Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 18: Rin will do anything to break the curse.
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Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 18 Review – Best In Show

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Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 18 – Quick Summary

In Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 18, “Do You Wanna Kiss,” Hiro Sohma saw Isuzu “Rin” Sohma crossing a bridge and dashed up to her. Hiro had matured a great deal since we last saw him, because Rin’s state terribly worried him. He saw her exhaustion and her ashen face, so he asked if she had been eating properly. Rin, driven by a despairing fury, verbally lashed out, asked he if felt guilty because “he was there when it happened.” When what happened? Why is Rin driving herself so hard? Why has she been attacking everyone, including Hatsuharu “Haru” Sohma, for this whole season? And why in the world would she cower in front of Tohru Honda, of all people?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Best in Show Moment for Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 18

Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 18: Rin love Haru, but can't see beyond her pain.

Rin loved Haru so much that she said she would have been content to just be his heart. Her life to that point hadn’t prepared her to hope for more. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: Rin’s Agony Explained

Since my goal is to celebrate anime, I go into a show trying to understand what the writers hoped to achieve. I’m a wiling accomplice. Instead of looking for things to criticize, I look for ways to buy into what they’re selling. Most of the time, that means I can enjoy a series by giving it the benefit of the doubt. In the case of Fruits Basket, though, it’s so emotionally powerful, so well-presented, and so in tune with what I think of as “human core,” that I begin to react to the characters as if they were friends. Or in the case of this episode, my own children.

I’m past the point in my life where I look at Rin and think, “Wow, she’s hot!” Please note that I’m not saying she’s not. What I am saying that’s not what I first see when I look at her. I see a powerful, proud, and enormously resource young woman who has pushed herself right at the edge of her strength. Earlier in the season, I had no idea what drove her. But a shot of her in Season 2 Episode 4 had brought to mind a fantastic song called The Story in Your Eyes by the Moody Blues. There’s a line at 00:32 that evoked Rin: “The sound we make together is the music to the story in your eyes.”

Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 18: Rin will do anything to break the curse.

Look at the fierce determination in her eyes. This is Rin at her most alive, and even then, her circumstances tried to claw her back. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Well, we learned about her motivations in this episode. As a father of a specials needs child, I’ll tell you this: I wanted to rain hell-fire on her parents. I wanted to erase their existence from this continuum. I paused, wondering how that would affect Rin. And that’s when I remembered they weren’t real, and maybe my approach to watching anime had some drawbacks.

But I’ll take those drawbacks, because I get to experience the full force of this story. This episode is an example of why I not only love fiction, but that I want to create it. I want to affect people the way this episode affected me. And I’m pretty sure that as good as I’ll get, this level is beyond me. But it’ll be fun to try.

Delivery: Rin Responds in a Broken Way

There were so many heart-rending moments in this episode that as an attempt to plant a flag of hope, I’m going to select a moment of pure adoration. It’s broken, it’s the product of a heart shattered by parental disdain, but it was an honest effort to express love. That’s a lot.

The moment was sometime after Haru and Rin said they loved each other (which was almost my favorite moment at 17:00) They were sitting together in bed in a tender moment of intimacy. Out of nowhere, Rin said, “I wish I could’ve been born as your heart. Then I’d always be with you, and I’d die when you die” (07:34).

The moment reminded me strongly of an October Project song called One Dream. At 02:43, Mary Fahl sings, “If I could speak in tongues of flame, I’d burn forever with your name.” I first heard that song shortly after it was released in 1995. It still gives me chills.

Think about what Rin said! She loves Haru so much that she wants her life to be defined by his. Rin wants to be utterly present for every moment with him. She wants them to be inseparable.

But her broken home influenced her vision of love. She wanted to be internal to him; she wanted no life apart from his. Leave it Haru to put this into perspective when he said, “Then we wouldn’t be able to kiss or anything!”

Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 18: Tohru watches over Rin.

This show has me at the upper limit of my emotional vocabulary. So, at the risk of sounding stupidly melodramatic, I’m just going to say what I think: This screen capture is the foundation of hope for an ending to the curse. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

It was a beautiful, heart-breaking moment. I could only bear to recall it because of one other moment, near the end of the episode. Rin had collapsed in Shigure Sohma’s house. Tohru had found her. The last shot of the episode was Rin in bed, covered up and warm, with Tohru watching over her. If Tohru as the Irresistible Force of Kindness joins forces with Rin and her indomitable will, then I think that maybe, just maybe, they have a chance against the curse.

