Tohru Handa is living in a tent. It’s not the ideal way for a sixteen year old girl to grow up, but without wanting to be a burden to her family, she feels she has no other choice. Until she’s offered a place to stay with a strange family who just so happen to be under a curse. If they are touched by members of the opposite sex, they turn into animals from the Chinese zodiac.
Most of this is slap stick type violence, but there are a few fist fights that show a bit of blood. Also, near the end there is a transformation that’s a bit ugly and could be quite scary to really young viewers.
Anything too bad gets bleeped out for comedy purposes, but expect a few d-mns and such here and there as well. Kyo has the worst mouth by far with phrases like “p-ssing me off” and “you’re an -sshole.”
Alright, so as to be expected of a shoujo show, when the guys transform back into human form, they are without clothing. We are spared details thanks to a very convenient colored smoke that accompanies transformations, but you will see bare chest and legs. Also, there is one scene where one male character makes a crude remark to another after he comes out of the bathroom. Oh and banter between two other male characters who are long time friends is… odd. They make suggestive comments to each other frequently. Nothing X rated, and most of this stuff would fly over very young viewers, but still. It’s there.
Naturally since the story contains the zodiac animals, there’s some stories swapped here and there about them. God is referenced right off the bat in a fable like tale, but due to the loose definition of “God” in Japan (the same term is sometimes used to refer to many gods and also to refer to God as defined by most western religions) whether or not it’s religious remains ambiguous. I’d say it isn’t due to the story forms used. These tales are far more like fables and folklore. In any case, if the idea of curses and humans turning into animals bugs you, this show isn’t your thing.
This show is pretty stereotypical shoujo fare. That said, it’s also pretty enjoyable. Tohru (I have also caught her named spelled as Toru) is very cheerful even though her past and current circumstance kinda suck big time. And there’s enough comedy from the other characters to keep things from getting too serious. Until the end, anyway.
Overall, the animation and music is pretty standard for its day, although it’s considered a bit too basic now. And the story, again, is pretty standard. It’s also pretty well paced, so it’s a bit relaxing so it’s a nice break from darker shows. Just don’t wait around for everyone’s back story to get wrapped up.
Personal rating: Young adult
Languages: Sub and dub
Official rating: TV14
Genre(s): Romance, comedy, drama
Legal streaming: Hulu