Now, I really should separate my feelings from the manga while watching the anime and giving it a fair chance. But… it’s honestly really hard since the last half of the manga is where I spent the most time rereading. So I remember so many amazing (and hilarious) moments that came from the final arc and I just get so disappointed when so many of them didn’t make it into the anime. Like how Yuki told Arisa and Saki what Kyo told Tohru and they were just ready to downright murder him on the spot. To which Yuki then proceeds to be the ultimate sass king that he is. And when he told Kyo to go see Tohru in the hospital, he didn’t tell him that visiting hours were over. Those moments were just GOLD and the anime viewers will never get to witness them in its animated glory… But enough of my sulking, there is quite a bit to unpack in this episode.
Honestly, I’m liking Akito more and more with how much she’s been growing as a person and a character. We can assume she’s been visiting Tohru regularly in the hospital and I think that’s just wonderful. While I wish we got to see their interactions, we can still be rest assured that Tohru is being a fantastic influence on Akito. I mean, she even admitted to Saki and Arisa that it was her fault that Tohru got hurt. And in a way, it technically was her fault since her actions unintentionally were what lead Tohru to where she would fall. So I appreciate that Akito is owning up to her mistakes and even admitting it to others. And when she was talking to the maid on how said maid was too old to change, I absolutely love how Akito just straight up told her she’s going on ahead. Hearing Akito say that felt so powerful as someone who a few episodes ago was desperate to keep standing still. I can kind of understand why it would be more difficult for an elder to change how they do things since a lot of older people tend to be stuck in their ways. The epitome of stagnation is finally moving forward.
And while I’m still not sold or ever will be sold on Kureno x Arisa, I do appreciate that Arisa seemed to realize that the moment she had been treasuring between them was just a few stray moments in all of his 26 years of life. She hardly knows the guy or what he’s gone through. I’m not against her starting as friends with him and getting to know him that way, but I’m still iffy about it. But it was really sweet of her to hug Akito despite finding out that she was the one that Kureno had promised to stay with.
And then the moment I had been eagerly waiting for finally came. And it was as glorious as I would have hoped. Kyo had been missing ever since Tohru was hospitalized and apparently returned to pick up some things before leaving for good. And Yuki was just 2000% done with his crap. And I honestly love how Yuki even states that Kyo has a lot of stuff going on, but in his words “they don’t really matter right now.” Because be as it may, Tohru is in the hospital and he never bothered to visit her. Not to mention that Kyo is STILL trying to run away from his problems and isn’t facing them head on like he should be. Also the sentiment of “I’ll only end up hurting her if I stay” has become such a cliche and I’m glad that Yuki just beat some sense into him. Because let’s be real, no matter how careful you are, people are going to end up hurt one way or another. Accidents happen.
It goes along with what Yuki was talking about at the beginning of the episode. People naturally want to go through life without making any mistakes and take the most optimized route. But that’s not realistic. Making mistakes is just part of life and we have to live with them. Yuki wanted to get across that Kyo didn’t need to be a super hero, he just needed to be by Tohru’s side. And while he wasn’t able to save Tohru physically, he saved her emotionally. He was the one to allow Tohru to move forward from her stagnation and allowed her to keep smiling in the end.
But man, the moment everyone had been waiting for was when these two could finally say how they actually felt towards one another. And when Kyo confessed that he looked up to Yuki and wanted to be him, it was at the moment where Kyo had finally beat him. It wasn’t in a physical brawl, heck, it wasn’t even “getting the girl in the end,” Yuki never wanted Tohru as a romantic interest. But it was the action of confessing that he wanted to be like Yuki first. As I said before, defeating another person in this series was never going to be settled physically, it’s always through understanding. And did Yuki just go off. He most likely always wanted to admit that he looked up to Kyo, but just could never bring himself to tell him but Kyo beat him to it. And Yuki being the sore loser that he is, just proceeded to beat the crap out of him because this boy has had A LOT of pent up anger and frustration. Also, the fact that Yuki resorted to using his fists to attack rather than just kicks felt as if he was finally facing Kyo head on and not keeping his distance any longer. It was personal.
