I wrote about Akito Sohma’s internal and interpersonal struggle with power in Fruits Basket, and how her story shows us what healing looks like for AnimeFeminist! This piece was in the works for a long time, and I’m incredibly grateful to my editor and the AniFem staff for their hard work in helping it come together. I hope you all enjoy!
Experiencing abuse from a young age, lacking a healthy vision of how to love and be loved, can resonate through a victim’s life for years, even decades. This is explored thoughtfully and compassionately in the classic shoujo manga Fruits Basket.
The series tells the story of the Sohmas, a family cursed to transform into animals of the Chinese zodiac when embraced by a member of the other sex. Not only does it grapple with a legacy of abuse, but it also raises profound questions about the nature of love and power and explores the role sex plays in both. These themes come through particularly clearly in the head of the family and “God” of the Zodiac, Akito.