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|| Ri-chan|
|Height||174.3 cm / 5'9"|
|Weight||59 kg / 130.1 lbs|
|Hair Color|| Peach (Manga)|
Light Brown (2001 & 2019 anime)
|Eye Color|| Brown (Manga & 2001 anime)|
Green (2019 anime)
|Affiliation|| Unnamed College|
|Parents|| Unnamed Father|
Okami Sohma (Mother)
|Extended Family||Unnamed Uncle (2001 Anime only)|
|Anime|| Episode 23 (2001)|
Episode 19 (2019)
|Japanese|| Miina Tominaga (2001)|
Kengo Kawanishi (2019)
|English|| Mike McFarland|
Sarah Hussey (Young, 2001)
Katelyn Barr (Young, 2019)
|“||I hope I can say it. "I was born for your sake." It would be nice if I could say that someday.||”|
Ritsu Sohma (草摩 利津, Sōma Ritsu, "Ritsu Soma"), also known by his nickname Ri-chan, is a minor character of the Fruits Basket series. He is the only child of Okami Sohma, the hostess of the Sohma Family's onsen, whose position he is in training to take over. He is also a third-year student at a private college.
He is the Monkey of the Chinese Zodiac. He is extremely apologetic, has very low self-esteem and a tendency to overreact. To ease his nerves, he dresses in women's clothing because he says he then feels less pressure from society, and is initially mistaken for a woman by Tohru Honda because of his long hair and beauty.
In the end, Ritsu has gained self-confidence, found the courage to start dressing as a man, and cut his hair short. After forming a mutual friendship with Shigure Sohma's editor, Mitsuru, they eventually begin dating.
Ritsu is a fair-skinned and average-built young man who dresses as a woman, as cross-dressing helps him calm his nerves. Because of this, he is often seen wearing a green kimono. He has straight, peach-colored hair (light brown in the anime), which falls down to below his shoulders. He has straight bangs which covers his forehead, and has tied a piece of his hair back into a small ponytail, held by a green ribbon.
Towards the end of the series, Ritsu has begun dressing like a male and has cut his hair a shorter, but still ties it with a ribbon.
Ritsu is very timid and plagued with countless insecurities. He has severe self-esteem issues and a tendency to overreact to everything. He apologizes frantically for everything, even for things that are not his fault, believing that he has no redeeming qualities. Ritsu is also anxious and is constantly on the verge of having a mental breakdown, though this is actually played more for laughs. However, he is still a nervous wreck who has poor social skills. When he visits Shigure's house, he decides to bring books about fruit as gifts since he originally wanted to bring actual fruit but didn't know what kinds of fruit Shigure and the others liked. He tries to improve himself by complimenting Yuki and Kyo instead of apologizing to them, but he ends up accidentally insulting them instead. Whenever he makes a little mistake or receives the slightest complaint or sarcasm, it sends into a fit of apology, complete with crying and shouting; this has even lead to some suicidal behavior.
However, despite that, Ritsu is mentioned to be very kind-hearted and is always thinking about others, but he's insecure to believe he could help anyone. Although he initially felt like he had no purpose in life, he was inspired by Tohru to let things take their time, including finding his own love. Evident by his interactions with Mitsuru, Ritsu is, despite his insecurities and sensitivity, very emphasizing, considerate and friendly.
During his childhood, his otherwise loving parents apologized for everything, even if it wasn't their fault, just like Ritsu. Feeling useless to his parents, he decided to dress like a girl to feel more comfortable at home and around them, but that just made them apologize even more. Both parents suffer from anxiety, and because of family genetics, Ritsu has inherited it from them as well.
Second Year Arc
Ritsu is introduced when he runs into Tohru near Shigure's house. Tohru recognizes him as one of the zodiacs and the hostess' child. As they arrive home, Ritsu panics easily whenever anything goes wrong and is apologetic. Shigure wants Ritsu to have some confidence and talk without panicking, though it didn't work when Yuki and Kyo returned, and when Tohru accidentally embraces Ritsu, she was shocked that Ritsu is a boy instead of a girl due to wearing a kimono.
Ritsu then explains that ever since he wore Kagura's dress in the past, wearing girl's clothes makes him feel calmer. Then, Mitsuru rushes to Shigure's house for his manuscript, even after Shigure tricked her into going to a sushi restaurant. He then secretly tricks Ritsu into sending Mitsuru away, though Ritsu believes that she is a stalker to Shigure. But, when he sees her making a suicide note for not getting the manuscript from Shigure, Ritsu is starting to feel bad for her. Soon after, though, Shigure finally gives his manuscript to Mitsuru. The manuscript that was already done, however, is ruined when Ritsu accidentally spills a cup of coffee on it, forcing Mitsuru to pass out and he ran away to the rooftop.
Believing that he caused trouble for the last time, Ritsu was about to commit suicide to avoid making further mistakes, especially when he remembers that his parents were apologizing because of his clumsiness. However, Tohru stops Ritsu and encourages him that even though no one is born with a reason to be alive, he can just find a reason to live, like the time Tohru found her reason to live, to become someone who can live for the sake of the others, and that he might meet with someone who wants to be with him. Feeling touched by her words, Ritsu agrees with her and he should live for someone else's sake.