Yuki admits to Kyo that he looked up to him as well and finally, FINALLY Kyo was able to see the real Yuki. You can clearly see on his face that Yuki’s confession meant so much to him. The rat who supposedly had everything, wished he could be HIM, the cat that was hated by everyone. But Yuki saying that they can only be themselves felt so powerful. There were some things that only Yuki and Kyo could do respectively. Yuki isn’t able to make Tohru genuinely smile like she does around Kyo. Only Kyo can. It’s a lesson that everyone definitely needs. And Yuki just busting down both his and Kyo’s room doors felt symbolic that he was breaking down the walls they had created with one another and were finally open and vulnerable with each other.
It’s kind of amazing to me just how much Yuki’s influence inspires Kyo to act. Kyo has always taken Yuki’s words to heart in one way or another (albeit reluctantly), but this was probably the first time where he accepted his words to his face and propelled him to finally face the things he had been running away from. Even enough to have him face his dad, someone he had been too afraid to face for a long time.
Kyo’s dad is just as lovely from when we last saw him. While this series has a plethora of terrible parents, Kyo’s dad might just win the award for the worst dad in this series. Not only does he just repeat over and over again that he’ll never forgive Kyo and that it’s not his fault, but he’s just constantly making the whole thing about himself. He’s putting all the blame for all of his misfortunes onto Kyo. He even goes as far as to blame his mom for giving birth to him even though… it takes TWO people to bring a child into this world, sir. Despite this guy spouting how nothing was his fault, it’s pretty obvious that it was most likely him that pushed Kyo’s mom over the edge. He was emotionally abusive, blaming both her and Kyo for his terrible life. There was just so much stress weighing down on Kyo’s mom from all ends, she most likely didn’t have anyone that supported her. It was too much for one person to handle alone and it’s terribly tragic that her life ended right before Kyo’s eyes.
It was pretty powerful of Kyo to say that he’ll continue to try living, especially with how much self loathing he has. Something Tohru was wishing from the bottom of her heart that he’d keep moving forward and live.
But my gosh, as soon as Kyo grabbed his dad’s wrist to pry him off of him, I literally had to laugh at how his dad reacted. The way he was yelling for help and that Kyo was going to kill him all the while squirming around as if Kyo was restraining him. But Kyo wasn’t even holding onto him that tightly. I literally had the realization that this man is a freaking Karen. I’ve been watching way too many people reacting to Karen vids lately… Anyways, his reaction was laughable and incredibly pathetic. But even then, Kyo still told him he’d visit again. Which I’m like: that bridge has long been burned to cinders, why return back to it? There is no redemption for this guy. Kyo, you’re better of cutting ties with him.
While both Kyo and Yuki are down from their emotional encounters, their respective lights lift them out of the darkness. I still don’t particularly care for the Yuki/Machi ship, but the light brought back to his eyes when she calls him was rather adorable. And when Kyo questions whether or not he actually loves Tohru, as soon as he sees her, it becomes all too clear for him. But seeing her sprint away upon seeing him was just too hilarious not to laugh. However, instead of standing still or turning the other way, Kyo took off after her. A good step in the right as you may call it. It is rather poetic for both boys to be running towards the person who touched their hearts.
Overall, this was a solid episode. Lots of great character moments and life lessons… but I’m still sad over a lot of the scenes that were lost. Like when Hiro’s confession gets interrupted by Kyo vomiting on the side of the road after talking with his dad lol. I was honestly looking forward to when Yuki and Kyo finally reach a catharsis and this did not disappoint. Probably my favorite part of the episode, not gonna lie. They’re finally on the same page while not letting fallacies cloud their perception of each other. Honestly, if they had met under different circumstances and not cursed, they probably would have been great friends. Yuki’s playful sass bouncing off of Kyo’s hotheadedness would have been a fun dynamic to witness.
Three more episodes left to wrap up the series…