|Age||16 (Beginning of the series)|
18 (End of the series)
|Height||161 cm / 5'3|
|Weight||46 kg / 101.4 lbs|
|Eye Color||Brown (Manga, 2019 Anime)|
Blue (2001 Anime)
Kaibara Municipal High School
|Parents||Katsuya Honda (Father) |
Kyoko Honda (Mother)
|Spouse||Kyo Sohma (Husband)|
|Children||Hajime Sohma (Son)|
|Anime||Episode 1 (2001)|
Episode 1 (2019)
|Japanese||Hiroko Konishi (Drama CD)|
Yui Horie (2001)
Manaka Iwami (2019)
|“||Just as all good things, happy things, fun things must come to an end, scary and sad things will also come to an end. Always.||”|
Tohru is a student at Kaibara Municipal High School. She loves to cook, describes herself as an excellent housekeeper, and has an after-school job as an office janitor to pay her tuition fees to avoid being a burden to her relatives. She is depicted as a polite, optimistic, independent, extremely kind, and selfless person with a nurturing personality.
Following her mother's death, which has left her orphaned, Tohru began living with Shigure, Yuki, and Kyo Sohma after accidentally setting up a tent on their property, and later being hired as their landlady. She later learns that thirteen members of the Sohma family are cursed, as they turn into animals of the Chinese Zodiac if they are embraced by anyone of the opposite sex or when their bodies come under a great deal of stress. As the series progresses, Tohru meets and befriends the rest of the zodiac and the family's mysterious head, Akito Sohma, and resolves to break the curse that burdens them. Only later does she admit that she wants to free Kyo most of all.
- 1 Appearance
- 2 Personality
- 3 History
- 4 Fruits Basket
- 5 The Three Musketeers Arc
- 6 Fruits Basket Another
- 7 Appellation
- 8 Differences from the source material
- 9 Creation and conception
- 10 Trivia
- 11 References
- 12 Navigation
Tohru is a fair-skinned, slim girl of average height who is considered to be cute. She has waist-length, straight, brown hair and an eyebrow-length fringe that frames her round, brown eyes (teal in the 2001 anime). She has two long strands of hair that lay over her shoulders. She usually wears bows in her hair which are often pink or yellow in color, although sometimes they're blue or purple. She either wears a large one in the center of the back of her head or two smaller ones that pull her front strands of hair to the sides. Outside of school, she either has her hair untied, in pigtails, in a ponytail, or in braids.
Her school uniform is a classic naval-styled Japanese school uniform. The uniform has a blue mini-skirt with pleats and ruffles at the hem, and a white and blue top with a blue jacket. She wears navy blue socks that go up to mid-shin, and brown slip-on shoes. This is the outfit she is most commonly seen in, although she is known for wearing other short dresses.
Tohru wears simple and practical clothes when she is not in her uniform, typically dresses or skirts. Her work uniform as a janitor is a light blue shirt and pants. She wears whites gloves and styles her hair in pigtails, which she covers with a white bandana. Her swimsuit is a baby pink one-piece with daisies. The only time she dresses up is when other characters like Ayame Sohma or Mine Kuramae dress her. She wears a large ballgown as a costume when she plays the "not-so-evil stepsister" in the school play Cinderella-ish.
Tohru is an extremely kind-hearted, gentle, optimistic, compassionate, and cheerful girl who sees the good in everyone she meets and is willing to help them no matter what. She doesn't hold any grudges toward those who have wronged her, especially in regards to Akito, who has physically and emotionally scarred most of the Zodiacs. Despite losing her father at a very young age, her mother in her teens, and even living in a tent for a while, she always has a smile on her face, remaining sweet, hardworking, independent, and positive.
Tohru is also incredibly patient, emotionally intelligent and insightful when it comes to people's feelings, and shows glimpses of wisdom from time to time. She is a very nurturing girl with unconditional love and immense empathy who is willing to help the Sohmas work through their traumas and emotional problems without expecting anything in return. Because of this, Yuki Sohma and Isuzu Sohma can’t help but view Tohru as the loving mother they never had. She is also very protective of her friends; helping them and standing up for them without a second thought, despite her own fears and insecurities. On the other hand, she also is considered to be very spacey, innocent, and naïve, and her overly-trusting nature can make her extremely gullible.
However, Tohru’s self-sacrificing kindness and tendency to put other's needs before her own has caused her to neglect herself to the point of misery, and she obsessively sidelines her own needs and problems; ostensibly because she wants to take care of her friends, but really because she can’t face her own trauma. Behind her cheerful personality, she has serious self-esteem issues and a tendency to hide her true feelings of worry, fear, and hurt, and instead projects her usual cheerful exterior to give emotional support to the people around her and to not make them think lesser of her. She has great difficulty with standing up for herself and never says a word of complaint, even if others treat her badly, because she believes that she doesn’t deserve any kindness for herself.
Tohru is also incredibly fragile, has a deep-rooted fear of being abandoned, and constantly lives in fear of her loved ones disappearing and leaving her alone. After her father’s, Katsuya, death, Tohru became terrified that he was taking Kyoko away and that she didn’t love her because “she didn't resemble her father”, especially since her relatives on her father’s side of the family had commented on how Tohru might be the daughter of another man. Because of this, Tohru started to mimic Katsuya’s overly-polite speech and adapted Keigo into her speech—which she uses incorrectly and in situations where it is unnecessary—to keep her mother all to herself. And after Kyoko passes away, Tohru is overcome with fear that all their moments together and her very existence will fade away, so she promises herself to always put her mother first in her heart, never talks about her in the past tense, and develops an over-attachment to photos of her. This shows that Tohru's inability to move on from Kyoko’s death is weighing her down and keeping her from moving on in several aspects of her life.
However, as time goes on, Tohru learns to speak up, make self-serving requests once in a while, and allow other people to help her and feel worthy of that help. She even lowers her guard enough to let her admit all of her insecurities and fears to Kyo, including how she had secretly resented her father for almost “taking” her mother away from her. After gaining the knowledge that Kyo is going to be locked up after graduation and that the Zodiacs will stay by Akito’s side until death, Tohru makes it her goal to break the Zodiacs' curse to free all of them. In the process, she grows more assertive, bold, and embittered towards the circumstances of the curse; she stubbornly argues with Rin that she won’t stop before she succeeds, she doesn’t feel the need to apologize when she gets into a “fight” with Kagura Sohma, and she decides to directly oppose Akito by doing the exact thing she was told to not do. Tohru herself mentions that she will never go along with something she doesn’t agree with.
