Early on in the episode, we have two stories going on at the same time that end up coming together. First, I’ll focus on Akito and Kureno. At the beginning of the episode, Akito is holding a box and asks Kureno if he knows what it is. He doesn’t, and Akito reveals that the box is connected to her father. We learn later in the episode that it was Akito’s father who told her how the older zodiac members (Shigure, Hattori, Ayame, and Kureno) had been waiting for her birth. And from the way Akito acts, it’s clear that she loved her father, which is in direct contrast to how Akito hates her mother.
A little later, Kureno is watching some suspicious movement and follows one of the servants that’s carrying a tray of food and water. When he sees the servant is heading to the “Cat’s Shed” (the place where the Cat member of the zodiac is locked away), he confronts them about what’s going on. After some resistance, the servant admits that Rin is locked in there. She hands the key to Kureno and begs him to save her, because Rin hasn’t eaten or had anything to drink for days.
Meanwhile, Hiro is watching over his new little sister, Hinata, as his mother is talking with another Soma. As Hinata takes a hold of one of Hiro’s fingers, he realizes that his attitude needs to change. We get this explanation from him when he runs into Kisa a little while later. With this episode, I realized that Hiro and Kisa are both noticeably taller and look a little older. As Hiro is talking to Kisa, he bumps into Hatsuharu, who has come looking for Rin after he hears from Yuki that Tohru is concerned about her. We get a very emotional scene here, with Hiro telling Hatsuharu what really happened when Rin was so hurt and in the hospital, and apologizes for not saying anything sooner (both Akito and Rin told Hiro to keep his mouth shut). Hiro also apologizes to Kisa, saying it was his fault that Akito hit her and he’s felt guilty all this time. Kisa starts crying, because now she feels guilty about not noticing that Hiro was feeling guilty. And this, in turn, causes Hiro to finally let out his emotions and cry. I loved how this scene ended, with Kisa comforting Hiro and telling him he doesn’t have to worry anymore. This section shows how much Hiro has grown up, and it also finally brings resolution to Hiro’s conflicts.
Hatsuharu, meanwhile, has turned into Dark Haru and goes to confront Akito. When Hatsuharu tells Akito what he learned (although saying he heard it from an oracle), Akito just tries to laugh it off. Hatsuharu, however, doesn’t back off. When Hatsuharu is demanding to know where Rin is, Akito says she doesn’t know… but then Kureno comes in and says Rin is on her way to the hospital. Kureno also tells Hatsuharu where Rin had been kept. Hatsuharu gets so pissed, and looks like he’s going to punch Akito in the face. However, after quickly evaluating what’s gone down between himself and Rin, Hatsuharu punches the wall next to Akito instead. When Hatsuharu leaves, Kureno encourages him to go see Rin at the hospital, because the first thing she said when Kureno found her was Hatsuharu’s name. During this sequence, we see shots of the “red thread of fate” (which signifies the connection Akito has with the Zodiac members) and the last shot shows that it’s starting to unravel. I think that by trying to cling so tightly and pushing so hard at this point, is the one that’s starting to cause this bond to break. For most of the zodiac members, it hasn’t been enough to start the unraveling process, but this ordeal was enough to start the process for Hatsuharu.
Not surprisingly, Akito throws a temper tantrum after Hatsuharu leaves, and yells at Kureno for betraying her. She also whimpers about wanting her father. Kureno is later approached by one of Akito’s elderly servants, who chews him out for betraying Akito. When Kureno questions her if he should have left Rin where she was to die, the servant’s response was that the zodiac members are supposed to be loyal to Akito, and that if it wasn’t for Akito, they’d all be monsters like the Cat. This servant’s blind loyalty to Akito is extremely frightening… and infuriating. After seeing this servant’s attitude, it’s not wonder Akito acts like such a brat and thinks there’s no consequences for her actions. I was also glad to see Kureno developing a little more of a backbone in this episode.
We also finally get to see how exactly Rin ended up in the shed. We had seen the scene of Akito’s mother, Ren, encountering Rin before. But we find out that Ren had made a deal with Rin… get her something she wants from Akito’s room that really should be hers, and she’ll tell the secret of how to break the curse. The object she wants is the box we saw Akito with at the beginning of the episode. Rin is caught by Akito, and that’s how she ended up in the shed. We also get a scene of Ren talking with a servant after learning why she never got what she asked for, and Ren is asked point blank if she knows the secret of breaking the curse. She laughs and says that she doesn’t, and makes it clear that she never really liked Rin, and saw her as someone worthless. She’s really no better than Akito. The only difference between these two is the fact that Ren doesn’t have the bonds with the zodiac members that Akito does.
Near the end, we see that Rin has escaped from the hospital again, and is trying to find Hatsuharu. She collapses on the sidewalk, and is found by Hatsuharu. These two have a touching scene right at the end of the episode, and it’s during this scene that we hear Rin say the title of the episode. I nearly wanted to cry after these two were reunited and their interactions here. This scene right here is very important for both of these characters, because they are honest with each other about how they feel. Now that Hatsuharu knows the truth about what Rin was trying to do (find a way to break the zodiac curse), he tells her that her journey is over. She is “back home” with Hatsuharu now.
Just in this one episode, we have major character progression for Hiro, Hatsuharu, and Rin. These progressions make it clear that we’re in the middle of the final season of the Fruits Basket anime. I expect we’ll be seeing more of these kinds of changes and developments in the remaining episodes of the series, and I can’t wait to see how this all plays out.
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