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14 Fruits Basket Zodiac Characters Ranked Worst To Best

The following article includes discussions of abuse and suicide.

One of the most beloved shoujo series of all time, "Fruits Basket" began as a manga by Natsuki Takaya, which ran from 1998 through 2006. The story has been adapted into two different anime series: An incomplete adaptation from 2001, and a full, faithful manga adaptation which ran for three seasons from 2019 to 2021 (plus the "Fruits Basket: Prelude" prequel movie in 2022). The story follows high school girl Tohru Honda as she moves in with the Sohma clan, a large extended family (not necessarily all blood-related) where assorted individual members are cursed to transform into the animals of the Chinese zodiac when hugged by a member of the opposite sex.

There are 14 cursed Sohmas: 12 for each of the official zodiac animals, plus the cat (excluded from the zodiac and burdened with an additional curse) and "God" (who controls the others and keeps them bonded together). Each of these characters has their own unique struggles relating to the curse, which Tohru tries her best to help with. All of them are interesting characters, with traits that work for both the series' intense dramatic and wacky comedic aspects. Most are lovable, and the ones that aren't are interesting in spite of (or even because of) their unlikability. Though no two fans will fully agree on how to order them, here's our attempt to rank all of the cursed Sohmas from worst to best.

14. Kagura Sohma

While not a bad character, Kagura Sohma (the boar of the zodiac) ranks the lowest on this list of the zodiac members due to being the most awkward fusion of the comedic and dramatic sensibilities of "Fruits Basket." She's first introduced as a wacky, almost yandere-type character who's so possessively in love with Kyo that she comically subjects him to all sorts of wacky slapstick violence. It later turns out her obsession with Kyo spawned from her guilt for running away from his monster form, and she learns to think about his feelings rather than just her own.

This turn from unlikable slapstick character to psychologically complex human being works to an extent, but it's among the most jarring of these turns in the series — perhaps second only to the sudden development of the Prince Yuki Fan Club members. Natsuki Takaya's desire to afford all of her characters empathy is commendable, but it tends to work better with characters who aren't annoying archetypes.

13. Ritsu Sohma

Ritsu Sohma, the monkey of the zodiac, is a character who could have ranked a lot higher on this list were he given more development. His constant need to apologize for everything is the sort of character flaw that makes for both relatable comedy and emotional drama, and he makes an adorably fitting partner for Shigure's editor Mitsuru. His introduction is a strong one, but after he's introduced, he basically disappears from the story until the ending.

One thing that stands out about Ritsu is that dressing femininely relieves his anxiety. At the end of the series, after the zodiac curse has been broken, he starts to dress more masculinely. While this is likely meant to show he no longer needs to crossdress as an anxiety coping mechanism, it's the most poorly developed of three separate "Fruits Basket" storylines involving formerly gender non-conforming characters adopting more traditional gender roles, which has some unfortunate implications.

12. Hiro Sohma

Hiro Sohma, the sheep of the zodiac, is the youngest of the cursed Sohmas (he's 11 or 12 when he's introduced, aging a year by the end of the series). In some ways, he's also the luckiest of the bunch: Where most of the zodiac members have dysfunctional if not downright toxic relationships with their parents, Hiro's mom is fully loving and accepting of her son who turns into a sheep when hugged. It's likely because of this more accepting environment that Hiro ends up being the third character whose curse is broken.

While his immediate family life may be relatively drama-free, Hiro does face some rough experiences as a member of the zodiac under Akito's control. He blames himself for Akito attacking his best friend/crush Kisa, and witnesses Akito pushing Rin out of a window. The poor kid has gone through a lot, so it's understandable that he's got a bit of an attitude and isn't as friendly with Tohru as others.

11. Kisa Sohma

One year older than Hiro, Kisa Sohma is the second-youngest Sohma and the tiger of the zodiac. One could easily assume that someone who transforms into a tiger would have a fierce personality, but aside from a few moments of biting others while in animal form, Kisa is actually extremely sweet, shy, and sensitive. Sadly, she's been the victim of bullying from both Akito and her classmates, and when she's first introduced, she refuses to speak.

Fortunately, this is a problem that's pretty easy for Tohru to address, having experience with bullies herself. Kisa opens up to Tohru, whom she begins to see as akin to a big sister. That Hiro is jealous of Kisa's close bond with Tohru becomes a source of mild conflict between the two childhood friends. Kisa's story arc is far from the most substantial of the Sohma clan, but she's basically impossible to dislike.

