Unlike the listing of appearances by chapter, this section of the site integrates spoilers for all manga chapters released in Japan. It primarily focuses on Rin, obviously, so there aren't many spoilers that don't relate to her, but her function within the series (see 'Role/future') means that she has connections to several of the significant plot threads. Also, the chapter 97 (vol. 17) spoiler regarding Akito is incorporated. Because Fruits Basket is such a relationship-driven series, both this page and Haru's corresponding page start with analysis of their connections to other characters, followed by overall impressions and my thoughts on the way they seem to be heading, as the series comes to a close. Almost everything I mention on this page is hard fact. There are places where I'm speculating or mentioning common interpretations of the text, but those are clearly indicated.

Analysis of Relationships


Rin has a particularly bad relationship with her parents, even for a Jyuunishi. For most of her early childhood, she lived in what looked like a perfect family, and believed that her parents loved her very much. However, when she was quite young, a perfectly innocent question on her part--"are you really always this happy? Doesn't anything bad ever happen?"--shattered the illusion and they stopped trying to treat her well. A pattern of very serious long-term physical abuse started, and it lasted until she finally collapsed and was hospitalized. Her age when these things happened is not stated, but I would guess from the artwork that she was perhaps eight or nine when the abuse began, and closer to eleven or twelve when it finally broke her.

After this, her mother told her that they "didn't know how to love her anymore" (evidently not, since their only attempts to deal with her were to pretend that they loved her and everything was perfect, or to treat her with extreme cruelty), and that she didn't need to bother coming home. During the scene in the hospital, Rin displays some typical characteristics of abuse victims: before her mother arrives, she pleads to be allowed to leave before her parents find out where she is, in a desperate attempt to maintain the shreds of a family life she still has.

Unable to return home, Rin was taken in by Kagura's family, where she still lives at the time of her first appearance. Despite living there for five or six years, and despite their efforts to include her, she was never able to feel at home there. In chapter 69, Kagura tells Yuki that Rin sometimes simply doesn't come home (and that she often doesn't attend school).

There's been no evidence that Rin has had any contact with her parents since she left their home, and she still has a deep-rooted, irrational conviction that what was done to her was somehow her fault, and that if she could figure out what she did wrong, her parents might someday love her again. In reality, her only 'sin' was being born cursed, to parents who were unable to cope, and whose resentment of her outweighed their desire to fake it.

Sohma Hatsuharu

[Chapters 43-103]

Before Rin ever appears in the series, we know two things about her: that Akito--who is both Head of the family, and the 'god' of the Jyuunishi--had done something to her, serious enough that Shigure and Hatori admitted to each other that they couldn't let anything else like it happen (ch. 38), and that she was Hatsuharu's ex-girlfriend (ch. 43). When Akito learned of Rin and Haru's relationship, she attacked Rin physically, culminating in pushing her out a window (ch. 79). As a result Rin was hospitalized for an unspecified period of time; while recovering, she broke up with Haru, offering no explanation other than that she was "tired of him" and "didn't need him anymore". In reality, she broke up with him because Akito convinced her that Haru was far better off without her; her self-esteem seems to have already been low enough that it didn't take much convincing. Despite the serious damage to her body, the emotional damage from Akito's attack was much more severe.

We don't know how long their romantic relationship lasted, but Rin and Haru were close as children (ch. 78-79), and the closeness gradually evolved into love. It was Haru who brought it up, and despite Rin's deep fear of Akito's jealousy and violent temper, it took very little persuasion for him to convince Rin that they should act on their feelings for each other. They became lovers, and managed to spend nights together often enough that she became completely comfortable with him being near her while she slept, and for him to be used to her waking from nightmares (ch. 105). But Rin discovered that even having sex with him wasn't enough to satisfy her desire to be close to him (ch. 78), and even before Akito reinforced the idea, she became terrified that her love and need for Haru would consume him or drive him away.