Tohru later admits that her wish to break the curse isn’t as much of a selfless wish as she would have liked it to be. In reality, she only wants to break the curse for Kyo’s sake, because she refuses to let anyone or anything to take him away from her and because she wants to be together with him, since he had become the most important person to her. Although she feels guilty about it because she fears she’s demeaning her mother's memory by placing a new person in her heart, Tohru learns to live her life while still having a special place for her mother in her heart. And although she can be selfish in wanting to pursue Kyo, she is selfless in wishing him happiness, even if it’s without her. Upon breaking the curse, Tohru remains the self-assured, stubborn, and honest girl she had become, yet the similarly air-headed, kind-hearted, and wise girl she always has been.
Tohru was born as an only child to Kyoko and Katsuya Honda. They lived a very happy and loving life and would go out as a family all the time. Occasionally, they would visit Tohru's grandfather, who was the only one who didn't oppose Kyoko and Katsuya’s marriage. However, when Tohru was three years old, Katsuya died of pneumonia while he was away on a business trip. During his funeral, Katsuya’s relatives accused Tohru of being the child of an affair because they thought she didn’t resemble him. And because of Kyoko’s controversial past as a delinquent, she was berated and blamed for Katsuya’s death. Tohru, who overheard all of this, thus had a harder time to remember her father fondly.
Soon after, Kyoko fell into a deep depression, to such an extent that she neglected Tohru; she didn’t check up on her, didn’t care for her, and didn’t talk to her. Kyoko was convinced that Katsuya was waiting for her in the sea, so she went there with the thought of committing suicide in order to be reunited with her beloved. After Kyoko abandoned her, Tohru’s grandfather was the only one who checked up on Tohru. Tohru, heartbroken by her mother’s neglect and abandonment, convinced herself that the only way to make Kyoko come back and stay with her was to become like her father. So while Kyoko was gone, Tohru tried to remember as much as she could of Katsuya; including his tendency to speak politely.
Kyoko eventually snapped out her near-suicidal state when she saw a little girl interact with her mother when she was about to kill herself, that had reminded her of Tohru and herself. After she realized that her daughter still needed her, she rushed home and as she arrived there, Tohru welcomed her home with a smile, the same way Katsuya used to welcome Kyoko home. Kyoko broke down in tears and pulled Tohru into a hug, apologizing to her over and over. Tohru broke down in tears as well and hugged Kyoko tight.
Following this event, Kyoko lived with the thought of raising Tohru well and never abandoning her again. They were extremely close and spent much time together, and Kyoko shaped much of Tohru’s character by the wisdom she shared with her. Tohru was very fond of the bedtime stories her mother used to tell her, especially the ones about the Chinese Zodiac. When she heard about how the Cat was the only one deceived and made a fool in the story, she felt sorry for the Cat to such an extent that she wished she could be born in the Year of the Cat instead of the Dog.
Aside from her life at home with her mother, Tohru was often a victim of bullying at school. The children would play a game called “Fruits Basket” and her peers would humiliate her during the game by designating her as a rice ball instead of a fruit and never calling on her during the game. Because of this, Tohru began thinking that she didn’t belong amongst the crowd, regularly feeling lonely. She was also ashamed of the fact that she was being bullied, and wasn’t able to confide into her mother until much later. However, Tohru still stayed positive, hoping that someone would call out rice ball so she could play as well.
Meeting Yuki Sohma
At one point when Tohru was in elementary school, she ran away from some of her male classmate bullies who were chasing her, but ended up being completely lost in the process. When she almost succumbed to her fear, she was found by a boy with a hat; Yuki Sohma. Tohru then began running after him in hopes of being saved and returning back home, and Yuki would stop around every corner and wait for Tohru to catch up. When he eventually succeeded in guiding Tohru back to her home, Yuki gave her his hat and immediately disappeared from the scene since he had transformed into his Rat form. Meanwhile, Tohru and Kyoko hugged one another out of relief, the latter of which had been frantic about her disappearance. Although she didn't know the identity of the boy who helped her, Tohru cherishes the memory and has kept the hat as a memento ever since. She mentions that that boy, who helped when she was lost and waited for her every time she struggled, was her “first love”.
Meeting Arisa and Saki
During her middle-school years, Tohru took care of most of the household chores while Kyoko worked. Kyoko also expressed her wish for Tohru to graduate middle school and attend high school and experience life as a high school girl, something Kyoko herself was never able to do.
Despite her friendly personality, Tohru mostly spent her time alone at school. When she met Arisa Uotani in her first year of middle school, Arisa was still in a violent street gang. Upon finding out about Arisa’s idolization towards the Crimson Butterfly, as in Kyoko, Tohru invited her over to her house. However, Arisa was disillusioned that Kyoko had become a doting parent and rejected both Tohru and Kyoko because the love between them reminded her of the neglect from her single father.
Despite Arisa’s harsh personality, Tohru continued to reach out to her and even saved her from getting beaten by her fellow gang members and took her back to her house. Gradually embracing the loving environment that she never had, Arisa would spend more time with Tohru and Kyoko, and Tohru deeply treasured her friendship with Arisa despite their peers’ misgivings. After Arisa quit her gang with Kyoko’s help, she emotionally declared wanting to become Tohru's best friend. From that point on, Arisa and Tohru became inseparable and were often pointed out for being an odd duo.
As Tohru reached 8th grade, Saki Hanajima transferred into her class. While most of the class ignored Saki, Tohru cheerfully reached out to her and gave her some extra food during lunch. Tohru and Arisa later invited Saki to sit with them, and despite Saki’s doubts since she often stood out, the two girls explained that they were also social outcasts in their own way. The three then began spending much time together, and Saki was given the nickname “Hana-chan” by the two girls. Even after finding out about Saki having the power of electrical waves, Tohru confessed to Saki that she still loved her and wanted to continue being friends with her. She also consoled Saki to not distance herself, while Arisa told her to not assume things. Saki emotionally became firm friends with Tohru and Arisa as a result. The three girls found strength in each other and became inseparable best friends.
