This page contains major plot spoilers related to the Fruits Basket manga, not yet revealed in the anime. Read at your own risk!
27 (End of the series)
|Hair Color|| Auburn (Manga)|
Brown (2019 Anime)
|Eye Color|| Reddish-Brown (Manga)|
Brown (2019 Anime)
|Occupation||Assistant of the Head of the Sohma Family (formerly)|
|Extended Family||Arisa Uotani (Lover)|
|Anime|| Episode 7 (Cameo)|
Season 2, Episode 5
|Japanese|| Yuuichirou Umehara|
Susumu Chiba (Drama CD)
|“||I alone am free. I could go anywhere I please. I could love whomever I wish. But that’s exactly why I have to…I have to stay with Akito.||”|
He is one of the oldest members of the Cursed Sohmas and the former Rooster of the Chinese Zodiac, whose curse has been broken for at least ten years. Despite being freed, Kureno agrees to pretend that he is still a part of the Zodiac, and is determined to continue to stay by Akito Sohma's side at all times, since he wants to keep her, a crying little girl that is desperate for love, from being lonely.
When Kureno meets Arisa Uotani, he is instantly attracted to her. However, after their second meeting, he refuses to see her again because of his promise to stay with Akito. When Kureno eventually leaves Akito, Arisa helps him move out from the Sohma compound. It is later revealed that they are preparing to move in together.
Kureno is a young man with a slender yet muscular build, and a rather tall stature. He is mentioned to be quite handsome.
He has straight, short, auburn-reddish hair (brown in the anime), which reaches down to his nape, with two cowlicks sticking out from the top of his head. He has fairly messy bangs which part in an "M-shape" on the left side of his head, and cover most of his forehead. He has a pair of calm, reddish-brown eyes (light brown in the anime).
Kureno always dresses professionally and is rarely seen without wearing a suit. His most usual suit and consist of a black vest, with an unbuttoned grey shirt underneath without any tie, along with black trousers and a pair of brown shoes. However, since he doesn't like suits so much, he prefers to wear simple and light-colored clothes that blend in with the background, so he doesn't bring attention to himself.
Kureno is noted to be very much like Tohru Honda; kind, polite, slightly scatterbrained at times, and cares more for others around him than for himself. Because Akito very rarely allows him to leave the Sohma estate, he has little to no experience in the outside world. This is evident during his first meeting with Arisa at her convenience store job; he is carrying a huge amount of groceries in his arms since he has never been to a convenience store before and didn't realize he could use a basket to carry them, resulting in him spilling his groceries all over the floor.
Kureno's main trait is, similarly to Tohru, his unfailing kindness and selflessness, which is both a strength and weakness. His kindness has let Akito to dominate his life more than anyone in the Zodiac, since he is too nice to reprimand her abusive behavior or leave her alone. He also forces himself to stay with Akito to keep her from being lonely despite knowing full well that who Akito really wants is Shigure Sohma, not him. He even forgives her when she stabs him in the back and never blames her for the things she put him through. Kureno is also a very level-headed, calm, polite, gentle, and compassionate person, who rarely asks for more than what he already has. For this reason, he keeps his needs and wants to himself, including his desire to be with Arisa, or later, to leave the Sohma estate. He is shown to be very considerate of people around him and wants to help them out no matter what, even it means that he would suffer the consequences.
However, after realizing how much abiding by Akito's wishes only contributed to her growing up as bad as she did, and realizing that his presence would only remind Akito of her mistakes and keep her from moving forward, Kureno leaves the Sohma estate towards the end of the series. Kureno also yearns to live his life the way he wants to without being bound by the Sohma family, and is excited to discover and experience new things he was never able to do throughout most of his life.
On the day of Ren Sohma became pregnant with Akito, Kureno had a dream where a still transparent Akito appeared and told him that they would be able to meet soon, whereupon he began crying. Kureno, along with Shigure, Hatori, Ayame crowded around Ren and reached out to her womb, knowing that "God" was inside there. After Akito was born and it was decided that Akito was to be raised as a boy, the four boys were told to keep it a secret.
