This page contains major plot spoilers related to the Fruits Basket manga, not yet revealed in the anime. Read at your own risk!
|Also known as|| Stupid Cat (by Yuki)|
Kyon (by Arisa)
Kyon-kyon (by friends)
Kyonkichi (by Ayame)
|Age|| 16 (Beginning of the series)|
18 (End of the series)
|Height||171.3 cm / 5'7"|
|Weight||56 kg / 123.5 lbs|
|Eye Color|| Orange (Manga, 2019 Anime)|
Sienna (2001 Anime)
|Affiliation|| Kaibara Municipal High School|
|Parents|| Unnamed Father (Estranged)|
Kazuma Sohma (Adoptive Father)
|Spouse||Tohru Honda (Wife)|
|Children|| Hajime Sohma (Son)|
|Extended Family|| Unnamed Granddaughter|
Kyoko Honda (Mother-in-law)
Katsuya Honda (Father-in-law)
Tohru's Grandfather (Grandfather-in-law)
Kyoko's Parents (Grandparents-in-law)
|Anime|| Episode 1 (2001)|
Episode 1 (2019)
|Japanese|| Tomokazu Seki (2001)|
Keisuke Konno (Young, 2001)
Kyōsuke Ikeda (Young, 2001)
Yuma Uchida (2019)
Asuna Tomari (Young, 2019)
|English|| Jerry Jewell|
Avery Rice Williams (Young, 2001)
Alison Viktorin (Young, 2019)
|“||Just like there's rejection in the world, there are people who will hold out their hand to you.||”|
Kyo Sohma (草摩 夾, Sōma Kyō, "Kyo Soma") is one of the main protagonist of the Fruits Basket series. After the death of his mother and the rejection from his father, Kazuma Sohma became his adoptive father.
He is cursed by the spirit of the Cat, an animal not in the Chinese Zodiac. However, the Cat's true form is actually a grotesque, foul-smelling, monster— which he turns into when his Juzu Bead bracelet is removed.
As the Cat, Kyo hates Yuki Sohma, the current Rat of the Zodiac, and has dedicated his life to defeating him. At the start of the story, Kyo moves into Shigure Sohma's house with Yuki and Tohru Honda. As the story progresses, Kyo falls in love with Tohru, and in the process, he finds the courage to keep living despite his misgivings and hardships.
Kyo has bright orange hair and long bangs that hang over his orange-red eyes. He is near the same height as Tohru at the beginning of the series, and as the story goes on, he gets much more muscular and his build gets bigger, being very much taller than Tohru by the end of the Summer Vacation. He is defined even more from Yuki Sohma, as Kyo wears loose clothes, and dislikes tightness around his neck (similar to how a cat dislikes a collar).
He wears a bracelet on his wrist that is red and white in the manga, but dark blue and white in the 2001 anime. However, in the 2019 anime, its color changes back to red and white.
He turns into a bright orange cat when hugged by a girl, and when his bracelet is taken off, he turns into a monster that smells of rotting flesh, better known as the cat's vengeful spirit. He is described as 'handsome' and 'orange'.
Kyo is short-tempered, competitive, impulsive and rude, but he also has a soft side that he doesn't like people seeing. He gets embarrassed quickly and is overprotective of those he cares about. Kyo develops feelings for Tohru (as she is one of the only people to genuinely care for him) and is often seen blushing or frantically rephrasing sentences he says to her, so no one can catch on to his feelings. Some of his classmates call him Kyon-Kyon, which made him angry, Kyon or Kyon-Kyon (normally by Arisa Uotani), or Kyonkichi which means 'Lucky Kyo', normally by Ayame Sohma and Shigure Sohma who both enjoy teasing him.
An example would be that at one point Shigure pesters him about the reason he hates Yuki and Kyo stomps off to the forest, ready to cry. He also has a strong hatred for leeks, and the smell makes him sick. He also hates green onions and miso, unless it's in soup form. He also hates the dish liver and chives which Yuki requests once, which causes Kyo to yell at him.
