This third volume in the Fruits Basket manga series seems to be a transitional book, with the relationships between the characters gaining more definition and depth, and events being set up for things to come in future volumes.
This sweet manga series tells the story of teenaged Tohru Honda, whose mother died within the past year, and who has been taken taken in by some members of the Sohma family. She lives at their house and runs the household for them in return for room and board - and she also keeps their secret: the Sohma family members are possessed by spirits of the Chinese zodiac. Each one is a different animal, and whenever they are particularly stressed or are hugged by a member of the opposite sex, they turn into that animal.
In this installment, it is Valentine's Day, and kindhearted Tohru is spending all her hard-earned money on chocolates for all the guys she cares about in her life - and since she started living at the Sohma household, that means a lot of chocolate. She meets another Sohma relative from the zodiac (but I won't tell you which one), and his arrival creates even more tension among members of the household. He realizes immediately that Tohru's presence has created a much improved atmosphere in the family - Kyo is actually learning to keep his temper (a little), although Tohru seems fairly oblivious to her effect on them.
The story is all about family dynamics and mysterious events from the past that effect people's current behavior. although we don't yet know exactly why. It will be fun to watch events unfold in future volumes!
Fruits Basket, Volume 3 by Natsuki Takaya (Tokyopop, 2004)
Here are reviews of:
Fruits Basket, Volume 2
Fruits Basket, Volume 1
Other blog reviews:
Fruits Basket (this appears to be a blog dedicated to the series!)