In the manga version of Fruits Basket, Akito is biologically female but has been raised male, and spends most of the series living a man. In the anime, Akito is biologically male. For consistency, this article refers to Akito as female throughout, except when discussing events specific to the anime.
Akito was next mentioned in episode seven. In the episode, Hatori Sohma and Momiji Sohma visited Tohru, Yuki, and Kyo's school for the cultural festival. Hatori mentioned that Akito had wanted to go himself, but couldn't, because he was sick with a fever. Hatori also managed to trick Yuki and Kyo into smiling for a picture, saying that Akito had asked him to snap one for him. (The questions were: What's 1+2, in the English manga, what's 1+1 in the Japanese manga and anime and what's the last letter of the alphabet, in the English anime.)
In episode eight, Tohru visited the Sohma estate for the first time. She learned from Hatori that Akito suffered from frequent illnesses, and thus, he required much of Hatori's time as a doctor. During her visit, Hatori also recalled the time he'd fallen in love with a co-worker of his (Kana) when he and Kana went before Akito to request permission to marry, Akito became so enraged that he slapped a vase to the floor, the shards of which pierced one of Hatori's eyes on accident. Akito then blamed Kana for Hatori's injury; this caused Kana a lot of emotional distress and she thus became quite ill. Akito eventually convinced Hatori to end Kana's suffering by erasing all of her memories of their time together. Whilst Hatori remembered all of this in private, Momiji also relayed some of the same chilling tale to Tohru. Shortly after, Shigure appeared for a visit to the Sohma estate and later, took Tohru home. On their way out of the estate, however, Tohru caught a glimpse of Akito hanging out of a window ledge, watching her. She briefly wondered if whom she saw was, indeed, the mysterious head of the family, when Shigure interrupted her thoughts, telling her to keep up or she might get lost.
In episode nine, both Yuki and Kyo skipped out on the Sohmas' New Years banquet, opting instead to spend the holiday with Tohru. Shigure was the one to inform Akito of this, whom silently seethed at the announcement.
In episode 13, Akito made his official début in the series by visiting Yuki, Kyo, and Tohru's school on the opening ceremony day. Tohru ran into him while she was alone on the school's grounds, and was pleasantly surprised at the way Akito appeared very friendly and nice, even going so far as to call her "cute." Akito claimed that he was quite shy, and thus didn't introduce himself before when he was caught watching her in the Sohma estate (episode eight); he then requested that he and Tohru become friends. Suddenly, it dawned upon Tohru that Akito's eyes were quite cold and hate-filled, and that his air of politeness was surely an act. Yuki, however, interrupted the pair before anyone could say anything more. He demanded to know what Akito did to Tohru whilst they were alone; Akito replied that he did absolutely nothing except introduce himself. Akito then quietly asked Yuki why he had skipped out on the New Years banquet; Akito threatened to lock him back up in the small, dark room that he kept especially for him. Yuki then had a flashback to his childhood (which was an added scene of the anime). In the flashback, he recalled a young Akito entering the dark room Yuki was confined to, shouting that he was the head of the family and was thus to be obeyed; Yuki also recalled the trauma of Akito physically beating him with a little whip, despite Yuki's pleas to stop. Remembering this horrible period of his life, Yuki became visibly upset, and Tohru quickly interrupted, pushing Akito away from him. Later in the episode, Shigure told Hatori that on their way home from the school, Akito commented on how "ugly" and "dumb" he believed Tohru to be, vowing that Yuki would soon return to him, because Yuki obviously still feared him.
In episode 24, a confrontation between Kazuma Sohma (Kyo's adoptive father) and Akito took place (exclusive only to the anime). In the scene, Kazuma had just returned home from his long journey into the mountains; he visited Akito, saying that "things" had gone well since he'd first left. Akito asked, "Don't you think it's time? Time that we revealed that freak cat's true form?" Kazuma gravely agreed. Smirking, Akito wondered aloud what Tohru would do when she sees Kyo's true form; he went onto imagine how Tohru would break down, not being able to stand the horror of the cat, and would most likely never set foot in Shigure's house again. Akito then mused that such a thing would probably make Yuki very unhappy, as well.
