Top 5 Anime Valentine Episodes

Anime Valentine Episodes

Well it is Valentine’s Day so today I’m counting down my top 5 favourite Valentine episodes. This was actually harder than it sounded because while I know I have watched a million different anime versions of Valentine’s Day (seriously, this was not an exaggeration at all) I really struggled to remember which shows they were in. And that’s because they are all pretty much the same.

My list ended up being based on which episodes stuck with me (which will explain some of the weird choices). Feel free to add your favourite Valentine episode in the comments below.

Please Note – There will be spoilers below.

Number 5: Vampire Knight

Yuki in a memorable Valentine Episode feeding Zero chocolate.

While I’m not the biggest Vampire Knight fan (way too Twilight in anime form and I was too old when this came out to really appreciate the brooding teen romance element), I must admit the Valentine’s Day episode is memorable. Screaming fan girls, crowd control, Zero actually being kind of nice and getting punched for it, a couple of broken hearts and all and all it is a perfectly watchable Valentine episode.

Which is more than can be said for Yuki’s attempt at handmaking chocolate. Not entirely sure how you manage to mess that up but somehow she not only manages to make a disaster out of the kitchen but the single chocolate ball she creates is, if Zero’s reaction is anything to go by, unpalatable.

Number 4: Acchi Kocchi


Alright this is one of my weirder choices for best Valentine Episode and yet Acchi Kocchi definitely deserves the place on the list. It isn’t that anything particularly different happens in this episode. Its Valentine’s Day and Tsumiki wants to make chocolates for Io but he doesn’t like plain chocolates so she’s making mousse. That’s all pretty standard but the reason this episode sticks is because of Mayoi and her surprise chocolates.

Surprising because she claims she put frog meat in them after feeding them to the guys. Of course, she wouldn’t be Mayoi if she left it there. She follows this up with coating Tsumiki’s lips with chocolate flavoured lipstick and pushes her toward Io. Fortunately Io is a gentlemen (or at least smart enough not to put up with Mayoi’s rubbish) and manages to come out of the situation more or less unscathed though Tsumiki might have exploded. In short it is Valentine’s Day the way only Acchi Kocchi could do it.

Number 3: Fruits Basket 2001


This Valentine’s Episode is pretty straight forward in the original Fruits Basket anime. Tohru decides to make everybody chocolate however when she is about to give it to everyone Kyo, who is annoyed with Kagura, declares he hates chocolate. He is then guilt tripped into eating both Kagura’s and Tohru’s chocolate. It isn’t a profound episode but I really like Kyo as a character so I kind of enjoyed this moment.

With so many super sweet moments across its run having a Valentine Episode that still stands out is no easy feat so extra points to Fruits Basket for managing that and getting the mix of comedy and sweetness pretty spot on.

Number 2: Kimi Ni Todoke


Honestly, this should be number 1 on my list of favourite anime Valentine Episodes. The reason it isn’t is because Sawako doesn’t give him the chocolates. So frustrating (though not unusual for Kimi ni Todoke). She gives chocolates to everyone else but then questions the meaning behind the chocolates she wants to give Kazehaya and after hearing he won’t accept chocolates with real feelings she hesitates and loses her chance.

As much as I love this show, this episode is really frustrating. Certainly it is memorable and he does eventually get given the chocolates but Valentine’s Day is not a particularly happy one in this series.

Number 1: My Love Story

My Love.png

At first I thought this was going to go down the same path as Kimi ni Todoke but thank goodness Yamato from My Love Story is a lot tougher than Sawako. While the group date is pleasant it is her arrival at his house later with the most ridiculously over the top Valentine’s cake ever. It is adorable. And honestly, who doesn’t want that cake?

There they are, my top 5 Valentine’s episodes.

What anime Valentine Episode would you have chosen?

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Karandi James

Best Anime Couples in 2021

best anime couples in 2021

As 2021 came to a close I realised that while I’d watched more than a handful of romances I was a bit stuck as to who I thought the best anime couples for the year were. Largely because while some stories ended up not being so bad there were plenty of couples that didn’t really click for me.

Still, here are my five favourite anime couples from 2021 and as always I’d love it if my readers would throw their choices in the comments as that will help others find some cute anime couples to watch. That said, there will be some spoilers below for those who have not finished the anime.

Number 5: Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation (Rudy and Eris)

Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation

Are they the cutest anime couple of 2021?

I’ll be the first to admit technically these two aren’t an official couple even at the end of part two despite getting physically more intimate than many anime characters get ever in an anime. However, Eris and Rudy have been together for a long time and endured a lot, particularly after the two found themselves flung to a totally different continent.

What I like about the two in Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation is that they are just two kids growing up and they make mistakes and they don’t know how to comfort the other even when they want to. I loved the scene after Rudy had met with his father and Eris wanted to help him but was completely flustered as to how. I also enjoyed seeing Rudeus’ reaction after he used his demon eye to finally beat Eris in a match and then how guilty he felt for feeling proud.

As much as there are some elements of Jobless Reincarnation that continue to put me a little bit off-side, the relationship that has grown between these two isn’t one of them because it really feels like a relationship that would have grown from the situation they’ve been through.