Death of Kyoko
Tohru enrolled at Kaibara Municipal High School along with Saki and Arisa. After the first day of high school, the three threw a party at Tohru’s house while Kyoko was there to celebrate with them.
Tragedy struck one day as Kyoko was hit and killed in a car accident. When Tohru rushed to see her in the hospital, she had already passed away, which left Tohru completely grief-stricken. The same morning, Tohru overslept and did not see her mother leave for work. This made her extremely regretful, as she had always told her mother to come home safely every morning before she left for the past years. For this reason, Tohru partially blames herself for her mother’s death. At the same time, Tohru made it a priority to safely graduate from high school to honor her mother’s wishes.
After becoming orphaned, it was eventually decided that Tohru’s paternal grandfather would take her in. He solely lived on his pension, so Tohru decided to work so she could pay her own taxes and expenses to lessen the burden for him. When Tohru was moving out from the house she shared with Kyoko, she felt as if her presence was fading away, and she is overcome with fear that all of their moments together and promises to each other would disappear. Because of this, Tohru swore to always put her mother first in her heart, and it also during this time that Tohru’s grandfather habitually began calling Tohru for “Kyoko”. Everyone seemed to write this off as a result of his age, but he later admits that he started doing it because, after Kyoko’s funeral, it looked like Tohru was going to fall apart if there wasn’t some sort of reminder every so often that Kyoko was once alive and that other people think of her as well.
While Tohru was still mourning her mother, she was visited by Komaki Nakao, whose father was the driver of the car that killed both Kyoko and him. While Komaki went inside her house to pay respect, Komaki’s boyfriend, Kakeru Manabe, coldly told Tohru that she was disgusting for apparently thinking she was the only one deserving of sympathy while paying no attention to the other victims of the situation. This shocked Tohru greatly and apparently repressed this memory.
Four months before the start of the series, Tohru’s grandfather revealed that his daughter’s family would be moving into their house, but that the house needed remodeling first. He explained that he would temporarily live with his daughter’s family during the construction, but due to their house being too small to fit two new guests, he asked Tohru if she had a place to stay in meanwhile. Not wanting her grandfather to worry, Tohru replied that she did. However, in fact, Tohru did not want to bother anyone or have the heart to ask Arisa or Saki if she could stay with one of them, so she ultimately decided to secretly move into a tent in the woods.
First Year Arc
Tohru is first seen outside of her tent, telling her mother’s picture that she will be back after school. Having a little extra time left before school, Tohru takes a stroll around when she notices a house nearby, where she begins admiring the Chinese Zodiac figures. Shigure Sohma, the owner of the house, introduces himself while Tohru does the same, and they talk about the Zodiac before her classmate, Yuki Sohma, interrupts. Yuki and Tohru walk together to school, with Tohru learning that Yuki has a hatred for the Cat in the Zodiac.
Later that night, Yuki and Shigure find her tent and question why she is there. Tohru explains her situation and offers to pay rent to them, begging them to allow her to stay in her tent there. A landslide destroyed her tent, however, and Shigure invited her to stay the night at the house. This eventually leads him to offer a room and board to Tohru in exchange for her doing household chores, which she accepts.
That same morning, Kyo Sohma appears and begins to pick a fight against Yuki. Tohru tries to stop him and she accidentally hugs him, which causes him to turn into a cat. She also bumps into Yuki and Shigure, causing them to turn into a rat and a dog respectively. This is how Tohru learns of the Sohma family curse, where thirteen members of the house are possessed by the spirits of the Chinese Zodiac and are transformed into their animal if hugged by someone of the opposite sex.
Despite being an outsider, Tohru is given permission by the head of the Sohma family, Akito Sohma, to stay at Shigure’s house. Tohru quickly becomes close friends with Yuki, and her acceptance of him despite the curse inspires Yuki to better himself. And despite Kyo’s initial rude behavior towards her, Tohru becomes good friends with him as well and confesses that she always liked the Cat in the Zodiac legend the most.
Time passes and she meets another member of the Zodiac; the Boar, Kagura Sohma. Eventually, Tohru receives word from her grandfather that the renovations on his home are done. Tohru had grown so attached to the Sohma family that she finds it extremely difficult to leave them. In spite of this, Tohru believes she is intruding on the Sohmas and decides to return to her grandfather's house, where she treated poorly by her family. However, Yuki and Kyo arrives to take her back with her grandfather's blessing. Kyo encourages Tohru to speak up and be selfish sometimes, and Tohru confesses that she would rather stay with the Sohmas. The three then walk home together and Tohru joyfully moves back in with the Sohmas.
During the school's cultural festival, Tohru meets two more members of the Sohma family, Momiji and Hatori; the Rabbit and the Dragon, respectively. Tohru also inadvertently reveals to Arisa and Saki that she’s living with Yuki and Kyo. They invite themselves to the Sohmas' house and later give the Sohmas their blessing to look after Tohru. Later, Hatori asks Tohru to visit the main house, though Tohru is worried that Hatori is going to erase her memories. During her meeting with Hatori, Tohru learns about Hatori’s past and he warns her about the Sohmas saying that they were dangerous, but Tohru remains steadfast in her affection for the family. The encounter that was meant to frighten her away instead gave her the first hints that there is something sinister beneath the surface and that the Sohma family was carrying a heavyweight. After seeing Akito for the first time, she realizes that Akito is a presence that frightens the Sohmas. She questions Shigure about the curse, but he doesn’t find the need to tell her anything.
Tohru meets yet another member of the Zodiac soon after; the Ox, Hatsuharu Sohma, during a school track day. She learns of Yuki’s abuse at the hands of Akito and is embarrassed when Hatsuharu insinuates that Yuki is much happier because of her. Tohru continues to develop a strong bond with the Sohmas during holidays like Valentine’s Day, where she made chocolates for all of her friends, and White Day, where Momiji treated her, Yuki, and Kyo to a day at the hot springs. It is during this trip that Tohru realizes that Momiji only is a year younger than her.
Second Year Arc
Before Summer Vacation
On the first day of the next school year, Hatsuharu and Momiji begin to attend the same school as Tohru, Yuki, and Kyo. Akito introduces herself (at this point still identifying as male) that same day and Tohru feels intimidated by her, but still manages to defend Yuki from Akito even though Tohru herself did not understand why he is so afraid of Akito. She is then determined to cheer Yuki up, and thus invites him and all of her other friends to play badminton.
