Fruits Basket Another Volume 1
Fruits Basket Another is the best most recent example I’ve seen of the benefits of brand extension.
I read a bunch of the original Fruits Basket series, although I quit long before the end. It’s considered a modern classic, though, with lots of awareness, so Yen Press republished it in the US beginning a few years back, along with this sequel series by the same author, Natsuki Takaya. I thought Fruits Basket Another might make a good starting point for dipping back into the world of the manga, but I was heavily disappointed.
Sawa is a nervous, shy schoolgirl who avoids other people for fear of disappointing them. She’s saved from a dressing-down by “an incredibly sparkly boy” with a powerful family, who keeps rescuing her. Because of him and another boy, she becomes part of the student council.
I don’t like any of the characters; most feel like plot devices, since we’re given very little about any of them. There are no interesting situations. The art is generic, with an odd fascination on panels showing feet or chins or knees.
The only reason I read this book was the title, and that appears to be of little relevance. As in the first series, a lonely little girl meets a welcoming family, but none of them turn into animals or Zodiac symbols, although they share the Sohma name. The title is nothing but an undeserved way to get attention in a crowded market. (The publisher provided a review copy.)