Anime Best in Show

Review: Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 8 Best in Show

Quick Summary

In Fruits Basket Season 2 episode 8, “Dog,” most of the Souma family went to meet Akito again, which left Tohru Honda and Kyou Souma alone. What did they do to pass the time? At Tohru’s urging, they built a sandcastle! At least, they tried to… Meanwhile, Yuki Souma seemed much emboldened by his conversation with Tohru at the end of the previous episode. So much so that his attitude was almost imperial when he demanded that Kyou not fight with Akito to avoid making trouble for Tohru. Is Yuki’s new-found confidence permanent? Or will it suddenly and terribly collapse? Finally, Tohru finds a horse in the middle of the woods, and she immediately realized it was Isuzu “Rin” Souma. Why is she in the middle of the woods in her zodiac form? And why does she seem so angry at Tohru?

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

Best Moment in the Show: Rin’s Powerful Presence

I’m convinced that Rin didn’t want to hurt Tohru. It’s just that Tohru’s suggestion to call the Souma doctor was so anathema to Rin that she just lashed out — with her hind leg. She didn’t show remorse, either — maybe because based on where her mind and soul were, that just wasn’t possible? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

My favorite moments are the ones that pull me into the fictional moment with so much force that I’m not aware of myself anymore. I’m transfixed by what’s happening on the screen. When I first met her, I suspected Rin could do that to me, and in this episode, I got to find out for sure.

Yep. She could. I may have a new favorite character in the Fruits Basket universe.

Part of my fascination comes from the build up. We’ve seen Rin as the enigmatic woman who broke up with Hatsuharu ‘Haru’ Souma for mysterious reasons that didn’t seem to have anything to do with weakness. We saw her on hands and knees before Shigure Shouma — and I still have no idea why! Those two things seem so far apart, yet they’re part of the same character. That’s fascinating!

Part of it comes from the solid work Aki Toyosaki, Rin’s voice actor. I could feel her agony and rage. The animation, especially of Rin’s eyes as she glared at Tohru and Yuki, was mesmerizing!

My Best in Show moment is Tohru meeting Rin for the first time. Tohru knew immediately that the horse she found lying on the path is a Souma — the shredded clothes nearby were a dead giveaway. Yuki confirmed it and said he’s worried about Rin — remember how Soumas transform into their zodiac self if they are weak or sick?

Yuki looked away to protect Rin’s privacy as she transformed into her human self. He was privately impressed she could do so, despite her state, by sheer force of will. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

That’s when Tohru suggested she call the Souma doctor, Hatori. Enraged, Rin — in horse form — kicked at Tohru’s head. Yuki deftly pulled her aside. If that kick would have connected, it might have killed her. When I was a kid on the farm, I made the mistake of trying to mount a horse from the rear without letting it know I was there. The kick sent me flying 20 feet through the air. The kick had caught me square in the middle of the chest. If the horse had kicked me in the head, I doubt there would ever have been a Crow’s World of Anime.

Yuki told her as much (18:29). (that the kick could have been fatal — not about a different timeline not having a Crow’s World of Anime). His words affected her, because she did something that impressed even Yuki: Through sheer force of will, she changed back into human form. But her voice — it’s her voice, and the look in her eyes, that struck me. “Don’t get him,” she rasped. “Don’t get anyone!”

Tohru offered a little comic relief when she hurled the sheet she’d chased down to Rin. She then ran off to get some of her spare clothes for Rin to change into, since her transformation had ripped her clothes apart. And sure, it was funny to see Tohru grab her spare clothes and reflect that the horse spirit was “a woman. A very beautiful woman. She’s what you would call a voluptuous beauty” (19:17). But the heart of the moment is Rin herself. I don’t know what she’s trying to do, but I know she’s on a mission. I know she’s pushing herself to her limits. I know she’s all in on this.

And I’m dying to know what it is!

What did you think of Tohru’s attempts at sandcastle engineering? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!

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3 thoughts on “Review: Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 8 Best in Show

  1. It’s interesting that Rin’s one of the view characters whose Zodiac form doesn’t look cartoony (and they paired her up with Haru, the only one other one I can think of off the top of my head). I simply love her design in both version (human and horse). There’s a sort of ferocious dignity at play here. That really was a great scene.

    The other stand out scene for me was the final one with Yuki, mostly because I felt more than ever that out of all the Souma’s Yuki’s the most like Akito, actually. I feel like they both have the same sort of arrogance tempered by the same sort of anxiety. Have you ever wondered what Yuki would have been like, had he born the family head instead of cursed by the Rat? It’s a scary thought.

    1. “mostly because I felt more than ever that out of all the Souma’s Yuki’s the most like Akito, actually. I feel like they both have the same sort of arrogance tempered by the same sort of anxiety.”

      I hadn’t made that connection before, but now that you mention it, I can see it. Like in the previous episode, when Yuki went all imperial on Kyou — it was exactly the same vibe I got from Akito.

      I think I want Yuki even farther from Tohru now!

      “Have you ever wondered what Yuki would have been like, had he born the family head instead of cursed by the Rat? It’s a scary thought.”

      Very scary…

      1. ***I think I want Yuki even farther from Tohru now!***

        Oddly enough, it had the opposite effect on me. It gave me hope for Akito. But at the same time, it’s an enormous gamble. And it’d likely involve an enormous meltdown.

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