Sunday, May 11, 2008

Fruits Basket Vol. 18 by Natsuki Takaya

Main Character: Tohru Honda
Location: Japan
Time period: Contemporary
Genre: YA Manga, Fantasy

Yuki hears a rumor that when Machi was younger she tried to kill her little brother. Her family rejected her and made her live on her own. Yuki and Kakeru go to visit her and she tells them that she was not trying to strangle her brother, she was putting another blanket on him because she thought he was cold. But her parents overreacted and since they prized her brother above all else and pretty much ignored her, they kicked her out. Machi had tried always to be perfect to gain her parents' love and now that they've rejected her, she is rejecting perfection. That is why her room is a mess and why periodically she has these outbursts where she messes up the student council room. Yuki feels sympathy for Machi, and maybe, just maybe, a little bit more.

Hiro's mom has her baby, a little girl named Hinata, and Hiro is absolutely smitten with her. He encounters Kisa and Hatsuharu. He tells them that he's been keeping a secret--Rin is trying to break the curse so Akito punished her by throwing her out of a second-floor window. Hiro witnessed it, but Akito told him not to tell anyone. Now that he's a big brother, Hiro realizes that it is wrong to keep the secret. Intercut in this scene (in a very effective and beautifully drawn way) Kureno defies Akito by breaking Rin out of the room where Akito has imprisoned her (the cat's isolated room) and takes her to a hospital.

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