Download all episodes of Fruits Basket
Furuba Radio Drama, March 2011 and continuing
The website to this radio drama (http://furubadrama.weebly.com/), gives a good summary of the basic scenario. Ir is the story of a young woman, Tohru Honda (Heather
McDonald), who decides to live in a tent after her mother passes away. However she discovers to her cost that the woods belong
to the rich and influential Sohoma family. The three young men living there - Kyo (Phil Burgraff), Yuki (Evan Bremer), and
Shigura (Jesse Froia) take Tohra in after her tent is buried after a landslide; she soon discovers that there's
something strange about them. They have been cursed for hundreds of years, and are now possessed by spirits from the
Chinese zodiac. In certain circumstances they transform into animals. Tohru agrees to keep the secret, but discovers
that life with the family is no bed of roses ...
First and foremost this
is a serial about transformation; not only involving the Sohoma family, but Tohru herself. In the pilot episode, she comes
across as immature, perhaps tied too closely to her mother's apron-strings, but once she is cast out into the wilderness she
had to acquire maturity rapidly. The woods themselves symbolize the unknown; through her various adventures therein, Tohru
transforms herself from an adolescent into a self-possessed young woman. She comes of age, so to speak.
Fruits Basket uses
the fairytale format to make some sharp observations on gender. Tohru has been brought up to be a pliant person, willingly
agreeing to conform to what her world expects from her. However her experiences with the Sohoma family teach her a lot about
looking after herself, and resisting the boys' attempts to dominate her. They might possess the kind of transformative capacities
that are beyond her; but this does not give them licence to treat her as a plaything. They have to learn that she shares their
capacity for self-determination.
Structured as a series of episodes lasting twenty or so minutes each, Fruits Basket
is a compelling drama, ably performed by a predominantly youthful cast. Ably adapted from the Japanese shojo manga series
by Jesu Otaku (who also directed), I recommend the drama as being well worth a listen.