She also meets Momiji’s mother, who had no memories of her son as she broke down upon finding out he was cursed and had to have her memories wiped. This experience and the subsequent embrace further endears Momiji to Tohru. She also takes Kyo, Yuki, Arisa, and Saki to visit her mother’s grave on the anniversary of her death. While happy to spend happy times with her friends, Tohru is surprised by how Kyo looks so detached. During the evening the same day, Tohru falls asleep in the living room, to which Kyo whispers that he is sorry.
After taking a small vacation with the Sohmas, Tohru meets Kisa Sohma, the Tiger, in which they develop a strong affection for each other. Tohru also meets the Monkey, Ritsu Sohma. More lighthearted events occur, with Tohru catching a cold and Kyo taking care of her by cooking a rice porridge for her, and Tohru joining Yuki at Ayame's “costume” store. During this same time period, Tohru also meets Hiro Sohma, the Ram of the Zodiac, who immediately starts displaying disdain, jealousy, and anger towards Tohru, especially since she was able to help Kisa and he wasn’t.
When Kyo’s adoptive father, Kazuma Sohma, comes to visit, Tohru develops a positive bond with him, especially since she is a positive influence on Kyo. But because of Kazuma's belief in that Tohru will be able to “save” Kyo, he forces Kyo to reveal the monstrous “true form” of his curse. Kyo violently tries to push Tohru away, but Tohru, although scared and repulsed, stays with him because she wants to understand him, listen to his worries, and live life alongside him, just like he has done for and with her. Kyo, who had never received such an acceptance from anyone before, hugs her and calls her by name for the first time. Tohru then carries Kyo home in his cat form while he vows to always treasure Tohru.
During Summer Vacation
After giving her future a thought, expressing her worries and anxieties to Kyo, visiting Kazuma’s house with Kyo, and having a fun time at a haunted house with Kyo, Yuki, Haru and Momiji, Tohru and the Sohmas head to the Sohma beach house to have fun during summer vacation. Before that, she needs to finish some of her summer homeworks with Yuki’s help. Seeing the hat in Tohru’s room, Yuki asks her about the hat, which she says it belonged to a boy who saved her when she got lost, and it becomes a precious memory to her.
At one point, Hiro calls Tohru out for having attachment issues with her mother and questions whether she has anything else in her life except her mother. Because of his remarks, Tohru is forced to face her trauma and grief regarding her mother and spends the night thinking that she will have to “open the lid” soon. But because she isn’t ready to do so, she only assures herself that she is okay and that she and Kyoko will always be together.
She tries masking her pain behind a smile and becomes more cautious to talk about her mother, but Kyo sees right through her facade and encourages her to speak up and tells it is fine for her to talk about her mother even if most of the Zodiacs doesn’t have good parents. Tohru listens to Kyo talk about his parents, and Kyo listens to Tohru talk about her mother.
Later at the beach, Yuki tells Tohru that he has “opened the lid”, and in the process thanks Tohru for always accepting, supporting, and helping him ever since they first met as children, kisses her forehead, and admits to himself, but not to her, that she is so dear to him. This surprises Tohru greatly and she is confused as to why he looked so sad and what wanted to convey, but Yuki says that he will tell her eventually.
The next day, Tohru finds a Horse in the yard, whom Yuki introduces as Isuzu Sohma, though she quickly runs away from them. Now that Tohru has met eleven of the twelve zodiac animals, she wonders whether Akito is the remaining Rooster.
Akito also attends the beach trip. In order to isolate Tohru from everyone else, Akito forces all of the Zodiacs, barring Kyo, to spend time with herself. Although Tohru worries about them, she also develops a deeper bond with Kyo and he even confides to her about the truth behind his rosary. However, seeing Tohru and Kyo have fun together struck a chord within Akito, and she thus orders to have Kyo visit her. This makes Tohru happy since Kyo would finally be included.
However, unbeknownst to Tohru, Kyo and Akito’s meeting leads to Kyo realizing his love towards Tohru, and Akito convinces him that he doesn’t deserve to fall in love and that he’s the reason for her misery and involvement with the Sohma family. When his guilt regarding Kyoko’s death resurfaces and after giving up on fighting against his pre-destined fate (as in, his eventual confinement), Kyo vows to spend as much of his time “outside” as he can with Tohru.
Before leaving the beach, Akito goes to see Tohru. When Momiji tries to stop Akito from entering the beach house, Akito punches him until Tohru steps in to protect him. Akito tells her to stop interfering, warns her of Kyo’s coming confinement, and explains that Kureno Sohma, not herself, is the Rooster — for she is the God of the Zodiac and the ruler of their souls. Tohru is horrified, but her desire to protect her friends, especially in regards to all her previous experiences with the members of the Zodiac, emboldens her to break the curse.
After Summer Vacation
After returning from the beach trip, Tohru visits Kazuma and asks if he knows how to break the curse. Kazuma doesn’t have an answer but he does reveal his own theories about the Curse and what it entails. This makes Tohru even more determined to break the curse. Just when she’s thinking about what Kazuma said to her to just be yourself on the way home, then the sudden image of Kyo saying the same thing when she was sick appears on her mind, which surprises her even more. She meets Isuzu randomly on the street, but she only warns Tohru to stop hanging around the Sohma family.
Before her parent-teacher conference, Tohru gets a call from her aunt who tells her that her grandfather has strained his back and that he is currently bedridden. Shigure offers to go in her grandfather’s place. Later, Tohru visits her grandfather. She is scared when he tells her that he would like to see the deceased Kyoko and Katsuya, since it reminds her of the time Kyoko said the same thing about Katsuya in the past. Tohru almost breaks down in the middle of the streets, but Kyo suddenly appears and comforts her.
During the parent-teacher conference, Tohru tells her teacher Mayuko Shiraki that she is planning to graduate and find a job to honor her mother’s wishes, and that she will leave the Sohmas’ house when the time comes. But thinking of the future makes Tohru anxious, as it makes her trauma regarding her mother re-surface, as well as her fear of Kyo’s eventual confinement. After Yuki’s conference, she is proudly seen watching over him, acknowledging that he has grown immensely.
After Tohru hears that Kureno Sohma is the man that Arisa is in love with, she secretly goes to search for him. She is found by Momiji’s younger sister, Momo Sohma, who shows her the way inside. She also asks Tohru to tell Momiji that she wants him to be her big brother. When Tohru later meets Momiji, she tells him everything Momo told her, and both of them begin to cry.