Number 4: Horimiya (Hori and Miyamura)

Horimiya episode 5
Cute anime couple

Initially I loved the meeting between Hori and Miyamura and the way the two felt very comfortable being themselves around each other. They were on the fast track to being one of my favourite anime couples of all time. And all things considered, they are still pretty adorable together however Miyamura loses so much of what seemed to define him early in the series and Hori, for some reason, occasionally asks him to verbally abuse her and it is clear he isn’t very comfortable with it.

If that situation had been handled with a bit more sophistication than perhaps these two would be higher on my list of anime couples from 2021 but as it stands Horimiya ended up being close but not exactly what I was looking for in a romance. As it stands though, it is an anime romance that is worth watching as despite its short comings there’s some genuinely good moments and you can see that while some of the ideas don’t get fleshed out in the anime that they have great potential.

Number 3: Taishou Otome Fairytale (Tamahiko and Yuzuki)

Taishou Otome Fairytale Episode 3
Best anime couple 2021?

How does love start anyway? In Taishou Otome Fairytale it starts with a boy being crippled and sent away from his family and a girl being bought from her poor family and sent to marry him. That could have been the start of a pretty stagnant relationship of carer and patient but instead it was the start of a truly adorable anime couple.

Tamahiko and Yuzuki really are perfect for one another. Her positive and optimistic attitude brings him out of his depression and awakens the caring side in him that tries to stop her from overworking herself and reaches out to her when she’s in trouble. This anime has so many cavity inducing moments it would be hard to list them all but pretty much any moment where the two get to be together and have a moment to be honest with one another is enough to make your heart beat jump a little.

If being cute was enough to sell a story that Taishou Otome Fairytale would definitely have won in 2021 but as it stands these two are only number 3 on the list for cute anime couples.

Number 2: Banished From The Hero’s Party (Red and Rit)

Banished From The Hero's Party Episode 8

2021 must be the year for anime couples that do more than just hold hands and blush at one another. Banished From The Hero’s Party gives us Red and Rit and while the anime itself was kind of meh the relationship between these two characters was anything but.

Rit encounters Red after he has set up his apothecary shop and decides to move in with him (to help of course) because she was already in love with him from when the hero’s party had helped her to save her kingdom. The two progress from living under the same roof to sleeping in the same bed, sharing a bath together and are generally far more physical than we normally get in these generic fantasy stories. Though that alone wouldn’t be enough to secure them the number 2 spot.

Where these two really do shine as an adorable anime couple is in their mutual trust and respect for the other and their skills. Red used to travel with the hero’s party and has a vast array of skills and knowledge even if he wasn’t the strongest warrior. Rit on the other hand is a powerful adventurer in her own right. Both of these characters understand the others strengths and weaknesses and they come through for each other when it is needed. Now that is a cute anime couple.

Number 1: Fruits Basket the Final Season (Tohru and Kyo)

Fruits Basket Final Season

After three seasons Tohru and Kyo finally ended up together in Fruits Basket. Not that it was too much of a surprise given Tohru’s declaration of being a cat fan way back in episode 1, but still with her timid nature and Kyo’s general lack of social skills it is still kind of a small miracle that these two ever progressed.

And it was so worth the wait. It was one of those moments where you weren’t sure whether you should be smiling, cheering or crying as these two adorable characters finally overcame so much emotional baggage to just let themselves be happy and with the person who makes them happy. What makes these two the best anime couple is that they are just such deserving people and they also have had the benefit of two previous seasons to do a lot of the groundwork for their relationship. 11 or 12 episodes doesn’t seem to be quite long enough to really delve into a deep romance.

Anyway, Tohru and Kyo are definitely my choice for best anime couple in 2021 and are pretty high on my list for best couple ever. But I’ll turn it over to the readers now.

Who are you favourite anime couples from 2021?

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Karandi James

Fruits Basket 2001 Series Review – Cute But Lacking a Conclusion

fruits basket full 1184173

Fruits Basket 2001 Overview:

Honda Tohru’s mother died and she went to live with her grandfather. Unfortunately, he needed to move in with other family members and while the house was being renovated Tohru was asked to stay with a friend. Rather than troubling her friends, she moves into a tent.

Then, one morning she comes across a house where the Prince of her school lives, Yuki Sohma. It turns out her tent is on Sohma land. After a landslide destroys the tent, Tohru finds herself living with Yuki but the Sohma’s have a little bit of a secret.

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Fruits Basket 2001 Review:

Alright, if you don’t like sweet, slow shows or fairly effeminate looking guys, you are probably going to pass on this one from the outset. However, if those elements aren’t going to make you walk away, you will probably find a really charming anime to watch filled with interesting characters who are all just a little bit (sometimes a lot) emotionally damaged and you can watch them grow closer together, or turn into animals.

Then you can suffer from the absolute lack of resolution given by this series. At least until you watch the reboot.

Characters from Fruits Basket 2001.

It is one of my pet hates when anime just stop without finalising anything. While one small bit of Kyo’s story is resolved, the greater mystery surrounding the Sohma’s is still completely a mystery, as is the vast majority of what is motivating some members of the family to act the way they do. And we don’t even meet all of the zodiac. For a story where members of the family are possessed by the spirit of the zodiac, to not introduce them all and not to continue the story is just purposefully leaving us hanging.

As a result, this is one of the very, very, very few anime where I did go and read the manga after watching because I just couldn’t stand leaving the story where the anime dropped us. That said, I didn’t completely finish reading it. I read enough to start piecing together some of the mysteries that were bugging me and then cut my losses – still the rebooted anime series got me very excited and honestly has kind of made Fruits Basket 2001 irrelevant (though still pretty cute).

