It will all end in tears…
Although perhaps that is a redundant thing to say given most episodes of Fruits Basket in this final season have been reducing me to tears. That this latest episode keeps you on the edge of tears from start to finish and then leaves you with the absolute certainty that a tragedy is about to befall all of the characters is perhaps a testament to the control of emotions this story has. After the episode ending last week that really should have been show-stopping, it is nearly forgotten as episode 8 draws to its dramatic close leaving us with a cliff-hanger that will most definitely haunt our dreams until the next episode.
Episode spoilers for sure.
For those who have followed my episodic coverage of Fruits Basket so far, you will know that I love this adorable awkward pairing with Kyo and Tohru both so absolutely clueless at romance and yet so utterly needing someone in their lives to love. That this whole episode is Kyo largely outlining the reasons why Tohru can’t possibly love him and should never forgive him before she smacks his reasoning flat in a single line means that the audience gets the heart wrenching experience of seeing one of our favourite characters belittle himself and cast himself in the worst possible light while re-experiencing the real tragedies that have shaped his character up until this point. It really does hurt to watch and that is more or less exactly what is intended.
And yet, if you believe that Tohru cutting through Kyo’s reasoning would lead to a happy outcome, you’ve clearly been watching a different anime to me. Cornered by Tohru’s refusal to simply accept that he is unlovable or that he is to blame for everything bad that has literally ever happened, he runs. And it is such a Kyo thing to do. He’s been running and avoiding since season one and that was hardly going to change right at this moment. That Yuki chooses to pursue the fool and leaves Tohru alone in the rain is simply plot convenience so that the final scene can be established before the audience is left wondering whether the worst possible outcome is about to occur.
What I do love about this episode is how neatly it ties our plot back full circle. The boy with the hat, Kyoko’s death, Kyo’s training in the mountains and his over-the-top anger at Yuki during season one. We had seen Yuki’s memories and Tohru’s to a point but now Kyo’s perspective has been layered in on top and once again changed the way we see each sequence and how the characters have reacted. It also makes Arisa’s earlier comments that she wished Kyoko had met Kyo as she’d probably love to tease him all the more prophetic. Kyoko did meet Kyo and she did have fun teasing him when he was younger before he chose to break off contact. Once again, Kyoko’s reach is felt despite her having been dead prior to the events of season one.
I don’t know if I’ll ever be emotionally ready for the next episode. I don’t know if I’m really finished processing episode 8 of Fruits Basket. What I do know is that I was mesmerised and I’m almost sure I barely breathed during the entire run-time and now I’m wishing the minutes away until I get the chance to watch the next episode.
Images used for review from: Fruits Basket: The Final Season. Dir. Y Ibata. TMS Entertainment. 2021.
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