Fruits Basket: The Final episode 11 is here and its title, “Goodbye”, couldn’t have been more accurate. Saying goodbye to the past and embracing the future are the overarching themes of this episode. There are now only two episodes left before the series ends for good, and this episode brought with it a sense of finality. Not only did the curses break for all the remaining Sohmas, but we finally get to learn the origin of the curse itself. Furthermore, after all the hardships that Tohru and the Sohmas have dealt with recently, it seems like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
It turns out the reason why Tohru bolted at the sight of Kyo outside the hospital was because she thought her love wasn’t reciprocated. We get a flashback to episode 8, in which Kyo told Tohru he was disappointed in her because of her refusal to stop loving him despite his confession. Tohru must have taken his words as a rejection of her feelings. Of course, Kyo’s words had less to do with his feelings for Tohru, and more to do with his own unwillingness to forgive himself.
Nevertheless, poor Tohru has been lamenting over these words for her entire hospital stay. In typical Tohru fashion, she tells herself that she shouldn’t dwell on it, so as not to cause trouble to anyone else. More than anything though, she doesn’t want to hurt Kyo. It’s easy to dismiss Tohru’s devastation, because to us, the audience, it seems so obvious that Kyo loves Tohru back. But that would be underestimating the effects of love and the agony of rejection. Given the strength of Tohru’s feelings towards Kyo, it’s perfectly understandable she would interpret his words as rejection. Especially considering that Kyo is a total tsundere, and rarely ever shows Tohru any outwards affection.
Thankfully, Kyo recognizes his mistake and apologizes for ignoring her feelings. It’s during this scene that Kyo finally tells Tohru he loves her and wants to be with her. It seems like Kyo’s confrontation with his father during last week’s episode resolved a lot of his internal struggles. Openly expressing his feelings and desires is a huge step for the copper-haired boy and something he would have never previously done.
Tohru and Kyo share their second kiss here. Dare I say, it’s an even sweeter moment than the first kiss (mostly since Tohru was half-unconscious for that one). Kyo asks Tohru if he can hug her, despite the fact that he’ll turn into a cat. As the music swells, he brings her in for a warm embrace…and lo and behold, he doesn’t turn into a cat! Yep, Kyo has joined the list of Sohmas whose curses have broken.
The Zodiac curse has been a part of Fruits Basket lore since the beginning of the series. While certain aspects of the curse have been explained, its actual origin has been shrouded in mystery. We know of the story discussed by Tohru in season one, regarding a banquet between the Zodiac animals. But in this episode, we finally get to hear how the curse originated. Narration tells us a tale of a lonely God who lived atop a mountain, isolated from humans because of their differences. God begins to find comfort in the companionship of animals, after being visited by a lone cat. The cat’s friendship and loyalty to the God inspire them to hold a banquet with other animals. And of course, the animals who accept God’s invitation are the 12 animals of the Zodiac that we know from the story.
It’s when the cat collapses, dying, that the Zodiac curse is born. Terrified at the realization of the impermanence of life, God decides to make their bond to the Zodiac animals eternal. But the cat doesn’t want eternity and questions God’s decision. This is interpreted by God and the other animals as rejection, causing them to rebuke the cat. Evidently, this stigma has remained for those who possess the cat spirit and is the reason why its hosts are shunned.
If we’re to compare the original promise to the present circumstances of the Zodiac curse, then Akito clearly represents God. Not only because she’s taken on the role of God within the Sohma clan, but because she echoes the original God’s desire for everlasting bonds. Like the original God, she also fears loneliness and uncertainty. She takes comfort in the guaranteed bonds she shares with the Sohma clan. Letting go of that comfort and embracing the unknown is a difficult feat for her, and this is reflected in her monologue following the breaking of everyone else’s curses. Sobbing, Akito asks her deceased father if it’s okay for her to relinquish her role as God and be herself. It’s an emotional scene, that made me briefly feel sympathetic towards Akito. After all, she can’t help how she was raised.
As Akito utters “goodbye”, the curse begins to break for the remaining Sohma family members. Ayame’s reaction is to immediately embrace Mine and tell her he was born to love her. Rin, who’s with Haru when it happens, begins to cry and hugs him. Haru’s curse broke several episodes ago, so he knows exactly how she’s feeling. We even get a very brief scene of Ritsu (a truly underrated character who deserved more screen-time) realizing his curse has broken.
This beautiful montage is perfectly tied together by Akito’s voiceover. “Goodbyes make us lonely”, she says. These words encapsulate the bittersweet nature of the curses breaking, and the reason why many of the Sohmas cry when it happens. Ultimately, the moral of Fruits Basket: The Final episode 11 is about change and the fact that we shouldn’t be averse to it. In fact, one could argue that change is the leading theme of the entire series. Although it may be difficult, change is a necessary part of life. It’s hard to move on from something so familiar, something that’s been a defining factor of your existence. But the cliche is true; for every door that closes, a new one opens. And the breaking of the Zodiac curse represents possibilities for new beginnings and bonds – not just for the Sohmas, but for Akito as well.
The episode ends with the most satisfying reaction to the curse breaking; Kyo breaking his bracelet with the realization he’s finally free. Tohru looks on, sobbing with happy tears. It’s a heart-meltingly sweet moment, and I’m sure I’m not alone in how glad it made me feel for Kyo. He and Tohru are finally getting their happy ending. Curiously enough, Yuki’s curse wasn’t shown breaking. I can only assume this is because he’ll be with Machi when this event occurs. I think this is a wise decision on the creators’ part, as it’s a moment that definitely deserves adequate screen-time.
You can watch Fruits Basket: The Final episode 11 on Crunchyroll and Funimation. You can also vote for it in our weekly poll. The next episode airs on June 21, and is titled “You Fought Well”. It’s hard to believe there’s only two episodes left until the show ends. With so much occurring over the past few episodes, there’s only loose ends left to tie up now.
All images via Crunchyroll
© NATSUKI TAKAYA.HAKUSENSHA/FRUITS BASKET PROJECT