I literally feel like that quote of: I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed. Looks like this series is truly confirmed to only have 13 episodes. Though considering how the episodes were paced thus far, it came as to no surprise. But it doesn’t make this hurt any less because my gosh this final arc of the series deserved at least two cours. It’s a shame really because a lot of the build up for a lot of things such as Akito’s development and a lot of little moments between Kyo/Tohru have all been lost. And while this episode was good, the build up for it didn’t feel complete. Especially now we’re officially in the endgame.
Now, I already thought that Kyo having a mental breakdown upon “remembering” his traumatic experience with Kyoko was a bit weird, but then that moment from last episode didn’t even lead into the next episode. It just skipped over that moment to the moment having already passed and he’s waking up from a nightmare. Continuity what? It’s a little annoying that we didn’t really see the followup to that unless that whole scene was part of the nightmare. But we saw some things from Tohru’s perspective so I don’t think it was? The nightmare itself was interesting enough with having the two women he apparently saw die in front of him. Which eventually morphed into a true nightmare of him having killed Tohru with his own hands. This basically explains one of the main reasons why Kyo can’t seem to accept that Tohru possibly has feelings for him. Not only does he not want her to experience losing him, but he also has a fear of harming her. Which he technically has already done when he was in his true form. So it’s probably a valid and understandable fear he has of unintentionally killing her.
We then get into just why Ren continues to be the absolute worst. I’m not quite sure what Akira saw in her besides seeing how lonely he was, but goodness she definitely the wrong person he could have fallen for. Just from the way she acts, something is just WRONG about her. Everything she says and does just seems so unnerving. And can we just talk about how she was freaking jealous… over her daughter??? Not because she was apparently “god” but because she was taking Akira’s attention away from her. Like, excuse me? Not to mention that she threatened to abort Akito if she weren’t going to be raised as a male. This woman’s obsession with Akira was clearly not healthy. Especially when she believed that she had to fight against her own daughter for his love and attention. And then there’s the whole thing with with her having slept with Shigure just to hurt her daughter. Like, she claims to have loved only Akira but still sleeps with another man out of spite… so it felt so hypocritical of her to tell Akito that her Zodiac bonds weren’t genuine while claiming her bond with Akira was the real thing.
And while I don’t particularly like Shigure, especially since he may have instigated Ren approaching Isuzu n getting the box from Akito, he did manage to lay the sickest burn on Ren by telling her he only slept with her because it allowed him to imagine Akito if she had been raised as a normal girl. That had to have hit one of Ren’s biggest insecurities of choosing Akito over her especially since “everyone” seemed to fawn over Akito in the first place. It’s here that we definitely see where Akito gets her childish tendencies to lash out and throwing tantrums with Ren yelling after Shigure about how it’s all because of her. The way she cried out for Akira while on the ground felt very reminiscent of when Akito was on the floor crying out for her father to help her when Hatsuharu left.
We get a deeper understanding of how Akito became such the monster that she is. Ren was just a terrible mother by basically being a child throwing a tantrum at her own daughter while also claiming that she’s worthless and no one needs or wants her, feeding the insecurity of being left all alone. For years, Ren would constantly tell hurtful things to her, causing Akito to fall back on the Zodiac bonds that had them love her unconditionally. So when Kureno’s curse broke, Akito’s world slowly started to fall apart because if she didn’t have them, Ren’s words of her being unnecessary and worthless would be true. She was desperate to cling to the bonds that made her feel special, to be validated. Akito slowly started to morph into a smaller version of Ren, unhealthily obsessed with the thought of “true bonds.” The reason why Akito allowed Tohru to stay with Shigure in the first place was because of her bet with Ren. Akito was confident that allowing an outsider to interact with the Zodiac members would ultimately lead everyone back to her. It would be the ultimate test of whether Akito or Ren’s ideals were true.
And while her father was loving and kind to her, he definitely set her back with what he told her. Akito took everything he told her to heart and took his words as the absolute truth, especially how the Zodiac bond was eternal. So when things started going against what he said, Akito’s small world started to break. Not to mention that he insinuated that he didn’t love her as much as he loved Ren.
I actually feel pretty bad for Akito. It by no means excuses how she has treated the Zodiac, but I can understand how she became this way. She only acted how she only knew how to. No one told her otherwise or tried to correct her. She was surrounded by people who enabled her actions no matter how terrible just because she was the head of the Sohmas. And having Ren as her only place of reference would definitely mess someone up. The way she kept telling Yuki he was worthless and no one needed him, literally came from being told the exact same thing from Ren. A person isn’t born evil, they are created.
It seemed like Akito was starting to have her breakthrough with everyone essentially leaving her and the curses breaking one by one… Only to have her literally stab Kureno in the back. It’s like… on one hand, Kureno telling Akito that they can start to change is a good first step. But then on the other hand, he really should have stepped in to help guide Akito in the right direction WAY earlier. Even Akito realizes that they should have started this from the beginning and that it may have been better for him to have rejected her rather than stay with her. Akito is still stuck in her little world and she definitely needs better influences to help open her eyes up more to the world around her. It’s definitely debatable whether or not Akito is redeemable since she stabbed Kureno. I for one believe it is never too late to change, but the person has to be willing and make an earnest and genuine attempt.
Also when Akito yelled at Kureno before she ran away just had so much child energy. Like how a kid would just yell something and then run away. Though with less stabbing.
The next Sohma’s curse to be broken is our dear Hiro and my gosh, I felt extremely emotional upon him carrying his baby sister for the first time. I teared up over how his mom came over and hugged both of them, just like she said she would when Hinata was born and UGH… Hiro has the best Sohma mom. T^T Also, I couldn’t help but feel what Hiro’s mom said could also be applied to Akito. She’s lived her whole life with those bonds and seeing those bonds be broken makes her lonelier and lonelier.
And then the episode ends with Arisa looking at a dead sparrow (wow, way to kick us while we were already down) and Tohru seemingly attempting to confess her feelings to Kyo. And from how he reacted to Momiji letting him in on the fact that Tohru may reciprocate his feelings, you can probably guess how this is going to turn out.
Strictly looking at his episode on its own, it was fantastic. The pacing was good and all of the scenes hit pretty hard. HOWEVER, the fact things in this episode weren’t properly built up enough made it feel like a rushed conclusion. We’re on episode 7 of the Final Season but it feels like this should be episode 20 or something like that. It’s a shame we won’t be able to see the smaller moments between characters that mean quite a lot in the scheme of things and I feel like a lot of Kyo/Tohru shippers were robbed of a lot of shippy moments between the two that even I found pretty amusing at times. Not to mention we will never see Yuki suffering from second-hand embarrassment from having his “mom” flirt with her crush which I am UPSET over not being able to see animated. At this rate, we may not even see the reason why I hated Kakeru back in my high school days. There’s just a lot of things anime-only’s won’t ever get to experience unless they go read the manga which I find just extremely disappointing. The next episode’s title literally sums up how I feel about this final season so far.