The hype train is pulling into the station for Fruits Basket The Final Season.
The series may not have won the top prize at this year’s Crunchyroll Anime Awards, but it did manage to snag Best Drama with ease. The recently released trailer for the final season already has audiences tearing up ahead of the series’ 4 April premiere in Japan, mapping out this final season to be the ultimate tearjerker.
Thanks to our friends at Funimation, western audiences are getting to see the season premiere two weeks before Japanese audiences. While only available dubbed until the actual release, it quenches our thirst and serves as emotional preparation for the final season of Tohru’s adventures with the Soma family. Is it too late to beg Studio Deen to keep it going a little longer?
Fruits Basket Season 3 begins where we left off: directly after the storied relationship between Kureno and Akito was finally revealed. Having seen the two interact throughout the series, it was clear that Kureno, despite Akito’s perceived cruelty, was content never leaving the other’s side. We learn that Kureno, the Rooster of the zodiac, has somehow broken the curse. As exciting as the news was to Tohru, the man quickly amends that he has no idea how it happened. Moreover, it also severed his bond with Akito, sending the head of the Soma family into painful hysterics. Despite the freedom Kureno had mystically obtained, he promised to never leave Akito’s side, and keeps that promise while sacrificing his own happiness.
Tohru was also shocked to discover that the family head is, in fact, female. Raised as a male from birth, Kureno sadly claims that it was something ‘chosen for him’ by Akito’s mother, Ren Soma, revealed to still haunt the family head both mentally and physically to this day.
It’s easy to cast Akito aside as a crazed and abusive lunatic, easy to hate and less easy to comprehend, but the episode immediately makes us rethink her character. Showcasing this relationship between mother and daughter, it seems that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree; Akito’s obsession with the bonds formed between herself and the other zodiac members is born out of desperation and fear of abandonment. Our glimpse of Ren’s husband and Akito’s father, the former head of the Soma family, is instantly heartbreaking. He simply tells his daughter that she was special, and meant to be loved. How did things go so terribly wrong?
Poetically, the day after Akito was conceived, members of the Soma family awoke in tears. They knew from a dream that a child would be born, and that a new God was coming. They ran to Ren, reaching out to her belly, exclaiming ‘we’ve been waiting for you!’ Their zodiac blood called out, and their unnatural bond began to form. But just because a bond is unnatural, does that mean it isn’t completely real? Are Akito’s worries unjustified?
Akito wounds others because she is wounded. It isn’t right or excusable, but it is understandable. Explaining this at the very beginning of the season gives the audience plenty of time to contemplate. We’re actually starting to like Akito as a character. Yes, you can like a character, even if they have done utterly unspeakable and unforgivable things. (Sorry, Yuki.)
Tohru is torn to pieces over this reality, wanting with all of her heart for Kureno to know some true amount of happiness. She sees him as a caring man deserving of more, begs him to meet with Akito to speak freely, but it’s clear that approaching the situation so bluntly would only lead to more heartache.
Kureno puts others’ feelings first, something Tohru says with some disdain, even though she does the same thing on a regular basis. She’s doing it now, not only with this new truth she needs to face, but with Kyo in particular, wanting more than anything in the world to take on his pain. Complaining to her friends, Tohru is met with plenty of pushback over this self-sacrificing habit of hers.
Fruits Basket Season 3 has us happy to be back home with Tohru, Yuki, Kyo and Shigure. We’re happy to see these characters we’ve grown to know and love, and we want more than anything for things to end on a happier note. It’s clear, however, that it’s going to be an uphill battle to get to that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and there are plenty more tears we’re ready to shed. The show took no time at all reminding us to break out the Kleenex.
Fruits Basket The Final Season will begin airing in earnest on 4 April in Japan, and will be streaming both subbed and dubbed on Funimation. A huge thank you to the site and dub cast for their hard (and quick) work, and for giving us a sneak peek two weeks early!