Afterward, Momiji gives her a map to find Kureno. She is almost found by Ren Sohma, but Kureno covers for her. Tohru then asks him about Arisa, but he tells her that he has no intentions to see her again. Nonetheless, Tohru begs him to accept Arisa’s contact information. During nighttime, Tohru confides in Kyo that people want to be with the people they love. Kyo misinterprets this as Tohru having found herself a boyfriend, and tells her that he will support her. This prompts Tohru to cry, causing a much confused Kyo to comfort her.
During the second year’s school trip, Tohru spends a fun time with Kyo, Yuki, Saki, and Arisa. On the trip, Tohru is confused as to why she feels uneasy around Kyo, just like she felt during their previous interaction. When Tohru is afraid that she will be pushed away by him someday, she reaches out to him to which he grabs her hand. This makes Tohru blush and she comments to herself that Kyo can make her happy or sad with just a few words. On the second day of the school trip, hearing Yuki make the comments about Kakeru, Hanajima has the persistent feeling that she’ve met Kakeru before with Tohru, and that surprises her because she doesn’t remember what he looks like. Tohru bought the paper clay beside the zodiac figures and makes the cat figurine after going back home.
A while after returning from the trip, Tohru finds Rin in Shigure’s house. She is horrified by Rin’s presumed PTSD-attack and instantly comforts her. Rin then comes to, and she later yells at Tohru to stop meddling in the Sohma family’s business, but Tohru yells that she won’t stop, since she also wants to break the curse and has things she doesn’t want to give up on. Rin eventually breaks down and cries herself out in Tohru’s arms out of hopelessness, and Tohru comforts her by speaking from her own painful experiences rather than her mother’s wisdom.
After this, Tohru and Rin begins to meet up and confide everything they know about the curse to each other. At one point, Rin questions why she wants to break the curse and who her most precious person is. Tohru thinks back to the time when she was told about Kyo’s confinement and is unable to answer. Rin changes the subject and they then tell each other to not do anything dangerous on their own again. Later at Shigure’s house, Tohru thinks about why she couldn’t answer who her most precious person was, since she would have said it was her mother without any hesitation before. She then has a nightmare about the day of Kyoko’s accident, and horrified, reassures herself that they will always be together.
Some time later, Yuki comes to terms with the fact that he had actually been looking for a “mother” in Tohru and loves her platonically, and wishes for her to be happier than anyone else. During the cultural festival, Tohru’s class’ play is rewritten as Cinderella-ish and the performance is successful, though Tohru in an out-of-character outburst exclaims that she would be unhappy if Kyo—who was playing the Prince—would be locked up in a castle until he dies, speaking about how she didn’t want Kyo to be locked up in the Cat's Room. Afterwards, Tohru and Kyo begin to wonder if the other party is beginning to like them, but both of them think it’s unforgivable to think that way.
During New Year’s Eve, Tohru and Kyo decide to spend it at Kazuma’s house. Tohru is very happy to see Rin there, though the latter rejects her. While learning more about Kyo, Tohru thinks to herself that although her wish the previous year was for Kyo and Yuki to get along, her current wish was to break the curse. The next day, Tohru accidentally reveals to Rin that she knows that she is somehow involved with Haru, praises Yuki for standing up against Akito, and is grateful towards Momiji for delivering the Cinderella-ish DVD to Kureno as she had wished.
Some time later, Tohru runs into Kureno, who had watched the Cinderella-ish DVD she had gifted him via Momiji. Tohru is surprised to see birds flying away from Kureno rather than gathering around him. Kureno then hugs Tohru and confesses that his curse is already broken. He also gives back Tohru’s DVD of the play and tells her that he will not see Arisa again, since he promised to stay by Akito’s side forever, seeing her as “that sad little girl”. He also tells her a little about Akito’s past and about her mother, Ren. After Kureno apologizes to Tohru for everything and departs, Tohru cries from the revelation of Kureno’s curse being broken and Akito being female.
Saki senses Tohru’s distress and takes her home overnight, where Tohru tells Arisa only that Kureno is promised to another woman. She apologizes to Arisa for everything, but Arisa just reiterates her love for Tohru and reassures that it’s all okay. Tohru recovers but remains confused, not knowing whom she can talk to about what she knows. Then she asks Kyo about hypothetically breaking the curse, he derides it as a vain hope. Later at night she suddenly remembers Isuzu and feels bad for not talking to her, but she begins to worry that there is no news about her since New Years. She comes to Isuzu’s school and asks her classmates but they don’t know either.
Third Year Arc
As time goes on, Tohru also becomes more worried about Rin’s disappearance, and she is overjoyed when she returns. Rin doesn’t tell her that she was locked up in the Cat’s room nor that she had her hair cut by Akito, and Tohru doesn’t pry into it either, since just having Rin by her side is enough. When Kyo later tells Tohru that it’s good that it’s lively at Kazuma’s place so Kazuma wouldn’t get lonely down the line, Tohru is greatly saddened; realizing that Kyo has already mentally checked out.
When Tohru visits Rin at Kazuma’s again, she overhears Shigure telling Rin that the curse will be broken eventually, naturally through time. Tohru demands to know how soon, because it has to be before next spring since Kyo would be confined otherwise. Tohru runs away and Shigure catches up to her and tells her the Cat exists to give the rest of the zodiac a scapegoat they can feel is worse than they are, which distresses her. Tohru is also horrified when Shigure asks Tohru if she loves Kyo, since she had begun to feel guilty for letting Kyo replace her mother as the most important person in her heart. Kyo suddenly appears and comforts her, which causes Tohru to break down in tears, thinking that she doesn’t want her time with Kyo to end.
Tohru visits her mother’s grave on the second anniversary of her death. Kyo tells her that he can’t accompany her this year, which Tohru accepts. But Kyo does visit Kyoko’s grave alone later on and meets Tohru’s grandfather, who reveals that Tohru speaks formally and politely as an imitation of her father. When Kyo returns home, he asks Tohru about her father and if she resembles him, and she eventually admits she’s pretending to be like her father because she viewed her father as the “bad guy” and didn’t want him to take her mother away from her. Tohru breaks down in tears, deeming herself to be an awful person, but Kyo hugs her and reassures her that her mother knew and what made her think less of herself wouldn’t disillusion him.
