Written and illustrated by Natsuki Takaya.
When high school student Tohru Honda's mother (Kyoko Honda) dies in a car accident, Tohru begins living in a tent and supporting herself. That is, until she finds a home in the least likely of places, inhabited by her classmate Yuki Sohma and his cousins, Shigure and Kyo. The Sohmas, however, live with a curse. Thirteen members of the family are possessed by spirits of the Chinese Zodiac and turn into their zodiac animal when hugged by the opposite gender, are weak, or when under stress. When Tohru discovers the Sohma's secret, she promises not to tell and is allowed to keep living with them. The Sohma's curse, however, is deeper and darker than Tohru realized, but her presence soon becomes a large, positive influence on those possessed by the zodiac. She sets out to break the curse, and on the way, meets and discovers each of the Sohma's vengeful zodiac spirits. Each has a different personality, just like the animals in the Chinese Zodiac. Tohru's existence changes the Sohma clan's lives forever...
Differences between manga and animeEdit
The anime itself is based, very faithfully, on the original manga by Natsuki Takaya. As the manga was still ongoing during the anime's production, the animated series made some changes to the story. Several events are combined, and some events, such as Tohru's first meeting with Momiji and all references to Tohru's baseball hat, never happen. Many of the events surrounding the revealing of Kyo's true form are greatly changed in the anime, including adding an extended chase sequence, Tohru meeting Akito in the woods, her meeting with Hanajima and Uotani at her mother's grave, and Yuki having also chased after Kyo, none of which happen in the manga.
While the anime faithfully adapts most of the characters from the manga series, it does make some changes. In the manga, Momiji is half-German and half-Japanese and regularly speaks German, particularly when he first meets Tohru, while in the anime no German is spoken. Shigure's darker side is toned down in the anime, with many remarks he makes in the manga that hint at a hidden agenda are left out, along with most of his early scenes with Akito. In the anime, Akito is biologically male and will die at a young age because of the curse, while in the manga, Akito is biologically female but brought up as male and is not dying. Additionally, Isuzu "Rin" Sohma, the horse, and Kureno Sohma, the rooster, are never mentioned or shown in the anime and are only in the manga. Finally, the curse is not lifted in the anime.
A kind hearted orphaned high school student who, at the start of the story, begins living in a tent. She is then found by Shigure and Yuki Sohma, who offer to take her in in exchange for housekeeping. She loves to cook and describes herself as an excellent housekeeper.
Kyo is cursed by the cat, an animal not in the Chinese zodiac but which legend says would have been if it had not been tricked by the rat into missing the induction feast. He is depicted as an orange-haired young man who is short-tempered and charismatic, if initially awkward around people; Arisa Uotani once calls him "anger management boy," and Yuki Sohma expresses envy of his ability to make friends easily.He is also fiercely competitive, and can be easily manipulated into doing things he does not want to by turning it into a competition—especially against Yuki.
Yuki is the rat of the Chinese zodiac. Yuki is depicted as an attractive, reserved, ,mysterious ,and accomplished young man with many admirers, but who finds being friendly difficult. When Yuki was young, Akito Sohma kept him isolated and convinced him no one liked him; because of this, Yuki has low self-esteem and feels isolated. He is known as "Prince Yuki" and "Prince Charming" at school.