Anime Best in Show

Review: Fruits Basket Episode 14 – Best in Show

Quick Summary

In Fruits Basket episode 14, "That's a Secret," it's the first anniversary of her mother's death, and Tooru Honda wants to take her friends Arisa Uotani and Saki Hanajima with her to visit her mom's grave. Yuki Shouma asks if he could go, too, to pay his respects. Kyou Shouma remained silent. Why didn't he ask to come along, too? Will Arisa let him get away with it? The night before the visit to the grave site, Momiji Shouma helps Tooru finish her work. He tells her about his mom, who shows up unexpectedly to pick up his sister and visit his father. Why does she behave so strangely toward Momiji? Will Tooru be able to withstand learning the truth?

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

Best Moment in the Show

Saki is the emotional oracle that I need to better understand the show. I'd love to work with someone like her. Talk about keeping me on my toes! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream

You know, I'm an adult male. I work in computer security, so I have to think calmly under pressure. in the past, I've managed development teams who were responsible for financial systems that processed over a billion US dollars a day, so even a short outage was costly. Stress and turmoil are nothing!

This episode practically wrecked me.

Ordinarily, I'd pick the most powerful moment as my favorite or the Best in Show, but now this time. There were two moments in this episode that are simply beyond my currently skills to describe. So, I'll go with what I think is the third most powerful.

As a useful point of comparison, in almost every other series I've watched, this "third" place moment would have been their crowning achievement. But I'm afraid for Fruits Basket 2019, it's just par for the course. 

It's early in the episode; just after the new OP. Arisa and Saki are discussion why Kyou might not have asked to visit the grave with the rest of them. Arisa imagines how much Tooru's mom would love to torment Kyou. Momiji interrupts them; he's playing "cops and robbers" with another student, and he's being so rambunctious that Tooru finally runs after him to try to get him to settle down.

There are moments more powerful than the one I choose to describe. It's not that I didn't recognize their power. It's that I lack the skill to do them justice. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream

Standing on the stairs, Saki observes that Tooru must have worked hard -- terribly hard -- to maintain her cheerfulness in the face of her mother's death.

She said (4:43), "If Tohru-kun were to die, I'm not sure I could smile that way a year out. I might wish that I could forget we ever met. Tohru-kun has worked so hard..." 

I've made no secret that Saki is one of my favorite characters. That made her saying something like this all the more poignant. Not content with simple characterization, though, this show made Saki's words just the preamble to Momiji's story, which came next. 

That a moment this powerful wasn't even the apex of the show? That's just a testament to the emotional power I've granted this show over me. Because I've been able to meet such amazing characters, I don't regret my decision. I wonder if that's the point of the episode? 

2 thoughts on “Review: Fruits Basket Episode 14 – Best in Show

  1. That was quite a good episode. I’d forgotten that Tohru’s friends actually knew her mother. Makes sense. (They’re such an important presence in this show, aren’t they?)

    I think my own favourite moment this episode was Saki’s conversation with Kyou. I tend to love scenes where characters who usually only connect superficially talk in more detail. They usually provide sides to both characters we haven’t seen, or haven’t like this. This scene didn’t disappoint.

    1. “They’re such an important presence in this show, aren’t they?”

      They are! They almost remind me of a Greek Chorus. Saki in particular seems to almost bridge our world with theres. But aside from that, they offer an important confirmation of Tooru’s opinion of her mom. Without them, we might think Tooru idealized her mom. But no, she’s everything Tooru said she was. And more.

      That coat she gave Arisa was fantastic!

      “I think my own favourite moment this episode was Saki’s conversation with Kyou. ”

      That was a wonderful scene. She was concise without being cruel, and you could just feel his inner conflict.

      Seriously, this show has way more than its fair share of great characters!

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