Anime Best in Show

Review: Fruits Basket Episode 17 – Best in Show

Quick Summary

In Fruits Basket episode 17, "This Is for Uo-chan!," Arisa Uotani continues to tell the story of how she met Tooru Honda and her mother. As we saw in the previous episode, their first meeting wasn't exactly happiness and light, and that trend continued in this episode. However, as the irresistible force that is Tooru's goodness came into contact with Arisa's life, the rebellious teen feels that she understands her own life better -- as well as herself. Can she convince herself to accept kindness from both Tooru and her mom? If she can, will her gang just let her walk away?

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

Best Moment in the Show

It's hard sometimes to make even a positive change in our lives. Arisa learned that the very hard way. But she had some excellent help! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream

This show... I remain in awe of how much character and plot goodness they can pack into a single episode. It feels effortless; in fact, even looking back on it, I just see the story flow. 

Well, enough of that. Let me share my Best in Show moment from episode 17. In yet another episode filled with great moments, I struggled even more than usual, but I managed to narrow it down to one. Tooru had rescued Arisa from a rival gang who had been wailing on her. As she caught her breath in Tooru's apartment, it came to her that she was terribly lonely, and the natural warmth that Tooru exudes was starting to affect to her. So much so in fact, that she started going to school and hanging around Tooru.

It wasn't smooth sailing, of course. For example, a teacher stopped the two of them in the hall and asked Tooru if she was alright. The question mystified Tooru, of course, but Arisa knew what was up. The teacher was afraid Arisa was trying to manipulate or steal from Tooru.

Much to her chagrin, Arisa began hearing rumors that she was actually corrupting Tooru -- corrupting Tooru! -- who people said was probably doing illegal stuff outside of everyone's view.

Even Arisa, who had been a delinquent and remained strong-willed and headstrong, had to give into the warm of Tooru's affection! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream

Arisa was sitting on the floor, her back against the wall, outside of Tooru's cooking class. Some of the girls near Arisa (who couldn't see her, because she was sitting with her head below the window) were saying the two of them couldn't possibly be best friends because they were so different. 

Arisa, still unused to thinking of herself in any positive way, began to emotionally crash. Afraid the rumors would hurt Tooru, she almost decided to stop hanging out with her. 

Then Tooru did something amazing again.

As Arisa's emotions were collapsing into herself, she heard one of the girls tell Tooru she'd made too many confections. 

"No," Tooru said (12:40). "This is for Uo-chan!"

Five words that changed Arisa's life. Her expression, artfully shown as a closeup of one eye peeking under her bangs, went from despondent to astonishment. Finally understanding the irresistible nature of Tooru's feelings, she allowed herself a blissful smile.

Just watching Arisa and Tooru interact during the first 16 episodes, you could really see their affection for each other. Seeing how that relationship began and flourished was wonderful. I'm not being hyperbolic when I say this kind of thing gives me hope for the future. Like, for humanity's future!

What did you think of Arisa and Tooru in this episode? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!

6 thoughts on “Review: Fruits Basket Episode 17 – Best in Show

  1. There was one scene that, while not likely my favourite, demonstrated the attitude of the show and what makes me like it so much. Why did Tooru’s mum show up to rescue Arisa? A gang member dropped by and asked for help. A minor character that drifts in and out of the story, just like that. Such characters don’t often get to do important stuff, so that’s significant in the meta game: it’s a reflection of the show’s attitude. There are always people willing (if not always able) to help. And you don’t have to shoehorn them into character positions. Sometimes they just do the one thing for you and then go on with their own stories. It’s little things like that that make the setting feel alive: people are people, not all good, not all bad, just generally messy.

    Often, stories like to pretend their “main characters” are special. And in a way they often are (why would they catch your interest enough to tell their stories, otherwise?). Little acts of kindness by others, though, remind you that the world’s a big place and main characters simply depend on which stories you choose to tell. The world opens up beyond just what’s in focus. I like that a lot.

    1. “It’s little things like that that make the setting feel alive: people are people, not all good, not all bad, just generally messy.”

      I really enjoy reading your observations like this!

      Now that you’ve drawn my attention to it, you’re right — it’s a great thematic gesture! Speaks volumes of the writer’s view of the world they’ve created.

      “The world opens up beyond just what’s in focus. I like that a lot.”

      Much more immersive, isn’t it? It’s one of the reasons this world seems so real to me despite its fantastic elements.

  2. The show truly is amazing. To single out a scene or moment is to hard. Just a joy from beginning to end where noting feels really out of place. I enjoyed it all.

    1. “To single out a scene or moment is to hard.”

      Can confirm!

      “I enjoyed it all.”

      I honestly feel lucky to be able to watch the new version’s first run. It’s a delight to watch unfold from week to week!

  3. There were just too many moments in this episode where they just hit the right mark and filled me with that warm fluffy happiness that made me want to cry and smile all at the same time. Great episode and love the friendship between Arisa and Tohru.

    1. It’s almost become a running gag where I complain that an episode of Fruits Basket had too many great moments to pick one, but you’re absolutely right when you say:

      “There were just too many moments in this episode where they just hit the right mark and filled me with that warm fluffy happiness ”

      After the episode, I just stared at my notes trying to figure a way to pick one moment! But in doing so, I rediscovered the obvious: That Fruits Basket is so well assembled that it stands up to that level of scrutiny without effort.

Please let me know what you think!

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