Fruits Basket – Ranking the Zodiac
On June 29
th, 2021, Fruits Basket The Final aired its last episode. With that marked the completion of the FULL Fruits Basket story told in anime form. This second incarnation of the classic tale delivered so much more than the original 2001 series ever did. Not only did a Fruits Basket anime bring us a proper ending to the narrative, but it also did something its predecessor didn’t. This version introduced us to the ENTIRE Souma clan.
Or, at least, we met all the Soumas afflicted with the infamous Zodiac curse.
No one ended their story free from torment. It cannot be understated how complex, intricate, and dark the history of the Zodiac is, and everyone afflicted by it had their fair share of trauma. Except, not everyone had an equal influence on the plot.
The Zodiac curse offered those who suffered from it a built-in degree of intrigue and interest. However, some of the Soumas had far richer backstories; some of their impacts will stick with us for a long time.
When starting to compile this list, it soon became evident that it was not going to be easy to determine who ranked where. It’s wrong to say, “my happiness is better than your happiness.” Likewise, it is wrong to quantify which of the Soumas had it worse since they all had it pretty bad. Therefore, this list looks at how each of the 14 Soumas’ personalities, actions, and histories came to affect the
Fruits Basket story overall.
PLEASE NOTE: We determined characters’ positions on this list based on their portrayal in the 2019-2021 anime. We did NOT consider characteristics that might vary from Fruits Basket‘s manga or 2001 series incarnations.
With all that said, the following is Anime Hajime’s ranking of the Zodiac members of the Souma clan.
Although this list was difficult to compile, figuring out who would take the bottom slot was not.
Ritsu Souma is a character you tend to forget, and it’s not hard to understand why. He was hardly ever in the show, and when he did make an appearance, it was usually in the background.
If we were to take Ritsu out of the story, nothing would have changed. And considering how seldom he ever uttered a word, he might as well not have been here. However, the Monkey is a part of the Zodiac, so it would have been strange if its curse wasn’t part of the show.
In terms of impact towards the
Fruits Basket story, Kagura Souma is nearly on par with Ritsu. Granted, Kagura was around far more often, and when she was on screen, she typically left an impression.
Kagura is a fan favorite and one of this show’s most consistent sources of humor; she was
Fruits Basket’s first real example of silliness. But, when compared with the rest of the Soumas, she had no significant impact on the narrative.
Also against Kagura is how little we knew of her backstory, unlike the endless amounts of details for some of her other relatives. Being part of the Zodiac, Kagura probably had a rough time as much as the rest. Too bad we weren’t as privy to it as much as we were with the other Soumas.
The Tiger – Voiced By:
While making this list, we had to make a few decisions. Thus, as a trend – not a rule – tears trumped laughs. In the case of Kisa Souma, she only had one really memorable moment from the series. Still, that single moment is impossible to forget.
With most of the rest of the Zodiac, they were either teenagers or adults. Therefore, they had lived with the curse for years; they were familiar with the hardships that came with it.
Kisa, on the other hand, was just a child. Her situation was already sad enough, but imagine having all the grown-ups in your life treating you like some monster. That would be hard enough on anyone.
The Sheep – Voiced By:
Hiro Souma is nearly in the same boat as Kisa. Both were relatively minor characters in the grand scheme of things. And yet, it was Hiro’s attitude that separated him from Kisa.
Additionally, Hiro’s role in
Fruits Basket’s end game helped secure his final position on this list. Of all the characters that have come before, he played a role in the story that wasn’t insignificant.
Hiro kept popping up in places that made him the first person on this list with a character arc. He saw growth between his introduction and this show’s conclusion.
Ayame Souma toed the line between being a silly tension breaker and oh-damn-you’ve-been-through-the-ringer kind of character.
Here’s hoping this comes across better than it sounds; Ayame’s experience with the Zodiac curse felt like it existed in his past. Naturally, he dealt with it like the rest, but Ayame appeared more at peace with his circumstances.
With that said, Ayame also had his fair of regrets, especially when it came to his relationship with his brother, Yuki. Combined with his outwardly free-spirited attitude, that regret helped ensure he was always an interesting character to have on-screen.
For a bit of behind-the-scenes, this is the spot where things got incredibly tricky. Here was when we needed to decide whose trauma was more traumatic. Had this not been
Fruits Basket, Hatori Souma’s story would have been the most heartbreaking thing going on in any other series.
Whether by choice or by circumstances, Hatori was the most mature of the Zodiac members. He wasn’t crafty, he wasn’t manipulative (despite his power to wipe minds), and he didn’t want to cause trouble. Still, you could see how little hope he had.
Hatori had already resigned himself to living with the curse for the rest of his life. So, when he had that one example of happiness ripped from him, it hurt.
