Original Run: April 6, 2021 - June 29, 2021 Number of Episodes: 13 Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Supernatural Based on the Series Created By: Natsuki Takaya
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Fruits Basket The Final. Reader discretion is advised.***
The finale has come.
By sheer fate, Tohru Honda (voiced by Manaka Iwami) came to learn the closely guarded secret of the Souma clan – the Zodiac Curse. Although this has caused plenty of problems, Tohru and the Soumas have a chance of doing what was once thought impossible, breaking the curse.
However, time is not on their side. If nothing is done, the true heartbreaking reality of the curse will come to fruition. And for Tohru’s dear friends, Kyo and Yuki Souma (voiced respectively by Yuuma Uchida and Nobunaga Shimazaki), and the rest of Zodiacs, they don’t want to waste the progress they have made.
Standing in their way is a history of pain and suffering. But beyond that, there is the unmistakable glimmer of hope.
If there was one thing Fruits Basket 1st and 2nd Season proved, it was newer can mean better.
The original 2001 incarnation of Fruits Basket is a classic; no one is denying that. Still, in about ten years, when people think Fruits Basket anime, I’m guessing their minds will first wander to the 2019-2021 version.
Going into its third installment, this adaptation was riding high. Consequently, if Fruits Basket The Final (The Final) were to fall at this point, it would fall hard. And honestly, it is difficult to think of a more heartwrenching possibility than that.
Fortunately, The Final did not waver; it did not stumble, it did not wane, it did not crash. Instead, this third season to an already brilliant series was the anime equivalent of a mic drop.
The Final was excellent. It took everything its two predecessors got right – outstanding animation, phenomenal character growth, stellar acting – and did not compromise on anything. But more importantly, this season did the one thing it HAD TO DO and made it look easy.
The Final gave us closure – like, all of it.
There wasn’t a single character in this series that failed to get the ending they deserved. Thanks to this finale, there were no loose ends; there were no lingering questions; there was nothing that required more.
There is a lot of truth to the saying, “the journey is the destination,” even when applied to anime. However, let me tell you, a crap ending can ruin even the best shows. That was not a problem here.
Unfortunately – for me – we have reached the part of the review I was dreading. How on earth do I sing this series’ praises without:
- Repeating everything I said in the first two reviews?
- Spoiling the literal ending of a great story?
To accomplish this task, let’s discuss the white elephant in the room. Both Fruits Basket 1st Season and 2nd Season were 25-episodes long. The Final, on the other hand, clocked in at 13-episodes. When I learned this was to be the case, I was a tad worried.
Having never read the Fruits Basket manga, I had no way of knowing how much story there was left to tell before starting this installment. Thus, I couldn’t help wonder, would this last chapter be a rushed job; shouldn’t it be, at least, twice as long?
Without a doubt, The Final was the fastest-paced of the three seasons; events in this run happened at a relatively rapid pace. While this change was jarring, I also noticed my engagement with the narrative had not dipped in the slightest. On the contrary, I felt as though I was more invested in what was going on than ever before.
The Final was 13-episodes long, not because it was shortchanging us. It was 13-episodes long because that was what was needed to finish telling this tale.
Then again, there is a chance I was more into The Final because it included something I thought was missing from the previous two seasons, which were hard to put down in their own right.
The Final better utilized Kyo Souma.
Up until this installment, it always felt as though this series kept pushing Kyo to the sidelines. Sure, there were enough hints between him and Tohru Honda to confirm, yes, they were falling for each other. Also, less we forget, Kyo was the driving force behind some of this show’s most memorable moments – when he transformed into the cat in front of Tohru, for instance.
And yet, every time Kyo and Tohru were growing closer, the story would step in and say, “That’s far enough; let’s see what Yuki Souma is doing.” That was always disheartening.
Well, that didn’t – or more to the point – couldn’t have happened in The Final.
What’s more, even though Kyo and Tohru had their moment, which was everything I could have hoped for, they were not screen-hogs. Excuse me for reiterating, but I must make it clear:
EVERY. CHARACTER. GOT. A. SATISFYING. RESOLUTION.
Well, would you look at that? We are already back to bumping our heads against spoiler territory. If you have sat through this entire series so far, it would be the biggest BS move of me to explain why this season was so good.
Who are we kidding? You’re not starting with The Final. And if you’ve only been reading my reviews, then you know why I think this series is so good. Therefore, I will close this section by telling you two things.
First, when this installments’ last episode ends, you will be immensely satisfied. There is no way this story could have concluded any better than the way it did. If you’ve seen this show and think there is something it could have done more with, please let me know in the comments.
Second, this iteration of Fruits Basket was magnificent. And The Final was the best of the bunch.
This won’t take long, but there was one thing about The Final I thought was a bit strange.
This season finally showed us what happened to Tohru’s mother; we got to see her death. And while I’m mentioning that, let me take this opportunity to warn you – this installment got pretty brutal.
Anyway, from the previous seasons, we knew Kyo had a connection with Tohru’s mom. However, things went even further, and Kyo had a connection with Tohru’s mom’s accident. A connection that was never once hinted at before.
The Final played it off as something Kyo had repressed. Therefore, him remembering a link he had with the death of the person he loves’ mother was sudden. Except, what this show calls “sudden,” I call “convenient as hell.”
Maybe I’m misremembering, but I don’t recall any indication that Kyo had any repressed memories. After all, we learned all his past trauma, so it wasn’t as if there was no opportunity to drop a few seeds here and there.
Fortunately, this is a minor gripe and a case of the-ends-justifying-the-means.
I could not have asked for more; this series delivered on all counts.
Let me issue you a challenge. Please tell me if you can think of another series that was this long (or longer) that had this satisfying of a conclusion. I am drawing a blank, and I would love to hear what you have to say.
But as it stands, there is only one thing left to do.
Fruits Basket The Final has earned a colossal recommendation.
But these were just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this series? How would you advise Fruits Basket The Final? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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