高屋奈月『フルーツバスケット』キャラクターブック ペーパーバック – 2001/7
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I will 100% be buying the rest of the series <3
I was a bit upset when I found out there are only 6 ultimate editions of Fruits Basket because Tokyopop was no longer continuing the rest, but nonetheless I found them to be a great collection. Some people wouldn't like that because they want their collections all the exact same, but I definitely recommend this collection if you're able to get your hands on them. If not, the singles are perfectly fine too, as I have read that the translation errors are still unchanged on the ultimate versions. This fact doesn't bother me so much as it might bother other collectors.
Overall, I was quite happy with this and would definitely collect more if there were more in print. For others who want to read Fruits basket , I would recommend it but for the collectors who want everything to be exact then not so much.
The vast majority of "Banquet" simply reports the results of fan surveys from the original Japanese readership: the top 20 favorite chapters, the top 15 favorite pairs, the top 20 favorite characters. The "Cat fanbook had some similar stuff that I just skimmed over and ignored, but with "Banquet", that's what most of this book *is*. With some of the top choices, Takaya provides a few lines of commentary or reaction, but imho there's almost no new information or insight offered about the series, even in her two written interviews.
There is an 8-page retrospective mini-manga that presents the thoughts of Takaya and her main characters about the series as a whole, so that's a plus-- it's not really substantive, but it's cute. There's also a nice full-color gallery in front, showing some chapter intro images that were shown as monochrome in the main manga volumes.
But most of the book just feels like fan filler to me, and I'm really irritated when the formatting keeps flinging tiny blocks of text between panels and sideways. (I also wish that the Furuba glossary at the end had retained at least the romaji for each main entry to give some sense of order-- they're still "alphabetized" by their original kana order, but without the original Japanese words, the English-language entries now seem to be jumbled in random order.)
If you're interested in static summaries of what Japanese fans thought about the series, then you may enjoy this book much more than I did. But for the most part, I'm not and I didn't.