REVIEW: ‘Fruits Basket: The Final Season,’ Episode 9 – “What’s Your Name?”

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Fruits Basket Episode 9

Fruits Basket the Final Season Episode 9 was released on May 31st, 2021, to premium subscribers of Crunchyroll and Funimation. Following the jaw-dropping cliffhanger of Episode 8, Fruits Basket Episode 9 wastes no time jumping right on into the action.

When we had left off, Kyo and Tohru had a heart-to-heart, with Kyo finally laying his heart out to Tohru. Akito had just stabbed Kureno and was running towards Shigure’s house.  Akito is immediately seen coming up to Tohru with a knife. The immense stress of this opening is almost too much to bear.  TME Animation continues to shower this episode with doomy and gloomy rain. Reflecting the somber tone established in the previous episode, like the devastating truth bomb of Kyo being connected with Tohru’s mother’s death and, also, his love for her.

This episode does a great job shifting between our ensemble cast to ensure viewers know what every character is up to. Even after confessing his true feelings last week, Kyo still runs away from Tohru despite him being the most open and vulnerable he’s ever been. While this is happening, we see Akito confronting Tohru about her deep hatred towards her and how Tohru ruined Akito’s chances of happiness and love.

This brings another knockout monologue delivered in Fruits Basket. Akito’s voice actor Colleen Smith Clinkenbeard delivers nothing but sharp and curt  “I hate you’s” to Tohru. Clinkenbeard’s performance truly captures the desperation and loneliness that pushes someone to the edge. Watching this episode by myself, I already had tears in my eyes as and Tohru begins to understand why Akito dislikes her so much.

Tohru, sweet, innocent Tohru, finally says that she understands what it’s like to be alone with Akito. It’s such a gut punch to have all of Tohru’s character growth is intertwined with the main villain of the series. Tohru and Akito are two sides of the same coin. For all of Tohru’s love, Akito only feels isolated. Fruits Basket Episode 9 delivers this message purely based on voice work and animation cues.  That is why when Tohru starts crying in this episode; it hits different. It’s because she realizes some deeper inner truths about her pain. And how it isn’t so different from Akito’s. The misery of not being able to be loved and understood or abandoned isn’t lost on Tohru, but Akito cannot bear to think that they are similar.

What makes Akito so powerfully written is that deep down, she is so scared, so isolated, and so curled in on herself that she refuses to accept love and pushes people away. Fruits Basket Episode 9 lays all of the most terrible and ugly things about Akito as a character, and yet when Tohru does nothing but show sympathy to her, it feels so pure and devastating. I was sitting on my couch begging Akito to be friends with Tohru, and then all of my favorite characters could just experience happiness. The waterworks were present when the most beautiful aspect of this episode was when Tohru gives Akito a do-over with a simple, “What’s your name? I’m Tohru Honda.”

However, this wouldn’t be Fruits Basket unless something equally tragic occurs. Tohru falls down a cliff, and so much character growth comes her way as she lays at the bottom unconscious. This makes other characters begin to access how their actions affect the lives of other people. Dare I say that a beautiful moment was exchanged with a  kiss between two characters that has made me absolutely over the moon with emotion and happiness?

There is so much great work packed into such a short episode. With the series starting to wrap up, Fruits Basket Episode 9 left a bittersweet taste in my mouth. I am constantly in awe at how this show went from a cute shojo with animal transforming boys into one of the most fantastic shows cataloging the human experience.

Fruits Basket The Final Season is now streaming on FUNimation.

 

Fruits Basket Episode 9
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

There is so much great work packed into such a short episode. With the series starting to wrap up, Fruits Basket Episode 9 left a bittersweet taste in my mouth. I am constantly in awe at how this show went from a cute shojo with animal transforming boys into one of the most fantastic shows cataloging the human experience.