As they prepare to go their separate ways, the Sohmas’ thoughts turn to Tohru and what she means to them.
Now that their class has graduated, everyone’s moving out of Shigure’s house (including Shigure – he’s officially moving in with Akito at the Sohma compound), with Yuki moving on to university and Kyo taking Tohru as he starts his little apprenticeship.
Tohru: This kind of reminds me of the day I first moved in here. Yuki-kun and Shigure-san were both so kind. But I was so nervous. And then you came crashing through the- […] I was shocked, and then even more so when all three of you transformed. But it was a lot of fun too. I had so much fun. My days spent here with everyone were so precious, they’re like jewels. They’re so dear…so very dear to me. I miss them already. I knew I would.
I miss them. Am I missing them because I love the days we spent together? I love them so much. I love them, so I miss them in equal measure.
And Kyo is still being precious and helping Tohru cry, because it is sad!
Kyo: You don’t get it. You…you, more than you know…everyone loves you too. So…it’s gonna be okay. It’s not like we’re leaving forever. This is just the beginning of a new banquet.
Kagura: I’m tired of all you lovebirds! And I’m not jealous! Right now, I’m having a lot of fun at work.
Ritsu: Huh…? But you’re going to see them off tomorrow, aren’t you?
Kagura: Well, sure, but not for Tohru-kun’s sake. It’s for cutie Kyo-kun’s sake.
It seems like most of the Zodiac are getting together to see Tohru and Kyo off on their journey. Also Ricchan and Micchan are totally getting married whenever Ritsu can actually get up the nerve to propose.
Kisa: I’m sorry. It’s nothing…it’s just – tomorrow’s so soon. Don’t worry. I’ll be able to smile…when we see them off tomorrow…
Kisa and Hiro are seriously the best. And I already want to cry. This chapter kills me every time.
Haru: I hear Tori-nii said he was so sure someone was gonna sock Sensei in the jaw at some point. And Sensei just grinned and said, “But it all worked out, didn’t it?”
Momiji: Of course no one did! We’ve all become much more mature than Shii-chan, after all!
Honestly, “more mature than Shii-chan” is a pretty low standard. But Takaya-sensei was understandably shocked that Shigure never got what was coming to him…
Momiji: But thanks to [Kyo], I got another dream. Eventually, I’ll find my own fabulous sweetheart and I’ll get to visit them and show off how happy we are. So Tohru just has to be happy. From here on out too, she can’t lose her smile.
I wish Momiji good luck, because I believe in his fabulous sweetheart, too.
And I still honestly don’t know what I think of these two as a couple. Evidently Saki convinced Kazuma to hire her as a cook, but I still think of them more like friends and allies…but they would certainly make a formidable power couple in the Sohma family.
I’m just happy for these two.
Also, Ayame is preparing “care packages” full of dresses for both Tohru and Yuki.
Ayame: Of course we’ll miss her! That’s why adults pack boxes full of cup noodles, shoes, maid uniforms – and so on and so forth – with so much love that it’s annoying, and then send it to their loved ones in lieu of their feelings!
Stay fabulous, Ayame.
Meanwhile, Mayuko and Hatori have finally become an item and are planning a vacation. And being adorable. Why yes, this chapter is mostly the canon couples basking in their quintessence!
Shigure: You’re really not going?
Akito: No, I’m not. It should be fine for you to go if you want to see her. I can always go for a visit.
I never noticed before, but Akito refraining from going with the others to say goodbye to Tohru is actually a sign of her growing sensitivity. She knows there’ll be plenty of people there who would have mixed feelings about her presence (at best), and she doesn’t want to make things uncomfortable, especially since emotions will be running high already. Also, she’s much better able to travel long distances than the others, anyway. I still have mixed feelings about this couple, but I have always been encouraged to know that Hana-chan will be keeping an eye on her and give Shigure hell if he steps out of line.
Finally, Yuki has a talk alone with Tohru.
Tohru: Yuki-kun! Welcome home!
Yuki: …I’m home. So, tomorrow’s the day, right? […] I won’t get to hear you say, “Welcome home,” to me anymore, will I, Honda-san? But…but I’m happy for you too. The “me” who’s arrived at this point is happy for you. I…I was always…so weak. I wasn’t good at making connections with other people, but I wanted to be loved. I wanted to be needed. I yearned for those things…and then, one day, you came into my life. You made those dreams come true. You granted my wishes without asking for anything in return. You gave me so much. And it’s because of that that I can stand in front of you here today. You helped me become a full-fledged “human being.” You helped me grow as a person. You…were like a mother to me. I was finally able to tell you that. I know my true feelings are a little on the embarrassing side…but, you know, it’s the same for them too, I think. Your presence is so warm and kind…so even though we’re all going our separate ways now, starting new lives in new places, every so often, we’ll still think of you. “Is she doing well? She’s not crying, is she? Is she smiling even now? Is she happy today too?” That’s how we’ll always think of you. Thank you…I’m so glad I met you. I’m so glad you were here.
Tohru’s got so many people to love her.
And he finally called her by her name…
Let’s walk together, hand in hand. Through the joyous times, and the sad…the cycle repeating itself, again and again. That’s how we’ll grow old together
This ending might be more open-ended than a lot of people would like, but I think that’s the beauty of it. They’re all moving forward with freedom, even if that freedom might be painful and uncertain at times. I feel almost like a parent watching children leave the nest – they’ve all grown so much since the beginning, and I trust that they’ll use well the days before them.
Next time: A new journey begins…