The world's most popular shojo manga continues! While at the Sohma vacation home, Tohru is caught in a whirlwind of familial strife. Can she relax and put the "fun" in dysfunctional? None of the Sohmas are going to make it easy, including an angry horse that attacks Tohru. Could this be a new member of the Zodia? Meanwhile, in a fierce argument with Akito, Kyo reveals his true feelings for Tohru. Will Akito tell Tohru about Kyo's secret crush? And speaking of secrets, Akito makes a major announcement--one that will reveal his true identity and change the Sohma family forever!
This is getting so good! Summer break is officially ruined when Akito shows up and forces everyone to hang out with him instead of Tohru. Except Kyo isn't invited, being the cat, and all, which means there is more Tohru/Kyo bonding time! And obvs, I am totally okay with that.
But this volume is not about the romance. It is about Akito's maniuplation, and the relationship he has with each member of the Zodiac. I loved seeing new characters interact with the head of the familiy--the way Akito casually called Haru "the big, dumb, funny ox" with no thought to his feelings (no, that's not true...he had every thought of his feelings, and knew he was crushing them) was chilling. Seeing him threaten Yuki and later Kyo. My word, Akito is a sick individual.
Even though there is no doubt as to his badness, it's also obvious that Akito suffers from acute jealousy, and his creepy "you know I love you" to each Zodiac member is, in some strange way, rooted in truth. So his big confrontation with Tohru at the end, essentially telling her that she will never be as important to the Zodiac members as he is, was basically a big jealous showdown.
Of course Tohru is more important, though, and now that she's got the motivation to do something about the curse, I cannot wait to see what happens next!
Five out of five sand mountains.
Release Date: August 2005
Reading Level: Grade 7+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection: Not currently part of Dunlap's collection.