This week’s episode felt almost like a palate cleanser. It was upbeat, energetic, and a lot of fun! Nothing at all like last week’s dark and foreboding episode. And that’s entirely thanks to the introduction of Ayame, the snake of the Sohma zodiac and Yuki’s older brother. It doesn’t take long for the cracks (or should that be crevasses?) in the two brothers’ relationship to appear. In fact, it’s obvious right from the get-go that Yuki cannot stand A-ya. Tohru does her best to smooth things over between them, but this might be the one thing that positivity and a can-do attitude can’t fix…
First of all, I just adore Ayame! My feelings towards a lot of the Furuba cast have changed over the years, but, after watching this week’s episode, I can confirm that my love for him is just as strong as it ever was! The Sohmas are a weird and wonderful bunch, but A-ya is especially weird and that’s because, unlike literally every other member of his family, there’s no darkness lurking in his soul. He doesn’t have a traumatic past, like Yuki and Hatori, he doesn’t have a hidden agenda, like Shigure or Akito, and he doesn’t wield rage and bitterness like a weapon, like Kyo and Haru. Instead, it seems a lot like A-ya’s just bumbled through life, as happy as Larry, willfully ignorant to the suffering of other people. And whilst this may have inconvenienced, or even hurt, others (particularly Yuki), he doesn’t even feel guilt or regret over his past behaviour. OK, so that last part doesn’t sound so good… You can definitely write A-ya off as self-absorbed and inconsiderate (you wouldn’t be entirely wrong), but you could also choose to look at him as proactive and forward-thinking. It would have been so easy for him to wallow in regret and self-loathing, but, instead, he holds his hands up to his past mistakes and does his best to make amends. You gotta respect that!
Unfortunately, Ayame’s attempts to make amends for his past behaviour and bond with Yuki do not go as planned (largely because of just how different these two brothers are). Yuki is gentle, reserved, and introverted, whereas A-ya is brash, loud, and outspoken. They’re like oil and water, they simply do not mix! At times it seemed as if A-ya’s presence even caused Yuki physical pain, he was that embarrassing! Who wants to hear their older brother tell everybody that they’re a bottom? Sorry, Yuki, every family has that one embarrassing relative, and yours is no exception!
If any good came out of Ayame’s stay it was that it might have started Yuki and Kyo down the path towards becoming friends… Yuki and Kyo don’t see eye-to-eye on a lot, so it was nice to see them band together against A-ya’s wandering
hands coils. And the one thing that Yuki admitted to liking about A-ya was that he could be friends with somebody who possesses the qualities that he wished he had (Hatori). Since we’ve already established that Yuki wishes he could make friends as easily as Kyo, it’s obvious who he’s thinking of when he says this. Tohru herself cottons on to this and sneaks a peek at Kyo, who’s sitting in the next room. It’s the first time that Yuki’s ever expressed a desire to be friends with Kyo (albeit in a roundabout way), as such, it’s a landmark moment in Furuba history!
To conclude… Yuki may not have enjoyed Ayame’s stay, but I sure did! He’s hilarious! It’s hard to believe that somebody so beautiful can be so dirty, but he’s filth incarnate. From his flirtation with Shigure, to Shigure’s casual admittance that they’d both gotten bored of their visits to the “pleasure district” before they’d even finished high school, Furuba proves that it’s not above a dirty joke or two! It’s amazing how this show can be all fluff, shoujo filters, and cute talking animals one moment, then pure, X-rated smut the very next!
Thanks for joining me again this week! Tell me, what did you think of Ayame? We’ve met a good chunk of the Sohmas now (only the horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, and tiger left to go)! Who’s your favourite so far?
Ayame’s never been a character I’ve clicked with but his importance in moving the tone this episode can’t be overlooked. I really enjoyed how this episode consolidated the characters we’ve met while introducing Ayame’s character.
Ayame definitely brought the fun! That’s something that I love about Furuba. It can get pretty dark and heavy at times, but it always follows up those moments with something uplifting. I think that’s how Takaya-sensei wanted her readers to feel walking away from the series: uplifted and encouraged.
I love Ayame. He’s my favourite character from the series (one of them at least, lol) and when I saw his snake form in the opening, I legit screamed with fanhuman glee. I’ve been waiting impatiently for his appearance!! Him with Shigure (my other favourite character) is just *chef’s kiss* perfection lol. XD
I’ve been doing my utmost to contain myself when writing about Ayame and Shigure. They both make me weak at the knees, but I’ve gotta stay dignified, ya know? Volcanic hotness aside, they’re both fantastic characters. I never run out of things to say when writing about them!
I love your title! Always great to see a Toy Story reference!
Thanks! I’m glad that somebody noticed (I thought it was pretty on point, what with the release of Toy Story 4 this week)!