10. Kureno Sohma

Kureno Sohma is the last member of the zodiac to be introduced to Tohru, and when we meet him, he's not technically part of the zodiac anymore. Formerly the rooster of the zodiac, Kureno was the first character whose curse broke — something Akito is determined to keep secret. Even though he's freed from his spiritual bonds with Akito, he's still held captive by the clan leader in the main Sohma compound, with even less freedom than those who are still cursed.

Kureno's closest lifeline to the outside world ends up being Tohru's friend Arisa Uotani. The 26-year-old Kureno's slow-burn romance with the 17-year-old Arisa would be creepy and inappropriate in real life, but in this fantasy narrative, his forced isolation and arrested development make their relationship more understandable. Kureno is a very kind and giving person, similar to Tohru in many ways. But, as with Tohru, his selflessness reaches such extremes that it becomes a deep flaw.

9. Hatori Sohma

One of the three oldest of the cursed Sohmas, alongside his friends Shigure and Ayame, Hatori is the dragon of the zodiac — though his actual animal form is more like a seahorse than what one would typically imagine upon hearing the word "dragon." Working as a doctor, he has one of the most intense responsibilities of anyone in the Sohma clan: He erases the memories of those who've been made aware of the zodiac curse.

This responsibility has inevitably hurt many of the other Sohmas' relationships with friends and family, something Hatori feels deeply guilty about. He found a woman, Kana Sohma, who loved and accepted him despite his curse, but after Akito violently disapproved of their relationship, he had to erase her memories as well. When he's introduced in the series, he's already shut himself off to finding love, living off happy memories of the good times he and Kana had together. Eventually, he opens up to dating Tohru's teacher Mayu Shiraki.

8. Isuzu Sohma

Isuzu Sohma, who goes by the nickname Rin, is the horse of the zodiac and the second-to-last of the zodiac members Tohru meets (she and Kureno don't appear at all in the 2001 anime). When first introduced, she seems rude, distant, and enigmatic. When her backstory is finally revealed, however, it turns out to be one of the most tragic and intense in all of "Fruits Basket."

While "Fruits Basket" has plenty of awful parents to go around, Rin's are among the worst, initially putting on a too-happy façade before one day they just completely snapped at their cursed daughter. This gave her a serious distrust of happiness in general, explaining her initial rejection of Tohru's attempts at friendship. Her relationship with Hatsuharu was one of the few positive spots in her life. Akito wouldn't allow this relationship, so she took the fall to protect Haru and Akito pushed her out of a window as punishment. Fortunately, things work out for her and Haru in the end.

7. Ayame Sohma

Ayame Sohma, the snake of the zodiac, is arguably the funniest member of the "Fruits Basket" ensemble. He's Yuki's older brother, but aside from their good looks, the two have little in common: Ayame is boisterous and extremely self-confident, while Yuki is shy and wracked with self-doubt. Ayame is more independent than most of the other cursed Sohmas, even running his own costume shop with his girlfriend Mine Kuramae, but he still struggles with seeking familial approval.

When Ayame was younger, he was colder and more callous towards Yuki. Years later, he feels the need to do all he can to repair their sibling relationship — which just results in a lot of overcorrecting that annoys Yuki even more. The development of Ayame's character is sweet while also meshing well with the sort of comedy inherent in his personality. Another point in Ayame's favor is his oft-hilarious flirtations with his former classmate Shigure.

6. Akito Sohma

If these rankings were based on likability or morality, Akito Sohma would be dead last on the list. Though she apologizes and begins to change her ways at the end of "Fruits Basket," the "god" of the zodiac is a violent, manipulative abuser and the series' primary antagonist. In particular, her actions towards Yuki and Rin are downright despicable.

However, ranking the "best" characters in terms of narrative intrigue and complexity is very different from ranking who's the best person. Fans have good reason to hate Akito, but she's the type of character designed so you love to hate her. While the story never justifies her actions, it does an excellent job showing how she came to develop such a warped perspective about family relationships and her own power. Akito's story arc is one of being caught in cycles of abuse, and in the end, about how it's never too late to break those cycles.