For the following days, Tohru and Kyo are awkward around each other due to their previous personal interaction together. However, she’s still bothered with Shigure’s words of how the other zodiac members feel about Kyo. It is also revealed that Momiji has developed romantic feelings towards Tohru and even tells Kyo he might propose to her. But he knows that he has no chance with Tohru, so he instead tries to give Kyo a push to pursue her. Later, Tohru recognizes Kakeru as the boy who confronted her during Kyoko’s death. He apologizes to Tohru for his past hostility to her and expresses relief that she seems to be happy, and Tohru responds by thanking him for helping Yuki become more cheerful.
During one of Tohru’s visits to Rin, she questions Tohru about her emotional outburst regarding Kyo the last time they met and wonders if she pities him. This prompts Tohru to admit that she has been lying to herself and the Zodiacs; she didn’t want to protect all the Zodiacs or set them free; she just didn’t want Kyo to be taken away from her—for he is the most important person in her life. Kagura suddenly arrives and slaps Tohru unconscious and yells that she needs to confess her feelings to Kyo himself. While recovering at home, Tohru thinks back to the time when she opened up about her father and laid bare the ’dirty’ parts of herself in an attempt to see if Kyo would still accept her. And because he did accept her—flaws and all—over and over again, Tohru is finally able to come to terms with her feelings. Although she feels guilty about replacing her love for her mother, Tohru mentions that she wouldn’t able to stop her love for Kyo anymore.
Tohru eventually works up her courage to talk to Kyo, but she is interrupted by Kyo who tells her it’s stupid if she is in love with him. He also questions if her love towards her mother was gone now. Kyo then ends up admitting that he could have saved Kyoko since he was there on the day of the car accident, but grabbing Kyoko would have caused him to transform and reveal his curse. He also says that Kyoko’s last words were “I won't forgive you”, and tells Tohru that he doesn’t want her to forgive him because he cannot forgive himself. Tohru rejects either of the choices, confessing she loves him in spite of her mother’s supposed judgment. However, Kyo still rejects her by saying that it makes him feel disillusioned, a remark which contradicted what he said when she opened up about her father, leaving Tohru heartbroken.
Kyo runs away, Yuki chases after him, and while Tohru is still processing, she meets Akito. Akito tells Tohru that she must feel triumphant now that she has “won” by gaining the affection of all the members of the Zodiacs and destroyed the only life she had known. Akito then threatens Tohru with a knife, but Tohru, realizing how both she and Akito had been been afraid of being left behind and tried to hold onto an “unchanging” reality: Akito clinging to the eternal bonds of the Zodiac; Tohru wanting her mother to always be first in her heart, tells Akito that she understands how scary it is to be alone. She acknowledges Akito as a person instead of the god she has believed her father wished her to be, and the woman she was born as, instead of the man she was raised to be. Even though Akito rejects Tohru by screaming, cutting her arm, and slapping her, Tohru doesn’t give in and offers her a fresh start, introducing herself and asking if they can be friends. Before Akito can take her hand, however, the cliff Tohru stands on crumbles and she falls.
The fall renders her unconscious her and in her daze, she admits to herself that it must have been painful for Kyo to spend time with her. But for her, it has filled her with immeasurable happiness and ever since she met him, she has gradually fallen in with him. In fact, she ran so desperately after him the day his true form was revealed because she was already in love with him, and even if she’s not by his side, she wants him to live on and find his own happiness. Tohru tries to comfort Kyo who, along with Yuki, found her, and Kyo responds by regretfully apologizing and kissing her.
Tohru survives the fall and is hospitalized, but Kyo doesn’t accompany her to the hospital since he is convinced that he won’t able to protect her. When he suggests that Yuki would be able to protect Tohru instead, Yuki gives Kyo a beating and convinces him to reconcile with Tohru. As she recovers, all of her family members and her friends visit her. However, Tohru tells Arisa and Saki that she doesn’t want to see Kyo for the time being, which is why Arisa and Saki bans Kyo from visiting her. Momiji also encourages Akito to visit Tohru, who admits that she was jealous of Tohru for being a much better person than she is. But Tohru does not accept it when Akito tears herself down and puts a distance between them. She acknowledges that while Akito has made many mistakes, she is also kind and has been hurt by the circumstances around her. Tohru specifically mentions that she was wrong for wanting to destroy the the world Akito had wished for. Even so, Tohru expresses her wish to be Akito’s friend, which she eventually accepts.
Tohru is eventually discharged. When she sees Kyo, she takes off in a dash because she feels as if she is burdening him, but Kyo eventually catches up to her. He apologizes for trampling all over Tohru’s feelings and asks her for one last chance to make things right; confessing that he loves her and wants to be with her forever. Tohru asks if it’s really okay for them to stay together, and Kyo proceeds to kiss Tohru for the second time.
Kyo then asks if he can hug Tohru, but warns her that his transformation may be the cause of hardship together. However, Tohru doesn’t mind and just reiterates the strength of her love for him. They hug, but Kyo does not transform—the Sohma curse is broken. Kyo immediately rips off his juzu bead bracelet, and facing no consequences for it, Tohru and Kyo hug and cry “like the day they were first born in the world.” Afterwards, Tohru starts picking up Kyo’s scattered beads, because she wanted to protect the feelings of every previous Cat who had to wear a string of beads just so they could live. Tohru and Kyo then visit the Sohma compound to break the news to Kazuma. Tohru also visits Akito, who pulls her into her room. It turns out that Akito is just as emotional about the curse breaking, so Tohru comforts her by hugging her close. After the last banquet held in the Sohma’s main house, she asks Yuki and Kyo if they’re shocked with the revelation, and notices the atmosphere between Yuki and Kyo becomes gentler than before.
After the whole ordeal, Tohru and Kyo starts dating, which becomes a well-known fact at their school. Tohru is ecstatic to notice that Kyo seems much happier nowadays and is getting along better with everyone, even Yuki. After finishing her final exam, Tohru and Kyo head over to visit Kazuma, who gives them his blessings and is content to have set up Kyo for a happy life and is also looking forward to grandchildren. But Rin, who has been saying at Kazuma’s place, is not as happy. She admits to Tohru that she can’t forgive Akito and wonders how others seem to move on so easily. Tohru reassures her by telling her that she is happy that Rin is feeling her pain in her stead, and she also recognizes that all of the Sohmas need time to heal.