The main cast of Fruits Basket 2001.

So with that said, how do I review Fruits Basket 2001?

It’s adorable.

Visually it kind of looks dated even for 2001 with very simple backgrounds and character designs that would look right at home in the 90’s, but it works well enough for the story unfolding here. However, be prepared for a lot of stillness on screen.

From a character point of view, Tohru is an air-headed protagonist who pretty much functions in ‘be sweet and don’t annoy anyone’ mode while voluntarily cooking and cleaning because she quite likes it.

I really wonder if this is actually a thing in Japan where teenage girls actually enjoy cooking and cleaning for others who seem to be completely inept at living or whether this is a not so subtle message to the youth of Japan that typical gender roles should be maintained. Either way, it is something that generally irks me when watching anime, particularly in characters that don’t have much else to offer.

Tohru does offer a little more in that she does have moments of emotional insight and acts as a catalyst for the other characters to change, but still, she’s not the most fascinating of the bunch.

Tohru does love cats though - Fruits Basket 2001.

Fortunately, Fruits Basket 2001 as a whole offers more than what our protagonist brings to the table. Her two best friends are fantastic. Yeah, they are equally stereotypical (one is a standard reformed delinquent and the other the weird girl who senses vibes) but the balance they offer and their interactions with Tohru work really well. They also offer some of the more comedic moments during the school scenes.

Fruits Basket

The Sohma’s are also pretty interesting as a family. Individually, they all have scars from being part of a cursed family. Scars because of the way others outside the family deal with them and scars because of the trauma inflicted by the family.

It’s interesting to watch and in honesty I would have preferred more focus on this at times during Fruits Basket 2001. It was also this aspect that pushed me to go read some of this series because there’s a lot going on with the family. Again though, I’ll have to wait for the reboot to really get more of this or actually just read the manga properly.


Tohru’s mother also needs a mention. For someone who is dead prior to the start of the series, she has a definite impact all the way through Fruits Basket 2001.

Whether it is her lingering advice to Tohru about how to live, the inspiration she gives Tohru and her friends, or just the way characters who have never met her begin responding to her because of their interactions with Tohru, she’s a tangible force that moves the characters and plot. Not bad for someone who is dead and isn’t even appearing as some sort of spirit.

It does however give the whole series a very human feeling as the loss of a parent should leave lingering traces.

Fruits Basket2.jpg

The opening theme to Fruits Basket 2001 is fantastic. Admittedly, it is slow but it sets the tone for the show and if you aren’t finding the theme engaging and sweet, while just a little bit wistful and nostalgic, you probably aren’t going to be the right audience for the show in the first place.

All and all, this was a great anime to watch but there just is no excuse for the lack of ending. If you are watching it just for the characters, you will love every minute of it. If you are hoping for the overall story with the curse of the Sohma’s to go somewhere, forget it.

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Karandi James

Fruits Basket The Final Season Series Review – Bring Tissues and Someone To Hug

Fruits Basket The Final Season
Crow's World of Anime has sponsored reviews of Fruits Basket The Final Season in 2021.

Fruits Basket The Final Season has brought Tohru’s emotional journey to a close.

For some of us, the journey to Fruits Basket The Final Season has been a long time coming. I don’t know when the manga became available for people to read but I do know that in the early 2000’s I stumbled upon a bright supernatural shoujo anime with a bit of comedy and fell in love with Tohru and the members of the zodiac and then the series ended and there was nothing more.

Fortunately, 2019 saw a reboot of Fruits Basket with the first season of three launching and telling the story again. There were changes between the original series and the reboot but the sentimental feelings remained the same and these characters made me fall in love with them all over again and want to give them all a hug.

While there were some aspects in the second season that felt a little weaker, such as the introduction of the student council that Yuki would work with, overall everything was needed because Fruits Basket The Final Season brings all the threads together, stirs the viewers emotions, and leaves us with a story that you really do have to experience.

Frutis Basket The Final Series Episode 4
See, even Hiro is crying.

As always, the strength of Fruits Basket The Final Season remains the characters and their emotional journeys. Whether we like these characters or not, we can empathise with them and what they are going through and the story guides us gently through their trauma, to the stirrings of finding hope, to finding a resolution and then looking toward a new future.

That it does this again and again and somehow manages to feel fresh each time and for each character is a real testament to how this story has built up its cast over the prior two seasons.

Whether we are watching the more innocent antics of Kisa and Hiro, the more passionate Hatsuharu and Isuzu, seeing the more malicious and darker relationship between Shigure, Kureno and Akito, the awkwardness of Yuki with Machi, or even focusing on the endlessly adorable Kyo and Tohru all of these characters stir an emotional response in the audience and have made us invested in their outcome.

Kyo and Tohru - Fruits Basket The Final Season Episode 6
They are just too adorable.

However it isn’t just tears. Fruits Basket the Final Season will take you through the full range of emotions.

You will get angry, at Akito most definitely but even at some of the other characters. You will feel joy and smile like a fool. You will be concerned and curious and at times just feel drained. The emotions on screen are portrayed well and the visuals and music perfectly accompany them to move the viewer, but more than that, they feel earned.

