Fruits Basket Ultimate Edition Volume 1

Fruits Basket Ultimate Edition Volume 1

I heard about this new release of Fruits Basket from TokyoPop and thought I’d look into it a bit. I read this from, “Bonus content includes interior color art, new foreword, and an autograph by Natsuki Takaya!” had something similar, only no mention of an autograph from Takaya-sensei. So, what is all this?

First, this volume actually contains volumes 1 and 2 of the original paperback release. Because the book is larger (9 x 6.2 x 1.5 inches) than the original paperback size (7.3 x 5 x 0.8 inches), the art is nicer to look at and thus more enjoyable. Of course the larger size also makes it a little less convenient to carry around here and there but that’s a minor thing. The hardback binding is pretty nice as is the cheaper price (compared to buying the two paperback volumes).

However, I have a problem with the description from Amazon. There was no autograph from Takaya-sensei that I could find in the book I purchased. Next, the “color art” was simply the cover images from the first two volumes. I had hoped that maybe we’d see some interior color pages if those had existed in the original Hana to Yume magazine that the manga was initially published in. And finally, the new forward is nothing special, just some words from the current English adapter of the manga (no offense to Miss Sentar).

So, should you spring for a “double dip” on this? That depends on whether or not you want the hardback binding combined with the larger dimensions for viewing the manga. Since all of the original stuff (sans the TokyoPop ads, which are all new) from the paperbacks have been transfered to the hardback edition, you won’t miss anything buying this and tossing your paperbacks. However, without the color pages that may have existed in Hana to Yume, for me, the hardback binding and larger page size isn’t enough to pay $15 for a double-dip.

That said, if you’ve never bought the manga series before, this is the perfect time for you to jump in. You get two volumes for $15 (less when you catch it on sale) vs. $20 to buy them in paperback form which is pretty nice.

While I won’t be double-dipping short of the color page stuff (and I doubt that’s added in future volumes), I do applaud TokyoPop for figuring out a way to extend the life of their biggest cash cow. While these won’t have the sales numbers the new paperback volumes will get, this will inject at least a little sales life into the older volumes, which generate very little revenue these days. Hopefully this will work for the manga industry as it has in the anime industry (re-releasing a series for a cheaper price well after the initial release is done).

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