Where do you begin with an episode like this one?
Reveals about the curse and Shigure’s thoughts, often concealed behind his flippant attitude, come thick and fast in the first third as he and Isuzu discuss her most recent misadventure. However, Tohru walks in on the conversation and then it is her thoughts and feelings toward Kyou that take centre stage as we go back through both of their tragic histories and watch each individually work up to their interaction on the roof at Shigure’s house that would be enough of an emotional climax but then we get one final kick in the gut before credits roll.
It is no mystery that I am seriously in love with Fruits Basket at this point. This rebooted anime has done a seriously impressive job at moving me though the Soma’s drama and I absolutely loved this episode. That said, it feels very late in the piece to be bringing in additional drama and problems even if they are closely tied to unsolved mysteries around our protagonist. I wonder how the latest reveals will play out going forward or whether we might end up feeling like these final episodes are a little over filled.
There’s little I can actually say about the episode without feeling like I am just retelling you a story that would be better watched. The episode is beautifully paced with each third giving the time needed to its moment before we transition to the next part. About the only critique I’d have for the episode was the brief attempt at Kagura bringing some levity to a fairly heavy episode as it fell pretty flat, but even then I suspect it was supposed to. Kagura knew very well what needed to happen and was largely just playing at being foolish to hide her own heart-break and while I’ve never much liked her as a character the way she is stepping back and letting Kyou go is actually making me think she’s a little bit classy, at least when this issue is concerned.
It was interesting to see Kyoko coming back as a central player. While season one had Tohru endlessly talking about her mother and quoting her, the deceased mother took more of a back seat throughout season two and has barely been mentioned this season. The realisation that Tohru is moving on and it is breaking her heart was particularly well played out in this episode and makes her emotional state as she tries to reconcile her current feelings with how she believes she should feel fascinating to watch. The added complexity of Tohru’s father, who we still haven’t really seen, and her reaction to his death has just made it all a little more interesting.
But ultimately it all comes back to the Soma’s. It comes back to the curse that may or may not be breaking on its own, though even if it does it will, as Tohru knows, be too late for Kyo. Shigure’s cold and cruel statements to Tohru weren’t out of character but were a lot more blunt than he usually is and it makes me wonder just what his end game is right now. Previously he at least made some attempt at concealing his motives and the darker aspects of his personality from the girl but now he seems to be placing them on full display. It makes me wonder if he is trying to push her into acting rashly.
Ultimately, it really does feel like an ending of sorts is approaching as character arc after character arc seems to be coming to a head and all the threads are becoming intertwined. It is great watching each episode and seeing the next pieces of the puzzle slotting into place and honestly my only complaint is that I end up in tears each and every weekend when the next episode is watched.
Images used for review from: Fruits Basket: The Final Season. Dir. Y Ibata. TMS Entertainment. 2021.
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