Anime Best in Show

Review: Fruits Basket Episode 20 – Best in Show

Quick Summary

In Fruits Basket episode 20, "I Can't Believe You Picked It Up," Tooru Honda faces her greatest challenge yet: Hiro Shouma, a young man who is Kisa Shouma's close friend. After Kisa stays overnight at Shigure Shouma's house to watch DVDs with Tooru, Hiro barges into Tooru's life and steals her pocketbook -- with her mom's picture in it. Kyou Shouma finds Hiro and figures out what's going on, but Hiro used Kyou's own temper against him. It took the calm and playful manipulation of Momiji Shouma to bring Kisa into the picture so she could ask why Hiro was acting so hatefully towards Tooru. Why is Hiro acting like that? Can Kyou master his temper long enough to help? And what can Tooru do about the situation, especially since Kisa seems to be counting on her?

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

Best Moment in the Show

Tooru's a better person than I am, because heart-breaking back story or not, I struggled with how he treated Tooru. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream

Tooru faced her toughest foe yet in Hiro Shouma. From the moment she met him, he was cruel to her; even when Kisa asked him to treat her better, he initially refused. Tooru's never faced an overtly hostile Shouma before. Even Akito Shouma deployed a veneer of civility. Worst of all, Hiro was about twelve years old. He's just a kid -- what can they really do about him?

So hoesHow would Tooru deal with this threat? By being Tooru, of course.

We learned some of Hiro's back story, and sure, it was sad, but because of the way he treated Tooru, I was still inclined to duct tape him to a wall or something. Nothing permanent; just enough to get the point across: Tooru might not defend herself, but there are other who will defend her.

Hiro had apparently heard the stories of the Tooru Effect. He resisted believing in it, even as he stood bathed in its presence. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Of course, Tooru had a different idea. In fact, it might not have been an idea or a plan at all. It might just have been Tooru being Tooru, and the episode setup the solution in the very first scene. Tooru, Yuki Shouma, and Kisa were watching a children's anime. The villain complained that his wife treated him poorly, and Tooru remarked that was sad. She also said that she thought the wife might have her reasons.

Later in the episode, Tooru took Kisa and Hiro to the park (17:32). She offered to buy some crepes for the little monster (okay, I might have a bit of a bias against Hiro) and Kisa. Hiro had watched how tenderly Tooru treated Kisa, and while I can't say he softened, he let his guard long enough to ask Tooru how she, a "space cadet," could help Kisa when he couldn't. 

"Can you just dispel anybody's worries about anything?" he asked her (19:00). "Can you erase any sorrow or pain? Can you save people?"

Tooru's essential gentleness completely disarmed even Hiro, because as he asked those questions, he admitted that he was just furious with himself for not being able to help Kisa. As harshly as he had spoken of Tooru, he spoke as harshly about himself. 

Tooru speaks. Shoumas heal. It's like a natural law or something. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Armed with her mother's wisdom, Tooru told him that he was amazing. Her mom had taught her that it's scary to admit that you're still a child, so most folks avoid it. "So anyone who can admit that to themselves has a lot of courage, she said" (20:45).

He didn't stand a chance against her sincerity. When she added that she knew he could grow into a wonderful prince who could protect Kisa, Tooru had won the battle. Another member of the Shouma family had experienced the kind of healing that just seems to follow her around. And she did it just by being herself.

What did you think of Tooru's approach to Hiro? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!

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