In episode 25, Kyo remembered that when he was a child, Akito had seen his true form, and had commented on how ugly and sick smelling it was. In the episode, the anime also added an extra scene between Akito and Tohru. After Kyo ran off, and Tohru struggled after him, Akito appeared in the woods, walking toward Tohru. At first, he pretended to be caring, asking her if something was wrong, but quickly, he switched gears and mockingly asked Tohru what she really knew about the Sohmas, and if she actually understood what it meant to be cursed. Akito then told her that he only had a short time left to live and that nothing could change it (a revelation which never occurred in the manga); he went onto say, "I alone carry the full weight of the Zodiac curse." Musing aloud, Akito wondered what it was that everyone expected of Tohru, asking her if they thought that she could save them somehow. Akito told Tohru that she deserved the pain she felt, warning her that he would make her regret ever getting involved with the Sohmas. However, just then Shigure appeared calling out to Akito, who chuckled and complained that thanks to Tohru, he was soaking wet from the rain. He then departed in the car that had been waiting for him near-by.
Episode 26 is the only episode in the series in which all of its events never occurred in the manga; it brings the anime to its conclusion. In the episode, when Tohru returned to Shigure's house with Kyo's cat form cradled in her arms, Akito was shown briefly looming over a hillside, before quickly leaving. The next morning, having recalled what Akito had said to her, Tohru informed Shigure over breakfast that she would like to go see Akito. Shigure then took Tohru outside and explained that Akito only had a short time left to live because he bore the "core" of the Zodiac curse. This, Shigure said, was decided at the time Akito was born, and despite what Tohru might have hoped, it could not be changed. All the Sohmas could do, he added, was live the way Akito told them to before his early demise. Shigure suggested that it would be best if Tohru steered clear of Akito. Tohru agreed, but the next day, somehow got Shigure, Yuki, and Kyo to take her the Main House for a visit.
When they met, Akito was lounging in his room. He asked Tohru what she came for, saying to speak her mind because he wouldn't grow angry; however, from the way he scratched his nails across the wooden floor, it was clear that he was quite angry and irritated. Tohru answered simply that she didn't know why she had come in the first place. Akito stood and suddenly grabbed hold of Tohru by her hair in a fit of rage. While Shigure and Yuki immediately tried to hold him back, Akito began yelling that Tohru in fact knew exactly what she wanted to say, but that she was just afraid to voice it. Akito declared that she wants to ask him if she can go on living with Shigure, Yuki, and Kyo, but that Akito himself would not allow it. He again vowed to make Tohru regret having anything to do with the Sohmas, also asking her if she truly thought that coming and kneeling before him would change anything. Then, addressing the Juunishi, he announced the no one could leave the Sohmas or go against the head of the family.
Akito then demanded that Tohru beg for forgiveness and promise that she'd never interfere with their family again. Surprisingly, though, Tohru began to cry and speak sympathetically, telling Akito that it must have been hard for him to be told, from the moment of his birth, that he was going to die. She went onto say that when Akito passed away, everyone—including herself—would be very sad. At that, Akito smirked and informed Tohru that everyone was able to live thanks to him, and that they all hoped he would die quickly. He also told her that he was born in order to die, and that it had been decided at the moment of his birth. When Tohru tearfully demanded why and who decided such a thing, Akito grew angry and blurted out, "It's been decided! It's been decided! And they never even asked me!" This sentiment seemed to surprise Shigure, Yuki, and Hatori.
