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If You Liked Fruits Basket Then You Will Love Kamisama Kiss

Trust me!

By E. J. StrangePublished 3 years ago 3 min read

I feel like every anime and manga buff I talk to knows of or has emersed themselves in the sweet slice-of-life known as Fruits Basket. It is an adorable animation that pulls at your heartstrings. The show seemingly wears its own mask of sickly sweetness. A façade that they address beautifully as they zoom into the ugly undertones of life. This show is every bit far fetched, but these revealing moments humanize the characters and makes them relatable to the audience. When the audience is finished, emptiness and longing for more settles heavily upon them.

The manga version tied everything up neatly and at the very least, gave closure to the audience. However, the anime left its viewers in a very tumultuous time in the characters' lives adding to that feeling of forlorn. It also seems that they will never make a 3rd season leaving those who do not read the mangas to wonder in misery. Kamisama Kiss is a balm to that emotional trauma.

Kamisama Kiss has many similar parallels to Fruits Basket making it a great substitute or follow up to Fruits Basket. Both story lines include an orphaned schoolgirl, who is homeless and fraught with a tumultuous backstory. Despite these issues, both characters remain sympathetic and focused on caring for others the best that they can. Their portrayal makes them strong and appear emotionally resilient without taking away from the stereotype of soft femininity.

These girls' characters deviate a little in that Tohru Honda, the main character from Fruits Basket, follows more female stereotypes. She is portrayed as a pushover. At the beginning, this is highlighted in a favorable light, but as time goes on and her character develops you see her make her stand; making her decisions more poignant. Whereas, Nanami Momozono, the main character from Kamisama Kiss, comes across as already jaded. She has been taken advantage of and witnessed her own mother being exploited so she is guarded and standoffish. Her character blooms like a flower, though, as she starts to open up and allow herself to trust in others again.

Now back to how these shows will give you the same feelies: Their next parallel includes the occult. In Fruits Basket, Tohru Honda has her precarious situation discovered by people who are reincarnations of zodiac members such as the rat, the cow, the dog and so on. These people are cursed, so when they hug a member of the opposite sex they turn into their zodiac creature. This makes their lives problematic and served to create some unhealthy family dynamics among them. Still, they take her in and together they learn about themselves and develop new understandings about life.

Kamisama Kiss too has an occult backdrop in that the main character, Nanami Momozono, is discovered by a “shrine god” who had been neglectful of his home. The mischievous god gives her his god affinity in what seems like a gift. She follows his directions to his “home” only to find she has been tricked into being a stand in shrine god. There she meets the god’s familiar, who is a demon fox, and two shrine spirits who work together to keep the shrine going. None are related by blood, but together they comprise a dysfunctional family that grows and adapts into a healthier unit under Nanami’s haphazard efforts.

OH, and my favorite part: The romance! The sweet youthful innocence of first loves and their heart aches. Both girls fall for their own supernatural hunk. These men, on the outside at least, are the epitome of male excellence: Physically capable, good cooks, good listeners, nurturing and stubborn as hell. Despite all of these wonderful attributes, both leading men are weighed down by their own troubling pasts and trauma from evils they could not overcome. Both sweet innocent characters have to look at the ugly parts of their love interest and accept who they are.

In typical anime fashion, though, both male characters also try to resist love. They find excuses and scare our female heroines into running from them. This is where the girls again deviate. Nanami leans into it more than Tohru, making me feel a more favorable bias towards Nanami. However, without giving too much away, I want to say Tohru had some more shocking attributes to overcome in her partner.

Don’t take my word for it, though. I don’t want to give you a blow by blow of either of these great animes because that would rob you of getting to experience them firsthand. Both shows were silly and whimsical while carrying deeper messages. Both shows cover everything from the importance of family connection to the value of self-worth. In all, they are both beautiful, well balanced story lines, so if you liked Fruits Basket then you are going to fall in love with Kamisama Kiss.


About the Creator

E. J. Strange

I am new to the writing community but hope to publish a novel one day. I am simple minded and sucker for romance.

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