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|| Mayu|
|Hair Color||Light Brown|
|Eye Color||Light Brown|
|Affiliation|| Sohma Family|
Kaibara Municipal High School
|Parents|| Unnamed Father|
|Spouse||Hatori Sohma (Husband)|
|Children||Kinu Sohma (Daughter)|
|Extended Family||Unnamed Parents-in-law|
|Japanese|| Naomi Shindō (Drama CD)|
Hitomi Nabatame (2019)
|English||Anastasia Muñoz (2019)|
Mayuko Shiraki (白木 繭子, Shiraki Mayuko) is one of the reccuring characters of the Fruits Basket series. She is commonly known by her nickname Mayu (繭). Her parents, who are worried about Mayuko being unmarried, run a bookstore named "Shiraki Bookstore", where she sometimes helps out.
She is Tohru Honda, Kyo Sohma, Yuki Sohma, Saki Hanajima and Arisa Uotani's homeroom teacher at Kaibara High. Because she is young, headstrong, and understanding of her students, she is sometimes affectionally referred to as "Mayu-chan-sensei" by her students.
Mayu is best friends with Kana Sohma, and while she only has yearned for Kana's happiness, Mayu has in fact always had feelings for Hatori Sohma. When Kana expresses for her to find her own happiness, Mayu got the push from both Kana and her previous boyfriend Shigure Sohma to romantically pursue Hatori, with reciprocation.
Mayu is an adult young woman with a tall and slim build, fair skin, and sharp, light brown eyes. She has a beauty-mark under her left eye. She has long, straight light brown hair with free-falling bangs covering most of her forehead, which she wears in different styles. At school, she keeps it tied into a ponytail at the back. When at home or during other occasions she keeps her hair down, sometimes with a piece of her hair tied into a bun at the back.
Towards the end of the series, Mayu cuts her hair to about nape-length.
Mayuko is depicted as a good-humored, but sometimes aggressive, woman. Her interactions with Kyo prove that she can have a little fun with her students. For instance, she slammed Kyo with a book after he attempted to escape from one of her classes, and "threatened" to dye his hair black if he did it again. She also poured a bucket of water over Kyo and Yuki to interrupt their fight. Despite that, she cares dearly about her students and wants them to succeed in life. Although she doesn't like to meddle in personal business, she is seen to be visibly upset when her student's parents are rude, such as the case when she had a conference with Yuki and his mother. While she is called an "aggressive woman" by Kyo, she is well-loved by her students.
Mayu has a tough exterior and is seen to be very outspoken, social, and rarely afraid to say what she is thinking. Although she is quite easy-going for the most part, she can be level-headed and firm when needed. She is very independent and true to herself for the most part. This stems from her previous relationship with Shigure, as they both only dated each other to ease their loneliness. Mayu never wants to go back to the person she was back then because she understands that dating other people will increase her loneliness. She simply states that she won't be defeated by her loneliness and will choose her happiness for herself.
Despite her tough exterior, Mayu is extremely devoted to those closest to her, such as Kana and Hatori. She is extremely selfless and often thinks about others before herself. Kana describes her as a person who is so considerate of others that she sometimes tends to suppress her own feelings. Although she has always been in love with Hatori, she decided to suppress her own feelings because she only yearned for Kana and Hatori to be happy together. When Kana's memories of Hatori were erased, Mayu refused to meet with Hatori because she didn't want to "betray" either of them. However, with the support of Kana and her friends, she realizes she should let go of the past and face the future where she can truly be happy, and in doing so, she pursues Hatori romantically.
Mayu has been friends with Kana since college. Ever since Kana introduced Hatori to her, Mayu has liked him. However, she suppressed her feelings. She started to spend much time with Hatori, Shigure and Ayame Sohma along with Kana. Although Kana and Hatori never vocalized their relationship, Mayu knew they were lovers and hoped that Hatori and Kana would be out of her reach so they could be happy forever. Shigure sensed that Mayu loved Hatori and proposed the idea of them dating, since both of them couldn't have the people they wanted, and since they were both lonely.
Mayu broke up with Shigure after two months. During that time, a traumatic incident occurred to both Kana and Hatori. Mayu was stunned and heartbroken during Kana's mental breakdown, unsure how to comfort her friend when she was not allowed to know the full details. After Kana was slowly recovering, Mayu understood that Kana had her memories of her and Hatori's relationship erased. She then distanced herself from Hatori and focused on Kana's happiness.
First Year Arc
Mayu is seen teaching her class and is initially seen as the main cast's homeroom teacher.
Second Year Arc
It is known that Mayu attended Kana's wedding. She sent some pictures of the wedding to Ayame, and Ayame left it up to Hatori if he wanted to see them or not.
Third Year Arc
Mayu and Hatori are a couple, and they are seen having dinner together. Over the dinner, Hatori invited her on vacation to Okinawa. Mayu started imagining herself in a bikini enjoying the Okinawa beaches. But knowing that she has a washboard body, she laughs at that idea and dismisses the possibility of it happening.
Fruits Basket Another
Mayu does not appear in Fruits Basket Another but it is known that she is married to Hatori and they have a daughter named Kinu. It is known that Kinu doesn't want to follow in either of her parent's footsteps, of becoming a doctor or teacher.
Shiraki's best friend is Kana Sohma, Hatori Sohma's former fiancee. Ever since they were in college, they've been together. When Kana introduced Hatori to Mayuko, Mayuko fell in love with him, but kept it a secret from Kana since she knew from their actions that they were in a relationship. It is noted that Mayuko still keeps in touch with Kana after her breakup with Hatori and her marriage to her new husband.
She was dating Shigure for about 1 month before they broke up because Shigure was only dating her out of sympathy. Shigure keeps in touch with Mayuko by visiting her parents' bookshop. At one point, he playfully asks her to start dating him again, only to be rejected. He actually sets Mayuko up with Hatori as a way of making it up to her.
She had a crush on him but refrained from acting upon it because of Kana. However, throughout the series, she and Hatori share a mutual attraction, and in the end, they start dating.
- In Japanese culture, cutting one's hair is symbolized by starting anew or starting a new chapter in one's life. In Mayu's case, she cut her hair short once she left her past of regret and guilt behind, and then found her own happiness and started a new loving life with Hatori.
- She likes to be called "Mayuko-daisensei-sama", literally meaning "Great Teacher Mayuko-sama".
- Although her debut is in Episode 7 of the 2019 anime, she makes a silhouette/voice appearance in Episode 4.
- Despite being Tohru and the other's homeroom teacher and introduced early on, she does not appear in the 2001 version of the anime.
- Takaya said in an author's note that Shiraki is "possibly sad" that she is a woman and "secretly insecure of how tall she is", but since Hatori Sohma is tall too, they "might look pretty good together as a tall couple".
- The subject she teaches was never specified, but in an author's note, Natsuki Takaya stated it is probably Literature.