As I prepare for the Manga Moveable Feast featuring Natsuki Takaya’s Fruits Basket (Tokyopop), one nagging thought keeps slightly tinging the pleasure of revisiting the series. I always felt that Fruits Basket was critically under-appreciated. Sure, the series always had its partisans who approached it with the seriousness I felt it deserved, but, on the whole, it seemed like it got dismissed as cute romance, which it stopped being about halfway through the third volume. That critical response might have been because of its demographic, and it might also have been because of its commercial success. (I think there’s a natural and often correct implication to look at an entertainment that makes a lot of money and be suspect of its likely quality. Still, there are plenty of examples of things that are both wildly popular and really good.)
So, for this random weekend question, which comics do you think are critically under-appreciated? What books do you think don’t get the admiration they deserve?
(As a reminder, the Fruits Basket Manga Moveable Feast will run from Sunday, July 24, 2011, through Saturday, July 30, 2011. If you’d like for me to host a piece here, I’d be more than happy to do so.)