None of these events have sprung up out of nowhere just to tug our heartstrings. They are the culmination of some fairly carefully crafted story work over three seasons of anime and I found Fruits Basket the Final Season was wildly successful.

Fruits Basket The Final Season
Finally, some answers.

The series was not just relying on the ‘feels’ to keep viewers invested. Clues about the nature of the ‘curse’ and how the Soma family came to be were dropping throughout Fruits Basket the Final Season and these both added to and slightly changed what we knew about the situation before leading us to the final reveals.

While the plot overall isn’t usually the driver of Fruits Basket, with the characters and their feelings taking front and centre, the curse has been the underlying problem throughout the whole series and is responsible for the distorted relationships and upbringings that have caused so much of the character trauma that we’ve witnessed. So for the ending to really feel satisfying, the curse needed to be addressed and I’m very happy with how this plays out.

They don’t move us away from character drama for an exposition dump. Rather the information comes through character interactions, choices, and one or two flash back sequences that tell us more about character relationships while moving the plot forward.

It’s highly effective and leaves you feeling like the journey really has come to a close.

Fruits Basket The Final Season Episode 13
They finally made it.

If I was to offer a criticism of Fruits Basket The Final Season, it would be more a personal preference. As a weekly watcher of this anime, the final two episodes felt like they were dragging the epilogue of this story out. I know that on a rewatch, when you binge episodes 11 through to 13 together it will actually feel kind of beautiful, however the climax really is episode 11 and so the final forty minutes of episodes 12 and 13 are really wrapping up all the loose ends.

And I do mean all the loose ends.

While Fruits Basket hasn’t been weighed down by its large cast previously, seeing every single character’s epilogue and seeing all of them end up with a more-or-less happily-ever-after (or at least the potential to reach one in the future) definitely felt like overkill.

Admittedly, who would decide which characters to leave out? Fruits Basket the Final Season is the end and so we won’t see these characters again and every character has fans.

For me though, it was a little much and I’d have happily settled for a slightly shorter conclusion to this story.

Fruits Basket the Final Season Episode 2
Yep, Shigure is a bit of a downer this season.

Ultimately though it is a petty complaint. Fruits Basket The Final Season is beautiful.

The animation, the use of colour, the characters… It is a real joy to watch. Everything really just fits the purpose for really moving the audience to the right emotional tone.

Likewise, the use of sound continues to really complement the story. That said, I will put one more criticism out there: I really didn’t like the OP. Most Fruits Basket openings I have really enjoyed but this one I tried three times and then just skipped it.

Fruits Basket The Final Season Episode 1

However, for anyone who has watched Fruits Basket at all, Fruits Basket The Final Season is a must watch. Bring the tissues along and ensure you have someone or something to hug because you are going to need it (particularly if you try to binge watch).

This is a really beautiful anime with a beautiful story with characters I am sorely going to miss (at least until I rewatch it).

Images used for review from: Fruits Basket: The Final Season. Dir. Y Ibata. TMS Entertainment. 2021.

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Karandi James

Top 5 Supernatural Romance Anime – Great Characters, Worldbuilding, and Just Sweet Moments

Top 5 Supernatural Romance anime

It seems inevitable that someone who loves horror and fantasy but also love a good romantic comedy would somehow end up falling in love with supernatural romance anime. If nothing else, at least unlike supernatural romance fiction in western novels, it hasn’t yet been totally overrun with broody vampires or fallen angels that all seem like carbon copies of the last book you picked up.

And there are so many great titles to choose from.

What are my top 5 picks for Supernatural Romance Anime?

In order to keep my list from spiralling out of control I decided that the criteria for making the list had to be a great balance between the supernatural and romantic elements and the story had to work. As a result, Tsubasa Chronicles ended up getting left off the list even though I was sure that Syaoran and Sakura’s romance would end up here. But ultimately the romance takes a back seat to the fantasy journey between worlds and so it will simply get an honourable mention.

Number 5: Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 11 Mai
Supernatural Romance Anime

Bunny Girl Senpai is an interesting title to kick off the list given each arc of the story introduces a separate supernatural element and another girl with a problem for Sakuta to solve. Which could very quickly have lead us into harem territory rather than making this a supernatural romance anime (I know harem stories are technically romance but they really deserve their own category).

However, while there are many girls that vie for Sakuta’s attention in this coming of age narrative, Sakurajima Mai, the titular Bunny Girl, remains his love interest throughout and while her problem is resolved in the first arc, their relationship doesn’t screech to a halt after that point.

This title may not leave audiences with quite the warm and fluffy feelings of some of the other titles on the list (and it certainly doesn’t have half the heart break) it’s a solid supernatural romance anime that presents both supernatural mysteries and a believable teen romance and manages to balance both elements in a way that makes it feel pretty satisfying to watch.

Number 4: Beyond the Boundary

Beyond the Boundary - Cute supernatural romance anime

Akihito and Mirai, the two main characters of Beyond the Boundary, are perhaps the most adorakable pair of characters in this list of supernatural romance anime.

Akihito with his jaded attitude to everything but his extreme glasses fetish and Mirai with her social awkwardness and clumsiness as an exorcist really do just perfectly suit each other and seeing them slowly open up to one another is utterly adorable.

That this happens while Mirai attempts to kill Akihito and becomes increasingly frustrated at his seemingly unkillable nature in a world where shades attack quite regularly leaving these characters in life-threatening (although sometimes quite silly) scenarios is what makes this story truly great. And seeing them stand by one another when things get really bad is an absolute joy.

