THE RAT - Sohma Yuki

Otherwise known as "The Prince" to his schoolmates, Sohma Yuki is cursed with the spirit of the rat. When he was very young, Yuki was generally unloved by his parents and all but forgotten by his older brother, Ayame. His mother saw him as nothing more than a tool to gain a higher standing within the Sohma family and sold him off to the head of the household (Akito) when he was but a child.

Since he is the rat, he holds a special designation above the other twelve zodiac animals in that he was the first to arrive at the banquet. This special status was more harmful than beneficial, as Yuki was often kept at Akito's side at gatherings and would never get to interact with the other cursed ones. In fact, Yuki barely got to even leave the complex at all, forced to stay with Akito at all times. One day, Yuki saw Kyo with Hatsuharu, Momiji and Kagura. Despite being cursed as the cat, Kyo was more involved with the others than Yuki ever hoped to be. This made Yuki feel rather envious. After enduring so much emotional abuse at the hands of Akito, Yuki was left with such a loneliness that made him wish he was in Kyo's place instead.

Kyo, on the other hand, blamed Yuki entirely for all of the trouble he had endured through life. Since it was the rat who supposedly tricked the cat into missing out on the banquet, Kyo felt that Yuki (being cursed as the rat) was responsible for his poor lot in life. The feud between the two began at a banquet when a very young Yuki saw Kyo alone outside. Sensing perhaps a kindred spirit as well as thinking that Kyo's hair colour was quite pretty, he tried to introduce himself to Kyo. However, Kyo immediately rejected Yuki, saying he hated him and it was his fault for everything bad that's happened to him. In secret, Kyo wished that he had been born in Yuki's place and envied him, believing that Yuki had caring parents and friends, was talented at everything he did (while Kyo had to work hard to get better) and was loved by the rest of the cursed.

Their bad relationship was compounded shortly before they began live together under Shigure's roof. Akito, cruel as she was, made a deal with Kyo that if he could beat Yuki, he wouldn't be locked away in the cat's room at the end of graduation and Akito would stop calling him a monster. Kyo accepted the deal, happy to have an actual reason to hate Yuki and immediately went to find Yuki and challenge him to a fight.

This brought Kyo to Shigure's house, where Yuki had currently been living. Kyo tries to fight Yuki but doesn't get very far when Tohru, attempting to stop Kyo from attacking Yuki, trips and falls into him. Several accidents occur in sequence and Tohru is left with Yuki, Kyo and Shigure in their animal forms. When they change back, Yuki tells Kyo it's none of his business if a girl is staying with them. Kyo angrily pounds his fist on the table and injurs Tohru, which causes Yuki to accept Kyo's challenge to fight. He of course prevails and leaves Kyo knocked out in the yard.

Soon after, Shigure makes arrangements for Kyo to live with them and go to the same school as Yuki and Tohru. Yuki is absolutely furious with Shigure, who tells them both that Kyo had disappeared for four months in the mountains for training. Shigure continues to tell Tohru that Kyo wants to beat Yuki in a fight and that the two boys have been rivals since they were children. Yuki mutters that Kyo is a moron.

On Kyo's first day of school, he's having a hard time adjusting being around so many people and so many girls. Yuki confronts him and tells Kyo that he better not do anything to make his school life an inconvenience. Kyo tells him he's insane for going to a school with so many girls. Yuki says he's trying to break the bonds of the curse in trying to live outside of Akito's world. Kyo gets angry with Yuki and tells him that he will defeat him and become a member of the zodiac so that he'll no longer be considered an outsider by the family. They start fighting again and Tohru interrupts, forcing Kyo into his cat form and telling him that something really bad will happen if they fight at school. Kyo gets angry at her and she leaves; Yuki then refuses to fight Kyo, saying his refusal will hurt him more than a physical beating would.

Later at school, Yuki sees Kyo playing cards with their classmates and begins to feel envy for how easily Kyo fits in, even though he doesn't like to be around people. They end up fighting again and Yuki gives no mercy, telling Kyo that he's sick of hearing how Kyo wants to win against him and that every time he sees Kyo, he gets agitated.

When Tohru leaves to move back into her grandfather's house, Kyo and Yuki are equally unable to feel comfortable without her living with them. They both seem to forget their vices and go together to bring her back.

