Ooooooooooh dear… You know how in my last post, I was worried that things were moving too fast? Yeah… this episode made it pretty clear to me that this season is only going to be one cour and I’m not happy about it. The second season was SO well paced and it allowed for the emotions to really hit. However, this episode basically sped through a lot of different scenarios and didn’t give them the breathing room they deserved. Despite the dreaded pacing, there is still quite a lot to talk about.
First off, we finally get the post Isuzu rescue content I had expected back in last week’s episode with Isuzu sporting a new haircut to essentially cover up Akito’s handiwork. And while I love short hair and will prefer it over long hair on characters any day of the week, I’m actually going to miss Isuzu’s long hair because it really suited her. Tohru and Isuzu’s friendhsip is honestly really adorable and it’s cute to see them interact. It’s hilarious to see how excited and touched Tohru is at the thought of them being friends. To which Hatsuharu seems to agree lol. Seems that Kazuma took Isuzu in since she can’t stand hospitals and it I agree that she should probably stay away from the main estate and Akito after what happened. It’s also probably good that the information about what happened is withheld from Tohru, lest she obtains more issues to weigh on her conscience.
One of the big topics addressed in this episode is Kyo’s situation, both in what he represents to the Zodiac and his ultimate fate of being locked away. There are layers upon layers of his situation and it’s all quite sad. When Kazuma inquires where Isuzu was being imprisoned, he seemed quite saddened by Hatsuharu’s answer of the cat’s room. Not to mention it hits even harder when Kyo comments that it would probably be good that Isuzu live there with him so Kazuma wouldn’t get lonely. Basically insinuating he won’t be there for much longer.
The cat’s role in the Zodiac ends up being far more sinister than initially perceived as it’s literally there to make the other Zodiac members feel better about themselves. All of the Zodiac members know that Kyo is going to be locked away, but they won’t do anything about it. All of the Zodiac members are monsters, but because the cat turns into a bigger and uglier monster, it reassures them that “at least I’m not the cat.” It’s honestly a really sad thought because it then makes you realize that the PEOPLE the Zodiac spirits possess ultimately think that way about Kyo. And I’m kind of sad that they didn’t have foreshadowing of this revelation beforehand during the curry party where Hiro brings it up and the others reveal that they try not to think about it. Because yeah, it sounds terrible of them. However, the whole situations is rather complicated and it’s hard to cast blame onto anyone since this is a supernatural problem. Blame the curse I suppose.
Speaking of the curse, the part where they talked about the curse was probably the most interesting for me… even though it was rushed as heck. The revelation of why all the Zodiac members were present for the first time was very intriguing as they were all gathered to have one final banquet before being released. I find it strange that the curse was kind of undoing itself over time, but it is satisfying to see that this little detail about the curse is the complete opposite of what Akito wants since she believes the curse is what will bind them all together forever… only for it to break on its own lol.
But goodness Shigure was such a creep in this moment. Not only did he just spill to isuzu that Ren was just using her, but he went on to say that he knew her “VERY” well. Which I’m like: Dude… chill. But then he goes and tells Tohru this near her freaking mother’s death’s anniversary. Like, come on. The girl is already in a fragile emotional state. So yes, lets just dump even more things onto her when she’s mourning.
Tohru is NOT okay. This poor girl definitely needed therapy because she has been doing the best that she could to keep from just crumbling. She’s been just so desperate to keep her mom as #1 in her heart in fear of her just fading away. Even her grandfather stooped to calling her Kyoko in an attempt to remind her that Kyoko was indeed real. And while it may not have been the best way to do so, it still was the best thing he thought to do in the moment to try and build Tohru back up. The grandfather really is the best member of Tohru’s dad’s side of the family because wow, that family is just full of terrible people. Like, why would you talk about the kid of possibly being illegitimate at their freaking parent’s funeral??? Now isn’t the time for gossip. Not to mention adults really shouldn’t assume kids won’t understand what they’re saying because even if they may not fully grasp what is being said, they can still comprehend the tone. It’s obvious that the offhanded comments made by those relatives really affected Tohru and made her afraid that if she didn’t have any features to remind Kyoko of her dad, she would leave her. And so, she resorted to using her dad’s overly polite speech, keigo.