While Beyond the Boundary isn’t without its issues, if you want a beautiful supernatural story with a powerful romance at the core you’ll certainly find it here.

Number 3: Clannad

Clannad - Supernatural Romance Anime

Truth be told, I am not a huge fan of Clannad but it would be criminal to leave it off a list of supernatural romance anime given the following this one has. And realistically it ticks all the boxes as it builds up a very solid romance, and if you watch into Clannad After-Story you’ll see that romance progress to marriage and beyond so it certainly ticks all the right boxes there.

Now as to the supernatural side of this you’ll have to watch the whole thing to really get it as there is a parallel story running through this that doesn’t really resolve until much later. While some of the dramas the teens face at school have supernatural trappings it will play out largely like another harem romance until later in the piece.

Honestly, this one is a beautiful story but it never really clicked for me. Still, if supernatural romance anime is something you are looking for, you may very well want to check Clannad out as it certainly has enough fans and honestly it is very watchable (and while watching it is pretty compelling) even if it didn’t really stick with me afterward.

Number 2: Kamisama Kiss

Kamisama Kiss - Supernatural Romance Anime

A break from so many serious entries we have the hilarious and fun Kamisama Kiss making an appearance as my second favourite supernatural romance anime. Nanami and Tomoe are a great couple in this story, at least once they get over their initial attitudes toward one another, and the supernatural world building is very solid as Nanami goes from being a normal high school girl to learning what it means to be a god.

Over two seasons we’ll see these two get significantly closer to understanding one another and learn to depend on and trust the other (even if that is sometimes a bit difficult). Unfortunately, the anime doesn’t go far enough and we still haven’t seen where this romance leads.

That said, Kamisama Kiss is one anime that leaps immediately to mind when thinking of great supernatural romance anime and it is one I’ve binged watched on multiple occasions because it is just great fun.


Number 1: Fruits Basket

Fruits Basket - Tohru and Kyo 
Supernatural romance anime.

With Fruits Basket 2019 finally coming to a close with the Final Season, I can now say that this is my favourite supernatural romance anime. While the second and third seasons get significantly darker as we delve more into the curse of the Souma’s, Tohru’s relationships with the zodiacs continue to grow and season three doesn’t just see her romance come to fruition but pretty much every character ends up with someone.

It is impossibly sweet and heart-breaking viewing and I dare someone to try watching it without having a good cry more than once along the way. But as with all romances we do eventually get to the happily ever after phase which more or less makes you cry again but in a different way.

Anyway, if you’ve followed my coverage of Fruits Basket as it has been airing you will know I love the characters, love how the narrative develops and ultimately am very satisfied with how the anime came to an end. It totally deserves this top spot on the list.

Top 5 Supernatural Romance anime

What are your favourite supernatural romance anime?

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Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Fruits Basket: The Final Season Episode 13 Impressions – The Long Epilogue of a Narrative Continued

Fruits Basket Final Season Episode 13 Review
Crow's World of Anime has sponsored reviews of Fruits Basket Final Season in 2021.

Fruits Basket delivers yet more epilogue.

It seems such a petty complaint when I consider the dizzying emotional heights this final season of Fruits Basket has delivered, but realistically after episode 11, both 12 and 13 have felt kind of anti-climatic. Part of me almost wishes they’d just made episode 11 a forty-minute special and truncated the content of these final two episodes. Because waiting a week in between each one to just get more wrap up feels a little… well lame.

Binge watchers will have a definite advantage here because to be blunt, they can ride the emotional high from episode 11 and be swept through these final two episodes and left with that final happy smile of joy at a sickly sweet conclusion in which everyone gets a happily ever after. For seasonal viewers, Fruits Basket’s ending lacks any kind of meat and two weeks is a long time to trail out an ending of saccharine sweet smiles.

But Tohru and Kyo - Image from Fruits Basket the Final Season
Not that they aren’t still adorable.

And you know, it doesn’t undermine my overall love of this anime. Three seasons of Fruits Basket and it has told a beautiful story and part of me is really happy that the characters are working toward their happy ending and we’re seeing what happens next. However as an episode to review my impressions of I’m left with the unmistakable feeling that pretty much nothing happened other than the slow demonstration that all the characters are moving on and making sure we know they got to happily ever after.

That doesn’t leave you with a lot to say and the few moments of comedy offered up by Hanajima really don’t give much to discuss either.

Hanajima really enjoys messing with Kyo.

Though, this episode does make a point of touching base with all the key characters and couples and we see their reactions to Tohru leaving (with Kyo). There’s lots of sighs and wistfully staring off into a future and then there’s the plans they make for themselves.

Probably the one that made me happiest was seeing Hatori making plans to travel. He’s lived a longer time in the clutches of the family and had never really rebelled against it. Unlike Ayame and Shigure he stayed in the main estate and did what he was asked to do so seeing him planning to go somewhere and maybe have his own life for a change was actually a pretty touching moment in amongst a lot of similarly played out sequences in this episode.

While the future for many of the kids is ambiguous, they make it clear they are all moving on with their lives and relationships.

Oh, they are being super cute - Fruits Basket Final Season.