When Kureno was about 16 years old, his curse suddenly broke with no forewarning. When Akito sensed this due to their "bond", she went into a hysterical panic, since Kureno's curse breaking was a sign of her bonds with the Zodiacs falling apart, which she thought defined her entire existence. She proceeded to beg and cry for Kureno to always stay by her side and never leave her. Kureno, who immensely pitied Akito and couldn't bear the thought of making her sad, agreed to stay by her side and pretend to be a part of the Zodiac. From there on, Kureno has been by Akito's side at all times and never left the Sohma estate. At some point, they even began a sexual relationship, which destroyed Kureno's relationship with Shigure.
Second Year Arc
Kureno is first seen when Arisa Uotani meets him in the convenience store she works at. He is carrying a handful of items in his arms and accidentally bumps into Arisa. She advises him to put his items in a basket, something that he didn't know before, though he immediately drops all of his items to the floor. Arisa bursts into laughter, as Kureno had done the same thing as Tohru Honda had done before. After seeing Arisa's smile that day, Kureno became attracted to her, mentioning that it would be nice if he could always see her smile.
Ten days later, Kureno and Arisa reunite in town, recognizing each other from the day at the convenience store. Kureno offers Arisa lunch to catch up, to which she agrees, exclaiming she wants to eat tororo soba. While having lunch, they learn more about one another and Kureno reveals that he is not able to go outside much; in fact, the first time he met Arisa was the first time he had been to a convenience store as well. In connection to this, he explains that he lives life following a particular pattern and that doesn't do "unnecessary" things very often, such as taking strolls or going out to buy things. Arisa asks if he is truly happy, to which he says he does.
This upsets Arisa greatly, as while she really had wanted to see him and felt happy when she was able to do so, he only viewed their time together as something "unnecessary". She storms out though Kureno catches up to her and quickly apologies for saying something so insensitive. He reveals how he also wanted to see her again and felt happy by spending time with her. Arisa laughs and Kureno shows Arisa a genuine smile. He suddenly leans in as if to kiss her, though he leaves her hanging - stumped and confused. Kureno is later seen walking into Akito Sohma's room, where she questions him if he felt uncomfortable "outside". While Kureno returns Akito's side, he thinks about how he had wanted to keep Arisa by his side forever and regrets that he may have to forget about her now.
During the summer, Akito brings Kureno to the Sohma beach house where most of the other Cursed Sohmas and Tohru were spending their summer vacation. When Yuki Sohma sees Kureno by the ocean and by Akito's side, he is very shocked. Even Shigure mentions that he couldn't believe that Akito brought Kureno along. When Akito confronts Yuki about his insecurities, Kureno can only look away. For the rest of the vacation, Kureno stays by Akito's side at all times, though Akito also isolates Kureno by not letting him see the others and not letting him join the Zodiac gatherings. Kureno obeys this without any hesitation.
One night, Kureno tells Akito that she has received a call from the main house. It is implied by Akito that her mother, Ren, had created a ruckus back at home, and Kureno advises her to return home to settle the problems. However, Akito suddenly runs off to the Sohma's beach house to "meet" with Tohru, but later ends up telling her about the true nature of the curse. When Kureno catches up to her, Akito introduces Tohru to Kureno as the Rooster, to which he politely greets her. Kureno then follows Akito back home while everyone stays behind at the beach house.
After Tohru hears from Arisa that the man she has a crush on is named Kureno Sohma, she secretly goes to search for him. She sneaks into the Sohma "inside" and finds Kureno in his office, and when she is almost found by Ren, Kureno comes to the rescue and covers for Tohru. He drags her out of the compound while Tohru suddenly asks him if he knows Arisa, which struck a chord in Kureno. However, he tells her that he has no intention to see her again. When Tohru asks him if it's because he's one of the Zodiacs, Kureno is unable to answer. Tohru nonetheless quickly gives him Arisa's contact information, and her sincerity and determination in her actions make Kureno laughs, and he decides to safely let Tohru go away.
