Ayame Sohma (草摩 綾女, Sōma Ayame) is the biological older brother of Yuki Sohma. He is possessed by the Snake of the Zodiac. Ayame is best friends with Hatori Sohma and Shigure Sohma, and the three of them make up the Mabudachi Trio. Unlike his brother, Ayame is rather loud and flamboyant.
Ayame is a tall, thin young man. He has long, straight silver-grey hair and gold eyes (yellowish-green in the anime). He is often dressed in rather flamboyant outfits, most of which he designs and tries on, then sells to his customers. His casual clothes seem to reflect a Chinese design, much like Yuki's.
As a snake, he is long, thin and white in colour.
He is extremely flamboyant and overconfident, often speaking of himself in a much brighter light than others, while in truth he just wishes that he and Yuki were closer. One of the few things as brothers that Yuki and Ayame have in common, is that they both enjoy annoying Kyo. A few of the names that Ayame calls Kyo are "Lucky Kyou" and "Kyon-Kichi", both of which he calls Kyo to annoy him, which he succeeds at doing.
Ayame is constantly trying to get closer to Yuki due to their separation as children. He once told Tohru that he "was vaguely aware that he even had a brother. By the time he realized it, a deep gap had grown between [Yuki and Ayame]". Yuki also once admitted to Tohru, "I wouldn't say I dislike [Ayame]. He just gets to be too much for me sometimes, is all".
Ayame and Shigure pretend to be a couple and often pretend to do little bromance' scenes where at the end they say 'All right!' and flash a thumbs-up, much to the dismay of Hatori, Kyo, Yuki, and the confusion of Tohru.
Role in the Story
The shop he owns and works in is a lingerie/costume store, in which he says he sells "romance". He and his coworker, Mine Kuramae, appear to be in a relationship, but when Yuki asks him if she knows about the Sohma curse, he quickly changes the topic to a rare "Mogeta" doll he is holding. When Yuki and Tohru Honda go to visit him, Tohru is extremely fond of his dresses, whereas Yuki is utterly disgusted.
Later in the debut episode, Ayame asks Tohru to go out with him for lunch, and she agrees. As they walk home, Ayame tells Tohru that he can die if it becomes too cold. When they arrive home, it is shown that Ayame had been in snake form and had crawled into Tohru's shirt. Yuki becomes angry at him, but Ayame just laughs.
Mine is Ayame's assistant in his shop that sells "men's romance" (according to him).
Ayame and Mine live together in an apartment on the second floor. She is the only person that truly accepts him, and Yuki often wonders how she puts up with him.
It is unknown if Mine knows of Ayame's zodiac curse. When Yuki asked this, Ayame changed the subject abruptly, implying that she does know but Ayame does not want anyone to know that.
Ayame comes to really trust and depend on Mine when he is troubled. It is shown through the manga (especially chapter 110) that he has strong feelings towards her. At the end of the series when the curse is broken, he confesses his love to Mine saying "I was born to love you" and embraces her.
Ayame, Hatori and Shigure were inspeparable as they grew up together. Sometimes they are called the "Mabudachi Trio". Ayame, being an outlandish and often insensitive person, eventually realizes that there were many qualities that he desired that could be found in his friend Hatori. Out of his respect for Hatori, and his desire to be more like him, selfless and noble, he, without hesitation, does anything that he says, as commented on by Shigure. Because of Ayame's respect for Hatori, Hatori is one of the only people who can boss him around.
Shigure and Ayame have a strangely playful and jokingly homo-erotic relationship. The friendship they fostered through their childhood has remained into adulthood. These jokes are frowned upon and are taken as annoying by Yuki and Kyo, but Shigure willingly plays along to their long running inside-joke.
Kakeru Manabe, or as Mine and Ayame call him 'Flying Pot-kun' (Kakeru's nickname because of the kanji that makes up his name, according to Kakeru, "it's written, 'the true pot flies'"), considers Ayame as his idol. The two are very much alike, and Kakeru calls him 'Commander', and Mine 'Vice Commander'. Kakeru has been friends with Ayame ever since Yuki's parent-teacher conference, when Ayame showed up.
Since Yuki and Ayame's mother has always used Yuki as a tool to land herself in a higher social and financial status, she thinks Ayame is 'good-for-nothing'. She can't handle his regal airs and superior behaviour, and anyone with eyes could see she hates him.
Since Yuki was isolated as a child due to his weak bronchial tubes, Ayame barely ever saw him. Ayame even almost forgot his name. The two made no contact whatsoever, and Ayame often saw their mother slapping Yuki for wanting to be outside. When young Yuki once tried to reach out for help, Ayame just brushed him off. By the time they both grew older, there was a great rift between the two.
Ayame is now trying to renew 'the bond between brothers' with many flamboyant methods, including tactless demands and clothes embroidered with phrases such as "I live for my older brother". In the manga, Ayame seems to have succeeded in 'renewing the bond' because at one point Yuki seemed to have gotten used to Ayame and both thanked him for protecting him from their mother and remarked against his mom that Ayame was not "good-for-nothing" during the parent-teacher conference (chapter 72), and also saving him using his tactless way when Yuki was injured by Akito (chapter 95).
The Snake of the Zodiac
Ayame is cursed by the spirit of the snake of the zodiac. As such, he is sensitive to heat and cold like a cold-blooded snake. Whenever the surrounding becomes too warm or cold for him, Ayame would transform.
Hence, when he steps outside, he always carries an umbrella to shield himself from the sun and during school days, he would make the Sohmas ferry him to school in a car to avoid transformation. It has been shown that even a slightest wind can cause Ayame to transform and needs warm surroundings to transform back. Ayame also gets colds and the flu easily due to this.
- Unlike most members of the Zodiac, Ayame was never harmed neither physically nor mentally by Akito Sohma, since he is one of the two Zodiac members that Akito cannot stand.
- Another possible factor lies in the Japanese superstition that a snake is a sign of wealth and fortune, and harming one would bring bad luck. Akito is likely superstitious and would be careful when dealing with Ayame.
- Ayame's snake form is white, like that of an albino snake, but instead of having red eyes, Ayame has gold eyes. It is unknown precisely what kind of snake he takes the form of.
- His eye colour in the manga is supposed to be grey, yet on the cover of volume 9, it shows Ayame with gold eyes.
- Like Yuki, his casual clothes reflect a Chinese style; this might be a way Ayame is attempting to grow closer to his younger brother.
- Like Shigure, he is shown to be flamboyant and a pervert, for example, when Tohru and Yuki visited his shop, he said any dream could be completed, such as the dream of seeing a woman stepping out of a bathroom, the result of that was Yuki shouting, "That is a crime!"
- His personality much resembles Tamaki Suoh's from Ouran High School Host Club. Both have some things in common: Both are a little perverted, but have good intentions, are quite idiotic and clueless most of the time, and both are very, very, very flamboyant.
- Ayame talks like Team Rocket member James from Pokémon.
- He is voiced by Chris Sabat, ironically who is known for playing macho or manly roles such as Vegeta, Yamcha and Piccolo in Dragon Ball Z, Kurogane in Tsubasa Chronicles, Kuwabara in Yu Yu Hakusho, Elfman in Fairy Tail, and Zoro in One Piece.
- After he becomes a normal human, Ayame wears snake's skin shoes, seen when he is searching for a new home for Yuki in the last volume of the series.
- ↑ Fruits Basket, episode 14