I will get to the full season review of Fruits Basket: The Final Season soon but really I think I need to binge watch the whole season. While week to week was fine, the emotional roller coaster makes it difficult to really be objective as a whole. I do know that Fruits Basket really did do something special and this final season has been a brilliant conclusion, even if the final episodes have felt like they are dragging just a little bit.

Images used for review from: Fruits Basket: The Final Season. Dir. Y Ibata. TMS Entertainment. 2021.

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Karandi James

Fruits Basket: The Final Season Episode 12 Impressions – The Long Epilogue of a Narrative

Fruits Basket Episode 12
Crow's World of Anime has sponsored reviews of Fruits Basket Final Season in 2021.

A strange calm is settling over the cast of Fruits Basket.

It was kind of inevitable that whatever came after the emotional heights of episode 11 was going to be a bit of a let down. Admittedly, Fruits Basket made a solid attempt at tugging the heart strings this week but this is definitely the start of a long epilogue that won’t conclude until one more episode.

That might be an incredibly cold thing to say about an episode that deals with the final bonds breaking in the zodiac, Akito finally realising an apology is owed but unable to give it, and finally seeing Kyoko’s final moments and words, but Fruits Basket has reached such incredible heights that honestly while this episode provided satisfying continuations and revelations, emotionally I was pretty calm this week.

Kyo and Ayami - Fruits Basket Final Season Episode 12
Okay, my reaction was a lot better than Kyo’s was.

In case it sounds like I didn’t like the episode, I’d like to say that isn’t true. Episode 12 of this final season of Fruits Basket is every bit as well crafted and cohesive as the rest of the narrative has been.

For me this is just a case where binge watchers have the advantage. They can come straight from the emotional high of last week to getting their denouement and it would be almost cleansing from an emotional point of view. However for those with a week to mull over the previous episode and have distance from those emotions, this ends up being more a Lord of the Rings style epilogue where sure it gives us more information about what is coming next for the characters but it isn’t strictly speaking needed to feel satisfied.

It was nice that Fruits Basket did allow Yuki his moment in episode 12. While the focus has been on Kyo for a fair while now, it is important to remember that Yuki has been in this story since the beginning and his journey is every bit as important.

Yuki and Machi
Image from Fruits Basket Final Season.
Yuki distracted from Machi.

While a lot of viewers seem to really like Machi and appreciate her as a character, for me Machi has always felt like a late addition that hasn’t quite earned my emotional attachment and so while I was thrilled for Yuki in this sequence as the two were adorkably sweet together, Machi is more just a necessity for Yuki’s ending rather than feeling like a character I’m particularly concerned about.

Likewise, Akito’s appearance this week and reconnection with the other zodiac members (now that they are freed) and then with Shigure, does nicely help to close up any potential loose ends and continues Akito’s redemption arc even if actual redemption is a long way away. However given this path had already been set in the previous episode of Fruits Basket seeing it play out was more just kind of a nice addition rather than a must watch moment, even if I absolutely loved that outfit.

Akito tries a new look.
Image from Fruits Basket Final Season.
A different look for Akito.

The real emotional power of the episode comes from seeing Kyoko’s final moments from a different perspective. While this is framed around Kyo’s decision about the future and Honda’s desire for him to forgive himself, Kyoko has been a powerful character throughout the whole narrative despite being dead when it really started. Giving her these final moments actually felt like a weighty addition to the story and not just another loose end to be tied.

With one final episode to go it will be interesting to see what note Fruits Basket will leave us on. Will it do a time-skip to reveal the characters further on or will we simply get to the graduation of the main group and have them go their own way? Are there any surprises left in store or is it just waiting it out as this story that has kept me enthralled through three seasons draws to a close?

The gods and zodiac animals bid farewell.
Image from Fruits Basket Final Season.
The banquet is over.

What I do know is that regardless of what the final episode brings, this is one series I would firmly recommend. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll do both at the same time. Fruits Basket will leave you emotionally wrecked while giving you confidence and hope. The characters will charm you and annoy you and end up feeling like family. At the end of the day, I’m going to miss this show once the final curtain falls.

Images used for review from: Fruits Basket: The Final Season. Dir. Y Ibata. TMS Entertainment. 2021.

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Karandi James

Fruits Basket: The Final Season Episode 11 Impressions – An Unforgettable Episode

Fruits Basket Final Episode 11
Crow's World of Anime has sponsored reviews of Fruits Basket Final Season in 2021.

Tohru and Kyo…Fruits Basket…Words are now failing me.

Episode 11 of Fruits Basket the Final Season is an emotional watch and if the YouTube reactions I found after watching it were anything to go by I’m not alone in feeling that way. While the episode is titled ‘Goodbye’ my initial thoughts were pretty bleak but honestly this episode manages to be aww inducing cuteness followed by contemplative and cathartic. Overall there’s a sense of resolution as the banquet is finally demystified and finally we are left with a sense of relief.

As always, watching Fruits Basket is akin to going multiple rounds of emotional boxing and I’m just not all that well equipped for having my emotions rocked like that.

Incidentally, spoilers below.

