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Tohru Honda

Tohru Honda

Tohru Honda-2001

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Kanji 本田 透
Rōmaji Honda Tōru
Also known as Miss Honda (by Yuki)
Honda-kun (by Hatori)
Description
Gender Female
Age 16 (Beginning of the series)
18 (End of the series)
Height 156.7 cm / 5'2"
Weight 46 kg / 101.4 lbs
Hair Color Brown
Eye Color Brown (Manga, 2019 Anime)
Blue (2001 Anime)
Blood Type O[1]
Year Dog
Astrological Sign Taurus
Professional Status
Occupation Student
Affiliation Sohma Family
Kaibara Municipal High School
Relatives
Parents Katsuya Honda (Father)
Kyoko Honda (Mother)
Spouse Kyo Sohma (Husband)
Children Hajime Sohma (Son)
Unnamed Son
Unnamed Daughter
Extended Family Unnamed Grandfather
Unnamed Grandmother
Unnamed Daughter-in-law
Unnamed Granddaughter
Kazuma Sohma (Adoptive Father-in-law)
Unnamed-Father-in-law
Unnamed Mother-in-law
Kyoko's Parents (Maternal Grandparents)
Unnamed Aunt
Unnamed Cousin
Unnamed Cousin
Debut
Manga Chapter 1
Anime Episode 1 (2001)
Episode 1 (2019)
Voice Actors
Japanese Yui Horie (2001)
Manaka Iwami (2019)
English Laura Bailey

Tohru Sohma (草摩 透, Sōma Tōru), née Honda (本田), is the main protagonist of the Fruits Basket series. She is the only daughter to the late Kyoko Honda and Katsuya Honda.

Following her mother's death which left her orphaned, Tohru begins living with Shigure, Yuki, and Kyo Sohma due to accidentally setting up a tent on their property. 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.

In Fruits Basket Another, she is married to Kyo and the mother of three children, with her oldest son Hajime Sohma acting as one of the main characters.

Appearance

Tohru is a slim young girl of average height with long straight brown hair, that sometimes looks black, and has an eyebrow-length fringe that frames her large eyes (blue in the anime, brown in the manga). She is considered quite cute. She usually has blue-colored bows in her hair, sometimes they're yellow and purple. She either wears a large one in the back or two smaller ones that pull her hair back to the sides. On weekends she often has her hair in pigtails.

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 jacket. She wears 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.

Despite the splash images between chapters and volumes that depict the cast in nicer fashion, Tohru wears simple and practical clothes when she is not in her uniform. 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 one piece with daisies. The only times 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, Sorta Cinderella, in the manga.

Personality

Tohru is an extremely empathetic, cheerful, and over-optimistic girl. She loves her friends and family dearly and treats everyone she meets with kindness. However, this often causes her to put other's needs before her own.

She has a deep devotion to her late mother and can oftentimes be seen talking to a picture she carries around of her. Most of the advice Tohru gives to other characters in the series comes from conversations she had with Kyoko or as a result of her slowly healing from the pain her mother's death.

Her naive and spaced-out demeanor often get her ordered around by more bombastic characters, such as Ayame Sohma and Hiro Sohma, causing her friends to call her a "pushover". Her forgiving and kind nature is seen as a sign of weakness by several characters. Despite this, she stands up for her friends and can be quite stubborn about doing the right thing. She also dislikes taking advantage of people, as she always tries to pay people back for any help they give her.

As the series goes on, she grows more serious and emotional, oftentimes to the point of crying, and becomes embittered towards the circumstances of the Sohma curse. She continues to act optimistic and cheerful outwardly, but characters who know her well recognize she is struggling to remain hopeful. Upon breaking the curse, she returns to her normal state.

Story Overview

Early Life

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Tohru as a baby with her parents.