Kyo loves martial arts deeply and has been engaged on them ever since his early childhood. His dedication to them goes beyond his simple desire to beat Yuki and is genuinely attached to them, no matter how rigorous the training, as he has been known to train in the mountains alone for extended periods of time. He eventually makes martial arts his livelihood.
Kyo is the only child born to his parents. His father, who belongs to the Sohma's side, is almost never seen during Kyo's flashbacks. His mother, on the other hand, was extremely protective of Kyo due to being born as the Cat. Kyo lived a very isolated childhood, and he was rarely let out by his mother since she was afraid of Kyo learning bad things and his true form being seen. According to Kyo, she would always cover up her fear of his true form and instead display her motherly love, a love he did not appreciate. According to Kyo, she would also check this his beads were intact dozens of times every day.
Due to his position as the Cat, Kyo was ostracized, resented and isolated from the other Sohmas. On the days he was able to play outside at the Sohma grounds, he would always be alone. One day Kagura Sohma found Kyo drawing an egg with a tree branch. Kagura, who had hated herself for also being Cursed by one of the Zodiac animals, found solace in Kyo, since she had it better than him and would never suffer as much as he would. From there on, Kagura became friends with Kyo out of pity, and Kyo, unbeknownst to Kagura's true feelings, happily accepted her friendship. At some point, Kagura insisted that she wanted to wear Kyo's Juzu Bead bracelet, and she eventually took it by force when Kyo rejected the idea. Unknown of what would happen, Kagura witnessed Kyo's true form and was horrified by it. Following this, Kyo ignored Kagura and Kyo's mother grew even more protective of him.
Death of his Mother
While Kyo was hated by the Sohma family, his mother was also ostracized by them and abused by her husband over and over for giving birth to Kyo, for loving him, and for apparently ruining his life. During these moments, she would seek comfort in Kyo. Eventually, the inability to confide in anyone, the abuse she received from her husband and the Sohma family, and the shame of having Kyo as a son and the strain of protecting him led to Kyo's mother committing suicide by jumping in front of a moving train. During her funeral, almost every member of the Sohma family blamed Kyo for his mother's death, including his father. Because of this, Kyo grew very vengeful and did not shed a single tear at his mother's funeral. Kazuma Sohma, who noticed the absurdity of this treatment and remembered how the last cat, Kazuma's grandfather, was treated by the family, so he took Kyo in. Having the first person to ever understand his struggles made Kyo break down in tears.
Taken in by Kazuma Sohma
After being taken in by Kazuma, Kyo received an untainted love from Kazuma. In contrast to his mother and biological father, Kyo was well taken care of by Kazuma, and he would show him the "outside world", which Kyo appreciated. At some point, Kyo began calling Kazuma "Shishou" since none of his students called him as much. Kazuma also began training Kyo in martial arts to teach him discipline and to help Kyo become stronger in his life knowing it will be so difficult being cursed by the cat. The two bonded over their sessions together, and Kyo finally found something he was passionate about. Hatsuharu Sohma, who had begun training martial arts to relieve his anger, occasionally trained martial arts with Kyo in the Sohma dojo.
Kyo received a normal education, and went to the same school as the other Cursed Sohmas. However, he still hated his position as the Cat and blamed all of his misfortune on the Rat, Yuki Sohma. During one of the Sohma's annual banquet, Yuki heard about Kyo, who isn't part of the Zodiac and therefore cannot join in the banquet. When Yuki sneaked out to meet Kyo and was willing to befriend him, Kyo harshly rejected the ida, and told Yuki that he hated him, that his very existence has brought only misfortune to him, and that he would be better off dead. It is also later revealed that Kyo expressed that he would kill Yuki and then kill himself on his mother's funerl, since he thought it would make his father contented.