After Arisa's class had a play, Momiji decides to transfer the recorded play to DVD and give it to Kureno. And during the annual Zodiac Banquet during New Year's Eve, Momiji quickly gives the DVD to Kureno. The next day, after hesitantly promising to stay by Akito's side forever and sleeping with her, Kureno watches the play on his own. When he sees Arisa break out of her character and scream out in frustration because she wanted Kureno to see her, he is taken aback and is reminded of how lonely he is actually is. Even though he seems to want to see Arisa, a flashback where Akito begs for him to not leave her haunts him. This prompts Kureno to call Shigure and tell him he has something to talk about.
He then later meets with Tohru unintentionally on her part, and she is shocked to realize that all the birds flew away from him. He pulls Tohru into a hug and reveals to her that his curse broke when he was around her age - and that "he can't fly anymore". He then returns the DVD to Tohru, explaining that her present was "wasted", and that despite being freed from the curse, he will never see Arisa again and continue being by Akito's side forever. Even though he describes his two meetings with Arisa as trivial things, he soon breaks down crying and realizes that he really does want to see her, as he felt like she was the first woman he fell in love with after being freed from the curse. But he stills wants to stay by Akito's side and pretend to be part of the Zodiac due to wanting to keep her from being lonely, and in the process reveals Akito's true identity as a woman to Tohru. He explains to Tohru that the four who knew about Akito's true gender were Shigure, Hatori, Ayame, and himself, about Akito's mother Ren, and the feud between Akito and her mother. He then apologizes to Tohru for both hurting her and Arisa, but still mentions that he is steadfast in the path he has chosen to walk.
During a Sohma family meeting, Kureno accompanies Akito. He is briefly confronted by Shigure there, and Kureno is reminded of the time they talked on the phone, where Shigure had realized that he was free from the curse and that abiding by Akito's wishes just made her more twisted. Shigure also told Kureno that he hates him, but Kureno still decides to keep Akito from being lonely.
After Isuzu Sohma is locked up in the Cat's Room, Kureno convinces a nervous Sohma maid to give him the key to the lock. Kureno later releases Rin and interrupts Hatsuharu Sohma and Akito's fight by telling them that Rin has been sent to the hospital. He then goes up to Akito and tells her that she can't do everything she likes, and tells Hatsuharu to go and not return, as he will be able to see Rin soon. Kureno is later berated and scolded by the Head Sohma maid for releasing Rin.
Third Year Arc
As time went on, Kureno began feeling guilty for feeding Akito's abandonment issues and blames himself for Akito turning out the way she did. Kureno attempts to tell this to Akito, along with the problems with her behavior, but they are interrupted by Ren. Ren and Akito start a fight over the box left behind by Akito's deceased father, Akira Sohma; a fight that ends when Akito realizes that Hiro's curse broke. Akito later tells Kureno that she doesn't know anything because no one took the time to teach her right from wrong. When she begins crying, Kureno pulls her into a hug and tells her that she can start over, but Akito blames Kureno for not forsaking her the time his curse broke. Kureno apologizes, but Akito just stabs him in the back, whereupon Kureno collapses and is sent to the hospital.
After having a heart-to-heart conversation with Tohru, Akito begins changing for the better and musters up the courage to visit Kureno. She apologizes to Kureno, and despite everything, Kureno doesn't blame her and even forgives her. Akito tells Momiji that she is angry that she took advantage of Kureno's kindness and was "killing" him by keeping him by her side for so long, and vows to make amends. Arisa later decides to visit Kureno as well, and he tells her that he didn't expect her to come, feeling like he has no right to see her. Kureno then explains that he is planning to leave the Sohma compound in order to help Akito heal and to truly find himself. Arisa replies that he can now go anywhere he wants, anytime, and that she is fully ready to go alongside him. Arisa doesn't offer an explanation, but Kureno is taken aback as he smiles warmly by her dedication. After a while, Kureno leaves the Sohma house for good; he didn’t make a big fuss about it, took what he could carry, and threw out the rest. He wanted to make it as if he was never here; smiling as he said it.