When new year arrives, Yuki and Kyo both plan to go back to the Sohma complex for three days to celebrate. As they're walking, the bump into Hanajima who tells them that Tohru used to spend every new year's with her mother and that this year would be the first time she'd be totally alone. Yuki and Kyo both feel like idiots for not considering this earlier and rush back to Shigure's home as fast as they can. Although they do argue a bit, they seem to put their major fighting on hold for Tohru's sake and stay up until sunrise with her. They even make the same wish; that they just want to be with Tohru. <3

Time eventually comes for their school to hold an endurance run, shortly after new year's. Kyo sees this as an excellent opportunity to try to beat Yuki and becomes super fired up. Even though Yuki is feeling ill, he's still managing to keep pace with Kyo easily. Their race comes to an abrupt stop when Hatsuharu trips up Kyo to try to challenge him to a fight. Kyo at first is determined to continue racing with Yuki but is forced to deal with Haru once he turns Black. Even THAT fight is broken up when Yuki collapses from his illness and Kyo gruffly accepts that he'll have to postpone the race for Yuki's sake, implying that perhaps he doesn't really hate Yuki afterall.

Spring break comes and at the Sohma's summer villa, Kyo, Yuki and Tohru take a walk through the woods. Tohru feels that there's a very heavy atmosphere because both Kyo and Yuki are acting unusually quiet. She ends up assuming that she has done something to upset them and when she apologises, both boys are caught off guard. When Tohru stumbles, they both leap to her rescue and end up transforming into animals. As Tohru goes to look for their clothes, they begin to argue. When she comes back and sees them like this, she begins to laugh and feels relieved to see them back to how they usually are. Both Yuki and Kyo tell her that they are both feeling unwell and say, at the same time, that they're just hating each other more and more. xD

Yuki is witness to the events that happen after Kazuma removes Kyo's bracelet in front of Tohru. Yuki doesn't say anything afterwards but a day or two later, he comes down to breakfast and seems to be in a bad mood. He accidentally touches his chopsticks with Kyo's and immediately throws them away, claiming it's to prevent himself from catching the "idiot disease." Kyo, having changed after Tohru's acceptance of his true form, is able to control his temper until Yuki further antagonizes him. Kyo loses his temper and leaves, Yuki saying that he'll hate Kyo until the day he dies. We see that Yuki has actually been somewhat bothered by seeing Kyo's true form but chooses to move past it as best he can.

Uotani and Hanajima later drag both Yuki and Kyo out shopping for a new swimsuit for Tohru, telling them both that they're to chip in to cover the cost. They're both equally embarrassed to be in the store (which is too cute) and when Uotani asks them what colour they think Tohru would look good in, Kyo answers "orange" and Yuki answers "blue." Of course, they then begin to quarrel, insulting each other over their colour choices.

The two boys spend most of their time throughout the series arguing with each other. Yuki usually calls Kyo "baka neko" (or "stupid cat") and often comments on how idiotic Kyo seems to be. Kyo usually gets really riled up and calls Yuki a stupid rat, bastard, pretty much anything insulting that comes to mind. When they're together, it's like fire and water and the only thing that seems to calm them down is Tohru. Kyo especially hates letting Yuki see any softer (ie: weaker) side of himself and will just leave to avoid embarrassment.

Both boys continue to quarrel with each other until it gets serious at the villa during summer holidays. Yuki grabs Kyo by the shirt collar and tells him that if he sees Akito, he had better control his temper so that Tohru doesn't get dragged into anything bad. Yuki reinforces this when Kyo is brought to the guest house on Akito's request. He laments that it's just like that first new year's celebration where Tohru was going to be left alone; Kyo says that he and all the other zodiac members are just as bad for leaving her. Yuki warns Kyo again not to lose it with Akito and Kyo becomes so angry he moves to punch Yuki but stops his fist within an inch of his face. Instead, Kyo punches the wall in frustration and continues on to Akito's room.

Much later, after Yuki has been able to come to terms with his feelings, tells Kyo that he has no intention of returning the blue hat since it's now in Tohru's possession. He continues this more self-confident attitude when it comes time for them to put on the class play, antagonizing Kyo for not wanting to be involved. He asks him if he thinks it's fun to make Tohru worry. Kyo finally loses his temper with Yuki's attitude and tells him he has no idea what it's been like for him because Yuki has parents that love him, is accepted and loved by everyone in general and is able to be perfect at all activities without even trying.

Yuki simply smiles sympathetically and says it must be hard for Kyo if he didn't have someone to pour all of his hatred on. Kyo is taken aback and reminded of Kyoko's words when he was a child; he punches through a window frustratedly and leaves, telling Yuki to drop dead. Yuki is left thinking about this and during the play, he tells Kyo that he won't ask for Kyo's wish (he's playing the role of the fairy godmother) but that Kyo should achieve it with his own abilities. Kyo's surprised by this and thankfully doesn't really have to react as the play ends.