Meeting Kyoko Honda
During the time where Kyo grew more hateful due to being born as the Cat, he met Kyoko one day while sitting outside near the Honda house. Kyoko was very curious about his hair color and proceeded to talk to him. He was very distant at first for he was not used to that many people wanting to associate with him. And, after telling him her name, was embarrassed that it was so similar to his. But Kyoko's persistence broke through as she would do the talking and all he had to do was listen. Eventually, Kyo took a liking to Kyoko, and described her as a person who could make him forgive himself for simply existing. Kyo also mentioned that she was a "weird person" to Kazuma, but that he didn't dislike her.
After their first meeting, Kyo and Kyoko would regularly meet up during Kyo's way from school. Kyoko talked about how cute her daughter was, showing him a photo of Tohru and asking if he thought so too. He agreed in silence that she was. Kyoko also told Kyo most of her past, including her past as a delinquent, meeting her future husband Katsuya, how she almost gave up when Katsuya died, and how she now was determined to keep living for Tohru's sake. She would also say how strong Tohru was dealing with Katsuya's death and letting her mother take her time.
Kyo would occasionally think about Kyoko and her daughter Tohru, wishing that the two of them would always be happy and continue smiling. One day, Kyoko informed Kyo that she would be away for work most of the day, and how sad she was that Tohru would be all alone. Kyo then proceeded to go to the Honda household to check up on Tohru, where he saw her eating all alone, to which he noticed how Tohru was truly "lonely".
One day, while near the house, Kyoko lost Tohru while walking and became hysterical. Kyo told Kyoko to wait and then promised that as a "man" he would bring Tohru back home safely. After passing Yuki in the same streets, he lost his hat as he was in a determined hurry to find Tohru. When Yuki finds the hat and Kyo refuses to take it back from him, Yuki puts it on and instead he finds Tohru. Yuki gives Tohru his hat that previously belonged to Kyo. Kyo later goes back to Kyoko, and she tells him that Tohru was found by a boy with Kyo's hat on. This enraged Kyo, as he felt like it was his duty to save Tohru, and blamed it all once again on Yuki. Kyoko understood Kyo's feelings and how Kyo needed to have a person to direct all of his hatred towards to feel better by himself. This makes Kyo even more enraged as he feels like Kyoko sided by Yuki, and he proceeded to flee from Kyoko. She was not hurt by his coldness or rudeness, and instead gleefully shouted for him to keep his promise to protect Tohru. After that, Kyo never saw or visited Kyoko again.
During Kyo's middle school years, he was described as a problem child. Since he was constantly bullied by other kids for his natural orange hair color, he would beat kids "half to death" according to Hatsuharu. This violent behavior of his was often brought to attention to the teachers. One day, Kazuma was called in due to being Kyo's guardian. However, the fact that Kazuma was made fun of because of Kyo's mistakes in school, similarly to how Kazuma received inappropriate comments for taking in Kyo, made him declare that Kazuma was not his father. Even though he did wish that Kazuma was his real father, he didn't want to burden him and kept a distance between them.
During his first year in high school, Kyo was taking a walk where he finally saw Kyoko again. These thoughts were interrupted when he suddenly saw a truck driving in Kyoko's direction. Kyo knew that Kyoko could be run over by the car, but he couldn't act on his desire to help her because if he did drag her out from the way, he would "hug" her and transform into a cat. He couldn't bear the thought of transforming into a "monster" in front of so many people. Kyoko was eventually run over by the truck and laid there, dying, when she finally noticed Kyo, the boy she had met so many years ago. When he heard her mutter the words "I'll never forgive you", Kyo ran away as he was overcome with guilt, regret, and despair.
After this incident, Kyo grew majorly depressed, couldn't continue with his day-to-day living, and had almost given up on his life. Right before he was thinking that he would be better off dead, his thoughts once again shifted to Yuki, and he blamed his mistakes and misfortunes to Yuki. Kazuma, realizing how utterly broken, despaired, and depressed Kyo was, took him to the mountains to recover, despite it being said that they went to the mountains to "train".
