Anime Review: Fruits Basket Final Season

Fruits Basket: The Final is easily the best anime of Spring ’21. It exceeded all my expectations. Let’s jump right into the review.


Visuals: 9/10

Just as with past seasons, the visuals are wonderful in Fruits Basket: The Final. The polished, detailed, and modernized look of the art style is pleasant to look at. We’ve already seen all the main character designs, but in this season, we saw the slightly older versions of Momiji, Hiro, and Kisa. They all look good. Toward the end of the series, we also get to see Akito dressed “femininely,” which was interesting. I like the soft colors used in this anime, and the face expressions for the characters are perfect. In addition, the visual effects for scenes of Kyo remembering his traumas were well done. These visuals definitely deserve a 9/10.


Story: 9/10

Normally, I don’t give such high ratings to the story category of romance or SOL anime. Typically, animes like that don’t have a strong over-arching narrative, but are instead character-driven. Fruits Basket, too, is largely character driven; but a central plot exists and, in my opinion, it’s always been quite compelling. I mostly mean the resolution of the Zodiac Curse. I also need to say that the story itself is not the only thing I judge in this category. The presentation and development of emotional or psychological themes is equally important. This is where Fruits Basket’s final season truly delivered.

Several important themes were explored, but the main one (which will be the only one I write about for now) is accepting change. People live better lives by facing the ever-changing nature of the world, others, and the self, even when it’s painful. And it is very painful, for change often comes in the form of goodbyes. This is a beautiful theme that spoke to me on a personal level. But it also tied in with the stories of all the different characters. For one example, Tohru needs to accept her mother’s death and move forward with her love for Kyo. Another example is how Akito needs to accept the breaking of her bonds with the Zodiac members, as well as facing the consequences for her history of selfishness and cruelty.

Beyond the themes, the story structure and narrative style were engaging and the fast pacing was a refreshing change. All in all, the story category of Fruits Basket: The Final unquestionably deserves 9/10.


Audio: 8/10

Compared to past seasons, I didn’t like the opening or ending songs very much in this final installment. Neither of them are really my style, and their emotional strength pales when contrasted with most of the season 1 and 2 songs. However, the instrumental music for Fruits Basket was excellent. Most of this season’s scores are recycled melodies of seasons past, but that’s not a problem since they are beautiful, emotionally powerful, and appropriate for each scene.

As for the voice-acting, it’s excellent as usual. I believe Manaka Iwami, voice of Tohru, has improved immensely thanks to her time playing this character. Maaya Sakamoto, the seiyuu behind Akito, is probably my favorite voice actress ever. It was great to hear her, and she pulled off the corrupt and unstable character of Akito perfectly. The voices of Yuki (Nobunaga Shimazaki) and Kyoko (Miyuki Sawashiro) are also favorites of mine. Everyone did great.


Characters: 10/10

Character development and character arc resolution were the strongest features of Fruits Basket: The Final. I have a hard time imagining how the characters could have been feasibly handled any better. It’s basically perfect as it is. Even minor characters like Motoko had good resolution. As for main characters, the journeys of Tohru, Kyo, and Akito took the spotlight. We also had an intense but extremely satisfying episode about Rin/ Isuzu. The insights into Shigure and Momiji were quite interesting to me, and I am delighted with Yuki’s character resolution. He is, after all, still my favorite character.

That’s all I’ll say for now, but I am considering writing character analyses for several members of the Fruits Basket cast. Once again, everything was handled beautifully with regards to the character category.


Enjoyment: 9/10

It would be an understatement to say that I enjoyed the final season of Fruits Basket. I absolutely loved it. There were so many things to enjoy. Let me go over a few examples. The instrumental music was wonderful and moving. I liked the fast pacing of the plot. This season was in some ways darker than those previous, and I appreciated that. The amount of action and the situations where there was physical danger to the characters were rather thrilling. I loved the true story of why the Cat was rejected by the other animals and the God. That whole story was fascinating.

Then we have all the character development. A part of me has always wanted to believe in Akito, so it’s great that she has begun to change. Learning about Akito’s family was interesting. One of the best things in the final season is the psychology of Kyo and the exploration of his trauma. My ship sailed (Yuki x Machi), which felt amazing. Most of episode 3 focused on Machi and her story, making it one of my favorite episodes. I relate to her to an astonishing degree despite our family situations being dissimilar. Additionally, I really relate to Momiji being so sad after his curse is broken. It’s extremely bittersweet, but for a while, it will only feel bitter. That being said, he’s doing so much better by the end.

Finally, there’s the overall tone of the show. Fruits Basket always melts my heart with emotional character exploration, sweet moments, touching lines, and beautiful depictions of young people healing and learning to live with themselves.


Overall Score: 9.0/10.0

I believe this is the highest rating I have ever given to a shoujo-romance anime. By now I definitely understand why Fruits Basket is so beloved by fans and has become such a classic. I’m so grateful that this revamp was done so I can enjoy the full story and character arcs without reading the manga. (Not that there’s anything wrong with manga– I just prefer anime.) Anyways, I recommend Fruits Basket to basically any serious anime fan, even if it’s not your usual kind of content at all. It’s certainly not my typical content, but I adore it. And that wraps it up, so thanks so much for reading! Sayonara until next time!


PATREON

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