|My photo: volumes 1 & 23|
Author: Natsuki Takaya
Genre: Shojo Manga
Overall Series Rating: 5/5
Volume One Synopsis:
A family with an ancient curse...
And the girl who will change their lives forever...
Tohru Honda was an orphan with no place to go until the mysterious Sohma family offered her a place to call home. Now her ordinary high school life is turned upside down as she's introduced to the Sohma's world of magical curses and family secrets.
My Background (with the series):
I first was introduced to this series through the anime, by some friends in middle school (I can't remember for the life of my what year, it was 7th or 8th grade, I think). And completely adored it, fell it in love, and needed to read the entire manga (since I know that, mostly, the anime only covered the earlier ones).
I did read them all, back then, back to back. I just reread them recently(June), in an unhealthily short amount of time, and just thoroughly enjoyed myself again. I already loved these characters, so getting to relive their story was fantastic. This is going to be a review of the manga - but I also highly suggest the anime, by the way.
This is a shojo manga - which means it's manga specifically for teenage girls, which focuses on relationships and love and stuff. I haven't read a lot of this type of manga, this might be the only one, definitely the only full series, but my experience with the genre (anime included) is that it tends to make fun of itself in a lighthearted, fun way - which is one of the things I adore.
The other is the characters and how this whole premise is slightly ridiculous. People who turn into zodiac characters when hugged by a member of the opposite sex? Sure - totally not random and strange. But saying that, when I first heart that, I was just like that sounds awesome and weird, I have to watch/read that, and it's kind of still my response to it.
This whole manga, though, is really about the characters - about their lives, their loves, their troubles, and ups and downs. And I loved that. It's a large cast of characters, too. Tohru, our main character, her best friends, all of the zodiacs (and the cat), and the people that surround them (mostly family) - and it's a lot of fun.
Overall, obviously I love this series, and a lot of people do (the average rating for the series on Goodreads is 4.38 out of 270,112 ratings). I'd, honestly, probably recommend this to anyone - check out the first few volumes if you like funny, strange, well written shenanigans with a 'love triangle' that, in my opinion, isn't a love triangle.