Kyoko Honda is Tohru Honda's mother and Katsuya Honda's wife. She was once a gang leader and was given the nickname "Red Butterfly", because "Whenever Kyoko rode her bike, all you'd see were her tail lights fly right past you, like a red butterfly tearing into the night!" as Arisa stated.
Kyoko's personality changed over time when she went kayaking as a teenager. Before meeting Katsuya, she resembled both Tohru and Arisa, prone to violence—she could hold her own in a fist fight—and easily jumping to conclusions and wild assumptions. However, deep in her heart, she did all this to get attention from her parents. All she wanted was for someone to care for her and to nurture her with love.
When Kyoko was young she had very long dyed hair and would often wear her gang's usual garb of long coats and bandages. She has purple eyes and it would appear that she dyed her hair to be rebellious. Her hair is depicted as strawberry blonde in illustrations and has no shading in the manga. As an adult she cut her hair short and is often seen in casual clothing in the photographs that Tohru keeps of her.
Kyoko was born into a cold household. Her father never thought about his family, and her mother only cared about her husband and her appearance. As a result, they barely paid Kyoko any attention, resulting in her feeling neglected. She joined a gang, even before she got into middle school, and she barely showed up at school.
As she grew up, she saw the world as a bleak place, until she met Katsuya Honda. They spent a lot of time together and they both developed crushes on each other. She began going back to school and ditching her gang. After her gang beat her up, she was hospitalized. She couldn't take the high school entrance exams as a result. When she was discharged, she returned home to find her father dropping a bag of her belongings in front of her and declaring that he was disinheriting her and disowning her all together.
Katsuya then turned up and gave them a bit of a lecture for choosing to banish their daughter because she "didn't turn out the way they wanted". He then asked Kyoko to marry him to her father's complete shock. He then asks if her father objects, which he doesn't since he no longer considers Kyoko his daughter. Kyoko and Katsuya then left and married shortly afterwards. Tohru would be born some years later.
Katsuya soon had to leave for a business trip when Tohru was about three, and developed pneumonia. He never went to a doctor, and died during the night after calling Kyoko. Kyoko then went into a trance-like state, where she didn't notice anything or anyone. At one point, she ran out of her home to the sea to meet Katsuya, when she heard a little girl, no older than Tohru, and her mother fussing about finding a train ticket.
This caused her to snap out of her trance and remember that she had a child. She quickly ran home, wondering how long it had been since she'd talked to Tohru, remembering that Katsuya's father had come by a few times to make her meals, but not knowing how often. When she arrived, Tohru was sitting and waiting. She smiled and said, "Welcome home, mother." From then on, she tried to be the best parent she could, to always smile and give Tohru what she needed.
Kyoko had met Kyo when he was sitting in a place filled with unwanted pipes. She didn't care who he was or where he had come from but she knew that he was lonely, just like she was. Despite Kyo trying to distance himself from her (not liking the fact that they share almost similar names), Kyoko blatantly talks about Tohru, saying that her world revolves around Tohru. Despite their first meeting, Kyoko showed a picture of Tohru to Kyo without hesitation.
Eventually, they started warming up with each other and subsequently, Kyo learned of the Hondas address and would drop by secretly to spy on Tohru.
One day Tohru goes missing, causing Kyoko great distress. Kyo finds out what happened and promised to look for her, but Yuki found her first. Kyoko was holding the hat that Yuki left when Kyo returned from his search, and recognized it as his old hat that Yuki had found. He was angry that Kyoko had "sided with that guy". Kyoko tried explaining that it didn't matter if he was bad or not, but Kyo ran off, calling her a traitor.
Arisa was also a Yankee, and she idolized "The Red Butterfly". She bumped into Tohru and Tohru told Arisa about how her mom was Kyoko Honda. Arisa threatened to punch Tohru, but didn't, and went to Tohru's house after school to meet Kyoko. They were walking home when Kyoko jumped out and hugged Tohru. Arisa was introduced to the retired Yankee. Arisa was disgusted on the fact of Kyoko being cute, and motherly.
Angry, Arisa left Tohru's house. Then, Arisa realized she wanted a life like Tohru's the more she hung out with her. Arisa, brave and scared, told her gang members that she was leaving the gang, and she would take whatever punishment. The gang started to beat up Arisa, then Kyoko, wearing her "Red Butterfly" jacket, came in, and saved Arisa, bringing her back to their house with Tohru waiting. When Kyoko died she gave her Red Butterfly jacket to Arisa.
Introducing Saki Hanajima
Saki Hanajima is a friend of Tohru's (Tohru and Arisa call her Hana-chan). Tohru and Hana met in their second year of middle school after Hanajima transferred to her school after being severely bullied at her old school.She always wears black to show that she is a sinner. This is because she blames herself for the near death of a classmate in elementary school, because she said that she wanted him to die and used her waves to hurt him.
She wanted to turn herself into the police for what she had done except her parents denied her guilt saying that there wasn't any evidence of her guilt. She is known for being able to sense electric waves and has a little brother who can put curses on people. He just has to know their names. He's known for putting a curse on the leaders of the Prince Yuki Fan Club. (The result of one of these curses was the 2nd year rep's role as the evil stepmother in the play "Sorta Cinderella".) Saki has black hair and when she is at school instead of wearing black she paints her nails black.
Every morning, when Kyoko left for work, Tohru would say "Come home safe!" The morning Tohru overslept from studying and wasn't able to wish her mother to return home as she always did, Kyoko died in a car accident.
She was at a traffic junction, waiting to cross the road. Kyo had been standing behind her but out of guilt could not talk to her due to his rashness when they went when he was younger. Apparently, as she crossed the road, a car sped at her (it was said that it seemed like speeding towards her only). Kyo could have dragged Kyoko away, but he couldn't because it would reveal his curse in turn. Kyoko gets knocked down by the car and lies on the road, slowly bleeding to death as an ambulance was on the way.
