While the concept of an audio drama based off of a popular series is not a new concept [ nor an unpopular one as Big finish’s doctor who productions can testify to] the idea of an audio drama based off of an anime or manga series, while popular in Japan, to be produced for an English speaking audience is unheard of, or very rarely made aware to a western anime fanbase.
So imagine my surprise to discover american fan Jesuotaku’s production of the classic shoujou manga series Fruits basket.
This series, which to date has three episodes, and is based on the immensely popular manga series by Natsuki Takaya, introduces us to newly orphaned schoolgirl Tohru Honda, whoose single life in a tent is suddenly changed forever when she stumbles into the house, and the lives of classsmate Yuki Sohma, and his cousins Shigure and Kyo – cousins with an all too less than ordinary secret……..
At first I had concerns that this would be just another amateur project, with little to little to offer me – And yet, despite the cast and production being mostly composed of volunteers, Everything about this screams professionalism – from the recordings of the cast [that almost sounds like the cast recorded their lines at the same time, and not in fact the results of separate recordings of lines that have been cleverly melded and mixed together] to the well-selected sound effects and background noises that successfully let the listener become immersed in the story without becoming distracting.
My only real complaint about the production is that the only way to enjoy this series is via Jesuotaku’s releases via Blip.tv [and on review site That guy with the glasses.com], with no ability to directly download the episodes so that you can enjoy them away from your computer.
The chief success of this though is that,whether you are a fan of fruits basket or not, but also regardless whether you know the events of the manga you will enjoy this series.
To get up to date with both the 2 part opening episode and the second episode,they are all available from Jesuotaku’s channel. over at http://blip.tv/jesuotaku
but before i go id like to say well done and keep up the good works guys and girls.