Now that the Fruits Basket anime has come to an end, I’d like to indulge in it a little longer by ranking all of the relationships in the series from my most to least favourite. Remember that this is all my personal opinion, so don’t complain if I rank your favourite ship low on the list, or your least favourite near the top.
Major spoilers for Fruits Basket, obviously.
- Yuki and Machi
Yes, I’m putting them even ahead of the main couple. Personally, I love this relationship dynamic just a little bit more and how it provides some of my favourite romantic moments. The two understand each other so well long before they officially get together, such as Machi breaking down a door to prevent Yuki from having a panic attack and Yuki later breaking a piece of chalk to prevent Machi from having an anxiety attack. It wasn’t so much that Yuki helped Machi gain a personality but more he let her realise parts of herself that she didn’t know were there. And Yuki was finally able to break free of the confines of the Sohma family thanks to Machi, who was practically the only girl at school who didn’t idolise him but saw him as he truly was.
2. Tohru and Kyo
Of course I couldn’t put them too low. Their love literally broke a generations-long curse! Watching Kyo change from an angry hot-head to a caring boyfriend all thanks to Tohru really shows how much he deserves such a special girl. It isn’t just Tohru; thanks to her influence he is gentler and more sociable with everyone. Even outside of romantic scenes, they interact so naturally and can’t get enough of each other’s company.
3. Hatsuharu and Isuzu
Not only do I adore their matching goth aesthetic (even their accessories match, now that is relationship goals) but I adore how Hatsuharu helped Rin through her trauma, and she in turn helped him transform from a punk kid to a responsible adult. Come to think of it, Rin seemed to pick up a few things from Tohru. Haru did realise that not all of his actions were right and he hurt Rin in some ways, yet he still vowed to do the right thing for her, while Rin realised it was ok to rely upon his support. It’s also kind of hilarious that after years of having a crush on her, Haru just came straight out and said ‘Wanna kiss?’ one day completely out of the blue.
4. Ayame and Mine
They’re both a little nuts, but that’s what makes them so perfect for each other. Even before the curse was broken, the two of them were completely overjoyed just being in each other’s presence and complement each other’s overwhelming confidence and sense of style. Mine probably knew about the curse for a long time and not only hid it from Akito but was perfectly happy being with Ayame, even if it meant she couldn’t hug him. Thank God the two can be all over each other now. Keeping with the theme of personal improvement, Mine also helped Ayame realise how cruelly he had treated Yuki in the past and was fully supportive when he tried to mend their relationship.
5. Ritsu and Mitsuru
It’s a shame we don’t see much of this couple, as they are another completely adorable pair. Not only do they fully relate to each other’s anxiety disorders but in a bonus manga, Mitsuru had no idea whether Ritsu was a man or a woman but didn’t care either way. I imagine she might not even find out until their wedding night! I’m glad we got to see a little more of their blossoming relationship in the anime and how they are a calming influence on each other.
6. Kisa and Hiro
Yes, they’re still too young and probably haven’t started a proper relationship yet, but it is easy to imagine they will eventually get together. Hiro recognised how he hurt Kisa, both intentionally and unintentionally, and realised he had to change for the better, even if it meant getting over his jealousy over Tohru. He became the knight who can protect Kisa.
7. Kakeru and Komaki
I’ll never forgive the anime for cutting out Komaki. She was such an integral part of Kakeru’s character arc. She helped him realise that ‘white knighting’ for her wasn’t right when it involved shooting other people down. That and it’s hilarious how he both plays pranks on her and finds even her smallest traits adorable. She truly is his ‘meat angel’.
8. Hatori and Mayuko
It’s not that I particularly dislike this couple, more it’s not one of my favourite side-plots. But it is a nice change of pace amidst so much high school drama to read a story about two mature adults who have already faced relationship issues and finally found peace with each other.
9. Kureno and Arisa
Even ignoring the age difference, there are a lot of red flags in this relationship. Kureno only seemed to fall for Arisa because she was one of the first people he met outside the Sohma family, they have little in common (not exactly Kureno’s fault since the confines of the Sohmas haven’t left him much room to develop a personality), and they are completely head-over-heels in love after interacting twice. I suppose the implication was supposed to be that their relationship was over before it even began thanks to the curse, but they still essentially decide to live happily-ever-after as soon as it’s broken rather than get to know each other naturally.
10. Ren and Akira
They are a perfect example of how some relationships can bring out the worst in a person. Akira certainly loved Ren, but only because his isolation left him with few options other than arranged brides. Ren was so jealous and possessive over Akira that she projected it onto their child, and Akira did little to stop this behaviour. Plus for all her talk of loving Akira, she was quick to jump into bed with Shigure just to spite Akito.
11. Kyoko and Katsuya
Yes, they did create the miracle that is Tohru Honda, but that doesn’t make their relationship much better if you really think about it. First of all, when they met Katsuya was an adult and Kyoko was only around fourteen. Secondly, they have little in common apart from both being lonely. Thirdly, Kyoko only married Katsuya because she had just been kicked out of her parent’s house and was dependant on him. The Honda family were a little right to be wary of her because she had a recent history of gang violence, and anger issues don’t go away just because you get married. Thankfully Kyoko matured and became a responsible mother after Katsuya died and realised she didn’t need to depend upon him her entire life.
12. Shigure and Akito
These two and their relationship dynamic are actually one of the most fascinating parts of the series for me. But that’s not the same as being healthy. Akito is a victim of abuse carrying on the cycle of abuse and is severely mentally ill. Shigure is cruel, manipulative, and willing to throw anyone under the bus to get what he wants, and justifies it by claiming it’s all for Akito’s sake. If some of the relationships above weren’t questionable enough, Shigure fell for Akito the night she was conceived and has retained that toxic hold over her ever since. He even slept with Akito’s mother just to make her jealous. And they still got married and had a son. The sequel manga did go some way to rectify this unhealthy relationship, but I still don’t see a bright future for the two of them.
What are your favourite and least favourite relationships in Fruits Basket? Let me know in the comments!