Tohru was born to Kyoko and Katsuya Honda in the Year of the Dog. Her father died very soon after she was born. As Kyoko was raising Tohru alone, the pair were extremely close and spent much time together. Tohru loved when her mother told her stories, especially ones about the Chinese Zodiac. Tohru always became upset when she heard of how the Cat was ignored, even wishing that she could be born in the Year of the Cat instead of the Dog, even though the Year of the Cat did not exist.[2]

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 Tohru would always be assigned the rice ball, which is not a fruit. The children did this to exclude her from the game, though Tohru just stayed positive, hoping that someone would call out rice ball so she could play as well.[3]

During this time, she befriended Arisa Uotani and Saki Hanajima, the pair also social outcasts in their own way. The trio found strength in each other.[4]

On the day that Kyoko was hit and killed in a car accident, Tohru overslept and did not see her mother leave for work. She would always say "Bye, be safe!" to her mother every morning before she left. For this reason, Tohru partially blames herself for her mother's death, since she did not say "Bye, be safe!" to her that morning.[2]

Fruits Basket

Before Summer Vacation

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Tohru in the beginning of the series.

After her mother's death, Tohru moved in with her grandfather. Shortly after, however, her grandfather told her that he was getting his house remodeled and asked her if she had a place to stay. Not wanting him to worry about her, Tohru lied and said that she would stay with one of her friends. Tohru did not have the heart to ask Uotani or Hanajima if she could stay with one of them, so she got a tent and lived in that for a short while. She did not know that she was living on the property of the Sohma family though.[2]

She discovered this one day when she was walking to school. Tohru noticed Shigure Sohma's figurines of the Chinese Zodiac. They talked about the Zodiac before her classmate, Yuki Sohma, interrupts. Yuki and Tohru walked 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 explained her situation and she offered to pay rent to them, begging them to allow her to stay in her tent. A landslide destroyed her tent, however, and Shigure invited her to stay the night at the house. That eventually led to him offering room and board to Tohru in exchange for her doing household chores, which she accepts.[2]

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Tohru discovering the Sohma curse.

That same morning, an orange-haired boy named Kyo Sohma appeared and started to pick a fight against Yuki. Tohru tried to stop him and she accidentally landed on him, which caused him to turn into a cat. She also bumped into Yuki and Shigure, causing them to turn into a rat and a dog. That is how Tohru learned of the Sohma family curse, where twelve 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.[2] Despite being an outsider, Tohru is still given permission by Akito Sohma to stay with Shigure, Yuki, and Kyo.[5]

Time passed with her meeting another member of the family, the Boar, Kagura Sohma[6], but eventually Tohru received word from her grandfather that the renovations on his home are done. Tohru had grown so attached to the Sohma family that she found it extremely difficult to leave them. In spite of this, Tohru believed she was intruding on the Sohmas and decided to return to her grandfather's house, where she was treated poorly by her grandfather's family and became quite miserable. When Yuki and Kyo arrived to take her back to Shigure's house with her grandfather's blessing, she was thrilled.[3]

During the school's cultural festival, Tohru met two more members of the Sohma family, Momiji and Hatori. the Rabbit and the Dragon, respectively. Hatori asked Tohru to visit the main house, though Tohru was worried that Hatori was going to erase her memories.[7] At her meeting with Hatori, Tohru learned about Hatori's past with Kana, his assistant turned lover, and how he had to erase her memories. He warned Tohru about the Sohmas saying that they were dangerous, but Tohru remained steadfast in her affection for the family. The encounter that was meant to frighten her way instead gave her the first hints that the Sohma family was carrying a heavy weight.[8]

Tohru again met another member of the Zodiac soon after, the Cow, Hatsuharu Sohma, during a school track day. She learned of Yuki's abuse at the hands of Akito and was embarrassed when Hatsuharu insinuated that Yuki was much happier because of her.[9] Tohru continued 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 a hotspring.[10]

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Tohru meeting Akito for the first time.

On the first day of the next school year, Hatsuharu and Momiji began to attend the same school as Tohru, Yuki, and Kyo. Akito Sohma introduced herself (at this point still identifying as male) that same day and Tohru felt intimidated by her, but still managed to defend Yuki even though she did not understand why he was so afraid.[11]

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Kyo apologizes to a sleeping Tohru.

