Fruits Basket, Vol. 9
1 journaler for this copy...
Later: This volume has lots going on, including a flashback showing how Tohru's friend Hana - the brooding, Goth-looking one with the dark "mental powers" - originally met Tohru and Arisa; despite the fact that Hana had a loving and supportive family (unlike most of the Zodiac-cursed Sohmas), her demeanor and shyness made her a target from her early school days, and when she actually DID use her powers to retaliate against a tormentor, she feared she could have killed the boy and withdrew into herself for years... Her little brother Megumi (one of my favorite characters) actually prayed for her to find someone who'd love her as much as he did, and when she changes schools yet again and encounters the irrepressible Tohru, her life is altered in a good way.
Other bits include the meeting of Arisa (aka Uo-chan), Tohru's ex-gangster-girl friend, with Kureno, one of the Sohmas; they're obviously smitten with each other, but we see that Kureno still seems bound to Sohma family head Akito, in a sinister little scene...
This volume also introduces Kakeru, a schoolmate of Yuki's, who at first rubs him the wrong way (he reminds Yuki of Yuki's brother Ayame!) but - after apologizing for insulting him and admitting that "I'm basically an idiot", Yuki decides he likes him after all. I love it when another Sohma makes a friend - so many of them have had horrible lives in their own family groups... And Kakeru's a hoot, another favorite character.
Yet another section (I did say this was a busy volume) features Kyo and his foster-father Kazuma; it was Kazuma who took Kyo in when the Sohmas (including Kyo's own father) wouldn't have him. But now it seems that Kyo's birth-father wants to plan to have Kyo locked away in the traditional manner of treating the Zodiac cat as a monster... Kazuma will have nothing to do with this, but it was a sinister scene anyway.
On the lighter side, the bubbly Momiji makes an appearance, to invite Tohru and friends to the summer home for a little vacation. So not *everything* is sinister!
[There's a TV Tropes page for the series, with lots of info - and spoilers, most masked but some not, so read with care!]
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