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January 2007
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Blinky [userpic]
Kyo Sohma

From this point on, I think I'll stop using my SPOILER WARNINGS, because... The series is almost over and.... Yeah. Sorry, for those who haven't finished, but I feel like maybe you shouldn't be reading in depth character analysis' if you don't know everything about a character that the story has to offer.
However, if you would like, Spoiler-free entries are still welcome.


Kyo has been one of my favorite characters from the very begining. While I don't beleive that anyone has Kyo's problems on the surface (i.e. turning into the ostracized cat, having their mother commit suicide, etc..-Though I beleive the latter has happened, unfortunately) I'm sure to a degree, everyone can find something in common with our orange-peel head.

From a very young age, Kyo has had a tough time in life. We know that his mother commited suicide many years ago, and, according to Akito (in chapter 85), left a note, saying, "It's become hard to be by him. At least, if he'd been born as the rat, maybe we could've been a little happy." While I'm not totally sure I beleive this is what it said (mainly because I doubt Akito ever saw such a note, he was very young himself when she commited suicide), I have a feeling that the first "he" referred to in the note was not Kyo but Kyo's father. The reason for this being what happens when Kyo confronts his father (126, I believe). Kyo tells him that he refuses to live in the cat's prison, and his father, of course, tells Kyo he won't be forgiven and he must "repent". "Because of you, how much shame I've felt! You've ruined my life!... You guys rubbed my face in the dirt of shame. And I'll bet you were enjoying evry bit of it!!" This line in particular makes me beleive that the cause of Kyo's mothers suicide really roots with her husband. I could see Otousan (father) repeating these same words to Okaasan (mother). Otousan seems to be the type of person who forces the blame onto other people. That's not to say that Kyo himself is not without a degree of blame, however, he was a CHILD, and as such responsibility cannot be forced upon him. Therefore, the only remaining responsibility must be placed upon Okaasan. While I can definetely sympathize with Okaasan, I know, from first hand experiences, that suicide is never the right thing to do. Okaasan was the other adult in this situation, and so, she should have realized that her and her husband would damaging her child to an unrecognizable state. I beleive that once Otousan comes to terms with the fact that some of the things he said and did were unreasonable and cruel, he can begin to heal himself and forge a good relationship with his son. I have to say, that part of being a person today is realizing these weaknesses in yourself (like Okaasan and Otousan), accepting them and slowly, learning from them.

That's all I really have to say about Kyo's parents, so now, lets get back into Kyo.
One translation for Kyo(u) is "today". I think this shows a big part of what kind of character Kyo is. He tends to think only about "today". That is, he dosn't realize the result of his actions or how his words will affect other people. I think when Kyo confronts his father he realizes that this is how he similiar to him. Kyo also learned from his father that it's easier (though no less painful, I've noticed) to place the blame on others, so in Chapter 84, when Yuki and Kyo first meet, you can see the similiarity of father/son's words. He also resembles his mother in the fact that he wish(ed) to kill Yuki and then himself -- He beleives death is a worthy solution. The difference between Kyo and his parents is, in short, Tohru. It's true that in large part, Kyo has been alienated by his entire world, with the exceptions of Shisou, Kagura, and Tohru. After his mothers' death, the only kindness he receives is from Shisou, and to a small degree, Kagura. But these characters have their own frailty's to work out and come to terms with (as we can see from Kagura's much later thoughts on Kyo and Shisou's guilt over his grandfather), so the bond is still very fragile. It is shattered with Kyoko's death, and this is when Kyo's thoughts on death change. He becomes confused, because he THOUGHT (thanks to his mother) that death was a SOLUTION for lonely, messed up people, NOT for someone who has a "wonderful life" like Kyoko and Tohru. When he first met Kyoko, who said that the reason she was able to live was because Tohru was there, Kyo begins to see that things can be changed, if only we have the willpower and desire. Somewhere deep down, Kyo realizes at this point that everyone has their own feelings and thoughts and problems. However, the difficulty of this lesson is not totally realized and Kyo has another breakdown while in the mountains with Shisou. But he keeps the thoughts of redemption thanks to One Person ("Because of Tohru..") in the back of his mind.