Haru tells Yuki that Rin "can be harsh", but won't lie "to protect herself" (ch. 69). We've seen no sign that this is untrue; Haru knows her extremely well, hence Rin's elaborate efforts to keep him from learning the truth about her continued feelings for him. (These efforts also resulted in his growing uncertainty about how well he really understood her.) But we do know she'll lie for other reasons. In addition to her ongoing campaign to convince everyone that she doesn't care about Haru, there's her crucial lie to Akito (ch.79). When Akito confronts her about her relationship with Haru, she asks Rin which of them started it, with the implication that whichever of them it was will be the one to suffer her wrath. The facts are that Haru 'seduced' her, and Akito likes Haru, at least as much as she likes any of the Jyuunishi. The odds seem good that if Rin had told the truth Haru might have gotten off more easily than she would. But despite that, she lies and takes both the blame and the punishment. It's obviously a lie that Akito wants to believe, and despite the truly frightening level of violence Akito levels at her, Rin makes no effort to go back on it.

She does, however, come away from the incident with a deep determination to break the family curse and free Haru from Akito.

Rin is apparently physically incapable of resisting Haru; she agrees to date him even though she's terrified; more significantly, in their one encounter since the break-up, she manages to keep her anger shield up until he frightens her by telling her that he doesn't have any reason to live without her. He kisses her before she can recover, and the art makes it clear that the kiss turns pretty intense before he displays unusually bad judgement and says the wrong thing to her; she pulls away, slaps him, and bolts. (I take several interesting ideas from this scene. First, Haru's assessment of the 'right thing' to say to people is usually dead on; his slip-up here suggests that it's actually the first chance he's had to talk to her at all since she dumped him, and he's desperate to get everything out while he can. Second, I don't think she hits him because she's angry at what he says; it seems to me that she's terrified of her response to him. If he realizes that she still loves him, everything she's sacrificed and is still sacrificing will be for nothing, and he would almost certainly refuse to accept her actual reasons for breaking up with him. When he startles her enough that she can pull away for a moment, she runs like hell. Additionally, Haru's a pretty kickass martial artist. The fact that she successfully hit him implies one of two things to me: either he let her hit him, even though he could have stopped her easily, or else she's still so far under his guard that he's incapable of perceiving her as a threat.)

In chapter 96 it becomes clear that Haru is still far enough under her defenses to touch her in her sleep without waking her, when no one else can. (At the end of chapter 95 he found her sleeping and held her; in this chapter she is puzzled that she had gone to sleep sitting up but was lying down when she woke. She says that no one could move her in her sleep without waking her, and Tohru asks if that includes Haru. Without thinking, Rin replies "Haru's . . . different, but . . . ", and then becomes angry when she realizes what she's admitted.) Despite her efforts to distance herself from him, it's clear that she is still subconsciously close to him.

[Beyond chapter 104]

Rin and Haru had no further contact until early spring. Shortly after New Year's, Rin was manipulated into trying to steal one of Akito's most precious belongings (ch. 106--see Ren); Akito caught her, and had her locked away in the shunned building traditionally reserved for the Cat. Rin remained there, in near-total isolation, for three or four months (until the end of the Japanese school year), and eventually stopped eating. (During this time, Akito also hacked her hair off [ch. 103].) By the time she was found and taken to the hospital for treatment, she was suffering from severe malnutrition and the psychological effects of her confinement--she leaves the hospital and wound up wandering the streets, hallucinating so badly that she was unable to comprehend her surroundings, believing that she was still locked in the Cat's room and dreaming of the outside world.

During her delirium, she collapses on the sidewalk, and is found by Haru (ch. 106), who had talked with Hiro and learned the truth about the injuries Akito gave her, her reasons for breaking up with him, and her attempts to break the curse. Thinking she's imagining him, she breaks down, confessing that she'd been unable to find the way to free him. Haru responds by asking her to come home to him, if her 'journey' is over, because he's unbearably lonely without her. (The symmetry here is lovely--Takaya's closing note on chapter 79 says that Haru is Rin's "home".) She says that it would be good if she could go back, and that it's a good dream of him--at which point he tells her she's not dreaming, which snaps her back to reality. She makes no effort to lie to him again, and their relationship resumes.

The last detailed look at their relationship comes in chapter 107, as Haru, Tohru, and Yuki visit her at Kazuma's home (where Haru took her to recuperate), and she and Haru are clearly back together. Haru is extremely protective of her in this chapter, and it does seem that their relationship is at least a little bit more commonly known--in chapter 111, Kagura visits her at Kazuma's, and chides her for not accepting Haru's invitation to a barbecue at Shigure's (which suggests that she and Haru are maintaining some boundaries in their relationship--probably a good thing, given how disastrous their addiction to each other turned out to be).