Tohru and Kyo soon go on their first date, accompanied by Saki and Arisa. After the date, Kyo asks Tohru to accompany him to Kyoko’s grave, where he proposes the idea of moving away. He says that he wants to learn all kinds of things and be a part of the world now that he is free from the curse, and admits that he wants to take Tohru along with him on his journey. Tohru emotionally declares that she is fully ready to go wherever Kyo goes, even if it means that she will leave everyone she loves behind, since not being with Kyo would make her even lonelier. Tohru then tells Kyo that she is steadfast in her belief that Kyoko did not hold a grudge against Kyo, which is later confirmed to be true; Kyoko’s last words to Kyo were cut off before she could say “if you do not protect Tohru”. Upon hearing this, Kyo tells Kyoko’s grave that he will keep his promise to her to protect Tohru for the rest of his life.
After graduation, Tohru and Kyo are shown packing to move to another city to continue his martial arts training, so that he can inherit Kazuma’s dojo in the future. While emptying and cleaning their rooms, Tohru is excited to begin her new life with Kyo, but she also reminisces about the memories she has created with everyone over the past three years. Tohru is overwhelmed by emotions and begins crying, and Kyo comforts her and tells her with endings, come beginnings, too.
At the end of the same day, Yuki confesses to Tohru that she has been like a mother-figure to him. He expresses immense gratitude towards her for coming into his life and helping him grow into the person he is today. He adds that everyone in the Sohma family—not only himself—loves her and that she will always be a warm and kind presence to all of them. Lastly, he finally calls her “Tohru” as opposed to his usual “Honda-san”, moving Tohru to a bright smile filled with tears. The story ends with Tohru and Yuki exchanging a handshake.
The years pass, and Tohru is last seen walking hand in hand with Kyo in old age as their son, daughter-in-law, and one of their grandchildren talk about their love fondly.
Tohru and Kyo have just begun dating and are getting ready to graduate high school. Shigure asks her if she is 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. She is later seen on a date with Kyo as her best friends Saki and Arisa accompany them.
At some point, Tohru married Kyo, having three children between them. Since Kyo is training to take over Kazuma’s dojo, the family settled down in the countryside for the time being. However, it is mentioned that they might eventually return to the city one day.
Tohru is seen in a memory flashback with Kyo, her youngest son, Machi, and Yuki, while her oldest son, Hajime Sohma, played with Yuki and Machi’s son, Mutsuki Sohma, when they were children. When Hajime graduated from middle school, Tohru and Kyo told Hajime about the Zodiac Curse and Kyo’s past with the Cat’s spirit. After hearing about his parents past, Hajime decided to enroll at the same high school they attended, because he wanted to understand which environment they spent their time in to come where they are now.
After her friend Akito became a mother, Tohru would, usually with her daughter, teach Akito and her son, Shiki Sohma, hand games since the former never learned them as a child. It is also known that while Akito stays away from the Sohmas at all times, she spends every New Year's with Tohru, which both of them enjoy.
After Hajime moved out to attend high school, it is mentioned that Mutsuki regularly sends embarrassing videos of Hajime to both Tohru and Kyo. Hajime at one point has remarked on the fact that his friend, Sawa Mitoma, reminds him of his mother. It is also implied that their household is quite hectic, as Hajime says that he never gets a chance to study when he returns home during breaks, and that his parents are quite nosy and make a big deal out of every little thing. It is perhaps for this reason that Hajime has never invited his parents to any school festival.
|Image||Name||What they call Tohru||What Tohru calls them|
|Katsuya Honda||Tohru||Dad (お父さん, Otō-san)|
|Kyoko Honda||Tohru||Mom (お母さん, Okā-san)|
|Kyo Sohma||That Girl (アイツ, Aitsu)
Tohru (from Chapter 33)
|Hajime Sohma||Mom (母さん, Kā-san)||N/A|
|Grandfather (お爺さん, Ojī-san)|
|Image||Name||What they call Tohru||What Tohru calls them|
|Image||Name||What they call Tohru||What Tohru calls them|
|Yuki Sohma||Miss Honda (本田さん, Honda-san)
Tohru (from Chapter 136)
Yuki-kun (from Chapter 14)
|Kisa Sohma||Big Sis (おねえちゃん, Onē-chan)||Kisa-san|
|Hiro Sohma||Stupid Girl (ボケ女, Boke On'na)||Hiro-san|
|Isuzu Sohma||That Girl (アノコ, Anoko)
|Kazuma Sohma||Tohru-san||Master-san (師匠さん, Shishō-san)|
Differences from the source material
- Tohru's appearance differs slightly between the manga and the anime adaptions:
- The 2001 anime depicts Tohru with blue eyes and her ribbons being blue as well. The manga and 2019 anime show Tohru having brown eyes and yellow ribbons during her debut.
- Tohru's hat is completely absent in the 2001 anime, which leaves no connection between her and Yuki.
- Tohru's first meeting with Akito differs between the manga, 2001 anime, and 2019 anime.
- In the manga and 2001 anime, Tohru officially meets "him" by the window of the Sohma estate. In the 2019 anime, Tohru sees Akito in the car alongside Kureno Sohma.
- The 2001 anime changed a few important elements when it came to the events surrounding visiting Kyoko's tombstone a year after her death:
- Since the hat is absent in the 2001 anime adaption, Yuki does not see a baseball cap in Tohru's room.
- In the manga, this specific moment is crucial to Yuki, because he realizes that she was the girl who he saved when they were young, which also leads to him gradually being able to confront his true feelings towards Tohru.
- The 2001 anime also didn't show Kyo apologizing to a sleeping Tohru after visiting Kyoko's grave.
- This is actually a huge foreshadowing regarding how Kyo actually knew Kyoko and how he feels responsible for her death.
- Since the hat is absent in the 2001 anime adaption, Yuki does not see a baseball cap in Tohru's room.
- Tohru's actions and some events in the true form arc differ greatly between the manga and the 2001 anime:
- When Tohru finds out about Kyo's true form, she breaks down and feels the need to go to her mother's grave.
- She also needs convincing from Saki and Arisa to chase after him.