Tohru, however, began to relate the story of how her mother died, saying that she hadn't wanted her to pass away, but had wished that she would be able to be a part of her life for a long time. Akito, growing more and more desperate, demanded that Hatori instantly erase Tohru's memories; Hatori, however, remained unresponsive. As Akito then ordered that Tohru cease her crying, Tohru continued to speak, saying that while she didn't know anything about their family's curse, she was very happy to have met all of them, including Akito. This seemed to simultaneously baffle and move Akito, whom remained quiet as Tohru expressed her wish to get to know Akito better, to learn how he felt, and what his likes and dislikes were. Tohru told him that the important thing at the moment was that he was alive. After a moment of silence, Akito let go of his tight grip on Tohru's hair, and smacked Shigure and Yuki to the floor, away from himself. He stared off contemplatively, and replied quietly, "I don't know."
At the end of episode 26, Akito was last seen sitting on the outer walkway of his room in the gardens with a little white bird perched on his arm, commonly believed to be the animal form of Kureno Sohma, the rooster of the Zodiac, who transformed into a sparrow instead of a true rooster. Support for this varies within the fandom however, due to the fact that in the manga, Kureno was released from the curse more than ten years before the canon storyline began.
In the manga, Akito Sohma was born female, the child of Akira Sohma (then the head of the Sohma family) and Ren Sohma (a maid in the Main House); according to the Fruits Basket Character Book, her Western zodiac sign is Cancer, and her blood type is AB.
Akito's true gender is known only to the four eldest cursed Sohmas—Hatori, Shigure, Ayame, and Kureno—who, on the night of Akito's conception, had a dream in which the god-spirit of the Chinese Zodiac told the boys that she was coming to be amongst them, as was promised hundreds of years before (chapter 131). (According to the author, Natsuki Takaya, the birth of a child possessed of the god-spirit is a rare occurrence.)
Long before Akito was born, Ren demanded that Akito be raised male or else she wouldn't give birth to the child; Ren claimed that having a female heir would "cause problems," though the more likely reason for raising Akito male (as Shigure pointed out in a chapter 115 flashback) was because of Ren's insecurity over not being first in Akira's heart, and her jealousy of her husband's great affection for their child. Fearing that Ren would actually abort the baby, Akira agreed to these terms. (Even so, in some flashbacks to Akito's childhood, as in chapters 115 and 117, Akito is depicted wearing a little girl's kimono, and Akira even called Akito a "special girl" within the same scene.)
When Akito was born, apparently the most excited one over the birth was Akira. Since Akito was revealed to be possessed by the god-spirit of the Chinese Zodiac (Akito uniformly refers to herself as God in the English-language translation; however, a more accurate translation would be Jade Emperor, who is both the leader of the Chinese Zodiac and the primary deity of the Taoist religion), Akira saw this as a sign that his relationship with Ren was "special," and because of Akito's "godliness," he and others in the inner circle lavished Akito with attention. Ren, however, was not glad over Akito's birth, and according to chapter 115 of the manga, refused to even hold Akito as a baby. In Akito's recollection of childhood, she says of Ren, "Mother was cold-hearted, and her anger was always aimed at me. I hate her." (Chapter 117)
Sometime in Akito's childhood, Akira's illness took a turn for the worse. On his death-bed, he told the young Akito not to be afraid, adding that he would always be with her, even if she couldn't physically see him. Akira went onto confess that he had wanted Ren to be the happiest over Akito, because Akito was a "special existence," and therefore she and Ren were special. 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.
Akito countered these statements, telling her hysterical mother that her father had loved her; but because of Akira's parting words, even Akito herself doubted that Akira had loved her the most, fearing that she had "lost" to "that woman" (Ren). One of the elderly maids, wanting to comfort Akito, proceeded to give her an empty box, claiming that Akira's spirit was inside it, and that she had wanted only Akito to receive such a special gift. (The same maid later claimed, in chapter 117, that the box was of course empty, and only given to Akito to help her through such a stressful time, adding that Akito should have well known that her father's spirit wasn't really inside the box.) All of her life, Akito kept this box hidden away in her room; she told Kureno in chapter 117 that part of her didn't believe that anything was inside of the box, yet another part always hoped that maybe there was.
