Fruits Basket: The Final episode 13 marks the end of our time with Tohru and the Soma clan. After three seasons, the reboot has come to a close, and the finale is appropriately reflective. It’s an episode full of happy moments for the series’ beloved characters, as well as flashbacks that highlight how far they’ve come.
After an entire season of romantic tension and teary love confessions, Kyo and Tohru finally go on their first date. The scene is full of wholesome moments as the pair stroll around the zoo – like Tohru referring to a pony as “mini Isuzu.”
Of course, they’re accompanied by Tohru’s overprotective besties Uotani and Hanajima, who act as chaperones. Much like parents giving their blessing to their child’s suitor, the two finally admit they like Kyo and ask him to look after Tohru. While the scene was injected with humor and light-hearted moments, it felt quite emotional too. Especially since it marked the first of several goodbyes that would take place in this episode.
Kyo reflects on his new relationship with Tohru, stating that “loving someone means embracing their past and future selves too.”
In many ways, this is a fitting description of the attitude towards all the relationships in the series. The personal growth of its characters has been one of the defining aspects of Fruits Basket. While in a shounen anime, growth is often equated with overcoming physical weakness; in Fruits Basket, it’s the character’s internal struggles that need to be conquered. All the characters started off with deep-seated insecurities due to past traumas.
Over the duration of this final season, we’ve seen them finally overcome these traumas, and as a result, start their lives anew. The finale gives us a moment with each character, in which we get to see the outcome of their growth.
Kyo overcame the self-hatred that stemmed from his mother’s suicide and turbulent upbringing. Though he can’t erase his past, he’s decided to move on and finally acknowledge that he’s worthy of love. Seeing him happy and flourishing in his relationship with Tohru is just about the happiest ending we fans can ask for.
Speaking of past and future selves, Yuki is like a different person in Fruits Basket: The Final episode 13. It’s evident that the shy and apprehensive Yuki from season one is gone, as he talks of plans to go to a faraway college and boldly jokes around with Machi. As the two talk about the future, Machi assures him she’ll catch up to him. While Machi could be referring to their one-year age gap here, I sense that she also strives to overcome her insecurities in the same way that Yuki has.
After high school graduation, it’s time for Tohru and Kyo to prepare for their move and officially say their goodbyes. As Tohru finishes packing her things, she looks back on where it all began; the night she was first taken in by Shigure and Yuki. It felt incredibly sentimental to revisit scenes from season one and see just how far the characters have come.
I also feel like Tohru represents every Fruits Basket viewer in this scene. As she talks of all these fond memories, comparing them to jewels, she expresses sadness that they’re over. Tohru and Kyo are saying farewell to their family and friends. In a way that’s what it feels like for us as viewers when a series we’re so invested in finally comes to an end. “The stronger the love, the lonelier the goodbye”, Tohru says. Truer words have never been spoken.
Tohru’s not the only one reflecting on the past though. As we get a final glimpse into how each character is doing, all of them seem to be overcome with nostalgia as they prepare for Kyo and Tohru’s sendoff. Ritsu thinks back on Tohru consoling him during his panic attack in season one. Shockingly, he seems to have overcome his crossdressing habit and has cut his long, girlish hair. Since he previously mentioned that dressing as a woman was something he did to calm his neurosis, this represents a major achievement for him.
The other Somas also ponder the ways in which Tohru has helped them and enriched their lives. For Kisa, Tohru helped her overcome her trust issues following the bullying she experienced. For Hiro, she was instrumental in helping him become a better, kinder person. She gave both Momiji and Rin an outlet for their emotional turmoil, after realizing the two were putting on a brave face. And she helped Ayame reconnect with his brother Yuki when he thought their relationship was a lost cause. Indeed, the impact of Tohru’s love, kindness and acceptance towards the Somas was monumental, and played a vital role in their transformations.
Kureno is shown to be living in a seaside town, as he awaits Uotani’s arrival. After basically a lifetime of babysitting the unstable Akito, I can’t think of anyone who deserves an escape more than him. Meanwhile, Hatori is finally allowing himself to be happy, and plans a holiday with his partner Mayuko. Side note: Mayuko’s description of her body as a “tall pancake” was the comedic highlight of this episode for me.
Along with Kyo, Akito is the character who perhaps went through the most growth in this final season. Tohru’s role in this development cannot be ignored once again. She helped Akito realize it’s never too late to change.
In this episode, Akito shows consideration for the Soma clan, stating that she won’t be attending the sendoff. Given that the emotional wounds she inflicted on them are still healing, this is an extremely wise decision on her part. Aside from her emotional transformation, she also looks completely different, with her long hair and feminine clothes. Both her and Shigure seem content in their relationship – a good sign that the mind-games between them have ceased.
As someone who constantly puts other people’s feelings before her own, Tohru fails to recognize her own value. Other characters often describe her as being generous to a fault. We get a sweet moment between Yuki and Tohru as the final episode closes. During the scene, he thanks Tohru for shaping him into the person he is today.
It’s refreshing for a show with such heavy romantic themes to demonstrate a platonic relationship that’s just as impactful as a romantic one. It’s an incredibly moving scene, and I’m so glad they gave Yuki and Tohru a final moment together. Moreover, after three whole seasons, it’s his first time addressing Tohru by her first name. If that doesn’t show Yuki’s progress, I don’t know what does.
The episode ends with a beautiful flash-forward to a distant future, showing Tohru and Kyo’s adult children and their grandchild. Seeing all the mementos from their life together, including the painted Zodiac animals and blue cap from previous seasons felt incredibly poignant. The final shot of the series, of an elderly Tohru and Kyo walking hand in hand was the cherry on top of a perfect finale.
Fruits Basket: The Final episode 13 gave us the closure we all needed as fans. While all loose ends were essentially tied up by the previous episode, it was satisfying to see the characters finally happy and embarking on new journeys. I never expected anything other than a happy ending from the series. Nonetheless, after such an emotionally-heavy season, an optimistic finale is exactly what I wanted.
Fruits Basket: The Final episode 13 is available to watch on both Crunchyroll and Funimation. Tohru and the Somas’ stories may be over, but we haven’t seen the last of the Fruits Basket universe. That’s right, it’s getting a spin-off, focusing on Tohru’s parents Katsuya and Kyoko. There’s no information yet on whether the series will be an OVA or film. One thing’s for sure though; we’ll finally get to see Kyoko and Katsuya’s backstory animated!
© NATSUKI TAKAYA·HAKUSENSHA/FRUITS BASKET PROJECT