When Kyo and Tohru finally talk about their feelings and Kyo reveals that he both knew her mother and was present for her accidental death, he also admits that he was so utterly depressed that the only thing he was able to do to carry on living was to put all of his hatred onto someone else: Yuki. He says he created a bad guy that he could blame everything for so that he could forget all of the pain he had to endure. It was easy and comfortable to have someone else to blame and when he made the bet with Aktio, it gave him validation for his hatred. Yuki is present for just the end of their discussion, where Kyo tells Tohru that her feelings are an illusion and chases after him when he runs off.

Shortly after this, Tohru is gravely injured and Yuki is watching over her body while the ambulance arrives. Kyo comes as soon as he finds out and Yuki tells him not to touch her because it seems as if she's hit her head very hard. Once Tohru is admitted into the hospital, Yuki becomes furious that Kyo hasn't visited her yet. He goes home and marches up to Kyo's room, coldly saying that if Kyo has time to sulk in his room, he has time to visit Tohru in the hospital. Kyo sadly tells him that he can say what he wants, but if he goes, he will just hurt Tohru and it probably would have been better if she was with Yuki instead of him.

Yuki hits Kyo hard out of rage and asks if Kyo would be satisfied if he could magically catch someone falling off a cliff or miraculously save someone from being hit by a car; does he expect to be some kind of superhero? Kyo retaliates and shouts at Yuki, saying the role of superhero is his and that he would be more like Yuki if he could; he's always wished he could be like him. Yuki is completely dumbfounded and attacks Kyo, telling him to shut up because he was the one who wanted to be like Kyo. He reveals that he idolized Kyo when they were younger, yet Kyo is able to admit the same thing.

However, Kyo is Kyo and Yuki is Yuki… Yuki says they must accept this and that Kyo has protected Tohru all this time. Yuki tells Kyo that although he has no superpower, he is a hero to Tohru; he's kept her happy, smiling and laughing. He tells Kyo that no one but him can do these things for Tohru and that Kyo must be strong for her sake. Yuki asks what Kyo is doing after all this and Kyo immediately rushes off to the hospital…. though the visiting hours are closed. xD;; This is a bit of revenge on Yuki's part for Kyo not having gone sooner. Bwahaha~

Once things are all settled and life returns to normal, Kyo, Yuki and Tohru sit around at home and talk about how much of a shock it is that Akito is actually a woman. Kyo says that it's good because one more guy that liked Tohru would be problematic for him and Yuki laughs. Tohru notices that the two of them seem to be a lot more gentle with each other now.

After graduation, Kyo, Yuki and Tohru are cleaning Shigure's house before they move out. Yuki catches Kyo alone in a hallway and asks Kyo if it's okay to talk to Tohru alone for a while. Kyo says sure and tells Yuki that she's in the living room. Just before Yuki leaves, he tells Kyo "stay level headed, stupid cat." Kyo smiles and says "I don't need looking after, stupid rat." Yuki smiles and continues on his way to see Tohru.

Many, many years later, we see Tohru and Kyo's grandfather looking for her grandparents. In her hands are a small cat doll and a small rat doll, which she places down on the table together. <3


When it comes to Fruits Basket, it seems like people tend to fall into one of two groups: the Yuki fans and the Kyo fans. Personally, while I do love Kyo the most, I really love Yuki too. I think that once you know the entire story, it's impossible to really dislike one over the other since even they idolized each other. xD They are truly a pair that, despite all their fighting, probably wouldn't be quite the same without each other. The series certainly wouldn't be the same, that's for sure!

While I think Yuki can be unnecessarily mean towards Kyo by going out of his way to insult him, it's understandable considering how much Kyo emphasises his unjustified hatred for him. I actually feel really, really bad for the young, timid Yuki who sees Kyo as a potential friend and gets blown off by him instead. Similarly, I can't blame Kyo for acting like he does towards Yuki either. Most of their hatred stems from their youth and it's hard to move past that… but they eventually do!

I think Yuki's actions intensify for a bit when he begins to notice how close Kyo and Tohru have become. For the first few volumes of the series (and for all of the anime), it definitely seems that Yuki is a potential romantic interest for Tohru. However, we eventually learn that the bond between them is more of a mother-son love than anything else. As a result, even though Yuki may seem jealous of Kyo and Tohru's closeness at times, he usually supports them by pushing Kyo into doing the right thing for Tohru's sake.

I think one of my favourite parts of the series is when Yuki and Kyo finally are able to get along after admitting to each other that they always wanted to swap places with each other. They actually laugh together and make each other smile, something you'd never imagine them being able to do at the beginning of the series. I also imagine that they spend a lot of time together as adults since their children are around the same age… It'd be lovely to see how well they get along once they go down their separate paths. :)