The shoujo genre of anime can really vary. Much older anime seem to have reached legendary status while newer anime are hit or miss. One anime that seems to have a lasting footprint in shoujo anime has to be Fruits Basket because regardless if you’ve seen or read the series, it’ll touch you in a way that you never imagined.
Fruits Basket is full of deep questions underlying the brighter overtone. You wonder about the Fruits Basket characters who have led such hard lives regardless of how they present themselves to others. Sometimes things just are not as they seem. That’s why we find the Fruits Basket characters so endearing. Despite their internal struggles, pain, and dark pasts, you can’t help but still love them here and now. That is why we made this list of the Top 10 Endearing Fruits Basket Characters!
Just beware, there will be spoilers!
10. Sohma Hatsuharu
Hatsuharu, otherwise known as Haru, is a rather mild-mannered Fruits Basket character who is notable for his dual colored hair which is black at the roots and white at the ends. Most of the time, Haru can be rather docile, but when he becomes Black Haru, Haru can be quite foul-mouthed and violent. Never cross Black Haru! As Kyou does to Yuki, Haru is constantly challenging Kyou to duals. On the other hand, Haru dotes on Yuki and admits to loving him. Haru is possessed by the Ox from the Chinese Zodiac.
First on our list is dear Haru who can be quite volatile at times, but is in fact, endearing. Haru has been through a lot with Akito and his own past. He was filled with so much hatred and anger as a child, but in truth, Haru just wanted to be treated as an equal, something that is shadowed by the fact that he is the ox. Haru was constantly picking fights with Yuki and Kyou for his own self-satisfaction, but he just wants to be acknowledged. That’s what makes him so endearing!
9. Sohma Yuki
Known as “Prince Yuki” for his charm and bishounen looks, Yuki is a rather distant person who chooses not to keep his distance from others. Yuki is the one who invited Tohru into Shigure’s home and can often be seen arguing with Kyou. Despite all the fighting Yuki does with Kyou, he actually really envies Kyou. Due to his upbringing, Yuki has an estranged relationship with his family and despises his brother. Yuki is possessed by the rat from the Chinese Zodiac.
Yuki struggles with a past that entails being abandoned by his parents and mentally abused by Akito for over a decade. This has resulted in a desire for freedom, isolation, and affection. While some may pass Yuki off as some sort of pompous pretty boy, he is a boy who has been hurt a lot in the past so he tends to be quite guarded around others. Yuki has no idea about how to converse with others. That’s what makes Yuki such an endearing Fruits Basket character. You just really want to mend the broken pieces of his heart.
8. Sohma Hiro
Despite being a child, Hiro looks down on Tohru and treats her as a sort of plaything that he can mistreat as he pleases. While he hates being treated as a kid, Hiro is quick to turn the tables and tease others based on the fact that he is a kid. Hiro has a quick temper and is not able to express himself properly, both of which get him into all sorts of different trouble with others. Unlike most children of the Chinese Zodiac, Hiro’s mother continued to love him. Hiro is possessed by the sheep from the Chinese Zodiac.
At the first, second, and third glance, Hiro is a smart ass who just enjoys antagonizing people. Underneath it all, Hiro hasn’t experienced much hardship at all, but he’s a young boy battling young boy problems like his crush on Kisa. That’s one of the reasons why he picks on Tohru so much; Hiro is jealous that Tohru has all of Kisa’s affection. Poor Hiro is so conflicted by his jealousy over Tohru and his immense desire to make Kisa happy. It can be quite endearing to see Hiro try to sort out his feelings when he just wants to give Kisa the world!
7. Hanajima Saki
Clad in dark garbs that add to her menacing aura is Tohru’s best friend Saki! Saki is a student who attends the same school as Tohru and has been friends with her since her transfer. Saki often strikes fear in those around her (except Tohru and Arisa) due to her menacing aura and perceived powers. Saki is very protective of Tohru.
Saki may frighten most with her dark appearance, but she is one of the best friends Tohru could have. Saki has had to face a constant barrage of accusations regarding an ability to curse people, which is no wonder why she has withdrawn herself from others. Saki embraces the blackness of her soul by bearing it on her clothing, but what Saki needs most of all is a healing touch. That is why we love Saki so much; she’s a gentle soul in need of help. How could you not think that Saki is an endearing Fruits Basket character?
6. Sohma Hatori
Hatori is the physician of the Sohma family who is tasked with the job of attending to the needs of the members of the Chinese Zodiac. Hatori is also part of a trio including Shigure and Ayame, although Hatori is usually the one cleaning up their messes. The spirit of the dragon possesses Hatori, but Hatori turns into a seahorse. Hatori’s transformation usually startles others who don’t know what to do with a seahorse.
Cold and unfeeling, Hatori comes off a little harsh at first. Especially when he glares at you, but Hatori is actually one of the most endearing Fruits Basket characters. Due to his history with Akito, Hatori has given up the hopes of being with the woman he loves to protect her. As one of the members of the Chinese Zodiac, happiness is little and far between, but Hatori had found it in the form of Kana, who, despite his transformation, loved him regardless. Yet, Hatori had to forsake his own happiness so that Kana could be safe and maintain her sanity. How many would give up their little bit of happiness for someone else?
