Ayame, a Soma and the Snake, comes by the house to meet Tohru and try to repair a long-running rift with his brother, Yuki. Yuki’s having none of it, so Ayame takes Tohru out for a meal and tells her his backstory. When he gets back, he regales all present with stories of his time as student council president. Due to these stories largely being about elaborate lies and poorly-thought-out ideas, it doesn’t do a lot to win Yuki over, but all present get another piece of the Soma puzzle to think about.
With all the time we’ve had recently with the school-age Boy Squad, it’s a shift to have an entire episode devoted to a single new character. Thankfully, Ayame is interesting and fun to watch. He’s one of the most cheerful of the Somas, nearly on par with Momiji, but he’s got a lot more going on (Momiji tends to have one note, “look at how darn cute I am”, which he plays loudly and often). Ayame can go from gentle chiding…
…to surprisingly mature…
…to MAXIMUM SHOJOU…
…in rapid succession. He’s a bit of a hurricane, but he’s always good-natured about it. Also, his shenanigans as student council president had me laughing.
He also gets under Yuki’s skin in a wholly different way than Kyo does, engendering something closer to “exhausted disgust” than outright anger, which is kinda fun to watch.
The other part of the episode that I really liked was the interactions between Shigure and Ayame.
Their interactions really show, rather than tell, their deep friendship with each other, and I really believed it. Together with Hatori (the doctor guy), they were a trio going through school, and it sounds hilarious and awesome.
With the outgoing, charismatic Ayame, straight man Hatori, and easygoing but clever Shigure, I can already picture their interactions. I would watch a show about them Three Stooging their way through school in a heartbeat. Great work, Fruits Basket!