Fruits Basket Manga Volume 18

Fruits Basket Volume 18

SPOILER Summary: As the leaders of the Student Council work on cleaning up the resource room, Machi is missing. A discussion of the rumor that she tried to kill her little brother came up and it is revealed that Machi knocked over a box of chalk and her cleaning up the mess is why she’s late. However, she arrives to hear the rumor discussion and goes home. Her half-brother Kakeru walks with Yuki and convinces him to pay Machi a visit at her home. She’s living alone after being kicked out of her parent’s house because they believed Machi was going to kill her baby brother. When Machi answers the door, she sees Yuki and tries to shut them out, but Kakeru prevents that from happening. Her place is a mess so Kakeru decides to take out the trash which gives Yuki an opportunity to speak with her. He has figured out that Machi has a problem with perfection, which is why she stomps in fresh snow, breaks new chalk, and otherwise destroys things that look perfect. This causes her to open up to Yuki and how her parents were so insistant on her being perfect so that she would be the heir of family estate over Kakeru. She never tried to kill her baby brother. Her story leads Yuki to promise her that the next time it snows, he will stomp on it together with her.

Sometime later, Yuki is back at school and is turning down another love confession. Minagawa, leader of the “Prince Yuki Club,” pays Yuki a submissive visit, requesting to meet with him later. Kimi doesn’t understand why these girls will confess to Yuki when they know they’ll be turned down and Nao is irritated that Yuki is so popular with girls. He feels it is karma that Yuki has to hurt others by turning them down. Noa’s irritation leads the group to suspect that one of the girls confessing to Yuki is one he likes. That really irritates him more. Yuki goes to meet Minagawa and rather than confess, she wishes him well and thanks him for the happiness he gave her. After they depart and after the graduation, Minagawa pays her classroom one final visit where she’s met by Nao. He starts to confess to her but ends up wishing her well instead.

Kagura is talking with Shigure and Hatori about Rin graduating from high school but being unable to get her diploma because she’s in the hospital. However, she’s not sure if Rin really is in the hospital or what. On the Sohma Estate, Kureno observes a woman delivering food to a forbidden part of the estate while Hiro helps take care of his baby sister Hinata. Hiro’s mother visits Kagura’s mother (I think since Rin lived with them) and inquires of Rin. At school, Yuki inquires of Haru about Rin who doesn’t know which hospital Rin is in. Apparently, no one knows where she’s at.

Kisa-chan is going to visit Hiro and runs into him after he attempted to visit Rin at Kagura’s house. Of course Rin wasn’t there. Kisa has a CD for Hinata and as the two walk, Hiro discusses his own lack of confidence since he wants to protect his little sister. He starts to apologize to Kisa when they run into Haru. Hiro lets Haru know Rin isn’t home and that the last time he saw her, she was in emotional pain. He further relays that it was Akito that pushed Rin out of a 2nd-story window when Akito found out about Rin and Haru dating. Hiro apologizes to Kisa because of the injury Akito inflicted upon her. He then lets them know that Rin is trying to break the curse, even if it destroys her. Kisa is touched by everything Hiro has gone through and done and assures him its OK.

Back on the estate, Kureno stops the female servant who’s delivering food. The servant is fearful because Kureno isn’t supposed to be there. However, he convinces her to give him the key to the room and learns that Rin is being held captive there, and is not eating. The servant fears Rin will soon die.

Haru arrives at the estate and storms into Akito’s private area to the irritation of the older female servant. Akito allows him to enter, so Haru confronts Akito about the allegations of Akito pushing Rin out the window and the like. Akito acts innocent and even when Haru gets angry, Akito pretends to not now what Haru is talking about. However, the jig is up when Kureno arrives and reports the truth of Rin’s captivity and how she’s been sent to a hospital now. He chastises Akito for locking Rin up in the cat’s cell and general poor behavior. Akito feels betrayed but Haru’s wrath has him throw Akito against the wall and punch it right near the Sohma Leader’s head. Haru states his love for Rin and walks out on a shocked Akito. Kureno tells Haru to go see Rin since the first words out of Rin’s mouth upon being rescued was Haru’s name. Kureno gets an angry earful from the older female servant for daring to cross Akito.

Meanwhile, Rin dream-recalls how Akito’s mother Ren tricked her into trying to steal a treasure in exchange for information on breaking the curse. Akito caught Rin in the act and thus was imprisoned. Rin longs to dream of Haru and then is suddenly able to see him. However, it is not a dream. Somehow, Rin escaped from the hospital, so Haru carries her now. He assures her she’s no burden to him and she says she’s home.

Later, at Shishou’s home, Tohru is tearfully happy at Rin’s return. Of course this embarrasses Rin. Later when Tohru and Kyo discuss things, Tohru realizes Kyo knows he’s destined to be imprisoned by Akito. So returning to Shishou’s home where Shigure and Rin are talking about breaking the curse, Tohru states that they have to break the curse before spring or else Kyo will be imprisoned as Rin was.

Thoughts: I liked seeing Yuki and Machi getting closer. I’m guessing that either Yuki will tell her about his curse at some point or that the curse will be lifted and then they’ll actually start their relationship. I was surprised at how Minagawa handled graduating and thus leaving her “Prince Yuki.” I was also surprised that Nao had a crush on her. Well, I guess that explains a few things.

I had always figured Rin would certainly play a role in lifting the curse, but I didn’t expect this turn of events with her losing her hair and all, to say nothing of being locked up in the room reserved for the imprisonment of the cat. But I liked how Haru stood up to Akito along with Kureno to rescue her.

Then there’s Tohru forcing the issue on breaking the curse because she knows Kyo will soon be imprisoned. Her love for Kyo is not the typical kind of thing one sees in a romance title and I think that’s why I like her pairing with Kyo so much (assuming that’s where Takaya-sensei goes, which I’m fairly sure will happen).

It was also nice seeing so many others show up like Kagura, Hiro, and Kisa.

I miss the fun of the earlier volumes (and the current character designs aren’t exactly my favorite but oh well) but I do enjoy the stories and romances I guess. Call me a sucker for romance.

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