Kyo Sohma

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Kyo Sohma
Fruits Basket character
Kyo Sohma, with cats, Episode 7.jpg
Kyo as he appears in the anime with two cats on his shoulders.
Created by Natsuki Takaya
Voiced by Tomokazu Seki (Japanese)
Kyosuke Ikeda (child) (Japanese)
Jerry Jewell (English)
Avery Rice-Williams (child) (English)
Profile
Relatives Tohru Honda (wife)
Kyoko Honda (mother-in-law)
Katsuya Honda (father-in-law)
Tohru's Grandfather (grandfather-in-law)
Kazuma Sohma (adoptive father)
Saki Hanajima (adoptive mother)
Unnamed son
Unnamed daughter-in-law
Granddaughter
Great-grandfather (Kazuma's grandfather)
Zodiac spirit Cat

Kyo Sohma (草摩 夾 Sōma Kyo?) is a character in the manga and anime series Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya. He transforms into an orange cat whenever he is hugged by a person of the opposite gender or when his body comes under a great deal of stress. This animal is not in the Chinese zodiac, but legend says would have been if it had not been tricked by the Rat into missing the induction feast.[1] Also, this could be and probably is why he and Yuki (the Rat) do not get along very well. As part of his curse, Kyo transforms into a "monster", resembling a reptilian creature, whenever his Juzu beads bracelet are taken off.

Kyo is usually short-tempered, impulsive, and rude, but that is only one side to this complex character. He doesn't like to show his feelings and is very protective of those he cares for. He is also sometimes called "Kyon Kyon" (by classmates in episode three of the anime, which makes him angry) (Shigure Sohma and Ayame Sohma enjoy teasing him.) He also appears to have a strong dislike for leeks, the smell and taste make him feel sick.

Creation and conception[edit]

According to Natsuki Takaya, when she was developing the series, he is 15 years of age, Kyo was one of the first three characters she developed and was "based on a real person who really transformed into a cat and had to wear a bracelet or would turn into a monster...without any hesitation."[2] She has also stated she deliberately gave Yuki and Kyo different tastes in clothing to distinguish them =>.[3] Kyo's clothes are always open-collared or loose because he hates having the tightness around his neck (like cats hate wearing collars). Kyo was made as a person with anger issues to give the story a little comedy. In mostly every episode he loses his temper, and always fights with Yuki, but always fails. Although the author claimed no names in Fruits Basket other than the 12 canonical zodiac members have any significance,[4] the Japanese word kyō has several meanings that apply to Kyo Sohma. The kanji used to write his name () means "insert between"; other meanings of kyō, written with other kanji, include "ill fortune" (?), reflecting the Sohma's attitudes toward the cat, "ginger" (?), referring to his hair, and "turmoil" (?) relating to his conflicts within himself and with others. However, Kyo is very popular with girls. In the 13th book, a girl asks him out. He is considered to be very attractive, however he is extremely reluctant to form any sort of relationship for fear of harming others. Kyo is also very mean but at sometimes he can be very nice to Tohru and control his temper. Kyo learns more about Tohru and discovers that he really loves her a lot and that Tohru's been the one who Kyo needs most. In episode 26 the very last thing Kyo asks is, "How are you the one who can be by my side crying for me? How could you give me the words I've been wanting?" Kyo is very kind in ways, except with Yuki, who he always fights, though they eventually come to a truce.

Character outline[edit]

Personality and background[edit]

Kyo's mother committed suicide by walking in front of an oncoming train when he was a young child of possibly four to six years old. Kyo's abusive father constantly blamed his son for his wife's death, though in one of the later books Kyo discovers that it was his father who pushed his mother to commit suicide. His father later abandoned him. Kazuma Sohma, whose grandfather was the previous cat, decided to take Kyo in as his own son and the two form a relationship that seems blood-related. People have criticized Kyo throughout his life for his differences, too frightened or never bothering to glance beyond the label of "The Cat" and regard Kyo as a true person. Like most of the Sohmas, throughout his school years, he begins to get picked on for the color of his hair but he would chase them around, threatening to kill them and beat them half to death when his temper got out of control.

