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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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