The episode opens with Ayame asking Mine if she would stay with him even if he was cursed forever. I loved her answer to him, and it shows how devoted she is to Ayame. We then see Hattori and and Mayuko at Mayuko’s family bookstore, and the two of them have a conversation. The final piece before the opening credits is Yuki and Machi. He’s about to tell her his secret, but they are interrupted by the sudden arrival of Kimi and Kakeru. But with the interactions that take place before the interruption and Machi’s reactions afterwards, it’s very clear that these two have feelings for each other.
We then move on to the beginning of the new school year, and we see that Momiji shot up like a weed over the summer. He’s also now wearing the traditional boys’ uniform. There’s an amusing scene where onlookers are commenting on how much he’s grown up… but then everything changes once he opens his mouth when talking with Tohru. His voice may be a little deeper, but he’s still talking about ice cream and some of the more childish things he was known for. This scene provided one of the moments of levity in this episode.
Shigure goes to see Akito and he says some rather mean things to her. Later, Hattori scolds Shigure for his behavior, especially on how he’s acting immature and picking on someone younger than him. Shigure really needing that scolding, though. But we do get a little more insight into Shigure and his thought process. From what he says, he appears to be the only one of the zodiac members who doesn’t mind the curse. When he arrives home later, though, when a group of the younger Somas is having curry with Tohru, we see him wondering a little more about himself out loud, although he frames it as being ruminations of an author, not of him as a person.
And speaking of the gathering at Shigure’s house, there’s a wonderful scene where Kyo comes home and finds Hiro and Kisa there. We see Hiro struggling to not rely on his snarky remarks when interacting with Kyo. As he starts falling into that snarkiness, he catches himself and says what he wants to say calmly. We see this bothers Kyo more than the previous snarky comments.
Before the curry, though, Momiji goes to see Kyo in his room. Momiji is trying to impress on Kyo that he can’t be denying his feelings for Tohru and give up, because some other guy could come along and take her away. Momiji points out that now he’s taller and more like a man, Kyo could lose Tohru to him.
That night, Akito has a dream of her father telling her about the story of God holding the banquet for the animals. Her father impresses on her that she was born to be loved and how no one will ever leave her. It’s no wonder Akito is as twisted as she is, and why she seems to love her father so much. But at the end of the dream, we see that a connection has broken. Akito suddenly wakes up and calls out Momiji’s name.
Akito goes to see Momiji in the middle of the night, and Momiji is confused about how to react to this sudden break in the connection with Akito. But looking at Akito, Momiji wonders why he ever had such a connection with someone as weak and pitiful as Akito. Momiji sends Akito away, but it’s obvious the next day that Momiji has some turmoil going on. We learn from a coversation Momiji has with Kyo how even though he has freedom now that the curse is broken, he’ll never be able to have the girl that he likes. Yes, if it wasn’t obvious before, Momiji makes clear that he has feelings for Tohru. However, he can tell that Tohru reciprocates Kyo’s feelings, even though she can’t bring herself to come right out and say it.
Momiji makes a visit to Akito, who tries to use her normal tricks to make Momiji doubt himself and stay with her. Momiji admits that even though this freedom may be lonely, especially since he’s now lost the link that formed his bonds with the other Somas, he has no intention of staying by Akito’s side in the long run. Akito lashes out, of course, but Momiji is no longer afraid of her. He takes a brief physical attack from her, and Akito then tells him to leave.
At this point, I was really feeling for Momiji. But near the end of the episode, Momiji takes a different way home… one that passes by the house where his mother, father, and Momo live. He sees his mother (who, of course doesn’t remember that Momiji is her son), and she calls out to him. The exchange he has with her is intercut with Momiji talking with Akito (parts of their meeting that we didn’t see) indicates that Momiji knows that there’s the potential for happiness in the future, and that now this older and freer him needs to move forward and find it. It’s hard to describe just how powerful intercutting these scenes was, but I nearly cried by the end of it. Momiji is a character that I’ve really liked for a long time, and there was a mixture of emotions I was feeling about his situation.
Fruits Basket: The Final Season seems to be getting more intense with each episode. I can’t wait for next week’s episode to see how much more will change and evolve for these characters.
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