Villain Overview

Ren Sohma (草摩 楝 Sōma Ren) is the overarching antagonist in the manga and anime series Fruits Basket. She is the mother of Akito Sohma and the wife of Akira Sohma.

She is voiced by Ai Orikasa (who also voiced Jakotsu in InuYasha, Dr. Vega in Mega Man Star Force 2, Saya in Namco X Capcom, Anesthesia in Rumble Roses, Chizuru Kirishiki in Shiki, and Ryoko Hakubi in Tenchi Muyo!) in Japanese and Katelyn Barr (who also voiced Kyouno Natsumi in Date A Live and Baby 5 in One Piece) in English.

Appearance

Ren Sohma is depicted as an elegant but obsessive woman with long black hair similar to Rin Soma's.

Shigure claims that if Akito had been raised as a woman, she would have looked very much like Ren and Tohru once mistook Ren's voice for Akito's.

Personality

Ren and Akito are extremely antagonistic towards each other; Shigure notes that she is obsessed with her child and dead husband. When she conceived and her child received, as the new god of the zodiac, more attention than herself, and then turned out to be female instead of a proper male heir, she was afraid the baby would replace her in Akira's heart and demanded Akito be raised as a male.

To feed Akito's fear of being abandoned, Ren continually claims that Akito's bond with the zodiac is fake, rather than the true love Akito claims; to prove her wrong, Akito tried to mold Yuki into a zodiac animal devoted to her (Akito).

Biography

Ren was originally a Sohma household maid who won Akira's heart by being the only one to notice his loneliness and treat him with kindness, instead of as just the head of the household.

She discovering her unborn child was female, Ren demanded that Akito be raised male out of fear that a female child would steal her place in Akira's heart. She threatened to abort the child unless her demands were met. After Akito's birth, in compliance with Ren's demands, she was presented as a male, with only the four eldest of the cursed Sohmas, Hatori, Shigure, Ayame, and Kureno, knowing her true gender due to a dream they had on the night she was conceived.

After he passed away, when Ren found out that no one had come to get her when Akira had been dying, she yelled at the young Akito that she was an unwanted existence, and that she had only been a little toy to amuse Akira; Ren also added that, because Akira was dead, no one had any more need of her.

After Yuki left the Main House to live with Shigure, Ren commented that the cursed Sohmas were abandoning Akito, just as Ren always predicted they would. Akito denied this and claimed they would all come back to her because of their inseparable Zodiac bonds. She and Ren made a dare in which Akito was to allow the cursed Sohmas to form bonds with "outsiders" to test whether they would return to Akito's side. If they did not return, Akito would have to bow before Ren then leave the Sohma family.

After Akito began sleeping with Kureno Sohma, some time before the series began, Ren told Shigure to make him jealous and then seduced him to infuriate Akito. When Rin Sohma approaches Ren for information about breaking the curse, Ren lies and promises to tell Rin how if she steals a black box owned by Akito, said to contain Akira's spirit.

Later, goaded by Shigure, Ren threatens Akito with a knife to get the box, only to learn that it is as empty as her obsession. Ren does not appear after this, though Akito mentions that Ren has rejected her attempts to reconcile after the zodiac curse was broken.

Quotes

Manga

Always using such filthy language... you'll makes the members of the zodiac fall out of love with you... Akito-san!
~ Ren to Akito.
How many times do I have you to tell you? The love you feel because of that bond... isn't real. That "Unchanging eternity" you've been holding on to for dear life... is a sham. A delusion! I pity the members of the zodiac, being forced to humor you.
~ Ren to Akito.

Anime

You really should watch your mouth around the zodiac members, Akito. If you're not careful, they'll lose all affection for you, family head. Right, Hatori? Poor dear. I feel sor--.
~ Ren to Akito.
Are you still trying to convince people that nonsense is true? You little fool. How many times do I have to explain this to you? That so-called bond may make you feel something, but it is not real love. The "forever unchanging" story you like to tell yourself is exactly that: A fantasy. A delusion. So of course I pity the ones who have to put up with it.
~ Ren to Akito.
I'll tell you what's real! It does exist. I have it... with Akira. Unlink your zodiac bond, our bond is real.
~ Ren to Akito.

Trivia

  • According to an author's note, Takaya designed Akito and Ren to resemble each other.
  • Her English voice actress, Katelyn Barr, who also voiced Ritsu Sohma as young and Baby 5 in One Piece.
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