Rin and Haru are together in chapter 130, when the Jyuunishi curse dissolves completely; their scene lasts for only a few panels, but ends with them embracing. In chapter 132, when the Jyuunishi assemble at the Main House, she sits apart from him (and everyone else) until after she glares at him and Yuki and he comes to tousle her hair.

In chapter 133, Rin admits to Tohru that she's been unable to forgive Akito and move on as the others seem to be doing; she worries that this is a weakness in herself, and that Haru might stop loving her if she allows herself to be angry or weak around him (which Tohru assures her is impossible, bless her). This fear seems to have shaken her--Haru's love is the one thing she'd always been certain of before, even though she's always been a little confused by it. Whether this has to do with the adjustment to being in a relationship with him again, or is affected by losing the bond that's always linked them, isn't really clear.

The final chapter of the series (136) takes place several months later, and shows Rin looking very much at peace in Haru's arms. If they've ever talked about the fears that came up in ch. 133, or if Rin worked through them on her own, isn't shown.

Sohma Shigure

Rin and Shigure have an odd sort of relationship. He is aware of her history with Haru (although we don't know when or how he found out; at the time, Haru suspected Shigure might have known, but hadn't told him [ch.43]). Almost immediately after her discharge from the hospital, after her run-in with Akito, she goes to visit Shigure (ch. 53). Their conversation isn't revealed, but some odd suggestiveness led readers to think she might be in love with/sleeping with him. However, the conversation plays out in flashback in ch.78, revealing that she believes Shigure knows how to break the family curse. In exchange for the information, she offers him herself--free use of her body for the rest of her life. Shigure, however, tells her that he doesn't know the secret, and that she'll have to ask someone else. He suggests that she might ask 'God'--Akito. Sometime during that same visit, Rin asks him about Tohru, and accuses him of thinking of other people/strangers as nothing but 'things' (ch. 71).

She doesn't seem to be deterred by his refusal to talk, or to believe that he doesn't know anything--she visits his house again in chapters 69 (it's implied that they do have some sort of conversation during this visit, although it's not shown) and 78, and Shigure mentions in chapter 80 that she "comes by from time to time". While she doesn't trust him, she seems more comfortable with him than with most people, and in his own way Shigure seems to genuinely care about her (although with Shigure, it should always be remembered that there's very little he's unwilling to sacrifice if need be, and any sincere fondness for her probably doesn't run that deep). In chapter 84, Yuki's memory of a long-ago New Year's gathering shows a young Rin sitting very close to Shigure, listening while he chats with Ayame.

In chapter 80, after Rin's collapse at his home, Shigure's advice to her is very practical: he tells her that if she wants nothing to do with other people, she should have the sense to take care of herself so that they don't have to. Rather than being a cold response to her illness, this may touch back on his recognition (ch. 78) that she's sacrificing everything--including herself--in her desire to help Haru (which she doesn't deny). Later in the chapter, he deflects Tohru's questions about Rin's presence by joking that he and Rin and secretly dating (an interesting parallel to the truth about her relationship with Haru). He immediately admits it's a lie, but Tohru's curiosity has been successfully deflected. Shigure doesn't seem to have any interest in helping Rin, but he's apparently willing to give her at least a little bit of cover (although he does tell Hatori what she's trying to do).

We don't see them having another serious conversation until chapter 107, when Shigure--perhaps pitying the futility of her efforts--tells her that the curse is slowly breaking on its own. (He also alludes to his relationship with Ren, interestingly.) Rin at first refuses to trust him, but by the end of the conversation says that it doesn't matter to her when the curse breaks, as long as she knows they'll eventually be free. All in all, they seem to have a surprisingly honest relationship, especially given how they each interact with other people.

Sohma Akito

Of all the Jyuunishi, Rin probably has the worst relationship with Akito. This is a frightening comment, given the number of them who have been physically injured or even maimed during one of their god's rages (Hatori, Kisa, Kyo, Momiji, Yuki, and Kureno have also suffered Akito's wrath). Until fairly late in the series, most of Akito's physical attacks on the Jyuunishi are impulsive and sudden; her first assault on Rin, after the relationship with Haru is discovered, seems much more premeditated. Akito's habit of blaming the women rather than men when she perceives a relationship that threatens to divert love from herself is consistent but in Rin's case the attack is accompanied by very personal emotional violence as well as the physical harm: she very deliberately attacks all of Rin's vulnerabilities, telling her that she's unwanted and useless, and a danger to Haru.

