Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fruits Basket Vol. 18 by Natsuki Takaya

Book Jacket

As rumors swirl about Machi trying to kill her little brother, Kakeru figures that the only person who can get the truth out of her is Yuki.  But when the two of them visit her, they learn a shocking secret.  Later, Motoko wants to tell Yuki her feelings before she graduates and leaves the school--and him--forever.  But will their parting be such sweet sorrow?  You'll just have to find out in this next volume of the super-popular Fruits Basket, the winner of Best Manga at the inaugural American Anime Awards Show!


Yuki, Haru, and Rin are the stars of this volume.  I like their stories (and I will talk about them more in a bit), but I laughed out loud when I got to the filler sketch at the end of the first chapter, because Kyo exactly expressed my feelings.  Here, I've even taken a picture of the page for you.

However, I did enjoy Yuki continuing to connect with Machi.  Takaya does such an excellent job of capturing the little gestures that add up to love.  Because we (with Yuki) learn that Machi has a rational hatred/fear of perfection, it is incredibly sweet to see Yuki casually snap the piece of the chalk, calming Machi without drawing attention to her anxiety.  Adorable!  (Also, I'm aware that sounds ridiculous.  Just read the manga and you will understand!)

Then we get more Haru and Rin.  Um, Akito is all kinds of awful.  I guess it makes sense that he/she would hate the Sohma women who find love despite the curse.  That is jealousy, and I can empathize with jealousy.  But locking someone in a secluded room?  Cutting their hair?  Breaking their will to survive?  It is going to take a whooole lot to make me forgive Akito.  More than just making his/her mother even more awful.

It is no surprise that I really liked the ending.  I'm glad the three people invested in finding a way to break the curse--Tohru, Rin, and Shigure--are meeting, if only temporarily.  And I LOVED how Rin was satisfied with a "someday it will be broken" answer, but Tohru adamantly insisted that it had to be before next spring.  She loves Kyo like whoa, but the other Zodiac members barely think of him.

And how cute was the picture of Tohru cuddling Cat!Kyo?  So cute.

Though I liked the story lines, nothing really jumped out as being awesome, so I have to go with an average rating.

Three out of five shorter haircuts.

Release Date:  November 2007
Reading Level:  Grade 7+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection: Not currently part of Dunlap's collection.

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