Anime Best in Show

Review: Fruits Basket Episode 13 – Best in Show

Quick Summary

In Fruits Basket episode 13, "How Have You Been, My Brother," Tooru Honda was on her way home after helping Yuki Shouma with his garden when she came across a heap of clothes. Suddenly, a snake climbed under her dress and up her back! Fortunately, Tooru is used to such antics and realizes she just met another Shouma. Yuki is less than pleased with how his older brother Ayame Shouma introduced himself to Tooru -- to the point where Yuki demanded Shigure Shouma skin and fry the snake for lunch! Can Ayame bridge the emotional gap between himself and his brother? Shouldn't Tooru be more freaked out? Worst of all, can Arisa Uotani and Saki Hanajima explain to Tooru why Ayame's shop sells nurse uniforms and maid outfits?

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

Best Moment in the Show

Yuki took an important step for his emotional well-being. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream

This episode, we got to meet Yuki's older brother Ayame. And, good heavens, the man is uninhibited. To give you an idea: In the Zodiac, he's the snake. It's a little chilly out when he first meets Tooru, so what does he do? While in snake form, he crawls up her dress to keep warm.

Needless to say, Yuki took a dim view of that.

The show, though, wasn't content with simple comedy. It's weaving a family portrait that has some dark and painful nooks. Ayame, free-spirit that he is, has an enormous regret: He didn't help Yuki when he needed it the most. Remember Akito Shouma's special lessons just for Yuki? And remember Yuki being so happy that his new friends were with him during the badminton game at the end of episode 12? Well, Ayame feels what seems to be (for him) crushing guilt because Yuki reached out to him for help, but he didn't listen. Yuki remembered him walking away, and that's why he was overjoyed that people like Tooru (and I bet even Kyou Shouma, who probably wouldn't admit it) are staying with him.

My pick for the moment that's Best in Show builds on those themes. Yuki is furious with Ayame, but he sees that his older brother is reaching out. He doesn't accept the gesture at face value, but it begins to affect his attitude. At the end of the episode, Yuki walks up to Hatsuharu Shouma. Yuki's more awkward than I've ever seen him. He's blushing. He can't look Hatsuharu in the eyes. But he manages to speak.

It was heart-warming to see such an uninhibited and uncontrived smile from Hatsuharu. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream

"Listen, um... Thank you... for worrying about me" (21:50). 

Hatsuharu at first looked shocked. Then he relaxed into what almost looked like a relieved smile! 

We've only gotten a few glimpses into the heart of the Shouma family, and it looks like there's some dreadful stuff going on in there. But there's some beautiful stuff happening, too. There's hope for Yuki's future happiness if he can share his gratitude like that with Haru.

And I think he'll find there are a lot of people, inside and outside of the Shouma family, who will stand with him. 

5 thoughts on “Review: Fruits Basket Episode 13 – Best in Show

  1. With Ayame, we’ve now met who I remember from the first anime to be my favourite Souma. I loved the conversation between Ayama and Tohru in the restaurant. Regretting shitty teenage behaviour is rather relatable for me.

    The scene between Yuki and Hatsuharu was cute, too.

    1. “I loved the conversation between Ayama and Tohru in the restaurant. Regretting shitty teenage behaviour is rather relatable for me.”

      Yeah, that _was_ a great scene! Tohru’s reactions were great, too. Ayame really seemed to be trying to connect with her — he’s such a complex character at times. I can see why he was your favorite the first time around!

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