Cry with me, folks. There’s only one episode left of Fruits Basket: The Final. Last week’s episode was monumental, with the Zodiac curse finally breaking for everyone, and the reveal of how the curse originated. In this week’s Fruits Basket: The Final episode 12, we get to witness the beginning stages of the Soma family’s efforts to move on after the breaking of the curse.
Episode 12 of Fruits Basket: The Final picks up where episode 10 left off. Yuki races to Machi after she calls him, wanting to give him something. It turns out the something in question is a gift for Yuki to pass along to a recovering Tohru. Machi’s reasoning for the gift is that she’s thankful for Tohru protecting Yuki when he was vulnerable.
She also remarks that it was because of Yuki’s weakness and fragility that he was able to notice her, and reach out to her. During this scene, I was reminded of just how similar Machi and Yuki are – or perhaps (given Yuki’s recent character growth) it would be more accurate to say ‘were’.
Machi grew up in a household where she was pressured to be perfect in every way, used by her mother as a tool in a battle for inheritance. Yuki also has a complicated relationship with the idea of perfection. He’s perceived by everyone else as being flawless and princely, despite the intense self-esteem issues and emotional battles he’s fighting. Yuki and Machi respond to their situations in the same way; by becoming reserved and withdrawn.
Though Machi is far more isolated than Yuki, both characters struggle to form bonds. They’re both looking for someone who will accept them for who they truly are – and they end up finding that in each other. Despite her small amount of screen time throughout the series, I really enjoy Machi as a character.
Just as Yuki is about to confess his feelings for Machi, he senses something strange. The voice of God echoes in his head: “You’re the last one.”
With that, Yuki’s curse finally breaks, and his first reaction is to cry. Like the other Somas, it’s a bittersweet experience for him. While he’s happy to be free of the curse, he’s also parting with something familiar, something that’s been a big part of his life.
As Yuki triumphantly embraces Machi, she (adorably) asks if she can call him by his first name. When Machi says his name, Yuki is overcome with emotion and brings her in for a kiss. It’s an incredibly sweet scene, made slightly amusing by the shocked faces of the bystanders. The score during this scene is beautifully poignant too.
I know that Yuki’s declaration in season 2 that he sees Tohru as a maternal figure came as quite a shock to a lot of fans. Especially because up until that point, the show seemed to be promoting Yuki, Kyo and Tohru’s relationships with each other as a sort of love triangle. Because of this, there may be some fans who would still prefer Tohru to end up with Yuki. But, to me, Yuki and Machi’s relationship just feels right.
The Soma clan gather for a meeting after being summoned by Akito, presumably for the last time. It’s a familiar routine; all the Somas gathered at the family estate at Akito’s behest. But they’re no longer possessed by Zodiac spirits, and their relationships to one another have all changed, now that they are free to pursue their desires.
Perhaps most importantly, Akito has changed drastically. This is further emphasized by her appearance during the meeting. After keeping everyone waiting, she arrives in an elegant floral kimono, wearing makeup on her face and a flower in her hair. It’s her first time dressing as a female, so everyone is suitably astonished. Ritsu has the funniest reaction, asking whether Akito has adopted his cross-dressing habit.
Fruits Basket: The Final episode 12 is full of similarly light-hearted and humorous moments. Rin stares daggers at Haru after he tells Yuki he’ll always love him, and Momiji jokes that Kyo’s cheating on Tohru after Kagura hugs him. Ayame is his usual flamboyant and exuberant self, teasing Kyo about being unaccustomed to the opulence of the Soma estate.
Akito proclaims that she is returning to her true self, and that she welcomes the Soma clan doing the same. She attempts an apology but has the good sense to realize that words fall short of repairing all the suffering she’s caused.
Through a flashback we find out that the kimono was a gift from Shigure, given as a symbol of his acceptance of Akito’s new self. In the flashback, Akito reveals that Shigure’s aloofness and carefree nature have always scared her. This makes sense, given her reliance on the affection of others. But Shigure surprises her by confessing that this was all an act; a way of getting back at Akito for her tendency to turn to other men in times of need.
Shigure’s confession doesn’t change how I view him as a character. His spitefulness is perfectly in keeping with his childish and cocky personality. However, it is interesting to find out that these actions were spurred by his love for Akito. It’s not a healthy kind of love – one might even describe it as toxic.
Shigure wants Akito but only if she agrees to devote herself to him. And Akito, seeing his flippant attitude towards her, wants to do everything she can to captivate his attention. While she’s gone through a lot of growth this season, I guess old habits die hard, and she’ll always be somewhat co-dependent.
The pernicious nature of their relationship is reinforced through Shigure’s words: “I love you. As long as you keep wanting me.” Love should be unconditional, of course. But I guess not every relationship can be as wholesome as Tohru and Kyo’s.
Speaking of Tohru and Kyo, this episode gave us another sweet moment between the pair. While visiting Tohru’s mom’s grave, Kyo mentions his plans to move away and work at a dojo after graduation. In the past, Kyo used moving as an excuse to escape whatever problems he was facing. Now though, his plans represent a fresh start for his life.
Kyo acknowledges this in his speech to Tohru, proclaiming that he wants to engage more with the world around him, and he wants to do this by her side. Although the place where Kyo intends to move is far away, Tohru of course agrees to go with him. After all, her love for him is unconditional.
It’s really heart-warming to see Kyo thinking positively about his future now that the threat of confinement has gone away. The scene ends with him talking to Kyoko’s gravestone, saying that he’ll keep his promise to protect Tohru forever.
Fruits Basket: The Final episode 12 was full of happy moments for the characters. But it wouldn’t be a Fruits Basket episode if they didn’t hit us with at least one tear-jerking scene.
For episode 12, this comes in the form of an after-credits scene, featuring Tohru’s mom Kyoko, as we’re shown another flashback from her death. This time, the flashback is from her perspective. As Kyoko realizes she’s dying after the accident, her only thoughts are of Tohru and how she doesn’t want to leave her alone. She looks up into the crowd of people surrounding her dying body and her eyes land on Kyo’s face: “I’ll never forgive you.”
These are the words that have been haunting Kyo for years. Here, we find out that Kyoko said them because she wished for Kyo to keep his promise of protecting Tohru.
It turns out Tohru was right about her mom not blaming Kyo for her death. No surprise there really, as we already know that Kyoko wasn’t a malicious person. At the ending of the episode, we’re given an emotional scene of her reuniting in death with her late husband Katsuya. As the music swells, he reaches out to her, and assures her “You fought well”. A beautiful ending to a beautiful episode.
You can watch Fruits Basket: The Final episode 12 on both Crunchyroll and Funimation. You can also vote for it in our weekly poll. The next and final episode airs on June 28, and is titled “See You Again Soon”. Let’s hope it’s a satisfying conclusion.
© NATSUKI TAKAYA·HAKUSENSHA/FRUITS BASKET PROJECT