Fruits Basket is a very popular shojo manga and anime by Natsuki Takaya that I can't get enough of. I love it. The main character possesses a lot of character traits I wish I had. There are lots of little object lessons I have picked up from the series. Yes, I know that is kind of sad but you truly can learn from anything if you are open to it. In any case for future reference when I post one of these I wanted to put a little Fruits Basket background so that you can understand where I am coming from. (yes I already know that you think I'm crazy)
The enigmatic Sohma family shares a great secret, its members are possessed by spirits of the Chinese Zodiac, and when they are hugged by members of the opposite sex, they transform into their Zodiac animal! Tohru Honda, an orphaned high school freshman, is given lodging in the Sohma household in exchange for taking care of household chores. The humble Tohru is quite grateful for the Sohma family's generosity, and the longer she stays with them, the more they realize what a blessing she is in their lives, as well.
(source: tokyo pop.com)
Tohru Honda: main character. The most gentle, lovable person you'll meet. Loyal and serving, constantly puts others needs before her own.
Arisa Uotani: one of Tohru's best friends. She was very close to Tohru's mom, Kyoko before her passing. Arisa had been a "yankee" (gang member) from the time she was in 5th grade until meeting Tohru in middle school.
Saki Hanajima: Tohru's other best friend. She has an interesting ability to sense people's auras. Not quite psychic but sort of. She has a bit of a Goth demeanor but she is very kind and protective of those she loves.
Kyo Sohma: the fabled, ostracize Cat. He is a martial arts fanatic whose greatest desire is to beat his cousin Yuki in a fight. He believes that this will allow him to be accepted into his family and the zodiac.
Yuki Sohma: the Rat. The "prince" of Kaibara High School. He is intelligent, athletic and the cutest boy to ever grace the halls. He has his own fan club. His shy demeanor hides many dark secrets.
Shigure Sohma: the Dog. At 27, he is one of the older cursed members of the zodiac. He is flirtatious as can be. Most of the day to day life in our story unfolds in the home of this novelist.
Kagura Sohma: the Boar. She is in love with Kyo. She is one of a select few that accepts him for all that he is. She loves him so much that she tends to beat him up most times she sees him, giving new meaning to the phrase "love tap". It is however a bit of a sad love.
Momiji Sohma: the Rabbit. You would never guess that this half German, half Japanese boy is 15 because of his small stature and childish actions. But he has a heart of gold and like many of the cursed Sohma's he hides a sad secret that he refuses to forget.
Hatori Sohma: the Dragon, seahorse. Hatori is the family's doctor. Most of his time is spent caring for Akito, the head of the family. Hatori has an interesting ability to be able to suppress people's memories which he has had to use to help hide the family's secret a number of times. In one very sad situation he had to erase the memories of the woman he loved.
Hatsuharu Sohma: the Cow. A very courteous young gentleman who loves martial arts and his girlfriend Rin (also a zodiac member). "Haru" as he is called is the same age as Momiji and has an alter ego referred to as "Black Haru".
Ayame Sohma: the Snake. He is the same age as Shigure and Hatori and the three of them are close friends. He is also Yuki's older brother but there is quite the rift between the two. He is trying his best to heal it. "Aya" is extremely confident and vain. He owns a shop where he designs and creates all kinds of dresses and costumes.
Kisa Sohma: the Tiger. A shy middle schooler who Tohru helps to bring out of her shell. When she first appears she is unable to speak due to situations she is facing at school.
Hiro Sohma: the Sheep. A smart and sarcastic middle school boy who loves Kisa and becomes jealous of Tohru because of her close friendship with her.
Ritsu Sohma: the Monkey. Extremely shy and insecure, he wears women's clothes because he says it takes away the pressure for him to be assertive. He does know that this is strange but he lacks the confidence to change. He feels that he is worthless and constantly apologizes, even when it is not necessary.
Isuzu (Rin) Sohma: the Horse. She is quite the stubborn one. She is very beautiful and is girlfriend to Haru. She wants to break the curse and wants Tohru to get away from the family for her own good.
Kureno Sohma: the Rooster. He is Akito's personal assistant and does not get to go out or see the other family members very much. On one of his few trips outside of the Sohma estate he meets and develops a fondness for Arisa Uotani.
Akito Sohma: the young master of the Sohma family. He bears the core of the dreaded curse in his body and perhaps carries the greatest secret of all. He is feared and despised by most members of the zodiac and does all he can to control their lives. Although he initially allows for Tohru's presence after he sees the positive effects she is having on having on his family members he quickly becomes jealous.