And with that, we close out the infamous beach arc with quite a few revelations. Let’s start by talking about Akito first because a pretty big bomb was dropped. I actually went back to the manga to get an idea of where I think the anime will end off on and when I saw this chapter my reaction was: Oh… right… THAT happened. It was a pretty horrific chapter honestly and just showcased just how terrible Akito is. While it’s not the worst he has done, punching Momiji in the face hard enough for blood to be shed is NOT OKAY. #protecmomiji
We get a bit more explanation on just where Akito stands in the Zodiac and how much it differs from the first anime. Since in the first anime he essentially was hinted of holding the weight of the curse so he would die early because of it. And was only violent towards the other Zodiac members in a twisted way to not be forgotten. It was kind of a flimsy explanation for him back in the day so having him be basically the god of the zodiac makes a lot more sense. While it doesn’t fully explain why he treats them so badly, it shows us why Akito is so important and held in such high regard besides being the head of the Sohma family. It also explains just why Akito is so possessive towards them and why they are inexplicably bound to him. There’s definitely a bit more to Akito’s story, as hinted when he nearly has a breakdown upon being told of “that woman.” However, I will leave it at that for now.
As I’ve stated in the previous post, Akito is literally the epitome of standing still. He wants everything to stay the same with the Zodiac members by his side. Even going as far as to try and force Tohru to understand that all of her efforts of “saving” Yuki and Kyo is essentially in vain because they will all inevitably be confined to the Sohma state in an “Eternal Banquet.” It was essentially a threat for Tohru not to overstep her boundaries. I cringed when Akito slowly scratched Tohru’s cheek. I hate seeing things like that. shudders It was all very ominous, especially when we know that Akito is using Tohru somehow. Not only that, but we definitely get a closer look at how Akito’s thinks. His mind is so twisted, that he views concern as a type of leverage against him so that the other can look down on him. It honestly makes you wonder at how the heck he can even think that way. In a sense, not only does Akito seem to be standing still development-wise, but mentally. A manchild if you will. His way of thinking is very child-like, thinking that everything will go his way and he is always right. Everything is black and white, there is no inbetween and if there is, he cannot understand it. If someone tries to dispute it or even insinuate that he’s wrong, he will lash out or to further prove my point, throw a tantrum.
Also, I just want to quickly address the scene between Shigure and Akito. I feel like I can’t say too much about this scene since I know their background having read the manga. However, I do want to touch upon how visibly angry Shigure looked when Akito left. That had to be the most pissed we’ve seen him yet and it was very unsettling, especially with the dark atmosphere. There was definitely something “special” between them at one point or another to where Akito is demanding that Shigure treat him nicer. However, unlike the others, Shigure flat out refuses to go along with Akito’s pace and seems to be acting like he’s waving off a child who is desperate for attention.
Kyo be showing some good maturity on his part when he realizes why everyone went to go see Akito instead of staying with Tohru. That they only did that because they wanted to protect Tohru from Akito’s wrath. If Akito feels like they blatantly chose Tohru over him, he’d definitely come at her with the wrath of god since we know just how possessive Akito is of them. Kyo even acknowledges that Yuki was doing his best to protect Tohru as well, even referring to him as just “Yuki” without attaching any insult to it for once. He certainly has come a long way and I’m proud of his progress. And I got to say, it warmed my heart that out of everyone, Kyo chose Momiji to express this to. It makes sense since Momiji is the only one who seems attentive to Kyo’s change and has always been trying to help push him forward in his own way. I’m glad that Kyo was able to recognize that and confide in him. This had to be one of the most serious and heartfelt talks the two have had and I’m here for it.
Momiji… you BRAVE SOUL. My respect for him has skyrocketted after this scene. Ever since I was into Fruits Basket, I was never that big of a fan of Momiji. I never disliked him, but I was pretty indifferent towards him despite how he broke literally everyone’s hearts with his backstory. But now… GIVE THIS BOY ALL THE HAPPINESS IN THE WORLD BECAUSE HE FREAKING DESERVES IT. Momiji honestly just stole the spotlight this episode because he had to be one of the only members to have stood his ground against Akito in this way. He outright told Akito NO when he told him to go get Tohru. Momiji realized Akito was angry and had a feeling he was going to use Tohru as an outlet and essentially took the beating that was meant for her. We were warned in a previous episode that Akito does not like Momiji and it may have to do with Momiji’s mental strength. He doesn’t seem to be daunted by Akito’s influence and has not allowed himself to be subjected to his mental manipulations. It’s also interesting that he seems like he’s the only person who is legitimately concerned about Akito, which Akito interprets as a way to look down on him. Unfortunately, Momiji was not able to reach him since Akito seems to deny help from someone he deems as below him. And it just broke my heart to see Momiji crying that he couldn’t do more to protect Tohru from Akito. Noooo, Momiji! You did all you could! sobs
Also, you should have seen this coming, but I gotta talk about my boi! Yuki absolutely DESTROYED me with his sass in this episode. Just egging Kyo on to stop being so stubborn while simultaneously hinting that he’s giving up Tohru to him. Since it’s pretty obvious that he knows something is going on between them. The sass king has arrived! He definitely seems to be more self confident in himself as a person and I’m just so proud that he’s grown from someone he detested, to someone more comfortable about himself.
I’m going to be honest, when I first read this arc back in high school, I don’t think I fully understood the development a lot of the characters went through or the underlying messages. In short, I didn’t understand this arc very much when I first read it lol. And because of my naivete, I didn’t really enjoy the beach arc. HOWEVER, revisiting this again as an adult, wow… SO MUCH HAPPENED AND IT’S AMAZING. This arc single handedly has the changed the course of so many characters, specifically Hiro, Yuki, Kyo and even Tohru. Possibly even Rin. Not only that, but we get a glimpse at just how deeply rooted the curse actually is. Things definitely will not be the same from this arc on, especially since a lot of context to certain things were finally given to Tohru such as Akito being God and Kyo is to be locked away after high school. She realizes just how much is at stake and is determined to find a way to break the curse. Lots of pieces are starting to move with both Tohru and Rin trying to find ways to break the curse, Shigure with his hidden agenda and Akito’s plans to bring all of the Zodiac members back to him in time. I’m curious to see where this season will end and how the anime handles when all of these things collide. This definitely was not your typical anime beach episode lol.