Anime Best in Show

Review: Fruits Basket Episode 05 – Best in Show

Quick Summary

In Fruits Basket episode 5, "I've Been Fooling Myself," Tooru Honda receives word that her grandfather has finished renovations and is ready for her to return "home." Dutiful young woman that she is, Tooru prepares final meals and snacks for Kyou Souma, Yuki Souma, and Shigure Souma. Then she quietly leaves. Tooru's grandfather is welcoming (even if he keeps calling her by mother's name), but the rest of her family? Not so much. Can Tooru put up with their subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) put-downs? Are Kyou and Yuki really okay with her leaving? And what's this about a private investigator? 

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

Best Moment in the Show

I tell you what: Don't mess with grandpa! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

That scribbling sound you hear? That's me taking notes about how this series so successfully welds character and plot. My favorite moment in episode 5 does double duty, so I almost feel like it's cheating! Tooru's grandfather says Tooru's room is ready for her to move back into, and feeling like she owes him a debt of gratitude, she returns "home." While her grandfather was kind to her, the other members of her family range from barely tolerant to outright hostile. Her aunt on her father's side had gone so far as to hire a private investigator to learn that Tooru had lived with Men (in the generic and menacing form, apparently). The aunt's son was going to become a police officer, so they had to avoid Scandal. Tooru endured their cruelty like Tooru endures all cruelty -- with a smile. But when her cousin who wanted to be a policeman got in her face and asked if those men had done anything indecent to her, we heard a sharp slap. Had Tooru finally learned to stand up for herself? No, it was one of the heroes of the episode: grandpa had slapped the cousin. Hard (9:11). 

Grandpa did exactly what a grandpa should do: He gave her permission to decide for herself. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Grandpa then delivered a speech about how he didn't mind if they were cruel to him, but he wasn't about to let them treat Tooru that way. And then, bless his heart, he told her she should feel free to go home -- not grandpa's house, but the home he perceived she had just left. His kindness deflated her defenses, and she tearfully confessed that yes, she felt at home with the Soumas and wanted to go back. An instant later, Yuki was standing beside her, and Kyou had entered, too. Tooru was saved!

And this is where choosing this moment lets me cheat by rolling two moments into one! The episode jumps back in time to when Yuki and Kyou, perhaps because of Shigure's (subtle) prompting, went off in search of Tooru. They arrived outside just in time to overhear the cousin asking about indecent actions, and Kyou was about to go right through the wall. Fortunately, grandpa's slap showed them that Tooru had a defender on the inside -- which was fortunate for the cousin, I think! Kyou was all for rushing in anyway, but Yuki held him back and reminded him that it wasn't what they wanted, but what she wanted, that was important. The instant she said she wanted to go back home to the Soumas, it was like Yuki teleported. He moved so far that Kyou didn't even see him enter the house to stand beside Tooru! 

Kyou was really wound up, so Grandpa not only saved Tooru's dignity and dreams. He probably saved the worthless cousin's life -- or at least his health. You go, grandpa! 

8 thoughts on “Review: Fruits Basket Episode 05 – Best in Show

  1. Someone elsewhere said that Grandpa acts senile, but is the most rational person in the room… Despite not really seeming to care earlier about where Tohru went during the renovations, he redeemed the ever livin’ hell out of himself in this ep.

    1. I read somewhere (might even have been in some of these comments) that there’s a theory saying Grandpa sent her out of the house for her own safety, thinking she had friends she could stay with.

      Not sure, but I agree that whatever he did before, “he redeemed the ever livin’ hell out of himself in this ep1”

  2. Revisiting the scene made it even more powerful. It was awesome: Yuki and Kyou were watching the scene unfold, and you’d see their reactions. The relatives are distrustful and controlling, and Yuki and Kyou get angry, each in their own way. So far business as usual. Then the slap. Their faces were priceless; they both had the same reaction. Open astonishment. It felt like, for a moment, they couldn’t understand what was even happening. Someone defends Tohru? That’s not business as usual. It says so much about their mindsets, and how they keep fighting with each other. It seems to be the only language they’re familiar with. So Tohru was nice to them, which sort of shook their world. But they could see her as an exception. Here was someone else, a stranger, a family elder even, stepping in not for propriety or family traditions, but for the freedom of choice. Means a lot for the exiles (self-imposed and otherwise) of the Soma family.

    That was a very powerful moment for me: the reaction of the Somas to gradnpa’s slap.

  3. I thought for a moment that Grandpa was going to have give Tohru some tough love because she didn’t seem to get what he was saying at first. He was awesome. I hope he out lives them all.

    1. “I thought for a moment that Grandpa was going to have give Tohru some tough love ”

      I keep wondering how those others are actually in his family. Tooru, I can see. But the others?

      There’s a story there somewhere…

      1. From the whispers on the internet they are on Tohru’s father’s side, but that would surely mean that Grandpa is too! We need a family tree stat….

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