- Akito also appears to taunt her, only leaving when Shigure intervened. Shigure, begging and crying, pleads for Tohru to save Kyo.
- Tohru goes on to find and save Kyo, but does so with the help of Yuki.
- Since the 2001 anime didn't cover the entire manga and since the manga was still ongoing while it still aired, there are notable differences in the ending:
- Tohru asks Shigure permission to speak with Akito, and Yuki, Shigure, and Hatori accompany Tohru to the Sohma main residence to see Akito. After an initially meek exchange, Akito seizes her by her hair in a rage after Tohru is unable to say why she came, but Yuki and Shigure restrain him from hurting her further. However, she begins to feel sympathetic, explaining that he still has a life to live. Releasing her hair from his hand, Akito eventually realizes that Tohru accepts the Sohma family curse.
- The series ends on a bright future day with Tohru, Yuki, and Kyo back at the residence where they live.
Creation and conception
According to Natsuki Takaya, Tohru was the first character she created for the series, with Yuki and Kyo Sohma soon after. When asked how she came up with Tohru's personality and background, she said:
|“||I thought that for a girl to accept other people's feelings so wholeheartedly, she'd have to have a slightly unusual way of looking at things so that she wouldn't be crushed by having so much empathy. But I still worried that I needed something else to flesh her out. And then the thought, 'Oh, yeah—I'll make her use super-polite language, and use it incorrectly!' came to me all at once. After that, her character was completed in no time.||”|
It is said that Tohru's father Katsuya named her Tohru because "it brought out her hidden flavor, like adding salt to sweet things." Takaya also gave Tohru a name normally used only for men because she likes to give masculine names to female characters "to balance them out." In addition, Takaya chose to have other characters address her as "Tohru-kun", using an honorific typically used for boys, because she thought it was "a more dignified form of address."
Laura Bailey, Tohru's Funimation dub, has said that Tohru's character has helped her be more positive: "I was so inspired by her character by her, joy, and outlook on life that, you know, you wanna emulate that."
- According to the official Fruits Basket Character Book:
- Tohru is fiercely self-reliant and pays for all of her own school expenses and clothes from her part-time salary. In connection to this, she works at Momiji’s father’s company building as a cleaner.
- Tohru’s co-workers love her enthusiasm and talent for lightening the weekend.
- Tohru chooses clothes based on how sturdy and practical they are, rather than their looks, so she dresses very plainly. Natsuki Takaya mentions that Tohru is quite “unfashionable”.
- But since she recently had a bit more money, her newer clothes are somewhat cuter.
- When she wears particularly adorable outfits, they are usually things Shigure picked out.
- Tohru has a maid’s costume in her possession but doesn’t wear it, and keeps it safely in the dresser she uses for western clothes.
- Tohru receives presents from Shigure quite often.
- The boys that teased her when she was younger presumably did it because they liked her.
- Tohru is very quick to respond when people come down with colds since her father died of complications from a cold. But when she gets sick herself, she is slower to react.
- Tohru is a very good cook, and can cook about any dish; Japanese, Western, or Chinese.
- She is also very good at cleaning, as she got Shigure’s “disaster of a kitchen” under control in the blink of an eye.
- Tohru is fiercely self-reliant and pays for all of her own school expenses and clothes from her part-time salary. In connection to this, she works at Momiji’s father’s company building as a cleaner.
- According to Natsuki Takaya’s Twitter:
- Tohru’s day-to-day clothing is based on how long a garment will last her, its robustness, and how good it looks.
- In the early part of the manga, Tohru mixed and matched her clothing a lot, and Takaya says she is glad that some readers noticed this.
- Keigo, the polite language Tohru always uses, is mentioned to be her most noticeable character trait. Takaya jokingly says that she wouldn’t recognize Tohru without her overly polite language. This, however, does not exist in English languages so it is incredibly hard to replicate or translate Tohru’s polite language, which is why some of Tohru’s character is “lost in translation”.
- After Chapter 72, (or Season 2, Episode 15), Tohru doesn’t wear the ribbon Yuki gifted her again. This is possibly due to Tohru realizing that Yuki has grown a lot and doesn’t need her support as much.
- Tohru sometimes makes Yuki and Kyo’s bento, as in their lunch boxes for school.
- Takaya admits that she hasn’t really thought about her characters’, who are still minors within the main story, drinking habits, but the various times of seeing Manaka Iwami (the Japanese voice actress of Tohru) grinning playfully as she gulped down her alcohol, makes Takaya think that Tohru would grin in the same way as she drank.
- Despite not being able to transform, Tohru is represented by a rice ball with a “plum on the back”.
- Although she is born in the year of the Dog, Tohru wants to be born of the year of the Cat since she feels sorry for the Cat for being tricked in the Zodiac Legend.
- Tohru is a very deep sleeper, and is the type of person who could sleep anywhere and even through an earthquake. Apparently, her son, Hajime, inherited this trait of hers.
- Tohru was supposed to have a younger sibling. However, her father passed away before her parents were able to conceive.
- Kyoko’s, Tohru’s mother, “color” was red, which was inspired by her former nickname, “The Red Butterfly”. Katsuya’s, Tohru’s father, “color” was white, since he was described to be a straightforward man. A mix between the two colors results in pink, which is Tohru’s trademark color as well as her favorite one.
- When Tohru was hospitalized, the following events occurred;
- Tohru practiced smiling because she wanted to smile when she met Kyo again.
- People constantly wanted to visit Tohru at the same time, but because the patient’s rooms are small, there was always a queue. At one point, Shigure fell asleep in the waiting room because of it.
- Kakeru Manabe bought her a some CDs and visited her, both in Komaki Nakao’s and his own behalf.
- Machi Kuragi didn’t visit her, but she gifted her a bath set via Yuki, because she really appreciates everything Tohru has done for Yuki.
- Momiji skipped some of his classes to visit Tohru and also gifted her a bunny plushie.
- It is implied that Yuki visited Tohru and stayed by her side more than anyone else during her hospitalization.
- Tohru can swim very fast. But she actually doesn't know how to breathe while swimming, and she is frantically swimming to somewhere she could catch a breath.
- The tent that Tohru lives in is in the shape of a half-cylinder in the manga; but in the anime, it is much smaller and in the shape of a triangular prism.
- In the official character popularity polls held by Hana to Yume magazine in Japan, Tohru was on the 2nd place three times in a row.