What did you think of Hiro’s new-found maturity and empathy? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!

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9 thoughts on “Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 18 Review – Best In Show

  1. Hm, for some reason this episode didn’t get me, the way a FB espisode with this content normally would. It’s still a great episode, mind you, it’s just that I feel FB has set a bar so high and continually followed suit that when they slip a little I notice. Some of the scenes, for example, felt a little on the nose for me. For example, during the hospital scene, when the parents were leaving, we see Rin walking towards the towards the door with her hand raised forward from a centered close-up position, so we could see the despair in all its glory. The problem is that the scene spoke well enough for itself and the unneeded extra emphasis made it feel just sappy. In addition, she walks towards the camera, and by implication towards the audience. I may have been, via videogames with anime aesthetic, conditioned to see this sort of shot as some sort of identification mechanism. Problem? She’s walking after her parents and they’ve got their backs turned. My instinct is to get out of the way as an intruder.

    These are really tiny niggles, but FB has such stellar and effective shot composition, usually, that I can’t help feeling a little disappointed with the episode, especially since I’ve always been curious about Rin.

    Also, the more I see of Akito, the more I think he never grew up, because everyone always treated him with deference, even as as a very small child. And that’s the developmental stage he seems to be stuck in. His tantrum this episode is exactly what you’d expect from a… five year old? Which makes me wonder what would happen were someone to assassinate him: would a new Jade Emperor be born, treated the same way, and develop similarly (with another basic personality). In a worst case scenario, the curse picks certain personality constellations to attach itself to, which would definitely make history repeat itself. What if someone were to abduct a Jade Emperor baby, to raise it away from home?

    How messed up can this show get? I sort of get Shigure, here. You get your kicks about watching other people struggle against the cure and hope that they succeed, and then you feel guilty about it, but still don’t do anything, because in the end you’re totally drained and empty. i wonder if it’s just his personality, or if something happened in the past that drained him.

    And Rin… it’s just so sad. She’s basically totally internalised that she’s not needed, to the extent that she can’t trust the most basic of kindness. Is that why she’s drawn to Shigure? Because there’s no “I-love-you pretense”? Because he’s an out-in-the-open troll? No betrayal of hope where there are no promises?

    Oh man, this show is going to dismantle Tohru. The more she sees the less she understands.

    1. “These are really tiny niggles, but FB has such stellar and effective shot composition, usually, that I can’t help feeling a little disappointed with the episode, especially since I’ve always been curious about Rin.”

      I don’t see this talked about much; I don’t talk about it much, either. The expectations for a show like this are so high that it can begin working against it. That’s one of the reasons I keep a tight rein on my attitude and expectations towards the shows I watch. I want to give them full benefit of the doubt, but once a show achieves the level of Fruits Basket, it’s almost impossible to ignore a tiny stumble.

      “Also, the more I see of Akito, the more I think he never grew up, because everyone always treated him with deference, even as as a very small child.”

      Did you ever see the original Star Trek series episode Charlie X? Akito doesn’t have that much power, but the themes are similar. Kids need discipline during their formative years!

      “What if someone were to abduct a Jade Emperor baby, to raise it away from home?”

      And raise the child with self-discipline and morals? If that’s even possible, it’d be an interesting way to break the curse. What if the adults around Akito promote his level of cruelty and control to perpetuate their own financial well-being? The Shoumas are apparently wealthy; people have done worse for money.

      “i wonder if it’s just his personality, or if something happened in the past that drained him.”

      I’d love to know more about Shigure’s past.

      “No betrayal of hope where there are no promises?”

      The show’s been brutal to her. Her will hasn’t given up, but her body seems to be on the edge of her endurance. That last shot of Tohru sitting at Rin’s bedside gave me a lot of hope.

      “Oh man, this show is going to dismantle Tohru. The more she sees the less she understands.”

      I think plot-wise, we’re to what, Game Changer #2? If so, this is where Tohru goes on the offensive, and I’m really curious to see what that means for her!

    1. I hope so.

      It’s not often a character gets me this riled up! He pushed her out of a second story window onto a pointy rock — and no adult even blinked!

      Akito has accomplices, or at least enablers.

        1. Tempting… But I think we’ll feel better if we’re a bit more targeted. Or just stick with effigies.

          I really want to know why non-Zodiac members back up Akito.

    1. “This ep was hard to watch, in a good way.”

      It really was. Seeing someone as strong and proud and devoted as Rin broken like that…

      I am so glad Tohru’s on the case.

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