It is revealed that Kureno has moved out to the countryside where is currently living alone. A while after Arisa graduated from high school, Kureno is seen talking on the phone with her. Arisa updates Kureno on the current situation and how Tohru will be moving away soon. When Kureno asks her how she feels, she admits that she'll get lonely without Tohru, but she is happy to move forward with her own journey. She explains that she will be setting off soon to go see him, and Kureno voices his idea of preparing a feast once she arrives; getting Tororo soba, the first thing they ate together.
A few years later, Arisa finds a job out in the country where Kureno lives. He asks her if she really doesn't mind, but Arisa says that whether she minds or not, she had to be in the countryside. When Kureno questions why, Arisa declares she is not going to tell him; a reference to their conversation years ago. However, this time, Kureno says that he wants Arisa to tell her as they lovingly look at one another. It is later revealed that she is preparing to move in with him.
The Rooster of The Zodiac
Kureno was cursed by the spirit of the Rooster. Whenever he was hugged by the opposite sex, or if his body went through a great deal of stress, Kureno transformed into his Chinese Zodiac form. Like all the Cursed Sohmas, their respective animals are drawn to them, and in Kureno's former case; roosters. The Rooster is the tenth of all zodiac animals.
Kureno has auburn hair due to sharing a similar trait with his animal. In Chinese culture, Roosters are complex people who seem strong but, deep down, need validation from loved ones, which applies to Kureno rather well.
It has been stated that Kureno, despite being the rooster of the Zodiac, he transforms into a sparrow instead. Being able to transform into a sparrow enabled him to fly, this making him the only member to be able to have flown. However, as his curse was broken before the story started, his transformation and flying have never been shown.
Kureno was around Tohru's age when his curse broke, and is the first one in history to have his it broken. He was well aware of it, and describes it as feeling "free, no longer in a birdcage, without the presence of the spirit". Kureno had also been surrounded by a flock of birds before his curse was broken, but when it broke, the flock of birds fled and flew away. Despite having his instinctive yearning for "God" with his curse disappear, he can't bring himself to leave Akito as he sees and pities her loneliness. It also mentioned that the other Cursed Sohmas distrust him; it may be because Akito singles him out for special treatment, or because the spirits inside them whisper that Kureno is no longer one of them.
- According to the official Fruits Basket Character Book:
- Kureno's name is derived from Kurenoharu or "late spring", which is actually the month of the Rabbit on the Japanese calendar. This was due to a mix-up with Momiji Sohma's name, as he was originally supposed to be named after Momijizuki or "autumn leaves" month, which is the month of the Rooster.
- Kureno doesn't wear white shirts (except when school uniforms used to require them). It's a color he feels an aversion to, and he avoids wearing it because he wants to blend in and not draw attention to himself.
- Natsuki Takaya also mentions that she doesn't put Kureno in suits, because "it makes him look too much like Hatori".
- Before having his curse broken, Kureno transformed into a sparrow instead of a rooster, like in the original Chinese Zodiac. Shigure theorizes that it is a sign of the curse weakening.
- Arisa describes Kureno as the kind of person who could step in dog poo and not notice.
- He is the final Zodiac to officially meet Tohru and the first to have his curse broke.
- Despite being freed from the curse, Kureno says he misses being able to fly.
- Arisa mentions that Kureno is like a male Tohru. This is especially evident since his first meeting with Arisa mirrors her first meeting with Tohru.
- A few years after the main storyline, Kureno is seen walking around with a cane. This implies that he may have suffered the consequences of being stabbed by Akito.