As she accounted for the life she had lead up until then, Kyoko wished that she had loved Tohru even more, wondering whether she had given enough love to Tohru to make up for the love that Katsuya couldn't. Kyoko knew she couldn't die just yet. Tohru had just entered high school, something she couldn't do. She wept as she could feel her life sweeping away, knowing that Tohru would be left all alone now.
In afterlife, she was shown crying in her middle school form. She, however, started to cry tears of joy when she finally 'reunites' with her late husband, telling her she has done a good job on raising Tohru with love that he could not.
Kyoko and Tohru had a loving relationship. Kyoko is Tohru's loving mother and has raised her as a single mother. Kyoko holds a very special place in Tohru's heart. Tohru always desires to be attached to her mother and constantly thinks about her mother. In many episodes, we see flashbacks of Kyoko hugging and telling Tohru that she is so cute and that she loves her so much. They both share many memories. Wherever Tohru goes, she is always carrying a photograph in a frame of her mother smiling while holding a peace sign.
Kyoko met Kyo when he still a young boy, and befriended the stubborn child that was truly lost at heart, and in some respects, acting as a mother-figure to him. When Tohru got lost, Kyo promised to look for her, but Yuki Sohma found her first. Kyoko was holding the hat that Yuki left, and Kyo recognized it as the hat Yuki found. He was angry that Kyoko had "sided with that guy". Kyoko tried explaining that it didn't matter if he was bad or not, but Kyo ran off, calling her a traitor. Before he could run, she called, "Don't forget your promise!"
Years later, when Tohru had just entered high school, Kyo and Kyoko were standing on same the street, waiting to cross. In the same moment in which Kyo recognized Kyoko as the women he had known as a child, he noticed the car that was speeding towards her. As Kyoko walked on into the street, Kyo, who knew in enough time to save her, was too afraid of changing into his animal form, and so he didn't rush to pull her back from the side of the road. Ultimately, it led to Kyoko being the fatality of a car accident, the uncontrollable guilt Kyo suffered from there on, never being able to forgive himself for being selfish and not saving Kyoko, who would turn out to be the mother of the woman he would come to fall in love with, Tohru. When Kyoko laid in the mess of the accident, before passing away, as she noticed him and said, "I won't forgive you..." In his fear, Kyo ran away from the scene, but as it was later revealed, Kyoko's last words were intended as: "I won't forgive you, unless you keep your promise to protect Tohru."
Their relationship was very strong and in love with each other. One day after being sent to the principal's office for her street fashion and threatening the other teachers with a chair, Katsuya Honda went in the room and talked to her. He tells her that he thinks that she wants to love people and be loved herself. She breaks down in tears and confesses that she feels alone. As her time in middle school continued, she spent most of her time talking to Katsuya and eventually starts to fall in love with him.
Even though he had ended his job as a trainee teacher at Kyoko's school, Katsuya still helps her study for the high school entrance exams, however she is beaten up and hospitalized by her gang before she even gets the chance to take them. After her parents disown her, Katsuya turns up at her house suddenly and gives them a lecture for choosing to turn their backs on their daughter because she "didn't turn out the way they wanted" and then proposes marriage. He told her that he fell in love with her because she cried and confessed to being lonely, where he could not.
Kyoko and Katsuya then marry later on. although the other Honda family members were opposed to the marriage, Katsuya's father gave the two his blessing.
They shifted to a ocean viewing house as Kyoko loved the ocean deeply. Daily, they would lead their lives care-freely, with Katsuya always saying, "Welcome home." to Kyoko whenever he reaches home earlier than Kyoko.
Kyoko got a shock when she found out that she was pregnant. Afraid of giving birth to a child, she secretly went to a hospital to check without telling Katsuya. When he came home, Kyoko told him that she was pregnant and broke down. She feared that their child would hate her since she was a gangster in her past and worried if she would be bad on being a mother. She recalls the time when she had yelled at her mother on wishing the latter hadn't had her. Kyoko broke down with great grief. Katsuya told her that it would be fine and their child would accept her. Eventually, Kyoko and Katsuya had a daughter and named her Tohru.
On the last time they spoke to each other, Katsuya had suggested to Kyoko on wanting Tohru to have a sibling and Kyoko was delighted. Kyoko was devastated by Katsuya's death from pneumonia (which wasn't found early) and nearly committed suicide.
With Her Parents
Kyoko never really had a loving relationship with her parents, as her father never thought about his family and her mother only cared about her image and her husband. As a result, Kyoko was neglected by them. As Kyoko told Kyo Sohma, they never went out as a family and rarely even ate together. She couldn't even remember being held, either.
Mr. Katsunuma shouted at Kyoko one time that are people that are needed and people who aren't, and that she was the latter. Mrs. Katsunuma then cried to Kyoko why she was like this, she said "Do you realize how angry your father will be at me, do you know what the neighbours are saying," only concerned about herself. After Kyoko was sent to hospital after being beaten up by her gang for leaving them, her parents refused to go to the hospital to visit her.
After Kyoko was discharged and returned to the household, her father dropped a bag full of her belongings and both her mother and father disowned her. At that time, Katsuya Honda (whom Kyoko had befriended and fallen in love with) turned up and proposed marriage to Kyoko. Both he and Kyoko left the Katsunuma household and never returned since.
After Katsuya's death from illness many years later, her father rang Kyoko to tell her not to bother coming back to the house, as he and her mother had no intention of taking her back. Kyoko never reconciled with her parents, as she was killed in a road accident later on in adulthood. It is unknown if they knew about their daughter's death, as Tohru doesn't know her maternal grandparents.