Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 21: Yuki pre-Akito was already frail.
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Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 21 Review – Best In Show

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Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 21 – Quick Summary

In Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 21, “There Was, Definitely,” Kakeru Manabe’s demand for a clear explanation of Yuki’s mood filled Yuki’s mind with childhood memories back. The memories weren’t filled with childish delight, though. He remembered his mother signing him over to Akito Souma more or less as property. Also, he remembered how even his brother Ayame consigned him to a life of misery. Until one day, Yuki snapped under the pressure. He ran, literally for his life. What he found on his journey would show him something tremendously important in the world — and introduce him to the force of nature who gave birth to Tohru!

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

Favorite Quote from Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 21

When the police asked a distraught Kyoko Honda for a better description of her daughter, with tears in her eyes and her patience close to giving way, Kyoko said, “I told you! She’s a cute girl with a cute round hair tie, cute clothes, a cute voice, and a cute face!” That was an instant before she promised corporeal devastation to whoever had kidnapped her daughter. My God, she was a formidable woman! I want a prequel that gives us her life story.

Best in Show Moment for Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 21

Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 21: Yuki's home life might he terrible, but he still wanted to help little Tohru.

Yuki’s life was in tatters. He didn’t know if he wanted to live or die. But he knew he wanted to lead Tohru home — even if he didn’t know her name. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: Beaten into the Psychological Dirt…

Look. I don’t like Yuki. I never have. And you know what? I don’t think I ever will. But dang it, Fruits Basket made me sympathize with him. Again. Not only that, but this darned show forced me to admire the little prince.

Seriously, Fruits Basket. How do you do that?

This episode wired events that we generally knew about into a consistent narrative. From Yuki’s perspective, it was every bit as bad as I’d feared. Worse, even, though only in detail. It wasn’t only Akito who tried to destroy Yuki’s self-worth. His mother slapped him in fury when he wanted her sympathy. We already know that Ayame shrugged him off (and kudos for Mine for nursing Ayame back from the shock of realizing what he’d done). One thing we didn’t know was the role Hatori had played when he erased the memories of Yuki’s first friends. Can you imagine the guilt that man must be carrying? It’s the first time I’ve felt sorry for someone for having a conscience.

Speaking of Hatori, I think that was the event that put Yuki on an existential collision course with his own psyche. He’d finally made friends, but a girl happened to accidentally embrace him, with predictable results for a zodiac child. He transformed into a rat.

Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 21: Little Yuki's dream of having friends vanished in a puff of smoke.

A moment that preceded disaster… Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Akito wasted no time in drilling that into Yuki’s head that it was all his fault. There would be no light in his life. Darkness was all that awaited him. From that point, his already frail health took a nose dive.

But Yuki wasn’t done yet.

Delivery: …But Somehow Not Broken

In a fit of near despair, Yuki looked at himself in the mirror. He had put on the hat that Kyo had lost in the wind — and had abandoned rather than accept it back from Yuki. Everything Akito had tried to do pressed down on him, until he snapped. Not knowing if he was trying to destroy or liberate himself, he ran from his home.

Right past a little crying girl he barely noticed. And right up to two police officers talking to a distraught mother who had lost her daughter.

Keep in mind that every force in Yuki’s life had ground into him the idea that he was nothing. As a result, he felt he was worse than useless; he was trash. In him, though, was the the need to be needed. Seeing the upset mother, he remembered that he’d run last a little crying girl. He retraced his steps and found her. Seeing him was the same as seeing a lifeline. She ran towards him.

Yuki remembered what had happened when he tried to make friends. He couldn’t let her get too close to him, right? But he wanted to help. So what did his child’s mind decide?

Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 21: Yuki was determined to help the crying little girl.

Yuki wanted to help the little girl (who he didn’t know was Tohru). He couldn’t let her get close, though. But he came up with a plan. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

He ran ahead of her. Not so far that she’d get lost. If he made a turn too far ahead of her, he waited. But that little boy who everyone treated terribly, who had every reason to turn his back on the world, led the little girl — little Tohru — home. When they finally arrived, he put Kyo’s hat on her head and said (18:20), “You hung in there!” Then he retreated enough so she couldn’t see him, but he could see her reunited with her mom.

Yuki’s drive not to give up, given form in his rescue of Tohru, was not only my favorite moment of the episode. It endeared me to a character I did not want endeared to! That’s powerful writing skill, that is!

What did you think of Kyoko’s interaction with the police? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!

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12 thoughts on “Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 21 Review – Best In Show

  1. This was a very rich episode, wasn’t it? I’ve talked at length about it over at the Apprentice Mage’s Lounge, but a lot of things really did fall in place in that episode.