Considering Kureno Souma was the last Zodiac introduced to us, his position on this list is remarkable.
In only a few strokes, Kureno did something none of his fellow Zodiacs had done. He fully contextualized what the curse truly entailed; it was much more profound than transforming into animals.
Despite actually having his curse broken, Kureno was still as trapped as the rest. The Zodiacs had a connection that both bounded and chained them together. The curse took away their freedom to live a life that was their own.
Nowhere was this weight more felt than with Kureno’s experience.
Haru Souma was a rock. In the sea of pain that was the Zodiac curse, he was someone you could rely on to keep calm. And it wasn’t like he suffered any less than the rest; Haru was just a naturally forgiving person.
Then again, there was the whole Black Haru thing. So, it was nice to know he could get angry.
Nevertheless, it was impossible to hate Haru; he was one of the most likable characters, if not the most likable character, of the show. Thus, the number seven rank might seem low. However, everyone who comes after is a mixture of sheer importance and outright memorability.
Although he was one of the main characters, Yuki Souma always seemed to get more than his fair share of the spotlight. Consequently, he had one of the most well-rounded and complete personalities of anyone from
Of the group, Yuki was one of the ones most mentally scarred by the abuse and ostracization committed by the non-cursed Soumas. If Kureno Souma was the catalyst that represented the true nature of the Zodiac curse, Yuki was the first to demonstrate how painful it could be. And that was on top of being among the favorite “toys” of the Zodiac’s leader, Akito Souma.
No matter what form this tale may take, Yuki will always remain a prominent face of
The Rabbit – Voiced By:
Again, all the Zodiacs have a sad tale to tell. However, none of them hold a candle to Momiji Souma. Despite his happy and bubbly personality, this kid held onto an incredible amount of suffering.
There is no denying how tragic Momiji’s tale was. Then, that injustice kept getting thrown in his face; he could not escape it. And what was worse, it would never go away.
Momiji could never get back what he lost. So, if you’ve never seen
Fruits Basket before, you’re in for one hell of a ride here.
Other than the curse itself, one thing connected the members of the Zodiac – incredible amounts of mental abuse. Rin Souma, on the other hand, not only had that to contend with, but she was also the one who always suffered Akito’s physical wrath.
Rin was the only one who almost became a murder victim.
Therefore, she was the Zodiac who was the least likely to forgive and forget. At the end of this series, she was the only one openly still angry about the suffering she and her fellow Zodiacs went through. And yet, her finale was amongst the most satisfying because, after everything she fought for, she got what she wanted.
Shigure Souma ranks high on this list because from the moment we met him, something felt off. He might act as though he doesn’t care what is happening, but he is always scheming. Shigure could be incredibly vindictive, and he was not someone you would want to cross.
Fruits Basket story grew more complex, Shigure’s truer, darker character came out.
He acted like a villain, only caring about his own goals. When push came to shove, Shigure only looked out for what he wanted.
There is no excusing the things Akito Souma did to the Zodiacs. In every sense of the word, she was a monster. And yet, she was also every bit of a victim as well.
Akito was one of those antagonists that you come to learn why they do the things they do. All her life, the Soumas had placed Akito on this pedestal; they made her important. Therefore, it’s not hard to see why she would think the Zodiacs were her playthings.
Nevertheless, when Akito’s world began to crumble, it was uncomfortable. You could say she got what was coming to her, but it didn’t make things easier. There was genuine fear, anxiety, and horror fueling Akito’s actions. She will forever be one of the most memorable aspects of
To be a Zodiac means to be an outcast. As such, Kyo was the outcast of the outcasts.
We can’t pretend that any of the Zodiacs could have had a normal life had the curse stuck. However, Kyo was looking at imminent imprisonment. Had nothing changed, there was no hope for him.
Kyo was the punching bag. He was the boogeyman; he was the failure; he was the mistake. Anything the Soumas needed a scapegoat for, they went to Kyo. He was never meant to be happy.
Thus, when Kyo got his fairy tale ending, it was indeed that – happy.
Without question, of the Zodiacs, Kyo Souma comes out on top.
Fruits Basket story is an anime classic, and this 2019-2021 update only made things better. The curse of the Zodiac is one of those things that stick with you; it is a tale of pain, suffering, and hardship.
As a result, this series gave us a cast of characters who not only stand the test of time within their own narrative but within the whole anime medium.
This was not an easy list to put together, and we don’t expect you to agree with it one hundred percent. However, we stand by our final product.
But these are just our thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen the newest incarnation of
Fruits Basket? How would you rank the Zodiac members of the Souma clan? Leave a comment down below because we would love to hear what you have to say.
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