitely difficult at first, I had to rewire my brain to read in the right direction, after having finally become accustomed to reading manga the other way. It was odd, but all good now.

I’m amazed by the number of other manga I’m familiar with that are written by the same author and I’m excited to eventually see what else she has to offer.


Fruits Basket

I’ve also started reading fruits basket, which I’ve known about for a good five years now if not longer. Its one of the manga that sits on the shelves at my local libraries main branch and finally I’ve decided to give it a go.

Since I don’t regularly go to the main branch, instead I go to the library that’s five minutes from my house, I ordered the first six volumes and had them delivered there. There was only one problem. I didn’t order six regular volumes, I ordered the first six collected editions, meaning each is the size of a five hundred page novel.


Help me!

So, yeah, I won’t be reading anymore Ranma until I get these volumes back to the library and I ‘m still reading Fullmetal Alchemist which is really picking up now that I’m nearing the end.

Despite knowing Fruits Basket existed, I literally knew nothing about it. It was only recently that I read a synopsis of the story, which is that a girl named Tohru Honda is taken in by the Sohma clan after her family suffers a tragedy. She now discovers that they have a secret, when hugged by the opposite sex, they each turn into various animals of the zodiac.

I’ve read about halfway through the third collected volume at this point and the story is interesting. I’ve seen the majority Sohma males all turn into their animal forms multiple times and I’m learning the character dynamics and personality. There are little things in the story that are fun, like Honda’s odd friends and the rivalry between the cat and the rat, not to mention black Haru. There isn’t anything outstanding about it yet though, it is interesting and enjoyable, but I’m only just starting to get invested.

Like Honda, the cat is my favorite character, no surprise. Here he is present in the family to represent a part of the zodiac, but at the same time he isn’t a true part of the zodiac because he was tricked out of going to the banquet where the animals would be picked. Having never heard this story of a cats origin and remembering something similar where the cat came out on top, I looked up cat myths but came up high and dry finding neither story.

The art is pretty and the animals, especially the rat are cute, but I can’t always follow the story as easily as I have in my recent manga readings. It reminds me of Full Moon, where I had to reread parts of the story in order to understand it and I feel like little things are getting lost in translation, but its not annoying, its just a little more difficult.

Honestly, I wish I hadn’t ordered the collected editions because I would be taking a break from this series and reading  Ranma instead right now.

So I have my reading all picked out for this summer. I’ll plan to read both of these series and finish FMA along with all the other books on my bookshelf in my room that I can get to. Fun Fun Fun! I’ve already filled up all my free time apparently… yikes.

14 thoughts on “Manga First Impressions: Ranma 1/2 and Fruits Basket

  1. Both stories are the ones where the character transforms huh? I have always read manga online and haven’t read from books. Now I am really thinking of getting the books and reading. I personally feel that no matter how much online platforms make it feel real, the real feel yiu get from a book is definitely different.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s nothing like a real book in hand. Also you can take them outside on a sunny day and not be hindered by glare. I like reading manga outside with the breeze blowing my hair.


  2. I never been a big shoujo fan but I absolutely loved Fruits Basket and Kyo is also my favorite. He is a great character in my opinion.
    one of the thing I like about that series is how we see the character becoming more mature with time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s going to be interesting to see, I haven’t read a series that takes place over a long enough time to really see characters mature. Everything seems to wrap up in a year or two.


      1. The series still wrap up before the end of their high school, but the event make them more mature.
        The Kyo from the beginning is hot-blooded and always want to beat Yuki, but at the end of the series he care about only one person and it’s not Yuki and he think more, he is more comprehensive.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. seriously, you like Ranma more than FuruBa? that’s interesting. I was waiting for you to gush about the latter, lol. I grew up with both, tbh, but I’ve only seen their anime. Ranma is long, and got pointless in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m finding I’m not always as taken in by shoujo manga as I originally thought I’d be. I like the quirky humor in Ranma so far, I’m not really expecting too much more from it at this point.

      It’s funny how we expect people to enjoy certain things, but then they surprise us.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m probably not the target audience for fruits basket but I didn’t like it so much. I don’t really remember a lot about it except I wasn’t interested in the characters and nothing grabbed me after a few episodes.

    Ranma is great though, if you’re going to watch it as anime I recommend getting a viewing guide though because a lot of the episodes end up being seriously mixed (s1 is all good though except for the last episode which is a recap episode (I think))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s interesting enough for me, but it is rather dull. I could see why you wouldn’t care for it.

      When I get to the anime, if I find myself struggling through the episodes I’ll look for an viewing guide for sure, thanks for telling me.

      Liked by 1 person

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