If you didn’t already think that everyone on Fruits Basket was a little messed up, prepare yourselves for things to get really messy. “That’s an Unwavering Truth” reveals a “secret” that many people may have already guessed, considering Shigure’s everything.
First off, can I say that young!Shigure is adorable? Adult!Shigure is literally The Worst™. “That’s an Unwavering Truth” shows us that the personal lives of the Soma family are even more complicated and intertwined than originally anticipated. The nosy part of me really wants to know how all of these people are related, because as someone who has a relatively smaller family, I can’t help but think everyone is dating their cousin and, I mean, I’m from Appalachia so you do you, but still. Although I suppose the Somas look internally because, after all, who the hell else would understand what it’s like to be them?
Anyway, let’s look at the truths we learned about Shigure today. The reason he lives off on his own is not by choice, but because Akito threw him out of the estate for sleeping with her mother. Fair point, Akito, that’s one of the only things I don’t think she’s an awful person about. After all, we saw in last week’s episode just how vitriolic Akito’s relationship with her mother is. But Shigure admits that he only slept with Ren because Akito slept with Kureno, and she starts to lose the moral high ground.
I guess it matters what the context of their relationship was beforehand. I’ll admit that I honestly can’t remember if that was something that was ever discussed in the manga, but regardless, Akito’s attitude towards it is rather narcissistic and a little disgusting. The idea that she can do whatever she wants with any member of the Zodiac because they’re hers is a destructive opinion to have. When you think about everything she’s done to the Zodiac members, and then you think about the fact that this behavior is not only sanctioned but actively encouraged by multiple members of the family including the Zodiac members’ parents, then you understand why all of these people hate their lives so much.
“That’s an Unwavering Truth” reminds us that Akito is completely unwilling – or unable – to take responsibility for her own actions. Shigure pointing out that he hurt her because she hurt him first goes over her head. “So it’s my fault?” she exclaims, acting like she shouldn’t have to control her own behavior because she’s a god and that’s her right. She’s special, dammit. Shigure is a manipulative jackass (or an opportunist, to give him a little more credit) but he does seem legitimately hurt by the situation, and Akito just completely glosses over it.
Akito uses sex as a way to control people. Shigure flat out tells her that she never acts like a woman unless she wants to sleep with him, so she obviously uses it as a form of coercion with him. Granted, Shigure is kind of the same way, although to his credit he doesn’t seem to be maintaining any outside relationships, whereas Akito has continued her dalliance with Kureno. And her relationship with Kureno just makes my heart break for him. He sleeps with her because he feels guilty for “abandoning” her, even though he’s done no such thing, and she sleeps with him because of a frighteningly possessive need to be loved. He knows she doesn’t love him, but he martyrs himself anyway.
Shigure and Akito’s relationship is just as toxic as I remember it being from the manga, but then it does seem as though he is the only person in the entire Zodiac who actually loved Akito, and loved her from the beginning. I think he was upset to discover that she didn’t feel the same way, and that’s why he threw a bomb in the relationship by turning to Ren.
This is why Akito has such feelings of hatred for the female members of the Zodiac. It’s why she kicked Rin out of a window and put Kisa in the hospital. In her mind, these girls are taking male attention away from Akito – and she’s already lost Shigure – so she punishes them for it. It doesn’t matter that she lost Shigure because of her own actions, or that the other Somas being in romantic relationships doesn’t diminish the Zodiac bond at all. In Akito’s mind, she is losing, and Akito doesn’t lose.
This is related to why Akito hates Tohru so much. I’ve mentioned before that Akito and Tohru are polar opposites, in that Akito desperately wants to be loved and her behavior pushes everyone away, whereas everyone flocks to Tohru because she’s genuinely kind.
Speaking of Tohru, I really feel for her in “That’s an Unwavering Truth”. She received a huge truth bomb last week, and now she feels as though she cannot talk to anyone about it. Only Shigure really knows – and I get the sense he wants her to come to him – but she has no idea how to bring something like that up. And she thinks she has to hide this information from the others, because she has no idea how they will react to the news, particularly Kyo, who may get his hopes up about having his curse broken when not even Kureno fully understands how his strand broke.
I can’t remember which episode it was (some point during the beach house arc), but I’ve mentioned before how I expect we’re soon heading for a complete breakdown from Tohru. With everything else she is holding inside of her, this will just be too much. It’s completely huge, it affects so many people she cares about, and she doesn’t know how much she can tell them, if anything. This will no doubt weigh heavily on her shoulders for some time.
This was the first time in a while Tohru has mentioned the curse, and she specifically brought it up with Kyo – both because he is the one whose future is most affected by the curse and because she cares about him more than the rest of the Somas (or, rather, I guess I should say she cares about him differently than she does the rest of the Somas). She couldn’t broach the subject with Shigure – who already knows – nor could she talk about it with Momiji. But she does with Kyo. She seems devastated when he rebuffs her, but I think she understands why he doesn’t want to talk about it. And his frantic scrambling when he thought he upset her was adorable, and you’ve got to admit that him handing her that paper flower was smooth as hell, and a very romantic gesture.
Thankfully, in true Fruits Basket fashion, “That’s an Unwavering Truth” balances the toxic adult relationship drama with some lighter moments, such as the return of the Prince Yuki Club as they steal all of the flowers he made for graduation. Uotani and the others pivoting their position when it occurred to them that they would have to remake the flowers was hilarious, as was Motoko and the others’ terrible disguises and thinking they got away with their caper. I also loved that Yuki was wandering around wanting to help and no one wanted to force him to help.
To swing to Yuki for a bit, as cute as his scene with Machi is (and her perfectly acceptable reaction to being patted like a dog – I know that’s a thing in anime but why? I don’t blame her at all for slapping Yuki), I really liked his reaction to seeing the group of friends standing in a circle. He’s grown a lot as a character, because I feel like even last season, a scene like that would have made him jealous and sad, and now he’s just all fond and amused.
With the number of episodes in this final season left up in the air, “That’s an Unwavering Truth” seems like it may be the beginning of the end. Things are starting to come together, and it’s only a matter of time before everyone finds out the truth.
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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