The number one manga in America continues!
The time for Yuki's parent-teacher conference has finally arrived, and Yuki must learn how to make his own decisions if he wants to have a say about his future. Later, Tohru sets off on a quest to find out if Kureno Sohma is the same person Arisa has been in love with all this time. But along the way she will discover a tragic secret about Momiji's sister Momo...
I have remained lukewarm about Yuki's relationship with his older brother Ayame, but give them a common enemy (sadly, their mother), and I love them together! I felt like it was finally made clear why Ayame regrets his past behaviors and is trying so desperately, and inexpertly, to be in Yuki's corner now. He totally came through when he was most needed too. Kudos to Yuki for sticking up for himself, as well! He's really growing up.
Momiji is one of my favorite characters. He's light-hearted and optimistic, but his family and his past is incredibly sad. And I forgot to mention it earlier, but the fact that he was the only one to stand up to Akito for Tohru back at the beach house? OH MY WORD. Momiji is not to be taken lightly. I want to adopt him.
But let's ignore the actual plot and Tohru's continued determination to figure out how to break the Sohma curse. We got official, verbal confirmation that she favors Kyo! I love how adorable their relationship is. No flowery speeches. Just Tohru getting upset when he ignores me and happy when he pays attention to her, then realizing that his actions affect her far more than is normal.
Something about that struck me as incredibly interesting. In both Fruits Basket and Ouran High School Host Club, multiple guys have crushes on the main character. We are let into the guys' thoughts; we know how much they like the girl. But we never really get into the girl's head to know who she likes. Compare this to any of the American love triangle stories, where pages and pages are devoted to the heroine's agonized indecision over who she likes best. I think it's very interesting that (at least two) Japanese stories focus on the emotions of men rather than women. I am curious to find out whether that is an actual culture difference. Fascinating!
Now I kind of want to go on a school trip. :)
Four out of five violin concerts.
Release Date: April 2006
Reading Level: Grade 7+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection: Not currently part of Dunlap's collection.