The Sohma family in Fruits Basket are afflicted by the Zodiac Curse, a bizarre curse that causes certain members of the family to be possessed by one of the thirteen Spirits of the Chinese Zodiac. When a possessed member of the family dies, the Spirit is reborn inside the body of a different member of the family.
The Zodiac Curse causes the possessed family member to transform into their animal form under certain conditions, but the possession causes changes that are more than skin deep. The possessed members of the Sohma family also act like their animal Spirit and share personality traits with their corresponding Zodiac Animals. Each Spirit in the Zodiac is unique and influences their possessed character accordingly.
13 Yuki: The Rat
Yuki is possessed by the Rat, the first Spirit in the Zodiac, and therefore the closest to God in the hierarchy of the Zodiac. Like the Rat, Yuki is smart, quick-witted, and charming, evidenced by his effortless popularity at school. As the first Zodiac, Yuki is good at almost everything he does, without the noted exception of cooking, and he is able to beat Kyo with ease whenever they duel. However, Yuki is also quite skittish and can scare easily, such as when he has an anxiety attack after getting locked in a dark closet at school.
12 Hatsuharu: The Ox/Cow
Hatsuharu is possessed by the Cow, the second Spirit in the Zodiac, and he fully embodies both the physical and personality traits of his animal Spirit. He is as strong as an Ox and appears cowlike with his large sad eyes and white hair. Hatsuharu has two forms, White and Black. In his White form, he is patient and kind, while in his Black form he is aggressive and stubborn. He acts like a big brother to many of the other Zodiacs, and although he was mocked for his intelligence as a child he is actually rather mature.
11 Kisa: The Tiger
Kisa is possessed by the Tiger, the third Spirit in the Zodiac, and is as fierce as her animal Spirit. At the start of the series, Kisa does not speak and bites people who try to get too close to her. Thanks to the care she receives from Tohru, Hatsuharu, and Yuki she opens up and becomes more confident. She is emotional, courageous, and intense, and as time goes on she becomes more vocal and self-assured. Kisa grows from a scared tiger cub into a brave young tiger, and she learns to approach new situations with curiosity and vigor.
10 Momiji: The Rabbit
Momiji is possessed by the Rabbit, the fourth Spirit in the Zodiac, and is easily the most cheerful of the Zodiac animals. Momiji is cute and full of energy, always leaping from one moment to the next. He is full of life and vitality, and his appearance is youthful and innocent.
He is popular, compassionate, and sincere, and is one of the most emotionally intelligent Zodiac members. His feelings are easily hurt, and he can be quite immature at times, but he is also very perceptive and is able to see into the heart of an issue with ease.
9 Hatori: The Dragon
Hatori is possessed by the Dragon, the fifth Spirit in the Zodiac, and he is as proud and regal as his traditional Zodiac Spirit. Hatori acts calm and collected at all times, and has a rather serious disposition. He is fearless, charismatic, kind, as evidenced by his position as the Sohma family doctor. Hatori has a commanding presence and exudes an air of confidence and authority, but he is also rather sensitive and introspective. His form may be a sea horse, but deep down he has the heart of a true dragon.
8 Ayame: The Snake
Ayame is possessed by the Snake, the sixth Spirit in the Zodiac, and while he can be devious he doesn’t fit the more negative stereotypes of this animal. Ayame is charming and gregarious and is constantly including himself in situations and conversations. He is also rather generous, as seen when he offers to attend Yuki’s parent-teacher conference as his surrogate parent. Ayame is smarter than he appears, which is apparent from his success as a business owner, and is able to slither his way into others’ good graces with ease.
7 Isuzu (Rin): The Horse
Isuzu is possessed by the Horse, the seventh Spirit in the Zodiac, and her nature is just as wild and free as her animal Spirit. Isuzu, better known by her nickname, Rin, is energetic, independent, and impatient, and is the swiftest of all the Zodiacs. While Rin is very independent, she is also very sensitive and is slow to trust others, as seen by her initial mistrust and hesitancy towards Tohru. Due to her traumatic past, her loyalty and respect must be earned, but once gained she is a loyal friend.
6 Hiro: The Sheep/Goat
Hiro is possessed by the Sheep, the eighth Spirit in the Zodiac, and he is as headstrong and surly as he is resourceful. While he is rather shy around strangers and is very kind to those he cares for such as his mother and Kisa, he is not mild-mannered.
At the start of the series, Hiro is distinguished by his sharp tongue and wit and mercilessly taunts Tohru for her open and earnest nature. He is also rather stubborn and willful, but over time he grows into a more trusting and compassionate person.
5 Ritsu: The Monkey
Ritsu is possessed by the Monkey, the ninth Spirit in the Zodiac, but is probably the least like his animal Spirit among all the Zodiacs. The Monkey is traditionally regarded as being fun, energetic, and active. Ritsu, on the other hand, is soft-spoken, timid, and lives with low self-esteem. While he is quite agile and dextrous, he is otherwise quite far removed from his animal Spirit. He is constantly apologizing, even for things he is not responsible for, and has a knack for always saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.
4 Kureno: The Rooster
Kureno is possessed by the Rooster, the tenth Spirit in the Zodiac, and he bears a strong resemblance to his animal Spirit. Kureno comes off as rather proud, and he always appears composed and well put together. He is practical, hard-working, and observant, as evidenced by his dedication to Akito. He realizes that he is not able to have a life outside of his relationship with Akito, so he spurns his connection with Uotani, but he is also aware that he has feelings for her and that she feels the same way about him.
3 Shigure: The Dog
Shigure is possessed by the Dog, the eleventh Spirit in the Zodiac, and he is as carefree and playful as his animal Spirit in the Zodiac. Shigure is very generous, as evidenced by his willingness to open his house to Tohru, Kyo, and Yuki, but he is also a patient schemer. He can be kind, but he can also be rather cruel, as seen by his constant mistreatment of his assistant, Mitsuru. He is very playful and is always joking around with other Zodiacs, but beneath his cool exterior, he is diligently thinking of how to advance his own aims.
2 Kagura: The Pig/Boar
Kagura is possessed by the Pig, the twelfth Spirit in the Zodiac, and she is an apt representation of her animal Spirit. Kagura is very loyal, particularly to Kyo and their relationship, and follows through on her goals with a single-minded determination. She loves to be taken care of and pampered and thrives in social situations. She is very strong, as evidenced by how easily she throws around Kyo when they are fighting, but she is also quite generous, and she gives her time and heart freely to those she loves.
1 Kyo: The Cat
Kyo is possessed by the Cat, the thirteenth and unofficial Spirit in the Zodiac, and he is catlike in every way imaginable. He is always seen lounging around Shigure’s house, and he also has fine tastes, as evidenced by his style and skill with cooking. He has a short temper and is easily angered, especially when he is around Yuki. Kyo is slow to trust, but once his trust is earned he is a very loyal friend. He is dedicated and earnest when it comes to his goals, like a Cat he always finds a way to land on his feet.
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