After her father's early death, Akito became the head of the Sohma family (raised to appear and act as a male), in addition to her role as God of the Zodiac animals.
According to an interview with Natsuki Takaya, Akito was enrolled in "better" and "more expensive" schools than everyone else in the Zodiac, though she completed all of his schooling (including high school) by correspondence.
Ever since chapter two, it had been hinted at that both Akito and Shigure were scheming something that involved Tohru, which was why she was allowed to keep her memories and live with the Sohmas. While it was eventually revealed that Akito and Shigure had different, separate reasons for allowing Tohru to grow closer to the Sohmas, Akito's own motive was fully explained in chapter 117. A while before the beginning of the manga's time-line, Yuki had left the Main House to live with Shigure. At that time, Akito's mother, Ren, commented that it seemed as if everyone was abandoning her, just like she had always predicted they would. Akito denied this, arguing that the Juunishi would come back to her in the end, since they were all connected by the inseparable Zodiac bonds. Ren, however, challenged Akito to prove this, saying that if Akito allowed the Juunishi to stray and to form other bonds with "outsiders," and they abandoned her, then Akito would have to bow down before Ren and leave the Sohmas forever; on the other hand, if the Juunishi still returned to Akito's side after going out into the world, then Akito would win. Soon after this bet was made, Shigure approached Akito about allowing Tohru stay with him, Yuki, and Kyo. Akito, confident that she would win against Ren, consented to this. Since Akito believed that the world was a cruel, bleak place in which unconditional love did not exist outside of the Zodiac bonds, she also believed that Tohru would eventually end up rejecting the Juunishi; thus, she was certain that Yuki and the others would end up heart-broken by the world, and would return to her side forever.
In chapter 10, when Tohru visits the Sohma estate for the first time, she learned from Momiji that Hatori was nearly blind in his left eye, because years before, he had asked Akito permission to marry a woman he loved, Kana; Akito had flown into a frenzy of rage, accidentally injuring Hatori's eye, and blaming it on Kana, who never recovered from the shock of the accident; instead, Kana accepted Akito's blame and guiltily agonized over the incident, growing ill, until Akito convinced Hatori to erase Kana's memories of her love for him. In chapter 97, it is made clear that Akito reacted so horribly to the idea of being "replaced" in Hatori's heart at the time because, when she was a child, Kureno's curse/bond had broken for unknown reasons. Since that day, Akito—fearing that allowing any of the Juunishi to form "other bonds" with outsiders would break the rest of the curse and bonds—kept the Juunishi on a tight leash, and instilled in them doubt and self-hatred to make certain that they would never leave her. (In one of Yuki's childhood flashbacks in chapter 84, he remembered the day when Akito first "snapped," painted the walls of his room black, and locked Yuki away in a dark room. It is assumed, from further flashbacks of Kureno's in chapter 97, that Akito's mini-mental breakdown was a result of his curse breaking around the same time.)
Tohru first caught a glimpse of Akito watching her from a window in chapter 10; however, it is not until chapter 20 that Akito first made her official debut in the manga. Akito visited Tohru, Kyo, and Yuki's school for the day, and approached Tohru alone; she called Tohru "a cute girl" and kindly asked her to take good care of her family. At first, Tohru was shocked at Akito's friendly attitude and sunny smile, wondering if she was meeting the same person who'd almost blinded Hatori. However, Tohru soon realized that Akito's polite air was an act, as Akito's eyes belied her. thinly-veiled hatred. When Yuki later appeared, Akito chastised him for skipping the family's New Years banquet, and threatened to lock Yuki away in the dark room of his childhood again to teach him a lesson. Tohru, sensing Yuki's fear, physically pushed Akito away, who, although quite shocked, left soon after without much of a fuss. As Shigure later relayed to Hatori that, on the car ride home, Akito spoke of how "ugly" and less-than-clever Tohru was, boasting that Yuki would surely come back to her in the end.
