Fruits Basket 15 by Natsuki Takaya: A

From the back cover:
Yuki’s past finally is revealed! But is it all too much to bear? His sickness takes a turn for the worse, and after Akito reminds Yuki how loathed he is, his will to live might finally be drained…

Meanwhile, as Tohru is getting ready to perform in Cinderella, the class decides that they have to rewrite the play. But no amount of revision will prevent Tohru from improvising her loving feelings for a certain someone. Just who is the mystery man?

This volume is evenly matched between the sad and the comic. The first half is about Yuki’s past, including the truth behind “the red hat boy” incident (this chapter is incredibly cute, especially chibi Tohru) as well as Yuki’s true feelings regarding Tohru.

The second half of the volume is the class play. While that’s going on, we also get some important exchanges between Yuki and Kyou as well as a squee-inducing scene between Kyou and Tohru at the end of chapter 87. The play itself is amusing, with Hanajima as a meat-obsessed Cinderella, but it’s sometimes tough to tell whether the things they’re saying are scripted or being ad-libbed.

While some progress is made on the romance front right at the end the spotlight here is still on Yuki’s progress, which is fine with me. I also love Kakeru. He’s a relatively new character, only appearing after Yuki joined the student council, but he’s managed to get him to open up and just relax like nobody else has.

After confessing some of his secrets to Kakeru, Yuki feels relief and throughout the rest of the volume, makes some effort at encouraging Kyou to face up to his past, too. It seems he realizes Kyou needs someone to hate, and he’s fine with standing in that role, but will also try to nudge him forward. Have I mentioned lately how much I love Yuki?

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