Lots of Soma family feels in “See You Later”, which manages to be hilarious and depressing all at once. So, basically, your typical episode of Fruits Basket. As a 38-year-old who still has no idea what she wants to be when she grows up, an episode focused on the kids thinking about their futures hit a little harder than I was expecting.
Being an adult is hard, but having to decide, in high school, what you want to do with the rest of your life gave me more anxiety than I knew what to do with. It certainly doesn’t help that 20 years later I’m still confused. “See You Later” is an episode that highlights a variety of emotions about the prospect of “the future”. You have Yuki, who feels as though he doesn’t have control over his own life, Tohru, who had to grow up way too young, and Kyo, who doesn’t even believe that he has a future to look forward to.
Uotani’s advice of staying focused on the present is excellent advice, which hearkens back to Shigure’s advice earlier in the season. It is important not to let yourself be so lost in what will be that you lose sight of what is. But also, Tohru literally putting all of her worries in a box is not healthy either. She has been shouldering so much on her own for so long that she seems to have forgotten she isn’t alone anymore.
Likewise, Yuki isn’t alone either. I loved the look of the scene of him standing alone in the rain; I thought it was a beautiful way to emphasize the way he seemed to be drowning throughout much of the episode. That scene with him and his mother was incredibly difficult to watch. We’re so rarely around the Soma parents that you forget how terrible some of them truly are, and Yuki’s mother attempting to gaslight him was just horrific.
There was plenty of humor to balance out the malaise. Uotani’s and Hanajima’s conferences went about the way I expected (I love that Hanajima’s plans are to either move to a foreign country or be a housewife), and Shigure showing up on behalf of Tohru was as brilliant as I hoped it would be. He is 100% dedicated to trolling Mayuko and I love it. (I also love that either Mayuko called Hatori to complain or he called her to apologize.)
The VIP of “See You Later” has to be Ayame; I never really connected with him while reading the manga, but I am loving him in the anime. I’d completely forgotten he planned on showing up to this meeting, and I loved his appearance. He put out some serious big boss energy by startling his mother so much that she got out of her chair, and he just casually sat down in it.
I think what I love best about Ayame is that he represents our ability to change and grow. He never appreciated Yuki when they were younger, mostly because the Soma family has the most messed up dynamics in the history of time, but he recognizes he was an awful brother and is working hard to rectify that. Until this episode, you couldn’t really tell whether or not it was working, but hearing Yuki stick up for his brother was glorious, especially since he had so much trouble standing up for himself.
This episode is important for Yuki’s character development. He learns that he has more than one person in his corner. He recognizes that his mother is not the intimidating presence she once was and is finally able to stand up for himself. And he seems to be turning a corner in his relationship with Tohru.
Have you seen “See You Later”? What did you think?
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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