Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 23: Yuki as a fairy godmother...
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Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 23 Review – Best In Show

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Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 23 – Quick Summary

In Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 23, “It’s Cinderella-ish,” Saki Hanajima stared in the school play as Cinderella. She’s not your run of the mill Cinderella, though. She’s less interested in meeting the Prince, played by Kyou Souma, than she is in eating yakiniku. Speaking of the Prince, he’s not exactly interested in dancing with Cinderella, but there is one character he shows more interest than he had intended to publicly show. That character? Tooru Honda as the step sister! How much of their feelings will they reveal on stage? Can the student charged with narrating maintain any kind of order? And what did Machi Kuragi mean by her comment about Yuki Souma — and did it have anything to do with the part that Yuki played in Cinderella-ish?

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

Favorite Quote from Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 23

Hiro Souma was trying his best to control his temper. He had walked to the high school with Kisa Souma, and Hatsuharu “Haru” Souma had just scooped her up — much to her quiet delight. Momiji Souma was there, too, and he was video taping everything. Looking at Hiro through the viewfinder, he told Hiro that he shouldn’t loiter in the gate, because he might block someone.

Hiro had been centered in Momiji’s viewfinder. When Momiji lowered his video recorder, Megumi Hanajima, Saki’s little brother, was standing right behind Hiro!

Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 23: Saki's brother Megumi is stealthy.

Megumi didn’t show up in Momiji’s viewfinder — or Hiro’s perceptions! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Hiro was freaked out. No one else seemed to notice even as Megumi seemed to float away, but Hiro said (00:59), “But I felt nothing. I felt no presence from him!”

Apparently, Megumi inherited a slightly different set of powers than his sister’s. I’ve missed how Megumi and Saki got along!

Best in Show Moment for Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 23

Setup: Tohru Was Seriously Miscast

First of all, casting Yuki as the Fairy Godmother was one of the funniest things I’ve seen all season. The reaction he got was just fantastic! So many camera phones flashes. So much swooning.

That wasn’t my favorite moment in the show, but I wanted to at least mention it.

We’ve known Tohru was mis-cast as an evil stepsister. She was so miscast, in fact, that they had to rewrite the play around her. It’s debatable, but I think she was even more miscast than Kyou. He alternated between indifferent and hostile to the whole play, but his role produced a key instant that setup my favorite moment. That instant was the sequence when several potential suitors asked Kyou to dance, and he turned them all down.

When he turned most of them down, he didn’t have to act. He just let his general “didn’t want to be there” attitude shine through, and it looked like good acting! Then Tohru, playing an evil stepsister, stepped before him.

Two things happened at the same time.

Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 23: Tohru impressed Kyou.

I think it’s safe to say that Kyou thought Tohru looked attractive in her gown. I think it’s the pink choker. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

First, he thought she looked amazing in her dress. To be fair, Ayame Souma and Mine Kuramae did a fantastic job on the costumes. And let’s face it. Tohru always looks good.

Second, he didn’t want to turn her down. I saw it. I think Tohru saw it (but didn’t want to admit it). And I’m sure that Arisa Uotani, who made a better prince than Kyou, saw it.

Delivery: The Prince Didn’t Choose Cinderella

Saki Rewrote the Rewrite

After some hilarious moments with Saki as Cinderella wrecking her way through the plot, we got to the part of the story where Kyou and Arisa traveled the land looking for the owner of the glass slipper. You remember the original story: the prince finds that Cinderella owned the slipper and he proposes to her on the spot.

That’s not the way this story unfolded. The evil stepmother and Tohru tried the shoe on, and of course it didn’t fit. The stepmother asserted that there was no other maidens in the house, and Kyou turned to go. But Tohru spoke up and said that they hadn’t checked Cinderella yet!

The “real” Cinderella’s life would have been so much better with Tohru as a stepsister…

As Saki emerged from stage left, she decided to take matters into her own hands. She told Kyou that she knew why he’d come. “Have you not come to ask for my sister’s hand in marriage?” she asked (09:25).

Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 23: Saki veered way off script.