    There was this one shot, where Yuki saw Shigure carry Akito past the open door, and it struck me. Shigure and Hatori are both old enough to have known the previous Jade Emperor, and were there all Akito’s life. This is something that’s been obviously out in the open by the sheer fact of their age, but… I never really considered this before. Imagine the system. You’re a very little child, but you’re also the head of the house, the key figure in a curse, and it seems you don’t really get to leave the room. Yuki and Akito were thrown together into a situation they had no control over, but Yuki would be moved into a trap, while Akito knew nothing but the trap.

    Did you see how Akito was clinging to Shigure? I do so wonder what happened. What was Akito’s predecessor like? What happened that pushed an already unstable Akito down the ledge? What was Shigure’s role in this? Was he a bystander who could only watch? Did he play an active role in this? If so, was he trying to help, or did he act out of resentment? If he was trying to help in some way it would have backfired badly, and that might explain a lot of things: why he’s loath to interfere directly, why he’s agreeing to have Yuki at his house… All that would make sense. Guilt over a moment of malice might also explain some things, but not quite as many, as I see it now. Anything is possible with Shigure.

    And then there’s this sudden overwhelming and terrifying bond with Akito that Yuki immediately felt. We’re stepping deeper into metaphysical side of the story. Even the cap-plotline ties into this: The rat delivered the cat’s cap to the girl who’s always had sympathy for the poor left out cat. There’s a meta-fictional symoblogy at play here, and I’m still not clear how much of it is actually a very real trait of that fictional world. For example, do you remember how I said that out of all the zodiac’s Yuki was most like Akito? This episode made it clear that this is deliberately written into the show, and that it’s a feature of the zodiac curse. So to some degree the curse is real, but is it just regular astrology in that case? As in: astrological personality analysis according to the Chinese Zodiac systems works reliably? For everyone? Only for the cursed?

    I’m not even sure it’s a curse. Most of the negative effects seem to come from the way the clan treats this as a shameful secret? Is the supernatural aspect neutral, and it only looks like a curse because of traditional prejudice? Man, what a show.

    1. “There was this one shot, where Yuki saw Shigure carry Akito past the open door, ”

      That was in my notes, too. I wasn’t used to see Akito so vulnerable and human.

      “This is something that’s been obviously out in the open by the sheer fact of their age, but… I never really considered this before.”

      You’re right. It’s been sitting right there, but I hadn’t considered the implications, either. This episode made this world feel even more realistic.

      “What was Shigure’s role in this? Was he a bystander who could only watch? Did he play an active role in this? If so, was he trying to help, or did he act out of resentment? ”

      As much as we’ve seen about Shigure, I still don’t have a good handle on his aims. You brought up a lot of good questions. That’s a great indicator of how deep the show is. I agree with you that “guilt over a moment of malice” might explain some of what Shigure’s doing, and I also agree that it’s not a complete explanation. I think Shigure is too complex to have such a simple motivation.

      “do you remember how I said that out of all the zodiac’s Yuki was most like Akito? This episode made it clear that this is deliberately written into the show, and that it’s a feature of the zodiac curse”

      Yes, I do remember that. Looks like your observation was spot on.

      “Is the supernatural aspect neutral, and it only looks like a curse because of traditional prejudice? Man, what a show.”

      I’m guessing that in the beginning, it wasn’t a curse (well, the cat might disagree…). Somewhere down the line, prejudice crept in and just got worse. I’ll be interested in seeing how close that guess is!

  2. “I don’t like Yuki. I never have. And you know what? I don’t think I ever will.”

    Im sad 🙁
    But glad the episode changed your mind at least a bit

    1. Well, in case it helps, I don’t hate the guy! He just didn’t resonate with me like Kyo or Arisa did. Or Saki. But then, I’m not sure if anyone can top Saki!

        1. That’s cool! I think that’s another sign of just how well-crafted this series is. A lot of series are lucky to get a single stand out character. This series is packed with them!

          1. Absolutely, it’s one of the things that keep me amazed, how every character has good reasons for the way they act and stories that make you understand them and reasonate with them

  3. I love FB, but Yuki has always been a character that I’ve never really been fond off. After this episode, that completely changed. One of the most painful episodes in the entire series but done so well. Completely agree with you, the best part was definitely Yuki not giving up and helping Tohru. I cannot wait until the next episode now!

    1. I probably sound like a broken record, but it’s just amazing to me that the creative team can actually change my mind about a character. Not only that, but change my mind with such grace. I mean, if someone were to argue with me over the the merits of Yuki’s character, there’s no way I’d change my mind. But this show just slipped right past my defenses!

    1. I can’t find any hints anywhere that such a thing might be in the works. I guess there’s always fan fiction, though I don’t know if I could do the character justice!

Please let me know what you think!

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