This personal loathing goes far back--Haru accuses Akito of hating women, and Rin specifically, in chapter 105, and Akito makes no effort to deny it--and is almost certainly rooted in Akito's issues with her own mother, Ren, who had a sexual relationship with one of the male Jyuunishi and taunted Akito about the flawed nature of the Jyuunishi bond. Rin, whose hair and name are similar to Ren's, and who is the only female Jyuunishi to actually have sex with one of the males (whose love Akito is much more jealous of), suffers for more than her own 'sins' against her god. It's also interesting to note that Akito, when enraged, reminds Rin just as strongly of her mother as she reminds Akito of Ren.

Despite her projecting other issues onto Rin, Akito is very aware of what she does to her, and manipulates her skillfully. In both of their significant encounters (pushing her out a window, seen in chapter 79, and locking her away in the Cat's rooms, seen in chapter 106), Akito's most powerful weapon is threatening Haru with harm--she hints at blinding him on the first occasion, and threatens it explicitly on the second. Rin, who has little or no concern for her own well-being, responds powerfully to threats to him; she unhesitatingly takes all the blame for their relationship, and later submits to being locked away (for the rest of her life, although the fact that she stops eating suggests that she might not have survived for all that much longer than the three months she was actually imprisoned) to protect him. (It's also worth wondering whether Akito really did expect her to die--Haru asks whether she was "trying to kill Rin again" by locking her up; also, putting her in the Cat's room, where Kyo was also expected to wind up in the next year, may suggest that Akito figured she'd die by the time he finished high school.)

The decision to lock Rin away is a clear sign that Akito's hatred of her runs deep and doesn't mellow over time--she doesn't simply forget about Rin, or ever consider releasing her. In chapter 103 she visits long enough to hack Rin's hair off, despite having said the reason for sealing her away was that she never wanted to see her again.

Unsurprisingly, after Rin is finally released and on the way to recovery, Haru tells Yuki that she's afraid to see Akito again (and doesn't want Akito to know that she's at Kazuma's), and that he also doesn't want her to be near Akito again.

Rin and Akito don't see each other again until chapter 132, after the curse breaks. Akito summons all of the Jyuunishi, and reveals that she's a woman (Rin is one of the Jyuunishi who looks most shocked by it), and attempts to apologize to them for everything she's done. Words fail her halfway through, being completely inadequate when weighed against her history with them; later, in chapter 133, Rin tells Tohru that she has no interest in being apologized to--that it would only be embarrassing--and that she is unable to forgive Akito and move on with her life as if nothing has happened. Given all that was done to her, this is a perfectly natural response, but she compares herself to the other Jyuunishi's reactions and finds herself lacking.

Sohma Hiro

Hiro has a deep protective streak when it comes to Rin. (This is very cute, since he's so young.) He visits her in the hospital in her first appearance (ch. 48), takes note of her whenever she's around (ch. 54), and earnestly nags her about her health (ch. 78). It is unclear whether they had any sort of relationship before Akito got hold of her, but Hiro was the only witness to Akito pushing her out the window and has been understandably worried about her ever since.

For her part, Rin doesn't respond much to his concern; in chapter 78 she basically tells him to go back to his loving family and leave her alone, when he notices how thin and pale she's getting. However, she trusts him enough to tell him the truth about her relationship with Haru, and about her intentions regarding the curse. Hiro, who constantly worries about his habit of speaking his mind before thinking, manages to keep her secrets until chapter 104, when his fear for her safety finally compels him to tell Haru the truth. Before that, though, his worry about her is evident enough that Haru teasingly asks him if he has a crush on Rin (ch. 89).

Honda Tohru

Rin has mixed feelings about Tohru. On the one hand, she sees Tohru as 'interfering' with the Sohmas--Tohru is an outsider who can't possibly understand. On the other hand, she finds herself responding to Tohru as most of the other Jyuunishi have--wanting to throw herself into her arms and be comforted. In chapter 80, she remembers having that impulse when she first saw Tohru, the first time she went to see Shigure after breaking up with Haru; later in the chapter, when her body's betrayal and her despair over ever finding a way to break the curse overwhelm her, she finally gives in and cries herself out in Tohru's arms. Interestingly, her perception of Tohru as a mother figure extends to mistaking Tohru for her mother when she's deliriously ill in chapter 78--and she responds in complete terror, cowering and pleading for forgiveness, until she loses consciousness.