I have to believe that Saki knew precisely what she was doing. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Tohru was a little embarrassed. Kyou practically flipped his lid, to the tune of “doth protest too much.” After a brief back and forth where Saki teased him with the idea of proposing to her (calling the very idea a nightmare), Saki hit him with a powerful question:

“Do you plan to keep deceiving yourself forever? Inside the castle,” Saki continued as if she knew way more about Akito Souma’s plans for the cat than she should have. “Locked inside the castle… until you die?”

If You Thought Kyou Protested Too Much Before…

Kyou’s eyes told her he knew what she was talking about. He’s known Saki long enough that he didn’t wonder about how she knew. But her question had touched a deep anger within him — anger intertwined with despair.

“So what if I do,” he asked bitterly (10:10). “Does that hurt anyone else? I can decide whatever I want for my…”

Speaking as if the words were being torn from her, Tohru said, “I… I don’t want… don’t want…”

Kyou waited in shock for her to finish. The audience seemed spellbound, too, just like I was. Would she finally say it? Would she finally tell him how she feels?

Not yet. She realized what she was saying. The magnitude made her recoil. She tried to back-track, but the sentiment hung in the silence. Yuki’s trap-door entrance interrupted Kyou trying to come to grips with what he’d just seen. We know by the end of the episode that he still hadn’t accepted it. But I saw it. Right there on stage, Tohru almost told the world she didn’t want to see the cat locked up.

Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 23: Tohru tried to come to grips with her feelings.

To me, this looks like the face of a woman who just discovered something she didn’t expect and doesn’t quite know what to do about it. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

She didn’t want to see the cat locked up because she was in love with him.

She was this close to admitting it to herself! This artful setup, this subtle exploration of these characters, makes this show riveting. Their relationship is unfolding exactly how it should — exactly as how it needs to — given who they are.

Not only that, but Saki played a large role in this episode. This might be my favorite one yet.

What did you think of Yuki’s performance? 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 23 Review – Best In Show

  1. That really was a fun episode. Poor Kyo, though. Kazuma’s presence was so confusing. First, he was there to begin with, which is embarrassing. Then Saki talked to him in a not-quite-Saki-like manner, and then he wanted to speak to Tohru. A bit much in just one encounter, and all that after he’s still processing Tohru’s outburst through the play.

    The play was quite a bit a different experience for the present Soumas than for the student body, wasn’t it? And Momiji having made a recording, offering to share it with Kureno (considering Arisa’s outburst)… They really put a lot into this episode, didn’t they?

    1. “A bit much in just one encounter,”

      I wonder if that’s why the poor guy just started to change out in the open — much to the delight of the girls around him!

      “They really put a lot into this episode, didn’t they?”

      So much so that every time I rewatch it, I catch something different! Even then, I still read posts and comments that point out things I missed. I particularly like the one (and I can’t remember where I read it) that pointed out you can see Saki’s mom applauding wildly at her daughter’s performance.

      And like Lynn said, that narrator had it rough!

    2. Kazuma was there to support his son. Saki was acting different to try to flirt with him. He probably just wanted to say hello to Tohru and see how she was doing, but Kyo didn’t want to risk them talking about her outburst. In the manga, Kazuma arrives right after the play due to an emergency at the dojo. So he didn’t see the outburst. He would have known exactly what Tohru was about to say if he had seen it.

  2. I laughed so hard all the way through the play. For me the Narrator was the unsung hero with his deadpan delivery and ability to adapt to the madness that was unraveling around him.

    1. “For me the Narrator was the unsung hero”

      Wasn’t he, though?

      I loved how Saki just took the narrative wherever she wanted.

      I still want to see her face off against Akito… Epic battle!

      1. In a Q&A, the manga creator said that Saki is the strongest character of all and would win against Akito. She’s basically video game boss level. But I’d love to see that battle.

        1. “But I’d love to see that battle.”

          Wouldn’t that just be absolutely glorious?

          Saki has already broken the fourth wall with complete impunity. It actually started me! If she’s _that_ powerful, then I can see how poor Akito wouldn’t have a chance.

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