Kyo gets his serious face on.
Image from Fruits Basket Final Season 2019.
Kyo, when you look at me like that…

I do know that after watching this episode I am going to have to go an rewrite my list of top 5 anime confessions. Seriously, this one has to absolutely be on that list. I’d put this one on par with the confession in Dakaichi in terms of intensity but given that confession came out of nowhere at the beginning of the story (before we knew either character) and this one between Kyo and Honda has been so long coming…

Yeah, to be honest, the emotional payoff here was just brilliant. Fruits Basket absolutely nailed this moment and honestly if this final season leaves us with nothing else in its final episode, episode 11 has already given me everything I needed to be happy. Sure there are still some unanswered questions but most of what I wanted from this season has been revealed and then some.

I am curious about whether the characters will continue to live at Shigure’s house or whether they will return to the main Soma estate. Will the main Soma estate even remain after all of this? Or are they all going to go and find their own ways. I will admit, I never read the very end in the manga. Once I found out enough about the curse and where the characters were going in Fruits Basket to satisfy my curiosity I put this story away until this rebooted anime.

This post may just be an excuse for pictures of Kyo.
Image from Fruits Basket 2021.
Kyo, sometimes Tohru makes us all feel like that.

One thing I am happy season 3 of Fruits Basket has fully resolved is the question of whether Tohru would end up with Kyo or Yuki. From the start of this season it couldn’t have been clearer and honestly, that made this moment all the sweeter. If there had still been some doubt, or if Yuki hasn’t been so clear with Kyo in episode 10, there would be that ongoing awkwardness that usually results when a love triangle resolves.

However, this episode actually had a lot more in it than Kyo and Tohru being utterly adorable. And actually, a lot of it was pretty important. The problem is, that Fruits Basket began its episode by giving me the fan moment I’ve been waiting for forever and so it was a little difficult to focus on the rest while I had my inner fan-girls dancing a conga-line through my brain for the rest of the day after watching the first part of this episode.

God and the cat.
Image from Fruits Basket 2021.
Okay, onto the more serious side of things.

So most of the rest of this episode of Fruits Basket really looks at God’s relationship with the animals in the zodiac. We see this through Akito’s genuine pain as the bonds most definitely break. However we also go back to the original story that we were told about god holding the banquet. Only this time, we get a lot more about what happened before the first banquet and unsurprisingly it involves God’s relationship with the cat.

It isn’t at all surprising that a story passed down through generations and between incarnations had become quite distorted and details that should have been remembered were forgotten. The relationships between god and the zodiacs and the zodiacs and the cat became symbolic and chains, mimicking their original connection but the purpose being quite forgotten.

Akito cries.
Image from Fruits Basket the Final Season 2021.
Akito’s finally going to be on her own.

Letting go of these bonds, being alone (truly alone) for the first time, is painful and not just for Akito. As we saw from Kureno and others who broke free of the bond previously, it isn’t exactly a happy moment initially. But, if any of these characters are to move forward it is a necessary step.

Honestly, I’d really have been happy with this as an ending. Sure it will be great to see next steps and have a few other questions answered, but in terms of this narrative I kind of feel like this is going to be the emotional peak for me. Fruits Basket episode 11 was incredibly satisfying viewing and will perhaps remain one of my favourite resolutions in anime (I really should do a top 5 list of those).

Images used for review from: Fruits Basket: The Final Season. Dir. Y Ibata. TMS Entertainment. 2021.

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Karandi James

Fruits Basket: The Final Season Episode 10 Impressions – Yay!

Fruits Basket Final Season Episode 10
Crow's World of Anime has sponsored reviews of Fruits Basket Final Season in 2021.

Will Kyo admit it? Fruits Basket Final Season Episode 10 asks the question.

There’s a change in the air this week with Fruits Basket. Tohru is absent for most of the episode given she’s still in the hospital but her presence and her actions hang over everything. That said, there’s almost a sense of release occurring and while emotions for the characters are still running high as a viewer I felt that this week’s anime episode was almost a breath of fresh air. Definitely spoilers below.

Admittedly we are closing in on the end of the road now with MAL giving this season of Fruits Basket 13 episodes. I’m not sure I’m ready for it to end even as it seems the journey is definitely coming to a close. I mean, having watched the original anime and then investing in the remake since 2019, Fruits Basket and the characters have been a part of my viewing life for a very long time now.

Yuki in the student council office.
Image from Fruits Basket Final Season episode 10 (2021).
Not even the student council can believe this is going to come to an end.

But I digress. Episode 10 has Yuki trying to sort through his emotions, as many of the characters seem to be. They are coming to terms with what has transpired and trying to figure out where they now stand. Whether it is Hiro and Kisa, Kureno and Arisa, or even Akito, there’s a definite sense that they want to move to somewhere, they feel they can move, but they are all kind of hesitating and unsure about what is coming next.

The level of uncertainty makes sense given most of these characters have felt, long before the events in the anime started, that their lives were predetermined and they had no other options. Forging a new path sounds exciting but it’s pretty terrifying when the moment finally comes. That said, there’s one character in Fruits Basket who still seems very much locked in place.

Yuki is going to have some words with Kyo.
Image from Fruits Basket Final Season anime (2021).
And Yuki has had enough.

Yuki and Kyo’s relationship has never been good (understatement). The two have violently clashed again and again and about the only point they’ve ever agreed on is that they needed to look out for Honda Tohru. However, Yuki now has some clear advice for Kyo and he rams it home with both fists and a few violent kicks to Shigure’s long suffering house.

I think Kyo received the message.
Image from Fruits Basket Final Season Episode 10 (2021).
This was definitely advice giving. Not a fight.