During most of their early encounters (at the beach house in chapter 61, and outside Kazuma's home in chapter 67), Rin acted aggressively with Tohru, but after letting herself be vulnerable in ch. 80 she slowly begins to soften up, although she never relaxes so much again. Her perceptions of Tohru and Haru are similar: gentle people who need to be protected, who she can't allow herself to be close to for fear of draining or hurting them (in chapter 80, where she remembers Haru telling her about his meeting with Tohru, she mentions that she was reluctant to even meet her). As Tohru continues to visit her in the hospital (and makes jelly for her, which is really adorable), Rin seems to be regaining a little bit of hope--hope that perhaps there is a way to break the curse, and perhaps even a spark of hope for herself. She also begins to share more information about the nature of the curse--their conversation in chapter 82 is the only time a Jyuunishi really discusses what it's like to be share the blood bond that chains them all to each other and Akito.

Their later conversations aren't so open, but Tohru clearly thinks of them as friends despite Rin's habit of snapping at her. In chapter 96, Rin discovers that Tohru is aware of her history with Haru, and orders her to never mention Haru in her presence again; much later, after Tohru is badly injured and hospitalized (ch. 121-123), Rin is completely devastated. She is shown huddled on the floor in reaction, and Haru tells Yuki that she took the news very hard. However, Rin is not among the Sohmas shown visiting Tohru in the hospital; it may be that, since she knew Tohru was going to recover, that she was unable to overcome her fear of hospitals. She also tries to keep unnecessary bad news from Tohru; after her release from the Cat's room, she lies to Tohru in chapter 107 and claims that she was being treated in a distant hospital, and that she chose to cut off her hair because it was in the way during medical tests. Tohru shows no sign of questioning this explanation.

Surprisingly, Tohru's comfort with Rin extends to Rin being the only person Tohru ever really fights with. When Rin yells at her in chapter 80, ordering her to stay out of the Sohmas' business, Tohru yells right back. And in chapter 107, when Rin tacitly gives up the fight to break the curse, accepting Shigure's assurance that it will eventually free them, they wind up yelling at each other again until Rin realizes that Tohru's desperation to break it as soon as possible has to do with Kyo's impending imprisonment. They don't speak again until chapter 114, when Tohru gets up the nerve to come visit again (and discovers Rin sketching); their relationship clearly survives the argument, and Rin is the first person to whom Tohru actually admits her feelings for Kyo.

In chapter 133, Rin breaks down in front of Tohru and confesses how afraid she is that something's wrong with her for not being as forgiving as the other Jyuunishi, and admits to feeling insecure about Haru's love for her changing if he finds out how she feels. Tohru's immediate offer to call Haru and have him reassure her jars Rin back to her normal sharp-tongued self, and she yells at Tohru to stop her.

At the end of the series, Rin claims to be unconcerned about the fact that Tohru is moving away with Kyo, but Haru and Momiji call her on it and say that she's upset.

Sohma Kazuma

Kazuma seems to be the adult Sohma Rin is most comfortable with. Their first meeting was when she was hospitalized as a child; he was the first adult Sohma to show up (ch.79), after Haru calls him for help. In ch. 67 she storms uninvited into his home (or the dojo?) and starts chewing him out for talking to Tohru; this chapter also involves one of her two scenes with Kazuma's assistant, Kunimitsu, who is clearly very long-suffering when it comes to her. Here, he yells after her to take her shoes off in the house (her failure to do so, here and at Shigure's in chapter 53, is incredibly rude by Japanese standards) and bemoans the fact that "as usual" she's just dropped her bag at the doorway. The next time we see them together, in chapter 107, she completely ignores his efforts to make her follow Hatori's orders and takes over a chore he's doing.

