Anime Best in Show

Review: Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 9 Best in Show

Quick Summary

In Fruits Basket Season 2 episode 9, “My Precious…,” Kyou Souma experienced a startling revelation: his name sounded really special when Tohru Honda spoke it. It was with this in mind that he told Tohru about Akito Souma’s summons. Tohru was ecstatic, because she misinterpreted the Akito’s gesture as one of kindness and acceptance of Kyou. Very few things could be farther from the truth. In fact, when Kyou met with Akito, it became clear that it would be a monumental contest of wills. Can Kyou emerge unscathed despite Akito’s almost supernatural ability to destroy the emotional foundation of any Souma? Or will Akito continue to run rampant through Kyou’s psyche?

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

Best Moment in the Show: Kyou’s Self Betrayal Doesn’t Fool Tohru

I’m really not sure if Tohru’s affection for Kyou is romantic or not. But I think she senses his feelings, even if he’s trying to deny them. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

This was an emotionally intense episode (and yes, the sky is also blue). For most of the first season, I was leaning towards wanting to see Tohru get together with Yuki Souma. The last several episodes have completely turned me around. In fact, I think Yuki is far too much like Akito. I don’t think he’d be good for Tohru. But Kyou? That’s a whole different conversation.

This episode was all about Kyou and his commitment to Tohru. It started with his realization that his name sounded special when Tohru said it. It was such a beautiful little detail and insight into his own feelings. Those feelings blossomed completely in the most unlikely of places, in a moment that was nearly my Best in Show: during his interview with Akito. It happened as Akito was using what appeared to be a supernaturally powerful ability to tease out the most intimate thoughts and twist them into something brutally ugly. In fact, Akito was trying to convince Kyou that Tohru was too perfect to be normal, that she had to be a monster.

It wasn’t that Kyou couldn’t accept it. It was more like he couldn’t conceive it. The thought was so absurd as to be incomprehensible. It sent him into a reverie where he realized that she’d been terrified when he was in his monster form. Yet, she’d stayed with him. And in spite of her courage and in spite of her wonderfully giving nature, she still derided herself.

While Akito hurled derision upon him, Kyou could only think that about Tohru: “She should think of herself more” (11:32). Less than a minute later, he admitted to himself that he loved Tohru, just as she was.

Despite everything he’s been through, he had fallen in love with the immovable object of goodness that is Tohru. He finally admitted that to himself. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Akito, though, seemed to sense it, and he hammered home the idea that Kyou had killed his mother (he hadn’t); that he brought misery into everyone’s life (he didn’t); that he had involved Tohru with the Soumas, and anything that happened to her was his fault (it wasn’t). Akito’s barbs sunk deep and had the intended effect. Kyou told himself he’d never allow himself to express his feelings to Tohru.

That conviction stuck with him when he returned to the vacation home. He found Tohru on the beach trying to repair the sand castle that Isuzu “Rin” Souma had destroyed. They made some small talk as they walked back to the house as Kyou tried to convince himself he’d try to be happy just being close to Tohru — until it came time for Akito to lock him up. Tohru stopped half way up the steps and asked what he wanted to dinner. That’s when she slipped and almost fell. Kyou caught her.

“Sheesh,” he said (21:58), “what am I going to do with you?”

Without even thinking about it, he took her hand. In the midst of his self deception, his own actions betrayed his true feelings. Tohru’s expression of wonderment said that she understood.

I really hope I get to see an example of love being more powerful than hate. God knows I could use such a vision right now…

What did you think of Akito’s cruelty — or whatever it was? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!

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2 thoughts on “Review: Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 9 Best in Show

  1. During the Akito/Kyou scene I wasn’t sure whether there actually was a supernatural element to it, or whether that’s just a visual metaphor. Both would have made sense, but I’m leaning slightly towards the supernatural element, here. I mean Akito’s position in all this isn’t entirely clear here. Is he the Jade Emperor? In any case, imagine presiding over the curse; that, too, can’t be easy. When Akito’s on screen, I always feel a tremendous sense of anxiety and self-loathing. A very self-centered and abusive person, but also sort of a prisoner in a prison of his own making. All that I-love-you talk (with everyone) is such a convoluted mess of expectation and sarcasm. I mean he plays the magnanimous guy “letting Tohru hang around”, but I think he’s just terrified here: I mean if he does anything careless he’s got a rebellion at hand. (Next to) nobody likes him to begin with, and he’s well aware.

    Okay, here’s a thought experiment. How many parents have reacted poorly to having one of the Zodiac kids? And one of them dies, the next one’s born. So the best case case scenario for that sort of person? Keep them alive and out of sight as long as possible. And if one of them were to commit suicide? Every single expectant family within the Souma clan potentially feels a Damocles sword over their head. And who’s in charge of that mess? Nobody’s going to be grateful for you to fulfill your task, but they’re sure going to complain when things go wrong. Of course, not openly, not to the family head, but… And your 12 charges? They’re not going to like you much either. And if you’re not the mentally strongest person to begin with?

    Yeah, I really don’t like Akito. There are about a billion better ways to handle the situation. But at the same time, he’s really just the focal point of point of it all, where all the filth gathers. It’s not an envious situation to be in. And then there’s Tohru, who does his job without even trying. Not some mastermind, or some exceptional negotiater. No-one immediately impressive. Of course, he wants to get rid of her, and of course he can’t. A highly volatile person destabilised further. And I’m fairly sure he knows the Dog is growling at his heel…

    I’ll say it again: I’m amazed at how convoluted and messed up the situation is – in a show with a very clear direction. I’m fairly sure we’ll get a happy end; I’m afraid I’m going to be too exhausted to properly enjoy it. It’s going to be tough ride (considering we’re about half-way through the story, I think?).

    And now for something completely different:

    The cat-song from Oh Edo Rocket

    I needed that.

    1. “But at the same time, he’s really just the focal point of point of it all, where all the filth gathers. It’s not an envious situation to be in. ”

      That makes sense. It’s also a lot more dramatic than Akito just being manipulative for the perverse joy of it.

      I hadn’t considered Akito from that perspective.

      “And then there’s Tohru, who does his job without even trying. Not some mastermind, or some exceptional negotiater. No-one immediately impressive. Of course, he wants to get rid of her, and of course he can’t. A highly volatile person destabilised further. And I’m fairly sure he knows the Dog is growling at his heel…”

      I’ve seen how upsetting Tohru’s existence is to Akito. If I had given it much thought, I assumed the Akito was just jealous of Tohru. But you’re right — it’s more than that, isn’t it?

      “It’s going to be tough ride (considering we’re about half-way through the story, I think?).”

      I’m still thoroughly enjoying it. If anything’s distracting from my enjoyment, it’s the world situation. It’s gotten to the point where if a story’s too dramatic, or if it too closely repeats themes going on in the world right now, I have to step away for a bit. My temper’s on a really short fuse, too. Still, Fruits Basket has made me care about most of these characters, so I’m completely invested.

      Though in the last couple of weeks, I’ve noticed I’m really not liking Yuki much… Rin, on the other hand, is really close to being my favorite character already.

Please let me know what you think!

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