We’ve finally reached The End.

FB 130-1

Akito: It comes down to the fact that I was jealous of you for being so much kinder than me.

Tohru: I…I’m not “kinder”…please. Don’t separate us with words like “kinder.” Don’t decide that I’m one way and you’re another. It only puts distance between us…besides, Akito-san, you may think I’m kinder, but so are you. You cried because you were lonely and scared. You were painfully innocent and kind. But there I was, trying to destroy the world that you wished for. It doesn’t matter whether you were wrong or making a mistake. That doesn’t change the fact that I really hurt you, Akito-san.

There’s obviously some sort of translation error here (not that I blame them – this certainly seems like a tricky passage to translate), but I think this is meant to be a callback to Tohru’s conversation with Yuki about how different people have different forms of kindness.  Perhaps Akito’s kindness has to do with her love (because no matter its origin or the way it was twisted, Akito does truly love the Members of the Zodiac)…but I still feel like Tohru lets her off way too easy.  It’s in-character for Tohru to forgive easily, sure, and Akito definitely needs a friend like her, but Akito still wounded a lot of people, and she’ll have to take responsibility for her actions, not only for the sake of her victims, but so that she can start to grow and change herself.

FB 130-2

Farewell.

Initially, I wanted to describe the breaking of the Curse as “eucatastrophe”, but it’s really not.  It is neither sudden nor completely joyous. This isn’t a classic “faerie story” with clear stakes set in black and white – it’s an exploration of the kind of gray areas you’re more likely to see in “the real world”, just accentuated with a dash of magic and a few classic fairy-tale tropes.  The breaking of the Curse was gradual at first, but we knew it was coming from the start, because that’s what happens in fairy tales. This whole volume presents a sort of slow turning, like the dawn at the end of a long night. Now, the sun has finally risen above the horizon.

FB 130-3

It’s been long enough, hasn’t it…? Father, I don’t want to be “special” or a “God” anymore. Is it okay for me to be just myself…? Even if I start living my own life, I…”I” will be miserable, and afraid, and unneeded…but still…farewell.

FB 130-4

Ayame: Mine. I was born to love you. At long last, I can tell you that…

Aaya is just precious.  I wish those two the best now that they can be an official couple.

Then Ritsu is released, and Kisa, then Kagura…

FB 130-5

Farewell, everyone. It’s sad to say goodbye. It’s so sad…”Farewells are always followed by new meetings.” “There can be no beginnings without endings.” Cliched phrases like that can wait…I don’t want to hear them right now. So please just cry with me. If there’s nothing to be done, at least cry with me for now. Cry like your entire body is screaming. Cry like you’re damning everything. Something’s been lost, and now we’re living life with no guarantees.

FB 130-7

Shigure: I see…so this is what it feels like.

Hatori and Shigure are last but one…

There’s just one fragment of hope born from the fear of living in this world once again. So I want you to at least cry. Cry with me. Cry like the first day you were born into this world.

FB 130-6

Tohru: Akito-san, I’d like it if we could be friends. That’s my wish. I’d like to be your friend.

Akito: You don’t give up, do you?

She taught me it wasn’t too late to believe in “fateful encounters” and “new beginnings.”

FB 130-8

And now Yuki’s meeting with Machi to tell her about his “condition”…

FB 130-9

You’re the last one, then. Our promise from long, long ago…you kept it to the end. Thank you.

Just for the record, I think the final Members of the Zodiac were released largely in order of Akito’s personal fondness, perhaps with a little influence from their attachment to others – she was least fond of Ayame and Ritsu, closest to Hatori and Shigure…and Yuki? It actually does make sense that she would’ve felt close to him, even if the sentiment was largely one-sided.  They did grow up together, after all.

FB 130-10

Until next time…

 

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2 thoughts on “Chapter 130: Cry With Me

  1. In the original Tokyopop translation Akito said that Tohru was much more BEAUTIFUL than her and then Tohru responds in kind that actually it was AKITO who was much more pure and innocent. And honestly, I get Tohru’s response. Akito and Tohru are supposed to subversions of their respective shojo archetypes as well as foils to each other. We’re first led to believe that Akito is this complete monster completely consumed in darkness while Tohru is this perfect, light in the dark “savior.” This is even represented symbolically during their first direct confrontation during the Beach arc where Tohru is seen wearing white and Akito black. But then its slowly revealed that things aren’t what they seem, Tohru was hiding ALOT of dark thoughts and feelings within herself and in a way Akito WAS purer than her for the simple fact that she always expressed herself and showed her true feelings on her sleeve. Tohru on the other hand was lying to herself all along and put on a mask, she suppressed that “selfish, dirty side of herself” and tried to pretend everything was alright when really she was slowly breaking inside and holding a lot of darkness within that only Rin and Kyo were able to see through to. Akito and Tohru both had their own metaphorical boxes with Tohru’s being a metaphorical one where she put a lid on all her feelings and Akito’s a LITERAL one which she uses to indulge and WALLOW in her feelings.

    Then there’s the fact that Tohru’s desire to break the curse wasn’t even borne from purely noble feelings, she admits it herself, it was entirely selfish wish stemming from the fear of Kyo leaving her, not unlike Akito’s fear of EVERYONE leaving her. From Akito’s perspective, Tohru was the villain in HER story trying to make everyone leave her and just as we finally learn more and more about it and the manga starts to show Akito’s perspective it culminates in that beautiful splash page of Akito and Tohru side by side but this time with their colors switched around, now TOHRU is wearing black and Akito pure white, absolutely brilliant symbolism right there! Ultimately Akito and Tohru are two sides of the same tarnished coin and both represent an unhealthy extreme when it comes to their feelings and how they deal with abandonment. By the way I don’t feel Akito was let off THAT easily because at least Rin doesn’t forgive her, as she should.

    Regarding everything else, going by your theory I’m surprised then that Rin wasn’t the first one to be released he subsequently followed by Kisa and Kagura, wasn’t it always stated that Akito disliked the female Jyuunishi in particular? And Rin especially! (Though I agree that after the girls Ayame and Ritsu would probably be the next ones to follow suit)

    By the way, what do you make of Shigure’s strange and quite different reaction to his curse breaking compared to everyone else? That part always confused me and I was always trying to get a grasp on what he was feeling in that moment, especially since he seems to experience feelings “different” from the rest of the cast. What did he mean when he said “So this is what it feels like?” Was that a good or bad reaction or perhaps just indifferent disconnect like he always feels? Why didn’t he cry like everyone else did especially considering how much he himself values the bond he has with Akito? I mean I get this is what he wanted all along but his reaction was still very mysterious since he appeared to be neither sad nor happy. (Or even a mixture of the two like everyone else was) He was just… blank.

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    1. I always thought Shigure was reacting to not being FORCED to love Akito – for the first time, he actually has the ability to reject those feelings, and he now feels uncertainty about something that had always been constant before. I’ll get into it a bit next week, but he’s used to hiding his real feelings, so it makes sense he wouldn’t break down or anything now.
      Also, I think Akito’s hatred of crossdressing outweighed her jealousy of the girls xD

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