After coming back four months later, Kazuma informed him about how he would away from the Dojo and that Kyo needed another place to live in. He eventually decided on Shigure's home. And due to being away for four months, Kyo was severely reprimanded by Akito. However, Akito seeing how desperate Kyo was, made a bet with him: that if he could beat Yuki before graduating high school, he could become a full-fledged member of the Zodiac. If he wouldn't be able to, he needed to spend the rest of his life in the Cat's Room. Kyo accepted the deal, and since he now had a concrete reason for hating Yuki, made it his life goal to defeat him.
First Year Arc
Kyo's first appearance is when he jumps through the roof in an attempt to attack Yuki.
Second Year Arc
With the Sohmas and Tohru, Kyo goes for summer vacation at the Sohma's summer house by the beach.
When his turn reached, Kyo goes to the summer house to meet Akito. Akito warned Kyo about falling in love with Tohru because he belonged to Akito, his "god", and his role as a cat, where he must stay confined in a house for the rest of his life.
Third Year Arc
When he was walking towards his house to confront his father, he met Akito. Akito told him that she had spoken to his father and he had agreed to destroy that cat's confinement room, giving him his freedom. He felt perplexed and stunned.Yuki was talking to some of their classmates when they mentioned that Tohru was being discharged from the hospital. He was stunned as he was the only one who did not know of her discharge date. He ran off to the hospital, to meet Tohru standing outside of the main entrance. But Tohru cried and ran off. Kyo chased after her and apologized for what he had done to her earlier. She accepted his apology and they embraced, neglecting the fact that he will transform into a cat. However, that did not happen as at that moment, Akito broke the curse. Unable to believe it, Kyo ripped off his Juzu beads bracelet and did not change, confirming that the curse had indeed been broken.
Although his beads were scattered over, Tohru collected them because she wanted to protect Kyo of the present and Kyo of the future, as well as honor every single one who had to wear the Juzu Beads. It is also shown that Tohru keeps the beads in their home even many years later, to serve as a reminder of his past.
Kyo and Tohru enter a committed relationship with one another. They move out of Shigure's house and prepare to go to another city, where Kyo will study at another dojo in preparation for inheriting Kazuma's, with Tohru's full support and the notion of following him wherever he goes.
Kyo is last seen walking hand in hand with Tohru in their old age, as their children and grandchildren talk about their love fondly.
The Three Musketeers Arc
Kyo and Tohru have just begun dating and are getting ready to graduate high school. Shigure asks her if she's happy to spend every second with the man she loves, and she timidly but happily responds that she does. Kyo later separates them and tells Tohru that she can sue Shigure if he ever crosses the line. Shigure later gets Kyo to admit that he doesn't like others seeing Tohru's embarrassed and flustered face. Kyo comments "Huh, what if I dont? Don't look at her!", much to Shigure's dear and amusement. He is later seen on a date with Tohru as her best friend Saki Hanajima and Arisa Uotani accompanies them.
Kyo is seen briefly in a flashback where the house servants remark how similar his son, Hajime, looks like him. Kyo is also seen in a memory flashback as silhouettes with Tohru, Machi, Yuki and his unknown younger sister as he played with Mutsuki when they were younger.
|Adult Kyo and Hajime||Silhouette of Kyo in Hajime's flashback|
The Cat of the Zodiac
The Cat is not an animal included in the Chinese Zodiac, but legend has it that the Cat may have been included had the Rat not tricked it. As a result, he and Yuki Sohma (the current Rat) do not get along well, since Kyo blames Yuki for all his misfortune and mistreatment, and drove him to made a deal with Akito Sohma: that if he defeats Yuki in a fight before graduating high school, he would officially be accepted as part of the Zodiac; however, if he does not, Kyo would be confined inside the Cat's Room for the rest of his life.
