When the infamous Akito makes an in-class appearance at the start of the school year, the Sohma family worries that his arrival will be an uncensored exercise of show and tell about Yuki's past. Meanwhile, when Ayame vows to rekindle his brother's lost friendship, he begins to realize that you can choose your friends but you can't choose your family--especially when they're acting like animals!
Now that Momiji and Haru have joined our three main characters at school, the story really clicks and moves quickly. My favorite stories have ensemble casts (Harry Potter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, LOST) and Fruits Basket is no different. This only gets better when Ayame joins the group and brings stories of his school days with Hatori and Shigure.
And Momiji? THAT KID KILLS ME. He is adorable and charming and cheerful, but his past is absolutely heart-breaking. The story of his childhood is our second reminder that the whole turning-into-zodiac-animals thing is not fun and games--it's a curse. (The first reminder, for me, was Hatori's story of loving and losing Kana.)
Have I mentioned in these reviews that I adore Kyo? Because I really do. He is so messed up and angry, but with Tohru, he just kind of melts. I think the manga explores his feelings more than the anime did, which only makes me happy!
Four out of five flamboyant older brothers.
Release Date: August 2004
Reading Level: Grade 7+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection: Not currently part of Dunlap's collection.