Date of Award

Spring 5-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Justine Van Meter

Second Advisor

Stephanie Takaragawa

Third Advisor

Anna Leahy


This thesis examines the various traumas within Takaya Natsuki’s anime series Fruits Basket and how the act of transformation triggers the beginnings of recovery for numerous characters. Fruits Basket bears striking similarities to the French fairy tale Beauty and the Beast (as well as later adaptations) originated by Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve. Throughout, I draw parallels between the “Beauty and the Beast”-genre with Fruits Basket and how the anime expands upon shared themes, specifically trauma. Additionally, I analyse the birth of and recovery from traumas (caused by bullying, loss, abuse, and feelings of otherness) for “Beauty and the Beast” archetypes within Fruits Basket, along with others. Takaya’s anime demonstrates an understanding of trauma: the journeys various characters undertake stress the importance of a having strong, supportive social system to initiate the steps for recovery.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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