Japanese-language manga-hosting site Manga Park is currently celebrating its third anniversary, and that occasion is coinciding with its Shojo Manga Summer Formation promotion.
From July 21, all 136 chapters of Fruits Basket, which originally ran between 1998 and 2006 in the pages of shojo manga anthology Hana to Yume, will be free to read on Manga Park.
♦ Fruits Basket – Synopsis
One of Fruits Basket’s most clever plot devices, and also its most famous, is that the eligible bachelors Tohru is surrounded by transform into various cute animals when they come into physical contact with a girl, ensuring that even when their young hearts start to race, their romances stay chaste.
However, Fruits Basket isn’t the only landmark reverse harem series that’s going free-to-read as part of Manga Park’s summer celebration, as the same treat is being given to fans of Ouran High School Host Club.
A fellow Hana to Yume title, creator Bisco Hatori’s series partially overlapped with Fruits Basket, running from 2002 to 2010, with a 2006 anime TV series adaptation and subsequent live-action TV drama and film versions.
♦ Ouran High School Host Club – Synopsis
Following the school days of Haruhi, a girl of less-than-wealthy status who ends up at an elite prep academy where circumstances compel her to disguise herself as a boy while working in the campus host club, the premise isn’t really much more realistic than Fruits Basket’s magical romance, but Ouran remains one of the most enduringly beloved examples of the “everyday girl becomes the center of attention for lots of handsome rich boys” story structure.
The two series will only be free-to-read between July 21 and 27, so fans will want to start reading early, or at least hit their favorite chapters first. Fruits Basket can be found here, and Ouran here, and both feature full phonetic hiragana pronunciation guides for their kanji, making them viable reads even for readers who are still in the middle of their Japanese studies.