Tohru continued to come into contact with other members of the Zodiac, meeting the Snake, Ayame, who is also Yuki's older brother.[12] She also met 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 Tohru to Momiji. She continued to have close and personal moments with the Sohmas, taking Kyo and Yuki along with her, Uotani, and Hanajima to visit her mother's grave on the anniversary of her death.[13]

After taking a vacation with the Sohmas, Tohru met Kisa Sohma, the Tiger, who developed a strong affection for one another.[14] Tohru also met the Monkey, Ritsu Sohma.[15]

Tohru kyo

Tohru carrying Kyo.

More lighthearted events occur, with Tohru joining Yuki at Ayame's "costume" store[16], Tohru catching a cold[17], and the Prince Yuki Fanclub prying into her life[18]. However, Tohru grew more and more aware of something sinister beneath the surface. During this same time period, Tohru met Hiro, the Ram of the Zodiac.[19]

During Summer Vacation

The Sohmas and Tohru headed for a private beach to enjoy their Summer Vacation. The dynamic between Tohru and Kyo had changed since they had shared such a personal moment together, with Tohru becoming flustered by him, the first inklings of her romantic feelings for him.

Surprisingly, Akito also attended the beach trip as well and kept a close eye on Tohru. Akito spoke with Tohru before leaving told her to stop interfering with the Zodiac. Akito mentioned that Kyo would be locked up after he graduated high school as that was the fate of all those cursed by the Cat before him. That, along with all her previous experiences with the members of the Zodiac, emboldened Tohru, making her want to break the curse.

After Summer Vacation

Rejection

Tohru is "rejected" by Kyo.

Tohru went to see Kazuma and asked if he knew how to break the curse. Kazuma told her that he did not know how to break it, but that another member of the Zodiac, Rin was also trying to do the same. Tohru also met Kureno, who was the former Rooster of the Zodiac, who had his curse broken somehow. That gave her hope that the curse could be broken, even if she did not know how. She confessed to Shigure that, while she wanted to break the curse for all the members of the Zodiac, she wanted Kyo to be free of it most of all.

Tohru had begun to feel guilty about falling in love with Kyo, since she believed that she was replacing her love for her mother. Shigure and Rin both chided her for it, but she pushed the feelings away. When Tohru finally admitted her love to Kyo, he rejected her. Tohru also learned that Kyo could have saved her mother, since he was there on the day of the car accident, but grabbing Kyoko would have caused him to transform and revealed his curse. Kyo blamed himself for her death. Still, Tohru proclaimed she loved him in spite of it. However, Kyo still rejected Tohru and he ran away, with Tohru following him in a daze. She was stopped by Akito though, who was jealous that Tohru had gained the affection of all the members of the Zodiac. Despite Akito attacking her, Tohru extended her friendship, as she was understanding of Akito's fear of being alone. However the cliff she was on collapsed and she fell, rendering her unconscious. In her daze, she tried to comfort Kyo who, along with Yuki, found her. He kissed her, although it is later revealed she did not remember him doing that.

Due to Akito's changing and accepting of Tohru, the curse was slowly lifted and Akito decided to let go of the control over the members of the Zodiac. Tohru and Kyo met yet again and, although Tohru was the one to run away that time, they managed to have a conversation. Kyo apologized for not accepting her love in the first place. Tohru asked Kyo if she could hug him, but Kyo was uneasy because he was unsure if he would transform.

Holding hands

An elderly Tohru and Kyo.

Still, he does so anyway, wanting to hug Tohru even for a short amount of time. That was how Tohru and Kyo learned of the curse being broken, as he stayed the same despite her embracing him. The Cat's curse was lifted, not just because of Akito, but also due to Tohru's true love for him. All of the other members of the Sohma family are able to lead regular lives now that the curse is broken.

