Machi (the Student Council treasurer) has another destructive episode, but this time all the members of the Student Council notice. Kakeru deals with the aftermath, he and Yuki open up to each other afterwards, and Yuki starts to ask Machi about what’s causing her to flip out. Yuki is briefly trapped in a dark storeroom, and Machi aggressively rescues him. Also, the class is planning to put on a production of Cinderella, and roles are assigned.
It’s a very good episode of Fruits Basket, as we finally get to learn more about Machi, the most enigmatic member of the Student Council, while also having time for character development between Yuki and Kakeru, and a tiny bit of progress between Yuki and his mother. I don’t want to get too deep into analyzing what we’ve learned about Machi, both because it spans most of the episode (not giving me enough time to do it justice) and because the show does it so well you should just go watch it. It balances serious revelations and yet still manages to find time for the lighter moments of Machi’s backstory.
What I do want to focus on is what a powerful moment it was when Yuki gets stuck in the student council storage room. The other members are like “Hold tight, Yuki, we’re going to go figure out how to open this door” and then they run off to find help or a key or whatever. When Machi finds out, she immediately uses a truly scary amount of force to get him out.
It seems like she’s saying “I know what would happen in my own mind if I were trapped alone with my thoughts in a dark room. I must get you out of there, now.” This is a really powerful piece of characterization, it’s done with subtlety, and I really appreciated it. That’s some great work, Fruits Basket.
Oddly, for an episode with such strong emotional / writing highlights, the visual quality seemed to suffer in parts, especially right here:
Also, it’s not really a complaint, but wow, I haven’t seen a character strike a pose quite this anime in a long time.
But enough serious stuff and minor quibbles! This episode was also seasoned with moments that made me smile or laugh out loud. Like for real, can we get a show called Fruits Basket: School Defense Force?
♪Student Counciling by daylight! Protecting the school by also daylight! School Defense Force, Go Go!♪
The entire setup for the school play, Cinderella, was also incredible. The class comes through and really chooses just the worst possible person for each of the key roles.
I really hope that this gets put on screen, because it’s going to be amazing.