Her obvious comfort in Kazuma's home stems back to childhood--Kyo tells Tohru (ch. 95) that when they were little, Rin used to come visit frequently. After losing her own home, and never feeling at home with Kagura's family, Kazuma's home was probably the place she felt safest. In ch. 95 he takes her to spend New Year's there when she is temporarily released from the hospital for the holiday. During that visit, Kazuma tells Tohru that Rin and Kyo "don't have a bad relationship--it's just not a good one". (My personal theory is that it was Kyo and Rin's inability to get along which kept Kazuma from simply taking custody of her himself.) We also learn that Kazuma refers to her as "that child" (Ina-chan's translation), which is especially cute since Rin is a year older than Kyo.

After her release from the Cat's room, Rin goes to stay with Kazuma. This is explained as a temporary measure in chapter 107, to keep her from running away from the Main House or the hospital, but she's still there in her last major appearance (ch. 133).

Sohma Yuki

Rin's relationship with Yuki is odd. In most of their early scenes together she's wound up threatening him--usually to try to keep him from telling Haru something--and she generally has no use for him. When they were children, she accompanied Haru to visit Yuki when he was locked up as a child, but she did it for Haru's sake rather than his (while the boys talked, she would keep watch to make sure they weren't caught, although Yuki doesn't realize that was what she was doing until chapter 69).

Even knowing first-hand how he was treated doesn't keep her from deriding him as Akito's "pet" (ch. 61--also the conversation where she threatens to kill him. Interesting to note that she never tries that one again; his utter lack of worry about it probably makes her rethink its effectiveness. Also interesting that she shows no concern about being naked in front of him and Tohru). In ch. 69, when simple anger doesn't seem to be getting Yuki off her back and he's hitting far too close to home in his off-the-top-of-his-head theorizing about her and Haru, she retaliates by telling him the truth about why he was allowed to leave the Main House. That truth, which is both powerful and beautiful, becomes a very sharp weapon in her hands.

Initially, Yuki becomes curious about Rin after Haru admits to being in love with her, but as he comes to realize that she's still in love with Haru, and trying to protect him, he develops genuine concern for her. In chapter 80, after she collapses at Shigure's house, he gets her alone and tells her that Haru is still in love with her (he also gets very physically close to her, demonstrating his usual failure to respect others' personal space). He also discusses her with Haru (the only person with whom Haru discusses the relationship), and passes on Tohru's worries about her in chapter 104. But Rin never really returns the interest; at best, she ignores him utterly (as in chapter 96, when he stops by at Kazuma's to exchange New Year's greetings).

Rin's contempt for Yuki, unlike her usual habit of lashing out at people in general, seems to be real. The reasons are never spelled out in the manga, so this leads to theorizing: my personal assumption about her feelings is that Yuki reminds her far too much of her own weaknesses, and unlike her, is willing to give in to the need to cling to others for strength. Where Rin spends so much energy not letting herself take advantage of 'kind' people like Haru and Tohru, Yuki not only allows himself to benefit from their concern, but isn't even aware that he's doing so. (The vicious way she informs him of how much Haru's done for him may lead--again, in my opinion--to his later determination to stand on his own feet, and his desire to be able to give to the people around him rather than only taking.) Where she's survived almost entirely on her own, Yuki has survived due to the efforts of others. Her contempt doesn't have much to do with Yuki's actual flaws; it seems to be rooted more in envy, and the human tendency to see and attack their own weaknesses in others.

Sohma Kyo

Rin and Kyo's relationship is more sibling-like than anything else, although they're rarely shown together. There's no indication that they spent any time together before Rin's parents abandoned her, but afterwards, she visited frequently enough that Kyo felt jealous of the attention Kazuma gave her (as he confesses to Tohru in ch. 95). Kyo, who refers to her as 'Isuzu' rather than by her nickname--unlike most of the younger Jyuunishi--also claims that he no longer feels that way about her.

Rin is the second Jyuunishi, after Shigure, to admit their collective attitude about Kyo to Tohru. Although most of them clearly avoid thinking about it or verbalizing it, she asks (surprisingly gently, for her) if Tohru realizes that Kyo's to be locked up, or how they feel about him. She also asks if Tohru pities him.

If Rin feels anything different about Kyo after her own experience in the Cat's room, she's given no sign of it, and there's no evidence that Kyo knows she was ever there.

Sohma Kureno

Rin has had very little contact with Kureno, largely due to Akito ordering the other Jyuunishi to stay away from him (to minimize the odds of their noticing that he's uncursed). As a result of his constant closeness to Akito and, although she doesn't know it, because he's no longer connected to her by the Jyuunishi blood bond, Rin dislikes and distrusts Kureno. In chapter 81 she advises Tohru to stay away from him, and says that he "doesn't even feel like a Jyuunishi" (it's interesting that she feels his absence from the bond and yet completely fails to suspect the truth, despite her desperation to break the curse).