But Kyo's reality is shaken again when he meets Tohru again. He has to face the fact that his simple, bitter solutions are not as clear cut as he once thought. And so he spends much time trying to puzzle through his bitterness. He remembers Kyoko saying it was "BECAUSE OF TOHRU" (<--this is important!!!). Tohru's unconditional kindness begins to helps him in many ways that Shisou and Kagura cannot. Kyo begins to feel the kindness of a WOMAN, and not just a PERSON or FRIEND. I beleive Kyo always saw Tohru as a woman, even when they were children. When Tohru is lost (119) and Kyo gives his "man's promise" to find her... Of course, Kyo partially means that he will take responsibility as a Man, but unconsciously, I think he means as a Man to a Woman, Kyo to Tohru. He tells Tohru he won't be disillusioned, but this is another example of "Today Kyo"... he doesn't realize he IS being disillusioned (through his father, mother, Yuki and Kyoko) and though he is working on it, he spoke to soon, promised too much before he was ready. This is the main reason for the conflict at the end of the series between Kyo and Tohru. Yes, some resonsibility goes to Tohru, but, at this point (the end of 119 and 120), Tohru has accepted her feelings for Kyo.

Within the Zodiac, the biggest personal relationship/obstacle for Kyo is Yuki. His feelings on Yuki are pretty simple, and probably the easiest for anyone to grasp. He is jealous of Yuki, because of his mother saying "You should've been the rat". He thinks that Yuki must immedietly have an easy life and be admired by others. Of course, Yuki is rather perfect, in looks and intelliegence, and many of the Sohma beleive that Yuki is more important than Kyo (but WE love <3 them both, right? ^_^). So, Kyo begins to unwaveringly beleives that if Yuki wasn't around, he would have a much better life, without even considering it. It becomes his one truth and the basis for his life. We know that Yuki's life is far from easy, just like Kyo's, but Kyo, being a "today person", doesn't consider his words and affects Yuki just as deeply as HE is affected. It's not until Yuki saves Tohru (119) that Kyo begins to see differently. Kyoko tells him that Yuki can't be all bad (even though she never met him, she knows this, because she's a wise person!!) and that this kind of thing, it doesn't matter. Kyo is shaken. His whole reality is based upon hating Yuki. He see's finally, for the first time, that Yuki isn't a BAD PERSON, or a GOOD PERSON, but simply a PERSON. But, Kyoko has just pointed this out to him and Kyo doesn't like not having a foothold (who DOES?). So, he rejects Kyoko and continues living with his false reality. It's not until he meets Tohru that he confronts his again, and by that point, so much has happened to contradict this "truth" that he finally stops to consider it. But, being a "today" person, he unthinkingly tells Yuki he "wanted to be like Yuki". We know how Yuki responds (HULK, SMASH xD), and THIS, this KEY POINT, this Conversation, is when Kyo finally knows, that he was mistaken.

Of course, he still has to face the problem of being imprisoned, and thusly, cursed. So, this gives us Akito/Kyo (get your minds out of the gutter!! Lol). So he decides that, with Tohru's help, he will begin to face this (end of 129). This new found resolution is short lived however, when we realize that the curse is broken!!! (GO chapter 130, w007.) I know people find it rather unrealistic how easily Kyo forgives Akito (though, it's not like they had much interaction, Kyo being the cat... I think Kyo only saw Akito as a sign of his imprisonment), though, I think it's done rather well, considering the fact that there wasn't really THAT much conflict between the two.... Besides, Kyo was still filled with optimistic, strong feelings, thanks to Tohru. I'm sure that, in the future.... They will probably argue, like most couples... Aha. ^_^;;
As a side note, I kind of figured that Kyo would win Tohru... Ever since Volume 13. But that feeling had more to do with Yuki then Kyo.


So, I'd like to do Yuki next, as it's convenient. Kyo and Yuki really intertwine a lot...

If anyone has anything to add, please don't hesitate!! If it happens to be something I missed or you would like to discuss anything I mentioned... Please!!
And that is my very long analysis. I thought, since it's been a long time since the last one, this one should be very good, to make up for it. And on that note, let me sincerely apoligize for having been so lazy with my community. I'm Sorry!!!! >_<;; In my defence, I must say, I haven't much internet access at all... Just enough to check my emails, update my actuall LJ, and an occaisional comment in a friends journal. Though, I had rather hoped my administrators would take some initiative. This was unfair, considering how soon after the community's creation I abandoned you.... Ehe... ._.;;

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Comments

Just so you know, I'm planning to reply to this when I have the time. Anyway, good points all. ^^

Okay! I have a lot to say on Kyo-->Yuki, but it's fairly lengthy. So I'm hoping to post it as a separate entry, if you don't mind. ^^

