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Fruits Basket – The Final Episode 1 Review – The Sudden Nightgown Festival

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Fruits Basket – The Final Episode 1 Review – Quick Summary

In Fruits Basket – The Final Episode 1, “I’ll Hold Another Banquet,” we pick right back up where the end of the previous season left us. Kureno Souma had dropped two bombs on Tohru Honda. First, that Akito Souma, the god of the Souma clan, was actually a goddess. Second, that Kureno had once carried the curse, but had been freed. Tohru’s hopes seemed to soar: If Kureno could be freed, then how about the rest of the Soumas — especially Kyou Souma? Then Kureno hit her with more truths so tragic and painful that they left Tohru on her knees. What could he possibly have said? What could have crushed the power of Tohru’s universe challenging-optimism? And is there any force on the planet that could restore Tohru’s good spirits?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Favorite Quote from Fruits Basket – The Final Episode 1

Fruits Basket - The Final Episode 1: Yuki gets Saki's sense of humor.

Good thing Yuki gets Saki’s sense of humor! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

If you’ve read any of my reviews of the previous Fruits Basket seasons, you know I recognize two unshakable truths. First, Tohru is the non-combatant form of Tanjirou Kamado from Demon Slayer. She’s all of the goodness and empathy and compassion but none of the sharp pointy instruments. Second, Saki Hanajima is an absolute goddess. There’s a chance she’s akin to Hel, the goddess who rules over Niflheim, but she’s still a goddess, and she’s my favorite character in the series.

Sorry, Tohru and Rin. You’re awesome and all, but you’re subject to the laws of your universe. Saki doesn’t even care about the fourth wall. To her, it’s less a rule and more a suggestion, as this post from Lynn Sheridan’s The Otaku Author describes. So it’s only fitting that I recognize one of her quotes as my favorite in this episode.

She had just rescued Tohru. Only two powers could counter the full weight of the Souma curse, and Saki got there first (Arisa Uotani, the second power, showed up later to offer more support). Saki took Tohru back to her house, and she even had the courtesy to call Yuki Souma to let him know Tohru was with her.

“Tohru is in my custody,” she told Yuki (11:58). “She’ll be mine all night.”

Fortunately, Yuki knew how to take Saki-isms!

You know, it might be three. The number of people who could help Tohru counter the Souma curse, that is. I think Kyou Souma, Finder of Lost Scarves, might be on that list, too.

Best in Show Moment for Fruits Basket – The Final Episode 1

The weight of the Souma curse crushed Tohru to her knees.

I didn’t think Tohru had an upper limit. The show’s beautiful art sharpened the scene’s poignancy. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: Picking Right Up Where We Left Off

I’m a grown man. I’ve helped raise a family and I’ve had a long and, by many measures successful, career. I’m no stranger to broken bones or various operations, and have seen my share of hardship. I’ve started death in the face in the form of a charging Holstein bull, which is actually quite a bit more life-changing than it sounds! And yet somehow, in the space of a few scenes, this show can practically reduce me to tears.

It’s because of powerful writing. Melodrama just annoys me. Playing with sad tropes can get my attention, but only if it’s done right. Generally speaking, it takes a scene like Mae Hughes’ funeral from Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood to get me to tear up. Maybe an occasional scene in other shows, but that’s the key: it’s occasional.

Fruits Basket - The Final Episode 1: Rin felt displeased to see Tohru in such a state.

The show has let us get to know these characters so well that a single look tells a story. Rin saw Tohru fall to her knees, and you can just see she’s not going to let that stand — even if she hasn’t figured out what to do yet. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

This damned show does it practically every episode! And it does it without even seeming to try! I vow to study this amazing power until I understand its secrets. Then I want to unleash those secrets in my own works. It’s not that I necessarily want to make anyone ball their eyes out. But I want to convey authentic emotions. This show defines what exceptional means in that regard.

At the end of last season, Tohru had approached Kureno in the hopes of conveying Arisa’s feelings to him. He’d confided to her that he could not accept Arisa’s affection. He shocked Tohru by telling her he had somehow worked free of the Souma curse. Yet, he still could not bring himself to abandon the young woman Akito. That meant he could not return Arisa’s affection. Tohru felt crushed that she had failed to help her friend.

Delivery: Emotion without Melodrama

Then Kureno spoke of how Akito’s mother, the still living Ren Souma, had decreed that Akito be raised as a man. He spoke of the terrible, hateful relationship between mother and daughter. Ren held that the bond between the Zodiac and Akito was both unnatural and harmful. She scorned Akito for brandishing it like it was some form of love. Kureno himself admitted that he thought it unnatural. Yet, he would not abandon Akito.

“I can’t push away a crying Akito,” he said (09:20).

Fruits Basket - The Final Episode 1: Akito seems outstanding at manipulation

Kureno said he couldn’t push a crying Akito away — as Hatori Souma scooped her up in his arms. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Remember the strength of Tohru’s optimism? When advocating for her friends, her energy seemed limitless. These latest revelations of the Souma’s inner curse and pain silenced her. After Kureno apologized that he couldn’t return Arisa’s affections and left, Tohru at first stood, unable to speak. Then, the full realization of the Souma curse crushed Tohru to her knees. The young woman whose optimism seemed boundless now knelt in the park, alone in the cold, unable to move.

The ability to cast a moment like that as something intimate and powerful just amazes me. I am so going to miss this show when it ends.

What did you think of Ren and Akito’s “discussion?” What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!

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