Her dislike for Kureno grows at the end of chapter 98, when she comes across him ending a conversation with Tohru and leaving her in tears. Although neither Kureno or Tohru see her, she follows him when he goes, meaning to go against Akito's orders and confront him for making Tohru cry. But instead, she loses track of him and winds up encountering Ren, which leads to her imprisonment.

She doesn't see Kureno again until he rescues her from the Cat's room, having noticed a maid bringing food to the 'empty' building and forced an explanation out of her. Despite his lifelong loyalty to Akito, and his realization that Rin's situation must be Akito's doing, he immediately carries her out and has Hatori take her to the hospital, after which he goes to confront Akito about what's happened. Due to being half-starved and disoriented by her months of isolation, Rin doesn't appear to have a clear memory of the event--in chapter 106, she has a vague memory of him carrying her to safety, but at the time she's still hallucinating badly enough that she supposes both he and the hospital were only dreams.

In chapter 107, Haru tells Rin they should both be grateful to Kureno for saving her (and for making sure Haru came back to her, rather than returning to Akito's side), but there's no sign that she actually went to talk to him.

Sohma Kagura

As with Kyo, Rin has a somewhat sibling-like relationship with Kagura after living with her for several years, although they're not close and have such different ways of thinking that they frustrate and irritate each other. Rin has no patience with Kagura's one-sided love for Kyo, and tells her in chapter 60 that she should really let it go. She makes no effort to be tactful about it, and Kagura is understandably upset; Kagura's mother asks if they were "fighting again", and comments that Rin still doesn't seem at all like part of the family, despite their efforts.

Still, Kagura does make an effort to persuade Rin to join the other younger Jyuunishi when they're doing things--in chapter 60 she says they should go join the others at the family beach house (which her mother forbids, due to Akito's presence there), and in 111 she says Rin should have gone to the barbecue at Shigure's when Haru called to invite her. It's Kagura who goes to collect Rin's high school diploma when she graduates from high school in absentia (due to being 'hospitalized'/imprisoned), and who asks Shigure and Hatori if they know where Rin is.

Most of their interaction involves bickering of some sort, but their one deeply emotional fight (ch. 114) is brief and well-handled. Kagura punches Tohru (rather harder than she intended to) in front of Rin when she gets frustrated at Tohru's refusal to tell Kyo how she feels, and Rin completely loses it. For a moment Kagura is defensive, but then she seems to realize that she's accidentally set off Rin's deep-rooted triggers about physical abuse. She immediately stops being angry and simply hugs Rin, apologizing (for upsetting her, not for the fight with Tohru, which neither Kagura nor Tohru holds a grudge over). Later, the two of them are back to their usual arguing.

Sohma Ren

There's only one instance shown of Rin interacting with Akito's mother, Ren, in a series of flashbacks in chapter 106, but Ren's influence on her life--direct and indirect--is pretty strong. As discussed above (Akito), a lot of Akito's dislike for Rin is almost certainly a result of Ren's actions and relationship with Akito.

Chapter 106 shows Rin having a memory of Ren being pleasant to her when she was a child; that, combined with Ren's position as Akito's mother and the widow of the previous family Head (and presumably Rin's own desperation), makes her ask if Ren knows how to break the curse on the family. Ren replies that she does know a way, and will tell her if Rin retrieves a precious object from Akito's rooms for her. Rin agrees, and is subsequently caught and imprisoned by Akito. Later, when Ren hears what's happened, she dismisses it, saying that she doesn't really know anything about ending the curse anyway. She also says that she'd never liked Rin, but had thought she might be useful--"but useless people really are useless" (Shadow's translation).

General Interaction

Other than the glimpses into her relationship with Haru (and we're shown only a few moments of it, ultimately), we don't know much about how Rin interacted with the people in her life before the incident with Akito. Ever since her injury, though, she's been on the offensive with just about everyone. She always seems angry, whether or not the person she's dealing with has done anything wrong. And yet, on her own, she doesn't seem to be deeply angry at the world in general, which leads to the conclusion that her outbursts are primarily a defense mechanism, to keep people from getting close enough to see the loneliness and exhaustion she's living with. Of her family, only Hiro and Shigure seem close enough to notice just how hard she's struggling.