Otousan seems to be the type of person who forces the blame onto other people.
Kyo also learned from his father that it's easier (though no less painful, I've noticed) to place the blame on others

I also see a lot of parallels between Kyo and his father, and I hope it doesn't sound demeaning to Kyo's character to claim that they actually used to be a lot alike - in the way that they were both shaken by Kyo's mother's suicide and created a "hated person" to transfer blame onto. It's true that it was unreasonable for Kyo's father to blame Kyo for his wife's death; however, it was just as unreasonable for Kyo to accuse Yuki of being at fault, for no other reason than his simply existing. This doesn't make Kyo a bad person, because we as the readers know he has his reasons for hating Yuki, and we can readily sympathize with Kyo because he is so largely presented to us as an outcast. We know so little about Kyo's father in comparison, and so it is relatively easy to hate him - but really, his largest mistake is the same one that is constantly repeated by Kyo: he is evading blame. He doesn't want to believe that he could have been the reason his wife killed herself - and whatever his degree of responsibility, no one wants to believe something like that. To condemn him for that...we'd have to condemn Kyo as well, because he essentially did the same thing. The only difference is that Kyo realized why he was blaming Yuki, that he was misdirecting his hatred when the person he really blamed was himself. And Kyo was able to mature past that, while his father is still stuck in the same vicious cycle of hating Kyo and hating himself.

It is shattered with Kyoko's death, and this is when Kyo's thoughts on death change.

Personally I saw more of the opposite taking place - Kyoko's death seemed to have reinforced what his mother's death had already ingrained in him: that the cat is bad luck, and that his presence will only cause people close to him misfortune. That might be partly the reason why he feels so guilty over Kyoko's death, not just that he could have saved her but didn't. Maybe he felt that Kyoko associating herself with him doomed her, and that's why she died.

Anyway, my two cents. ^^

I agree with your points on Kyo... It is true that he found a person to place the blame on (Yuki) like his father did. And while I can also agree that it is unreasonable for both of them to do this, I still maintain that it is more acceptable for Kyo because he was a child. Yes, we also do know that Kyo has his reasons, but we should also keep in mind that Kyo's father probably has his reasons as well. Though, we don't know what those are, I am 99.8% that he has his reasons as well. We can suspect that he had things go on in his childhood.... It takes a lot of courage for children to break away from the mold that their parents have set for them.... (Often a child is in many ways very similiar to his/her parents, as can be seen here). Sometimes the mold isn't as stifling as Kyo's, but, the point remains.

We know so little about Kyo's father in comparison, and so it is relatively easy to hate him - but really, his largest mistake is the same one that is constantly repeated by Kyo: he is evading blame. He doesn't want to believe that he could have been the reason his wife killed herself - and whatever his degree of responsibility, no one wants to believe something like that.
Yes, yes! (Ah, I'm getting excited!) I agree wholeheartedly with this! As you said, no one wants to take responsibility for something like a person's suicide.... Things like that, are hard to deal with, for a child and for a grown man. So, while I don't particularly care for Kyo's father, I can empathize with him (to a degree).
Personally I saw more of the opposite taking place - Kyoko's death seemed to have reinforced what his mother's death had already ingrained in him: that the cat is bad luck, and that his presence will only cause people close to him misfortune. That might be partly the reason why he feels so guilty over Kyoko's death, not just that he could have saved her but didn't. Maybe he felt that Kyoko associating herself with him doomed her, and that's why she died.
xD I still stand by what I said, but I can also agree with these thoughts as well. I sort of feel like Kyo is being unreasonable with these feelings though (ha, but since when are feelings reasonable???). I mean, Kyo is essentially taking the blame for a death that had nothing to do with him. I can see why he would think that he is guilty because he didn't save Kyoko, but his precense was (despite being part of the plot, heh) a coincidence. I guess what I mean is that Kyo took the blame for her death as a last resort to dodge Tohru's affection. Like he used it as an excuse to protect himself.
Eh. I'm not sure how intelligible this is, sorry. xD
Thanks for commenting, and please, keep it up!!

I have to wonder sometimes what would have happened if Yuki really did die when both he and Kyo were children. In the manga they looked to be around 10.
If Yuki died, another rat-child would have been born. I wonder if Kyo realized that? So anyway, his problems wouldn't have been solved and he would have to deal with a rat many years his junior. How would he deal with that? Would he take his anger out on a child, especially one that had never harmed him? What do you think?