As the gears of the plot are slowly set in motion, Tohru has a small breakthrough with Kyo.

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Kyo has a rather monumental fail and totally loses his temper in school.  It turns out that each member of the Zodiac attracts their respective animals, and Kyo is once again a grumpy kitty cat.

Kyo: They don’t need me. As long as Yuki’s there it’ll go peachy…He’s always been smart, good at swimmin’ with the tide, and friendly to everybody. People naturally recognize his talents and look up to him. Everyone trusts that guy. Y’know, when I first started studying martial arts, I had the upper hand, but now he’s better at it than me. If I could become somebody like that, I would.

Tohru (internally): So Sohma-kun envies Kyo-kun, and Kyo-kun envies Sohma-kun. But even as they’re envious, they repel each other.

They see in one another the qualities they feel they most lack, and they hate each other for not appreciating what they so desperately want.

And then Tohru runs into this “weird foreigner” (hint: he’s only half German).

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The kiss is perfectly innocent (I mean he’s only a kid, right? Right?), but seeing Tohru get so flustered and not wanting to “bother” Yuki about it…it’s just a tiny bit uncomfortable.

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Tohru: Maybe it’s stuck on your back. […] If a person’s greatest quality is like a pickled plum in a rice ball, that “plum” might be stuck on the back side. All over the world, on everyone’s backs are pickled plums of various forms, colors, and flavors, but because each one is on a person’s back, those tasty plums may go unnoticed. Maybe people get jealous because they can clearly see the plums on others’ backs. I can see them, too. I can see one on your back, Kyo-kun. A splendid pickled plum. Sohma-kun is wonderful. Kyo-kun, you’re wonderful.

Kyo: Hey…you got one on your back, too. A pickled plum. I can see it.

Tohru is finally able to pierce through his self-hatred and find a way to compliment him that he actually feels – at least partly because he can see the truth of that bizarre metaphor in her.

So we’re building up to the school cultural festival, an annual event in Japanese schools where each class has some sort of event or booth to run (the closest American equivalent might be Spirit/Homecoming week, although the Japanese students are much more involved in running the event).

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But it usually doesn’t involve crossdressing. That is the look of a rat in the headlights.  Also that Momiji kid is very intent on attending.

As far as the anime adaptation goes, it’s more or less the same, except that they cut out all the stuff with Momiji in the chapter. I guess it’s because they removed all his Germanness and his first meeting with Tohru relies heavily on that aspect of his personality, but it’s also very important for implying that there’s  more to him than meets the eye (even if there is an awful lot about him that meets the eye). But we’ll be properly introduced…

…next time.

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