5. Shigure Sohma

Speaking of moral ambiguities, Shigure Sohma (the dog of the zodiac) is someone who could be considered either a hero, a villain, or both depending on one's perspective. The one who took Tohru into his house, he's the ultimate mastermind behind the plan to break the curse, something all viewers can agree is a positive outcome. His methods to achieve these ends, however, are frequently manipulative and unsavory — he goes as far as sleeping with the mother of his secret girlfriend Akito to provoke an emotional reaction.

If Akito is the "Fruits Basket" character you love to hate, Shigure is one that you hate to love. He's intelligent, helpful, and often very funny, while also having a sketchy side that's played for both laughs and discomfort. It's hard to ever be sure how much of his personality is genuine and what's just an act to get what he wants. However, Tohru does inspire him to become a more compassionate person overall.

4. Hatsuharu Sohma

Like the coloring of the ox he's cursed to transform into, Hatsuharu Sohma has both a "black" personality and a "white" personality. "White Haru" is cool, laid-back, and mature beyond his years. When he snaps into his angry and violent "Black Haru" mode, however, you do not want to be on his bad side. He developed this personality as a defense mechanism to protect himself and those he loves. "Black Haru" is also responsible for perhaps the series' funniest adult joke, when he offers evidence that his multicolored hair is natural.

Haru's closest relationships within the Sohma clan are with Yuki and Rin. While Haru initially hated Yuki as a kid due to the legends of the rat riding the ox leading others to consider the ox "stupid," they ended up becoming good friends — Haru goes as far as considering Yuki his "first love." While there are definitely moments of homoerotic tension between the two, Haru's ultimate romantic relationship ends up being with Rin, who made serious sacrifices to protect him from Akito's wrath.

3. Yuki Sohma

Now we get to what might be the hardest ranking decision. In the "Fruits Basket" fandom, the closest equivalent to the "Team Edward" vs. "Team Jacob" shipping wars is "Team Kyo" vs. "Team Yuki." While Kyo is the one who ultimately ends up being Tohru's romantic partner, both Kyo and Yuki are great characters, each with their own unique strengths. If this ranking angers you, please consider these two entries a tie.

Yuki Sohma, the rat of the zodiac, is perhaps the character who goes through the biggest emotional growth over the course of the story. At the start of the series, he's worshiped by his classmates for his good looks but has no actual friends outside the Sohma clan, keeping distant from others as a result of both the curse and his childhood abuse at the hands of Akito. He envies Kyo's ability to form friendships with others.

Tohru ends up being the positive maternal figure he never had, and he grows more socially confident, running for student council and forming genuine connections with others. The biggest missed opportunity with Yuki's character is that, while his ultimate romance with Machi is very sweet, he arguably had much stronger chemistry with her half-brother Kakeru.

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

2. Kyo Sohma

Kyo Sohma, the cat excluded from the zodiac, has an additional curse beyond the hug-based feline transformations: When he's not wearing a bracelet of prayer beads, he appears as a terrifying monster. His mother committed suicide and his father loathes him. Furthermore, if he can't win a fight against Yuki before they both graduate high school, he is destined to be locked up in solitary confinement for his entire life. It's no wonder he's so angry all the time.

Thankfully, Kyo finds a positive mentor figure in Kazuma Sohma, who teaches the boy to channel his rage into martial arts. Fitting the tsundere archetype, Kyo has obvious feelings for Tohru throughout the series but refuses to admit it, feeling himself to be unlovable and harboring additional secrets from his past. Due to the legends of the rat tricking the cat into missing the banquet, he also harbors an intense hatred and also jealousy of Yuki, unaware that his rival also happens to be jealous of him for completely different reasons. It's hard not to be rooting for Kyo in the face of all of his struggles.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

1. Momiji Sohma

Momiji Sohma, the bunny of the zodiac, tops this list for being a pure ray of sunshine when all the trauma he's faced in his life would have made it perfectly understandable if he wasn't. His backstory is one of the most tearjerking in all of "Fruits Basket." Momiji's mother was so traumatized by having a cursed child that she chose to have all of her memories erased. He still checks in regularly with his mother and younger sister, even though they have no clue who he is.

For much of the series, Momiji appears childlike, cutesy, and feminine. It's likely because of this that Tohru never really saw him as viable romantic partner despite only being a year older, but he handles his unrequited crush on her with maturity. After his growth spurt in his second year of high school, he switches to a more handsome masculine presentation, but still makes room for cuteness and softness. Thanks to his emotional intelligence and independence, he ends up being the second character to break the curse.