Because of the Juunishi curse, Kyo must always wear a Juzu bead bracelet. These beads were made from the bones of a priest and warrior, and so they are a powerful protective charm. The beads themselves are alternately pale and either red (in the manga) or black (in the anime), with the dark ones supposedly stained by blood.[5] Whenever these beads are taken off his wrist, Kyo transforms into the cat's "true form", a beast that resembles a mutated lizard-like form, which has a horribly foul stench like rotting flesh. This form is a result of the Juunishi curse, and only the cat transforms into this form. The Juzu beads are handed down to the current cat of the Zodiac from the previous cat, and must always be worn. In episode 24 (or chapter 32-33 of the series) Kazuma Sohma takes the beads off Kyo's wrist and he turns into the cat's true form. He does this purposely in front of Tohru Honda, trying to test what Tohru truly feels for Kyo. Kyo can often be very emotional at times but he is always struck by the angry side of him when someone distracts, annoys or does something to irritate him.

Early in the manga it is established that of all the Sohmas suffering from the Zodiac curse it is Kyo, as the cat, who is generally the most reviled (although he is frequently viewed with pity or disgust rather than outright hatred, and it is implied that Kyo may be hated by certain members of the Sohma clan more than others - Akito seems to despise Kyo more than any other of the zodiac). In chapter 108 of the manga, Shigure tells Tohru that the members of the Zodiac are "monsters...disgusting creatures," and that "the existence of the cat is our salvation...He's a monster even uglier than we are, inferior to everything." He adds that the cat has an obligation to accept the fact that he will be isolated from society (essentially imprisoned for the remainder of his life), "discriminated against and looked down upon," because seeing this allows the other members of the Zodiac to feel better about themselves, at least better off than the cat. He often hurts Momiji's feelings.

He also made a bet with Akito that he will beat Yuki before they graduate. But if Kyo doesn't beat Yuki before they graduate, Kyo will be locked in the Cat's Room for the rest of his life; if he does, then he will be accepted as a full member of the zodiac. However,in the end Tohru breaks the Sohma curse.

Kazuma Sohma and Kyo Sohma's Relationship[edit]

Kazuma Sohma and Kyo Sohma are adoptive father and son. Kazuma is also Kyo's Martial Arts master. Also Yuki's, Kagura's, and other members of the Zodiac's master. Kazuma loves Kyo dearly; however. Kyo has trouble admitting that Kazuma is his real father. In order to beat Yuki once and for all, Kyo went away from the family for four months to train with Kazuma on the mountains. However, he never beat Yuki. In the end, Yuki and Kyo called a truce. They spilled out the truth and said they both love different parts of each other and finally became friends.

Reception[edit]

Kyo has been described by reviewers as part of the success of the series, in balance with Yuki and Tohru.[6] He has been voted first place in many of the popularity polls, and has ranked high in many of the others. The UK Anime NEt publisher remarked, "This dynamic, of the two quarrelling teenagers increasingly calmed by the gentle female presence, is a wonderful creation – Kyo provides us with action, Yuki carries dignity, and Tohru is gentle without being wishy-washy, providing the show’s heart... The balance is nigh on perfect."

References[edit]

  1. ^ Takaya, Kyo (2004-02-10). "Chapters 1–2". Fruits Basket, Volume 1. Los Angeles: ToKyopop. ISBN 978-1-59182-603-3. 
  2. ^ Takaya, Kyo (2007-09-11). "Natsuki Takaya Written Interview". Fruits Basket Fan Book - Cat. Los Angeles: ToKyopop. p. 36. ISBN 978-1-4278-0293-4. 
  3. ^ Quoted in Takaya, Kyo (2007-09-11). "Yuki Sohma". Fruits Basket Fan Book - Cat. Los Angeles: ToKyopop. p. 48. ISBN 978-1-4278-0293-4. "When I was designing Yuki and Kyo's clothes, I delibeYukiely chose very different styles so they could both think, "I wouldn't be caught dead in the clothes you wear--and besides, they'd look awful on me."" 
  4. ^ Takaya, Kyo (2007-09-11). "Natsuki Takaya Written Interview Part 2". Fruits Basket Fan Book - Cat. Los Angeles: ToKyopop. p. 172. ISBN 978-1-4278-0293-4. "There isn't really a story to those names." 
  5. ^ Takaya, Kyo (2005-08-09). "Chapter 61". Fruits Basket, Volume 11. Los Angeles: ToKyopop. ISBN 978-1-59532-406-1. 
  6. ^ Liversidge, Ross. "10 of the Best - Fruits Basket". UK Anime Net. Retrieved 2008-04-21. "This dynamic, of the two quarrelling teenagers increasingly calmed by the gentle female presence, is a wonderful creation – Kyo provides us with action, Yuki carries dignity, and Tohru is gentle without being wishy-washy, providing the show’s heart... The balance is nigh on perfect." 

External links[edit]