I have to admire this moment. Even as angry as Yuki was he still made it clear to Kyo. The two finally communicated and realised, probably for the first time, that the envy they feel for the other is reflected right back. That said, Yuki told Kyo what he needed to hear and that was that he made Honda happy simply by being near her. The power of Tohru’s smile should not be underestimated.

The upshot of all this advice is that Kyo leave Shigure’s house however he doesn’t head straight to the hospital and Honda. At first I thought this was a foolish move but then we realised who he went to see. Kyo was seeking some closure of his own as we near the end of this final season of Fruits Basket and had decided it was high time he spoke with his father.

Honestly, it doesn’t go well but I don’t think the viewers of Kyo expected it to. But it did give Kyo what he needed. The chance to stop running from his feelings of guilt and to face the past that he had always shut away. Despite how dark this scene became it didn’t change the feeling that somehow shackles were being released and everything was moving once again.

All of that alone would have made for a solid episode of Fruits Basket. However, they had one more treat for us. Kyo confessed (at least in his own head) that he loved Honda Tohru. As he approaches the hospital the words resound in his mind again and again and if you are anything like me you are cheering like a crazy idiot at your laptop and anyone else in your house is wondering just what happened.

Kyo sees Honda.
Image from Fruits Basket Final Season anime 2021.
And then the moment arrives…

In true Fruits Basket fashion the tone then shifts as Honda sees Kyo and then flees. He chases after her screaming that she shouldn’t run right after leaving the hospital and the episode ends while I’m left with a ridiculously cheesy smile on my face. So yeah, perfect. Plus the most perfect final shot of Arisa and Hanajima. Love those two.

Anyway, Fruits Basket is almost at its end. I am going to miss it.

Images used for review from: Fruits Basket: The Final Season. Dir. Y Ibata. TMS Entertainment. 2021.

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Karandi James

Fruits Basket: The Final Season Episode 9 Impressions

Fruits Basket Final Season Episode 9
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My prediction last week that it would all end in tears proved far too true.

Fruits Basket is one of those anime that time after time reduces me to tears. The thing is, not all of those tears are sad tears. Some of them are as we learn about the tragedies in each of the characters’ back stories. However a lot of the tears I’ve shed for this anime have simply been overwhelming emotion or warm tears of joy and relief. Episode 9 of the final season of Fruits Basket manages to make you cry every kind of tears for and with the characters and while the end result of the episode might seem a little on the trite side given how dire things seemed to get, you can’t fault the journey we took to get here.

Absolutely spoilers below.

Fruits Basket Final Ep9 3
I’ve longed for someone to wipe the smug look off of Akito’s face. Events this episode finally did.

So much of this final season has been around the various members of the Zodiac finding themselves and in the process moving away from the eternity Akito longed for. Tohru, on finally realising that at heart Akito is just lonely and pathetic, did the usual Tohru thing and reached out to hug the knife wielding maniac. There’s nothing out of character in her actions and while the same action by another protagonist might have me rolling my eyes toward the heavens, it was so expected of this character and so established that this is exactly what she would do that all I could do was hope she didn’t end up eating the knife.

Fortunately, Akito had clearly had their fill of stabbings and after being loved past the point of tolerance she ran away. Now if only Tohru had let her go things may have played out quite differently but I’m not sure we’d ever get to the ending we need. Instead we have a confrontation of Akito’s rejection of kindness versus Tohru’s absolute conviction that she can reach anyone if she just tries hard enough playing out on the dirt cliff that collapsed back in episode 1, all those years ago, burying Tohru’s tent and current home.

Knowing the cliff collapsed under rain then more or less sets up where this scene is going to go but there’s still tension as Tohru has her back to the edge and there’s a genuine question of whether Akito will snap again and give her the little push that would send her over.

Fruits Basket Final Ep9 5
They both look a little worse for wear here.

One thing that was certain though, Tohru was always going over that cliff. It was basic Chekov in action. Here’s a crumbling cliff known for landslides in rain back in episode one and here we have two main characters have an emotional outpouring at the top of that same cliff.

Once again, Fruits Basket isn’t reinventing the wheel or doing anything revolutionary with its narrative. But it has solid fundamentals in character and narrative structure and there’s an absolute certainty in where it is headed. While some might argue this makes it a little predictable, I’m fine with that as I watch the scenes play out because while it isn’t trying to do anything new it is ensuring that each scene strikes the exact emotional chord they are aiming for.

I don’t feel sorry for Akito but the face they make after Tohru goes over is probably the best moment of character redemption ever. For the first time Akito is made human through their horror over what has just happened and we see as the episode plays out that the weight of all their actions are settling upon them. They still don’t fully own these actions and are still calling those who forgive them idiots but its at least a first step.

I don’t think the audience of Fruits Basket is supposed to forgive Akito (which is a good thing because I don’t think we ever could) and Momiji is the perfect vehicle to show this. Not vindictive in any way, Momiji merely pushes Akito to continue pursuing their current path without actually forgiving them for prior actions. I will admit, Momiji is definitely becoming one of my favourite characters as these final episodes play out.

Fruits Basket - Akito's distress
Akito cannot believe that just happened.

But what of Tohru and Kyo and everyone else? Well… I guess we’ll wait and see what the outcome is next week.

Images used for review from: Fruits Basket: The Final Season. Dir. Y Ibata. TMS Entertainment. 2021.

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Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James