5. Sohma Ayame
Outlandish and loud, Ayame is Yuki’s older brother who seems to know no boundaries. Ayame grew up with Hatori and Shigure and was the student council president during his time in high school. Aside from Tohru and Shigure, Ayame seems to annoy everyone around him. Ayame is the snake from the Chinese Zodiac. This also means he is cold blooded and can be seen seeking a place of warmth when it is cold, which has gotten him into trouble.
When Ayame hits the screen, he comes off as a...pervert. Ayame is crude and rather outlandish, but truth be told, he has a lot going on behind his bright facade. Ayame struggles with past decisions which have put a dent into his relationship with Yuki. Ayame wants to deepen this relationship with Yuki, but the past hands like a velvet curtain between them--heavy and dark. Ayame wants to right the wrongs of his past, but when he caused tragedy to befall his own little brother, what can be done? Ayame may seem bright, but there’s more to him than what appears on the surface.
4. Sohma Kyou
Kyou is a rather loud and somewhat violent individual who is constantly attempting to pick a fight with Yuki. In the first episode, Kyou can be seen busting through the roof of Shigure’s house to challenge Yuki to a dual. For the most part, Kyou prefers to be alone and has been known to leave on long journeys to train. Kyou is possessed by the cat from the Chinese Zodiac myth, which makes him an outsider.
Kyou literally smashes into Tohru in his first scene and is constantly antagonizing others, but there is more to him than we see. Kyou has lived a shelter in confinement, constantly being regarded as a monster and trash. In his heart, Kyou has had a lot of trauma and pain that has greatly damaged him. He needs someone to help him unlock the chains that weigh so heavily in his heart. Yet, somehow, Kyou can still seem so bright and have hope, as we have seen throughout the anime. Kyou still tries to find a little happiness. How can he not be one of the endearing Fruits Basket characters?!
3. Sohma Momiji
Bouncy and bubbly is our very own Momiji! Momiji is a bright ball of sunshine who loves to glomp onto people without shame. He is half German on his mother’s side. Despite his appearance, Momiji is, in fact, the same age as Hatsuharu. Momiji actually enjoys wearing the girls’ uniform to school because he knows that it suits him well. Momiji is possessed by the rabbit from the Chinese Zodiac.
Momiji is a ball full of energy who seems to have no thought for boundaries. However, Momiji’s own mother begged to have her memories of him erased as the fact that he was a freak tore at her. Throughout Momiji’s life following the loss of his mother, Momiji had to continue to give up his own happiness if it endangered his family in any way. Despite this, Momiji is still able to maintain his bright smile and love others unconditionally. Momiji is one of the Fruits Basket characters that shine the brightest!
2. Sohma Kisa
Quiet yet gentle is our little Kisa! She is not one for words but Kisa does have her own way of showing affection to those around her. Kisa can be quite timid and hesitant to speak her mind if frightened, but if she feels strongly enough about something, Kisa will not be deterred. Due to their close age, Kisa is very close to Hiro. Kisa is possessed by the spirit of the tiger from the Chinese Zodiac.
Kisa may transform into a tiger but she is timider than a rabbit! For a while, Kisa has been bullied by her fellow classmates but had no one to confide in. It brought upon her feelings of inadequacy that allowed her to fall into selective mutism, unable to speak with the ones she loves most out of fear. Kisa is such a young child, but she has had to endure so much that has nothing to do with her own transformation. Kisa has a lot of endurance, but really, she just needs someone to reach out to her, even when she does not ask for it. If you have ever seen Fruits Basket, you cannot deny that Kisa is an endearing young child!
1. Honda Tohru
The primary protagonist, Tohru is #1 on our list of endearing Fruits Basket Characters. Tohru is an orphan who did not enjoy living with her own extended family. It is with the Sohma family that Tohru feels loved. Tohru lost her mother just a few months prior to the events in Fruits Basket, but she still continues to smile every day. Tohru’s best friends are Arisa and Saki.
There is no doubt that Tohru is the most endearing Fruits Basket character! Despite being orphaned, disliked by her extended family, and suffering through bullying, Tohru has showered many others with her love and compassion, healing their wounds and providing others with a safe place. Tohru endures many troubles, but she continues to muscle on to protect others. It is her heart that makes her the most endearing of all. Tohru may seem like a dimwitted shoujo protagonist, but she’s the type of person every damaged character in Fruits Basket needs: a place of love and safety.
Fruits Basket is such a great series that even after all these years, it is still a fan favorite in the shoujo genre! There is no doubt that what makes it so successful are the endearing characters. They provide the true meat of the story!
Now, we have named our top 10 endearing Fruits Basket characters, but what are your thoughts? Is your favorite Fruits Basket character on our list? Who do you think we missed?