Later that night, after buying takoyaki while Shigure re-finishes his manuscript, Ritsu relates to Mitsuru about causing trouble for others and not having a reason to live, but after hearing his words about finding a reason to live for someone else, Mitsuru felt that she can keep going. Soon after, Ritsu and Mitsuru became friends, though they both still panic easily and they both apologized to each other.
Third Year Arc
When Ritsu's curse broke, he dropped a vase containing water and flowers. His mother was alarmed as he started crying.
Once all the Zodiacs' curse breaks, Ritsu is invited to the final banquet of all by Akito. When Akito reveals herself to be a woman, Ritsu is very shocked and asks her if she has the same hobby as him, as in cross-dressing. Akito tries to apologize for everything she has done, but without success. However, she explains that she would now move forward, continue living as a Sohma and the head of the family, and that she would be giving all the Zodiacs their freedom to do whatever they want.
Ritsu and Kagura are seen spending time with one another, and it is revealed that Ritsu has cut his hair short and has begun dressing in male clothing. Since the curse is broken, the two talk about how Shigure has quit being a novelist and that he is officially moving in with Akito at the Sohma compound. When the topic about marriage comes up, Kagura asks Ritsu when he is going to marry Shigure's editor, Mitsuru. Ritsu, shocked and bashful about the question, attempt to wear his furisode again, much to Kagura's dismay. Jokes aside, they talk about Kyo and Tohru and think back to the memories they share. Kagura tells Ritsu that she will be seeing them off, but apparently only for Kyo's sake and not Tohru's. Ritsu laughs, since he knows that Kagura wants both of them to be happy.
Differences from the source material
This section contains the overall plot differences between the original manga and the 2001 and 2019 anime of Ritsu Sohma. As so, all information may not constitute canon material. Click on "Expand" to read.
In the 2001 version, Ritsu dresses slightly more like a male, and does not formally meet Mitsuru. Additionally, Ritsu and Mitsuru do not encourage each other, and Ritsu's problems are talked through with solely Tohru. While in the manga and 2019 anime, not only does Ritsu formally does meet Mitsuru, they quickly become friends and develop a slight interest in each other.
After causing trouble for everyone, Ritsu goes to the roof of the house with his reflexes to commit suicide, but after Tohru convinces him not to, he nearly falls off the roof, twisting his ankle in the process. Ritsu asks to stay at the household residence for three days, with Hatori looking over him. While walking back from school, Tohru runs into Ritsu again, who plans to bring a bag of jelly buns for Shigure. Tohru and Ritsu sit on a park bench to talk about his cross-dressing, his apologizing, and his depression. Tohru comforts him by saying that everyone has a reason to live, a reason that everyone must search for.
The Monkey of the Zodiac
Ritsu is cursed by the spirit of the Monkey of the Zodiac. Whenever he is hugged by the opposite sex, or if his body goes through a great deal of stress, Ritsu transforms into his Chinese Zodiac form. Like all the Cursed Sohmas, their respective animals are drawn to them; and in Ritsu's case, monkeys. The Monkey is the ninth of all zodiac animals.
He has light brown-colored hair due to sharing similar traits with his animal, the Monkey. In Chinese culture, Monkeys are lighthearted pranksters who have the ability to achieve all their dreams, which does not apply to Ritsu rather well.
Ritsu is blessed with an extremely agile body, able to climb to high grounds easily. He is also blessed with fast reflexes, and was able to react quickly enough to stop himself from falling off of the roof of Shigure's house.
When Ritsu's curse broke, he was subconsciously aware of it, and only being left with a bittersweet feeling, he broke down in tears. Ritsu's curse was the overall sixth to break.
- According to the Fruits Basket Character Book:
- Ritsu's name was derived from the eighth month, odakaritsuki or "rice harvest month", which is the month of the monkey, of the traditional Japanese calendar.
- According to Natsuki Takaya, Ritsu sometimes wears chic one-piece outfits with white skirts, but his preference is for kimonos, the furisode type. He also dresses like a woman at college, which gives him certain notoriety.
- When Ritsu does wear men's clothing, it's usually some sort of suit; they might be just a bit more refined that the suits Hatori wears.
- In an author's note, Takaya said that she regretted how little of a role Ritsu played in the main story. Appearing a total of five times, once in his introduction, a brief appearance at new year's, when his curse is broken, talking to Kagura Sohma about Shigure quitting his job as an author (which he heard from Mitsuru) and finally at the final Zodiac Banquet.
- Most Sohmas call him "Ri-chan" and, to Shigure's amusement, Tohru calls him "Ri-chan-san" (see Japanese honorifics).
- In 2001 Version of Anime, when Ritsu gets hysterical, Shigure states pushing his side is an effective method to calm him down.
- Because of his personality, he hopes to one day be as confident as Ayame.