Ships are sailing all over the place in Fruits Basket. We’ve already gotten closure with Kyo and Tohru as well as Kureno and Uotani and Ayame and Mine, but “You Fought Well” showed us Yuki’s reaction to the curse breaking and had Shigure and Akito finding their way back to each other.
“You Fought Well” picked up with where we last saw Yuki in “I Just Love Her”, as he was racing off to find Machi. Machi sweetly invited him out because, despite never spending any amount of time with Tohru, she had bought her a get well present. But she bought the gift primarily to thank Tohru for bringing Yuki out of his shell, because otherwise they might not have had the relationship that they do. And as Yuki prepares to confess the truth about his curse, the bond breaks.
Yuki’s reaction to the curse breaking is one of the most emotional, probably second only to Kyo’s. All of the other Zodiac members were more stunned when their bonds broke, but Yuki begins to cry, reflecting that he has suddenly lost someone he may not have even realized that he had. In the end, he was – like all the others – both happy and sad to finally be free of the curse.
I’m a little torn on having Yuki’s curse break in “You Fought Well” rather than including it with the others in “Goodbye”. I appreciate that they used the opportunity to devote a little more time to that scene, since Yuki is one of the main trio and deserved not to have this moment rushed. But I feel opening the episode with that took away some of the impact. Usually, the huge emotional beats are near the end of an episode, and having them at the beginning sort of made the episode feel a bit all over the place.
Nonetheless, their confession of sorts was quite adorable. I love that he, like his brother, embraced the girl he liked as soon as the curse was broken, and that her reaction to that was to ask if she could call him by his first name. And he is so overcome when she does that that he can’t help but kiss her in response. (By the way, I giggled at seeing how everyone else in the square reacted to the two of them. They were all so scandalized. It was hilarious.)
I’ve mentioned this before, but I do wish the anime had included more of Yuki and Machi’s developing relationship. I see no reason why the final season had to be crammed into 13 episodes – a lot of small, slice-of-life moments had to be cut. Maybe these aren’t considered important in the grand scheme of things, but considering how vital Yuki and Machi’s relationship is to Yuki’s character development.
The Zodiac gathered for one last meeting was a great scene (Yuki speculating on what their relationships would be like without the bond is something I’ve mentioned before), and Akito finally appearing before them as she was born was a great moment. Everyone was so surprised! (I loved that Ritsu’s assumption was that Akito had decided to be a cross-dresser like he was.) I appreciate that she tried to apologize for her behavior – even though I don’t believe there’s an apology strong enough for everything she’s done over the years – but I also appreciate how even she acknowledged it wasn’t going to be enough.
You may have noticed that last week, when Shigure’s curse broke, he had scars under his eye that weren’t there before. In “You Fought Well”, we learn that Akito scratched him, because he gave her a present and she assumed he was abandoning her. Shigure and Akito truly deserve each other. I think it’s hilarious that they don’t seem to like who they are as people, but they’re very sexually attracted to each other. I’m asexual; that is very, very weird to me.
In truth, they are both very messed-up individuals, which I suppose is par for the course, being raised in a clan like the Somas. She had always been very insecure around him because he always acted so cool and aloof, when he only behaved that way because he was overwhelmed by his feelings for her. He’s extremely possessive of her, which is no doubt why he wanted to break the curse – so that she wouldn’t have the bond with the others any longer. It makes you wonder how long he has been trying to break the curse.
I love getting to see Kyo and Tohru planning a future together, now that they both know it’s possible. It was lovely, hearing him actually want to be alive, not resigned to being held captive for the rest of his life. Kyo is an angry ball of orange, but he and Tohru are so sweet together. She agreed to go with him so quickly, and he tried to talk her out of it even though he’s the one who asked her, because he didn’t want her to make a snap decision and then regret it.
Everyone, I’m so embarrassed. I let my guard down. I figured that with the series winding down, Fruits Basket would no longer make me sob hysterically. I was wrong! I had forgotten that we still needed a full account of Kyoko’s last words to Kyo, and “You Fought Well” ended with her last moments.
Of course Kyoko wasn’t cursing him. That wasn’t the type of person she was by then. But isn’t it amazing how that particular phrase – “I’ll never forgive you” – were the only words she uttered out of that entire internal monologue? Even dying, the only thing that concerned her was that someone would be able to take care of Tohru after she was gone.
I do wish that they hadn’t cut Kyoko and Katsuya’s backstory. I understand that, in the essence of time, certain things would need to be cut, and that is one of the few things that could be removed without drastically affecting the main story. But it provides so much needed context to the kind of people Tohru and Kyoko were. And while we already knew how much Kyoko loved Katsuya, after seeing her withdraw from everything after he died, I do think it would have given the end of “You Fought Well”, when she is reunited with him in death, more meaning.
I mean, I still bawled like a baby, so maybe we didn’t need the extra scenes. But I still wish they had been included.
There is only one episode of Fruits Basket left, and I am not emotionally prepared to say goodbye to these characters.
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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