Beneath the fabulous and irresistible current that is Ayame Sohma, there’s actually some small character development going on.

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Aaya has officially overstayed his welcome after three days (at least for the half of the household that’s not Shigure or Tohru).

Haru, Momiji, and Tohru are talking about Ayame when Yuki walks by looking quite exhausted and/or depressed.

Momiji: Is Yuki sick?

Haru: I get it. Mm…yeah. All right.

Clearly Haru has a Yuki sense.

After school, Yuki, Kyo, and Tohru come home to find Shigure and Aaya perusing their high school yearbook (or something like that).

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Tohru: Shigure-san and Hatori-san are so young…and Ayame-san is the spitting image of Yuki-kun.

This is actually one of my nitpicks about the anime – Aaya really doesn’t look any more like Yuki than any of the other characters there, whereas in flipping through the manga it’s easy to mistake Aaya for Yuki depending on the angle.

One thing that becomes evident as Aaya recounts his high school exploits is that he’s used to getting his way by sheer force of personality – but the problem is it’s his personality that Yuki finds so grating.  Evidently his schoolmates liked it, though, because he was elected student council president – a fact that does pique Yuki’s interest, as he’s been feeling pressure to run for that position at his school.

Shigure: During Aaya’s tenure, rules and events went through major changes. School became fun. Maybe he was a born leader.

Ayame: Nah, I think Tori-san would have made a much more competent prez. It’s a lot of responsibility. Remember what happened with the class trip? […]

Yuki: What? What happened?

Let’s just say Yuki quickly regrets showing interest.  Also I could never do that story justice, so allow me to skip to the end.

Ayame: Well, Yuki? Do you understand me a little better now?

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I love how Yuki has the exact same expression as Ayame did a moment ago (complete with sparkles).

And then Hatori comes to the rescue.

Ayame: Tori-san, what brings you here?

Hatori: Hatsuharu asked me to bring you home. So how about wrapping it up for today and going home, Ayame?

Ayame: Well, bye-bye everyone!

Nope, I didn’t remove a single word from that exchange.  That’s exactly how it happens.

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Shigure: Aaya has only ever listened to Haa-san [Hatori]. […] He looks up to him. Haa-san has something Aaya doesn’t but wishes he did. He looks up to Haa-san, and cherishes him. He seemed serious when he told me that one day, a long time ago. To put it simply, he loves Haa-san.

Aaya kind of knows that he’s a pain, so he chooses to do whatever Hatori asks without a fuss.

Ayame: Sorry to put you through all this trouble.

Hatori: If you’re sincere about that, think a little before you act next time.

Ayame: I always do! But I just can’t get Yuki to open up to me.

Hatori: Yuki’s no idiot. It’s just that he’s still a kid. He’s got a lot of things he’s not willing to budge on yet. Be patient.

Ayame: Tohru-kun reminded me of you a bit. Both of you are devoted to helping other people. I’m really weak when it comes to that sort of thing. (internally) Why does he always say exactly what I want to hear?

I’m sure another part of why Aaya does whatever Hatori says is that Hatori clearly cares about Ayame, too, and wants what’s best for him.

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Yuki: He’s hopeless. […] Even so, the way he can so honestly express his admiration for people who have something he lacks…I think that’s pretty amazing.

Ayame’s actions have a much deeper impact than his words.  Yuki subsequently goes out of his way to thank Haru for looking out for him – and Tohru clearly has hopes that Yuki might one day be able to meet Kyo halfway, too.

Until next time…

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