Fruits Basket Manga Volume 20

Fruits Basket Manga Volume 20

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis: Tohru ends up telling Rin of her feelings for Kyo, which causes Kagura to strike out at Tohru for not telling Kyo. Next, we learn of how Akito’s father Akira chose Ren to be his wife. Then after Ren gives birth to Akito, Ren is cold to her daughter and her own slippage of mental instability in how Akito now takes some of Akira’s time. Next, Momiji finds his curse has been broken. Akito begs for Momiji to not leave her, but Momiji is going to go his own way. As such, he pays a visit to his real mother, who notices the difference in Momiji (though she still does not remember him as her son). At school, Yuki, Hatsuhara, and Kyo notice the changes in Momiji. Momiji mentions to Kyo (in a joking fashion) about his curse being lifted, which annoys Kyo.

The story shifts back to Ren and Akito immediately after Akira’s death. Akito talks with Kureno about that time in her life, including her battles with her mother Ren. Ren continued to challenge Akito’s belief in the bond between herself as “god” and the remaining juunishi throughout Akito’s life. Akito concedes to Kureno that everything is falling apart when Ren enters the room with a knife, demanding the box of Akira’s that Akito holds. It had been given to Akito after Akira’s death by one of the female attendants, who claimed the box contained Akira’s soul. The box never contained anything and Akito throws it at her mother before taking the knife to kill Ren.

At that very moment, Hiro find his curse broken and his first act is to pick up his little baby sister Hinata. Hiro’s mother comes in to see this and realizes what has happened. After Hiro expresses his confused thoughts on the matter, his mother comforts him, telling him that it is natural to feel as he does since he was cursed for all those years.

Because of Hiro’s bond being broken from Akito, this stops her from killing her mother. Ren states she doesn’t mind if she’s killed and it is revealed that there is a split within the Souma household over the situation between Ren and Akito. Akito leaves and while Kureno attempts to comfort her, she literally stabs him in the back before leaving him.

At Shigure’s house, Tohru and Kyo have just eaten when Tohru decides to ask the question that is on her mind — does Kyo like her. Kyo begins telling Tohru the story of how he met her mother when he was a kid. The two had talked repeatedly and Kyo had even promised to protect Tohru after seeing her picture. However, when Tohru got lost as a kid and was rescued by Yuki, Kyo felt that he’d let Kyoko down but worse, he felt betrayed by Kyoko’s apparently not understanding his hatred of Yuki. As such, he never saw her again until the morning of the accident when Kyoko was killed. He had an opportunity to save Torhu’s mother but didn’t do so in order to protect his secret (he would have transformed into the cat). So he feels that he not only let Kyoko die, but his own mother as well.

Thoughts/Review: Well, this volume certainly explained a few things. I could never understand why Akito, who is clearly a control freak, would allow some of the zodiac to live outside of the Souma estate. Tohru being allowed to live with Yuki, Kyo, and Shigure was a bit less of a mystery, since Akito seemed to believe that Tohru was not a threat, but to have Tohru there at all still shocked everyone else. Now we know that it was Ren’s constant harping on the fake nature of the bond between Akito and the zodiac that caused Akito to do what she did to prove her mother wrong. It is interesting that there is internal strife not only between the mentally unstable Ren and the mentally unstable Akito, but their female staff as well.

Momiji being the first person to break the curse (after Kureno of course) made sense to me. After all, he’d shown himself to be the strongest of the lot in many ways, even standing up to Akito to protect Tohru. I hope that somehow he can end up back with his real family.

Hiro’s being lifted from the curse next was a surprise to me. He was always such a brat but underneath that, he did care a great deal for Kisa, his mother, and his little sister. Indeed, it was a touching moment for him to pick up and hold his baby sister as his first act free of the curse.

Finally, there’s Kyo and Tohru. I can’t imagine anything Kyo confessing here (claiming to be at least partially responsible for Tohru’s mother’s death) will change Tohru’s feelings for him. However, his act of confessing would seem to be the final hurdle he needs to overcome in order to be free from the curse. As I read what Kyo said, I couldn’t help but think back to volume 4 when they visited Kyoko’s grave and Hana-chan picked up Kyo’s feelings of chaos. At the time, I thought this may have been because he was without parents but to know that he witnessed Kyoko’s death, going back to that moment in volume 4 takes on an amazing amount of new life. As such, I salute Takaya-sensei for this bit of foreshadowing, done so many years earlier.

I know I’ve said this before, but I really dislike Takaya-sensei’s current character designs. By elongating the faces, I feel the characters have not only lost personality, but their unique identities too. If I showed a scan of Kagura in the first chapter with a scan of Kimi’s last appearance, you really couldn’t tell the difference between the two characters. The character designs have become so generic now that some characters are difficult to distinguish from others. That didn’t used to be a problem. It is unfortunate, but sadly I know it won’t get better based on Takaya-sensei’s current works.

Despite this, I still enjoy the manga a great deal and look forward to the next volume.

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3 Responses to “Fruits Basket Manga Volume 20”

  1. Gyt Kaliba says:

    I agree, the design for Kyo looks a little too much like Tohru’s father for my tastes. And the only way I can tell Kimi and Kagura apart is their eyes.

    Still, it’s hard not to love it just as much as before, even if it has lost part of the fun it had when it started, the whole transforming thing. ^_^

  2. AstroNerdBoy says:

    It really hasn’t been that “fun” of late. In fact, I’d say this volume had no fun elements at all, only drama elements. That’s not a bad thing because the series is winding down and plot threads need to be resolved.

    So while I do miss the fun elements from the earlier volumes, I am enjoying reading how things are being resolved now.

  3. Hughroe says:

    Yeah, pretty much drama from here on….

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