Epilogue

Tohru and Kyo enter a committed relationship with one another and Tohru is last seen walking hand in hand with Kyo in their old age, as their children and grandchildren talk about their love fondly.[20]

The Three Musketeers Arc

Tohru and Kyo 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. She is later seen on a date with Kyo as her best friend Saki and Arisa accompanies them.[21]

Fruits Basket Another

Silhouette of Kyo, Tohru, Machi and Yuki

Silhouttes of Tohru and Kyo with their unnamed child, and Yuki and Machi.

In the sequel, Tohru is never seen and is only mentioned in different conversations. Hajime remarks on how his friend, Sawa Mitoma, reminds him of his mother in terms of speech.[22] Mutsuki Sohma mentions that Tohru and Kyo live in the countryside with their younger children while Hajime commutes from home to attend school, though they will eventually return to the city one day.[23] Tohru is also seen in a memory flashback as silhouettes with Kyo, Machi, Yuki and her unnamed son as Hajime played with Mutsuki when they were children. When Hajime graduated from middle school, Tohru and Kyo told Hajime about the Zodiacs Curse and Kyo's past with the Cat's spirit.[24]

Trivia

  • 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".
  • 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's mother "color" was red, as her former nickname was the "Red Butterfly", and since her father was described as a straightforward man, his "color" was white. Mix those and you'll get pink for Tohru.
    • This is fitting since Tohru's favorite color is pink.
  • 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.
  • While many sites list Tohru as an Aries, she is actually a Taurus. The mix up exists due to a fanfiction about Tohru's birthday (Entitled "Happy Birthday, Miss Tohru!"), the story was published on April 5th, 2006. On most search engines April 5th, 2006 shows up when a search is done for Tohru's birthday. All character profiles on websites predating this story list her as a Taurus. Her real birthday is on May 6th.
  • Despite not being able to transform, Tohru is represented by a rice ball with a "plum on the back".
  • 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."

References

Navigation

[v · e · ?]
Fruits Basket Characters
Main Characters
Tohru Honda  •  Kyo Sohma  •  Shigure Sohma  •  Yuki Sohma
Sohma Family
Zodiacs
Akito Sohma  •  Akira Sohma  •  Ayame Sohma  •  Hiro Sohma  •  Isuzu Sohma  •  Kazuma's Grandfather  •  Kagura Sohma  •  Kisa Sohma  •  Kureno Sohma  •  Kyo Sohma  •  Momiji Sohma  •  Hatsuharu Sohma  •  Hatori Sohma  •  Ritsu Sohma  •  Shigure Sohma  •  Yuki Sohma
Others
Ayame and Yuki's Mother  •  Momo Sohma  •  Momiji's Mother  •  Momiji's Father  •  Kana Sohma  •  Kazuma Sohma  •  Kisa's Mother  •  Kyo's Father  •  Kyo's Mother  •  Satsuki Sohma  •  Hinata Sohma  •  Ren Sohma  •  Okami Sohma
Secondary Characters
Kaibara High School
Arisa Uotani  •  Kakeru Manabe  •  Kimi Toudou  •  Machi Kuragi  •  Makoto Takei  •  Mai Gotou  •  Mayuko Shiraki  •  Mio Yamagishi  •  Minami Kinoshita  •  Motoko Minagawa  •  Naohito Sakuragi  •  Rika Aida  •  Saki Hanajima
Others
Katsuya Honda  •  Kyoko Honda  •  Komaki Nakao  •  Kunimitsu Tomoda  •  Megumi Hanajima  •  Mine Kuramae  •  Mitsuru  •  Tohru's Grandfather  •  + Minor Characters
Fruits Basket Another
Main Characters
Sawa Mitoma  •  Hajime Sohma  •  Mutsuki Sohma
Sohma Family
Chizuru Sohma  •  Hibika Sohma  •  Kinu Sohma  •  Mina Sohma  •  Riku Sohma  •  Shiki Sohma  •  Sora Sohma
Students
Amane  •  Chiaki Hasada  •  Michi Manabe  •  Mio Hasegawa  •  Rio Mosca  •  Ruriko Kageyama
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