At school, her classmates don't know--or care to know--much about her other than that she's rich and often missing class. They are astonished to discover that she has any friends at all, when Tohru comes looking for her in ch. 101. And at home, she is so emotionally isolated even from the people she lives with that her absence after chapter 98 goes unremarked until Kagura worries about not knowing what hospital she's in . . . after she's been gone for three months. Still, there are clearly people who care about her; Hiro's mother, Satsuki, worries about not having seen her (ch. 104), and specifically says that she wants Rin to meet Hiro's newborn sister, Hinata.

Role in the story, and future

Rin is a difficult character to interpret; until her history was finally revealed, most fans of the series were either neutral about her or disliked her (well, except for the ones who liked her because she's stunningly beautiful and wears sexy clothing). I think she's wound up at the top of my favorite character list because of the way she's been able to keep going after the serious traumas she's gone through. I'm not under the illusion that she's emotionally healthy: she makes no particular effort to be liked; she shows no sign of caring about herself at all; she put herself through unnecessary and devastating emotional pain in her situation with Haru . . . But she's determined, and fiercely loving and devoted, and has walked out of situations that "entitle" her to a victim complex and is instead actively trying to lift the weight of the curse.

From an analytical standpoint, I see her as a symbol of change in the series. Where most of the other characters are resigned to their fates, or making efforts at small changes, Rin singlehandedly attempted to tackle the root of the problem. Her methods proved to be ineffective, so she can't be regarded as a direct catalyst for changing the fundamental problem of the family, but her actions do provoke other characters, like Tohru, into taking action.

Structurally, the point when she was introduced to the cast and the gradual unfurling of her character are very important to Fruits Basket. She came in when the status quo had been clearly established for the readers, so that we had a pretty good understanding of what needs to change; her appearance came after most of the rest of the cast had become familiar to the audience. Takaya's decision to establish Rin's character slowly, instead of presenting her motivations and backstory almost immediately after her appearance (as was the case for most of the other Jyuunishi, which makes the withholding of Rin's information even more striking), emphasized the feeling of subversion that surrounds her as she moves behind the scenes.

In addition to her efforts to break the curse, Rin is also a direct catalyst for change in the other characters: she makes Yuki realize that he needs to make more of an effort to be a 'giver' in his personal relationships, she gives Hiro a focus for actively trying to help someone he cares about (as opposed to his more passive depression over 'allowing' Kisa to be hurt), and she sets an example for Tohru's determination to break the curse herself.

Although she's appeared since chapter 107, her particular character arc can probably be said to have ended there (despite her intense scenes with Tohru and Kagura in ch. 114, which did provide some additional development). Even if Takaya does use her again within the last few chapters--some sort of encounter with Akito wouldn't be surprising--Rin does seem to have settled back into a more normal life after her confinement, and after Shigure's revelation of the curse's slow disintegration. With her relationship with Haru restored, and her intensified fear of Akito discouraging further attempts at breaking the curse herself, she was able to tell Tohru and Shigure that it was enough for her to know that the curse would break at some point, freeing the Jyuunishi.

Now that she's graduated from high school, there hasn't been any real indication of what Rin will choose to do. She was last seen living at Kazuma's, and it seems unlikely that she'll ever return to live with Kagura's family, where she never felt truly at home. Having let go of her desperation to free Haru at any cost, and allowing herself to let people (Haru, and to some extent Tohru and Kazuma) care for her, her health may well improve. (Personally, I like to think that Haru's offhand comment about her breasts getting bigger [ch. 123] indicates that she's reaching a healthier weight after years of basically not eating. ^_^)

Being freed from the curse (chapter 130) will undoubtedly have a huge impact on Rin's life, as she was one of the Jyuunishi who suffered under and chafed against it most. In the short term, we've only been shown that she is (so far) unable to forgive Akito for the abuse she endured; how it might affect her life later has yet to be seen.

Also, Rin's entry in the 2005 Neko Fanbook includes a note on her clothing choices: it says that her aesthetic for most of her adolescence was a reaction to the 'cute' clothing her parents dressed her in, and adds that now--with her hair cut off, and having found some level of peace--her tastes may change.