We finally get the Machi perspective episode (well half of the episode at least lol) that I’m sure a lot of people were very curious about. Especially since Machi is a bit difficult to get a read on since she doesn’t really emote. She even doesn’t have much of an opinion of herself, describing herself as a void, nothingness. Which is pretty sad considering you can tell that this wasn’t her fault but how she was raised to think such a thing. This is Fruits Basket, the series just full of terrible parents and parenting.
We learn a lot about Machi’s upbringing without being too explicit with the information. Just from her conversation with her mom alone gives us an idea of what their relationship is like, it’s not good. Not only does she seem disinterested in talking to her, she doesn’t seem to remember rather important things her daughter is taking part of, such as being part of the student council. I don’t think you’d normally forget something like that. She also just seems to be going down a checklist of things to ask her without really giving time for Machi to even answer. And then the brief flashback happens where it shows us that Machi’s mom wanted her to be perfect and beat Kakeru in her feud with Kakeru’s mom. And it just broke my heart to hear her mom straight out call her dull. How could you say that to your child?! Also, wow the difference in tone of voice when referring to Machi and her younger brother just hurt. You could tell there was obvious favoritism in it. She just seemed to drone on when asking Machi questions but perked up and became bright and attentive when she was talking to her younger brother.
From how hard her mom had pushed her, it’s obvious that she didn’t ever let Machi focus on herself, which is why she didn’t know how to answer such simple and mundane questions. Even unable to say what color she liked. Which is just really sad when you think about it. What kind of home life would you have to experience to not be able to say what your liked or disliked or even preferred? She struggled so hard to keep up with what her mother wanted and in the end, never got the chance to focus on what she wanted to do or develop naturally as a person, feeling unengaged with the world around her.
Despite that, she has also shown to be quite perceptive. Noticing that Yuki doesn’t like it when people give him special treatment. Which is most likely true since he’s grown up with people constantly telling him he’s special, but in the end just ignore him or hurt him. But at the same time, I think Machi may envy Yuki a bit since she can tell that he’s changing while she herself has not been able to. However, I do think she needs help and support from others to change since right now, no one seems to be there for her. I don’t want to go too into Machi since I might accidentally spill a spoiler… which I have accidentally done with Yuki in regards to his feelings for Tohru (again, whoops P:) so we’ll just leave it at that.
And I do have to admit that her dialogue about whether or not she’s needed in this world felt very eerie to me. While I don’t think she is currently suicidal, but that mindset could definitely lead into suicidal thoughts and that’s scary. But thankfully, the light shone through the darkness and my boy Yuki takes the stage. Also, notice that he actually brought the natural outside sounds when he appeared compared to the eerie white noise beforehand. And this was right after Machi was thinking that no one else would notice her… but Yuki did. I also admit I laughed pretty hard when Machi denied that the bookmark was the leaf he gave her but then said that it could be it, confusing Yuki. While she claims there was no special reason behind it, I feel like she latched onto the gift because it may have been the first time that someone thought about her enough to get her something. And when Yuki commented on how he finally got the answer to her favorite color from several episodes ago, you can tell how touched she was because he did remember the conversation she thought he forgot. When she and Yuki start one-sidedly arguing about it, this was also the first time we saw so much emotion from her. So, it’s a small step in the right direction.
Also, can we just talk about the fact that Yuki is just branching out as his own person nowadays? When Yuki laughed sarcastically and immediately attacked Kakeru afterwards, it was just so hilariously out of character, but it shows how much being around the others has started changing Yuki to where he’s acting like a normal teenage boy, and I love it. He’s finally just able to let his hair down and be a normal kid. And I’m sure if his fan club saw him act that way, they’d be shook because that definitely isn’t the type of behavior they’d expect from him. Not very princely if you ask me, but definitely for the better. HE JUST WANTS TO BE NORMAL, LET HIM HAVE THIS.
Speaking of Yuki, dang… I know I’m a broken record but.. THIS BOY HAS GROWN SO MUCH. Like not even joking, it was a humongous step for Yuki to take to even consider going back to the estate for New Years, much less actually deciding to go. At the beginning of this season, he struggled to even go through the front gates without having an anxiety attack. But here he is, inside the estate sitting next to the person who is the cause of his trauma, looking fairly calm. He even went above and beyond to actually forgive Akito for all the pain and suffering he put him through, wanting to stop blaming people for his misfortune like Akito, his mom and Kyo and continue to improve himself. That takes such a strong and mature person and I’m just so proud of my boy for saying this to Akito’s face.
And this definitely throws a wrench into Akito’s beliefs. Akito has constantly stated that all of the Zodiac members will ultimately return to him and be by his side forever. However, Yuki stated to himself that he won’t even return back to Akito’s side. The bond that Akito believed in so firmly has started to loosen. Especially for the one that is supposedly the closest one to God to think that, it made such a large impact and Akito snapped, smashing a vase into Yuki’s forehead. Not only does Akito believe that he hasn’t done anything wrong for Yuki to even forgive him for, but there was something else that caused Akito to panic… Something Kureno involved. However, this declaration from Yuki basically felt like a good bye and he may have decided to go to the banquet because he figured this would be the last time he’d attend.
Yuki letting go of his unconscious resentment towards Hatori was also really sweet because I’m sure that event was traumatic for the both of them. Not only did Yuki become even more alone after that Hatori must have been so consumed by guilt that he felt indebted to Yuki since then. Both of them finally got closure they desperately needed and it was so heartwarming to see Hatori ruffle Yuki’s hair and give him such a gentle smile.
On Tohru’s side, she gets to spend New Years with Kyo, Kazuma and Rin. Her reaction to seeing Rin was just hilarious and Rin being tsun tsun about the affection was great. Yeah, I don’t blame Rin for not wanting to go the banquet considering she’d be seeing two people she wouldn’t be comfortable with at the moment, being Akito and Hatsuharu for vastly different reasons. So Kazuma being best dad invited her to stay with him during New Years, what a good guy. And it’s really adorable how all of the Zodiac seem to really like Kazuma because of how kind he is to them. He’s like the male version of Tohru considering how much of the Zodiac he’s attracted. And I admit it was hilarious how Kyo and Rin didn’t like each other as kids because Kyo thought she was taking Kazuma’s time and attention away from him and would proceed to glare at each other for like 15 minutes. I can’t even imagine that lol.
I think the biggest theme in this episode was change and it’s the thing that Tohru wishes for the New Year. The biggest change is for the curse to be broken and it would definitely help everyone in the Zodiac, a change they desperately need. And we can clearly see things changing in a lot of the characters within this episode. Did anyone notice that Hatori took the picture of Kana off his desk? And with Momiji having successfully delivered the DVD to Kureno, he’s sure to make the biggest change in the series next episode considering the title is called “I’m different now.”
But YOOOOOOO THEY REALLY ARE GOING TO END IT WITH THAT. I was wondering how they were going to end the season and I had been hoping they would end it like that, so I’m excited to see how anime only’s will react. There’s only one more episode after this and I’m sad that this season is coming to a close because of how much I’ve been enjoying watching it. I’m sure we’ll be getting one more season to finish up the series, but we don’t know how long we’ll have to wait. Unless they’ll reveal it to us next week, which could be exciting because I’m sure anime only’s will be dying to see how this ends.
Also in case anyone was concerned, they mistranslated Shigure saying “Akito should teach them a lesson already.” He did NOT say that. What he actually said was more along the lines of “Akito should learn from them” or something along that vein. I thought it sounded strange when I first read it because that would go against what his character has been all about. So thankfully people have cleared that up.