Kyo shares some traits which mirror the Cat's traditional personality characteristics in the Zodiac Legend. He is often seen sitting on a roof because like a cat, he is drawn to high places. In connection to this, he can smoothly land on his feet, even from high places. This is seen when he jumped out from his school window from the second floor without any injuries. As Kazuma mentioned, Kyo likes to hide behind walls when he wishes to talk to someone urgently (shown twice), and he seems to get frightened by loud noises too, becoming startled like a cat.
He dislikes water, hence hating to swim or go to a beach (shown when the Sohmas went for their summer vacation). Due to this, his mood changes drastically during rain, becoming restless, tired, moody, and more than easily agitated but at the same time no mood to argue or fight. He prefers to wear a loose-fitting t-shirt or jacket because he doesn't like tight clothing (especially around the neck, since cats hates collars). He has been shown often drinking milk, and often becomes annoyed when there's not any more milk in the house. Once, he was even shown dreaming about fish.
Being cursed by the spirit of the cat, Kyo has orange hair and eyes. This trait of his is genetic, and can be passed down to his children. His eyes become silt-like when his cat spirit stirs in him, for example when he gets angry at Yuki, the Rat (or his 'natural' enemy).
While the Sohmas think Kyo's other form represents the Cat's anger, in truth the Cat was never resentful. When the "God" cast the curse to reincarnate all 13 of the Zodiac members, the Cat did not want to be re-born again, as it had a good life. Thus the other thirteen shunned him; their scorn is what created the ugly of the Cat. This is why Kyo is the only of the Cursed Sohmas to have a "true form", and has to wear his Juzu Beads at all times, which was made from human blood and bones, in order to not transform into his so-called "true form". His true form is a grotesque, foul-smelling, orange-colored monster (dark green in 2001 anime with purple eyes) with orange eyes, and sharp claws and teeth. In this form, he gains superhuman agility, speed, and strength, enough to cause a stone cliff to collapse from a single punch. Because of being the most cursed, it is mentioned that the Cat is a scapegoat and its only purpose was to make the other Zodiac members feel better, since none of the cursed zodiacs "would have it as bad as the Cat".
When Kyo's curse breaks, he is subconsciously aware of it and rips his Juzu Beads off to confirm it. He also hugs Tohru, and when he does not transform into his true form or regular cat form, he confirms that his curse is indeed broken. Kyo's curse was the overall fourth to break.
Creation and conception
According to Natsuki Takaya, when she was developing the series, Kyo was one of the first three characters she developed and was "based on a real person who really transformed into a cat and had to wear a bracelet or would turn into a monster...without any hesitation." She has also stated she deliberately gave Yuki and Kyo different tastes in clothing to distinguish them. Kyo was made as a person with anger issues to give the story a little comedy. Takaya also described the character of Kyo as a powerful force that pulled the story of Fruits Basket along.
- According to the Fruits Basket Character Book:
- Kyo looks the best in V-neck shirts.
- He likes rough clothes that are easy to move around in and don't need looking after.
- He absolutely hates clothes that are tight around the neck.
- He never wears any accessories except for his beads, which he only wears because he is required to.
- He doesn't like wearing things that feel oppressive; he even hates wearing socks.
- He really liked the pants he was wearing when he first appeared, but since they are all torn up now, he can't wear them anymore.
- It is revealed by Natsuki Takaya that he dislikes Chinese Chive.
- Onions and leeks (which Kyo dislikes) are toxic to cats because if ingested by them, they damage the red blood cells.
- As for miso (which Kyo also dislikes), it's made with salt and too much of it can give cats salt poisoning (miso has 3,728 milligrams of salt in it while an average-sized cat needs about 21 milligrams of salt per day and not more than 42 milligrams.)
- In the anime, Kyo is occasionally seen with a fang sticking out from his mouth (a popular trope in anime for "tsundere" characters). Additionally, cat ears sometimes sprout out from his hair.