Despite the pacing, I did find myself tearing up during Tohru’s talk with Kyo about how her true feelings about her dad. The fact that she viewed her dad as a bad guy for nearly taking her mom away too was absolutely heartbreaking. Kyoko wasn’t well after Tohru’s dad passed away so she tried to emulate the way he talked in desperation to have her stay. “I wanted to keep her alive” and “I didn’t want her to leave me behind” absolutely destroyed me. Those lines struck me deep in my heart for reasons. But man, all Tohru wanted was to feel safe and secure but her life felt like anything but. It’s here were I have to just point at her and say: She’s NOT the perfect main character that solves everyone’s problems. She’s just as broken and imperfect as everyone else in this series, if not more so at times. She took on so many of the others’ problems to distract her from her own. But in the end, she’s only human and naturally it eventually became too overwhelming for her and was just slowly falling apart.
And if it weren’t for Kyo, Tohru probably would have fallen to pieces. He gave her the reassurance and affirmation she desperately needed. It was also at this point where Tohru finally accepted her growing feelings for him were of love and not pity like the last cat’s partner. Making him the most important person in this life to Tohru. Surpassing even her love for her mom. And while Kagura’s point was valid about telling this to Kyo himself, she let her emotions get the best of her and hit Tohru. I do feel bad for Kagura since she really wants to see the person she loves be happy and move on with her life, especially since the two people in question are kind of dancing around their feelings for each other (for valid reasons but still). I appreciate how aware of herself Kagura is and is just doing the best she can in her situation.
I also appreciate the detail of Kyo still transforming since in the manga, there was a little extra illustration after the chapter showing him having transformed after their little hug with a “still ended up transforming” note beside it lol.
But dang that ending. It was a bit weird to me, especially with how dramatic it was since it went from 0 to 100 really fast. I do wonder where they’re taking this because it made it seem like Kyo was repressing a memory… but he really wasn’t? He was fully aware of it this entire time so it was a bit strange to me. Guess I’ll see how this new development plays out… but it’s still weird.
A LOT happened this episode and it definitely worries me how well the last part of the manga is going to be adapted. What went on this episode could have easily have been two separate episodes. While yes, it was consistent with the themes they displayed with all the scenarios, things felt a little too condensed and rushed. Even Berry, who hasn’t read the manga, noticed how rushed this episode was. So I’m not crazy! It honestly felt like they were just hitting one important point before quickly moving onto the next without giving us enough time to really let it sink in, which is a shame because the Shigure and Tohru conversation really hit hard upon reading it because of just how deep the cat hatred stems.
I feel like Isuzu’s character kind of suffered in this episode. While I did find it interesting that she was there to hear Shigure’s talk with Tohru about Kyo’s situation and that she actually learned about Kureno’s curse beforehand since I don’t think this information was revealed to her in the manga. However, she just stood there and watched Shigure basically beat Tohru down with facts when she literally went after Kureno to grill and punch him for making Tohru cry. She also did NOTHING when Kagura hit Tohru while in the manga, she starting fighting back against Kagura since she’s understandably very sensitive towards violence. And the two have a very touching reconciliation afterwards because Kagura realized that she must have unintentionally triggered Isuzu’s PTSD. I felt this scene was pretty important because after this point, Kagura and Isuzu actually started becoming closer instead of Isuzu acting cold and stand-offish towards her when they were living together. So I’m a bit disappointed that the anime chose to omit that scene because I feel like it did a lot for both Isuzu and Kagura’s characters.
I also feel bad for the Kyo x Tohru shippers because in the manga, they had a better build up with small moments here and there for their relationship. And I feel like the lack of those moments just didn’t make the moment hit as hard as it should have. For me at least.
I really think they should have split up the Kagura confrontation from the anniversary of Kyoko’s death because it felt a lot more inappropriate for Kagura to hit Tohru during this time. And we missed out on some great Tohru/Isuzu and Kagura/Isuzu bonding moments which makes me sad because we ain’t getting those back.
It’s disappointing seeing this anime kind of going in a mildly different direction despite it supposedly being a faithful adaptation of the manga. But again, I’ll just have to see where it goes. Though I’m still a bit bummed to see some great moments be missed due to the constraints of this most likely ending up as a 12 or 13 long season.