Oh, look. I’m sobbing hysterically. It must be Fruits Basket Monday. Seriously, though, anytime an anime episode is titled “Goodbye”, you should expect to shed a few tears, and this is no exception. You know when an episode skips the OP that something big is going to happen. This episode features Tohru and Kyo finally connecting, and we at last get to hear the real story behind that very first Zodiac banquet.
This is everything. This is that first, original promise – how the Zodiac bonds turned from a blessing into a curse. “Goodbye” sees the rest of the Zodiac finally released from their vow, because nothing lasts forever. People grow and change and shouldn’t be shackled to something they decided a long time ago.
I think I cried during that entire scene. (Let’s be real – I cried during the entire episode.) The loneliness of God, who just wanted companionship but knew he was too different to get it from humans, so he turned to animals. The loyalty of the cat, who stuck by God’s side until he died. The fear and the loathing at facing the unknown, the idea that this joyous moment couldn’t be eternal. Turning against the cat in his death, the cat who just wanted them to have their natural life cycle, the way that it should be.
It’s ironic that the reason the cat was hated was because he didn’t want them to have these bonds, and now it’s sort of because of the cat (and Tohru) that the bonds have been broken.
I love that they basically bookended the story with the Zodiac banquet. The manga doesn’t have the Zodiac story at the beginning; it starts with Tohru in her tent. So it’s a nice way to bring the story full circle by showing what the assumed Zodiac story was at the beginning, and learning the true story at the end. Also, it’s nice to see that Tohru’s favorite being the cat (aside from being some obvious foreshadowing) had some merit to it.
Fruits Basket is a story about change. Every character goes through some kind of change over the course of the series. (Except maybe Shigure, pretty sure he’s consistently Chaotic Neutral until the end of time.) The Zodiac metaphor shows the dangers of being afraid or unwilling to change; this is how it’s always been so this is how it will be. That’s an attitude that should be abandoned. Things need to change. People need to grow. And this episode reflects that.
“Goodbye” also almost makes me feel bad for Akito. Her monologue was devastating. It’s hard sometimes, because she’s been so awful to everyone, but she has been a pawn in the same game as the others. She’s a product of her environment, and her tearful plea to her father asking if it was all right if she was no longer special and just her was gut-wrenching. Sometimes it’s difficult to accept ordinary when you’ve been raised to believe you’re special.
But there’s nothing wrong with ordinary. Not everyone needs a grand life or a bigger purpose. There are thousands, millions, of people every day living average lives who are inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. But that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve happiness and love. That doesn’t mean that they’re not important. And that is why Akito finally releases the Zodiac from their bonds.
The moment when all of the Somas felt the bond break also made me cry. Ayame immediately going to Mine and embracing her was so sweet. Hiro recognizing what was happening to Kisa was phenomenal. Haru and Rin’s scene was fantastic.
It was the same for everyone as it was for Momiji and Hiro – bittersweet. Even Shigure seemed a little unmoored when it finally happened. There’s the joy of no longer being tethered to a vow you don’t remember making, but there’s also the uncertainty at what this will do to your existing relationships, and where your life goes from here.
They even remembered Ritsu exists!
Ok, we haven’t seen Yuki yet, but that’s because he’ll be with Machi when it happens (remember, that’s where he was headed at the end of last week’s episode). It will break up the flow of that moment, but it deserves more time than there would have been in “Goodbye”.
On that note, I am a little upset that there was so much of their storyline (and Kakeru) that didn’t get adapted. They didn’t have much development in the manga to begin with, so I feel like the anime could have used the opportunity to expand their arc a bit. Was there any real reason that the final season only had to contain 13 episodes and couldn’t have, say, 16, just to give them more time to work with?
Can we talk about how gutted I am over everything that happened between Tohru and Kyo in “Goodbye”? The fact that she had been psyching herself up to see him, because her last memory is of their argument and not him finding her and kissing her, and she has spent days convinced that she would never get to spend any time with him again. Meanwhile Kyo is just chasing her all over the town because he finally got enough sense in his head to confess.
Both of them saying “I love you” to each other, and the associated tears and apologies, just made me so happy. Kyo desperate to hug her even though he thinks he’ll turn into a cat when he does, and holy wow, the moment they both realize that he’s not turning into a cat. The look on Tohru’s face when he breaks the bracelet; she’s so unbelievably happy for him. (You can now see the beads in the ED, in a bowl next to the photo of Kyoko. That’s a nice touch.)
He had resigned himself to a sort of half-life, where he would get to be with Tohru but their relationship would not be normal because they couldn’t really touch. And now they get to have the kind of relationship everyone else does. Because now he’s free. Tell me that doesn’t make you emotional. That whole scene was immensely satisfying. I am a puddle of goo on the ground.
“Goodbye” was probably the most emotionally draining episode of Fruits Basket for me. So much happens in such a short span of time, and it’s really the culmination of everything that’s happened previously. With only two episodes left and the main climax finished, the only thing left now is to tie up some loose ends and send everyone on their way.
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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