In chapter 120, it was revealed that Akito had always been lonely and afraid of change. The reason that she clung so desperately to the Juunishi bonds was that she feared that, without them, she would be all alone, and her existence meaningless, just as her mother had always claimed. This revelation occurred after both Momiji's and Hiro's curses broke. With the bonds falling apart, Akito—after having wrongfully stabbed Kureno in the back—ran away from the Sohma estate, wondering if everything really was all her fault, and why her world was collapsing so suddenly. Desperate and looking for someone to blame, Akito suddenly realizes that the Juunishi had been slowly but surely leaving ever since Tohru had appeared in their lives. Akito then walks to Shigure's home and finds Tohru alone outside. Akito comments that Tohru must be happy, because she had "won" and had, in the process, destroyed the only life she had known. Akito then threatens Tohru with a knife; but Tohru, realizing how both she and Akito had been trying to hold onto an "unchanging" reality (Akito clinging to the eternal bonds of the Zodiac; Tohru wanting her mother to always be first in her heart), told Akito that she understood how scary it is to be alone, and instead offered her hand in friendship. Before Akito could accept, the unstable cliff ground collapsed and Tohru fell, while Akito screamed for help. (In the first volume of the series, just after a landslide destroyed Tohru's tent, Shigure warned her that the ground around the area was unstable and due to collapse again one day.)
When Tohru (who recovered at the hospital) was finally allowed visitors beyond her immediate family, Akito was surprisingly one of the first to visit (and even more surprisingly, according to Hatori and Shigure, she went alone and entirely on her own accord). Fearful that she would be rejected by Tohru and Kureno (both of whom she'd hurt, emotionally and physically), Akito was told a comforting story by Momiji, who also offered advice that made it possible for Akito to see Tohru and Kureno for who they really are: People whose kindness for others overrides their ability to be concerned about themselves. With that in mind, she finally went to see Tohru, who offered her hand (despite the fact her arm is injured) to Akito in friendship again, which she accepted with a small smile. Akito also visited Kureno in the hospital, whom she had stabbed in the back (chapter 118); Kureno, however, didn't blame Akito for her actions, and forgave her when Akito cried and apologized to him repeatedly for smothering him all of the years she'd kept him close. From there on out, Akito decided to try to change rather than cling to being "God," and to the memory of her father and what he had wanted her to be (chapter 132).
Towards the end of the manga, after Kureno left to live in the country with Arisa Uotani, and the curse was broken, Akito and Shigure finally confessed their true feelings for each other and reconciled. Akito begins living and dressing as a woman, and in her last meeting with all the formerly cursed Sohmas, she wore a furisode (female kimono), and donned a flower in her hair, something that shocked the younger Sohmas, who had just learned of Akito's true gender.
In the last chapter of the manga, Akito had let her hair grow a little past her shoulders, and wore a dress (chapter 136).
Akito's other physical features include short black hair, black eyes, and skin as "pale as a ghost," according to Shigure (chapter 101). When Tohru met Akito for the first time in chapter 20, she noted that she was as "handsome" as Yuki (who is, ironically, often mistaken for a girl). In chapter 101, Shigure's editor, Mitsuru, upon seeing Akito from a distance, exclaimed, "He's so young and beautiful! I mean—never mind! It's rude to call a man beautiful."
Akito is also often said to look very much like her hated mother, Ren; in fact, in chapter 115, Shigure told Ren herself that one of the reasons he'd slept with her was because he could imagine that if Akito had been raised a female, she would look almost exactly like Ren. Also, in chapter 75, when Tohru accidentally stumbled upon Ren's private gardens in the Sohma estate, Ren called out, asking who was there. Tohru instantly thought that the voice belonged to Akito (and was surprised to find out that it was someone else's entirely), drawing yet another comparison between the mother and daughter.
In Fruits Basket Fan Book - Cat, Natsuki Takaya said that Akito prefers wearing kimonos; however, for Western clothing, she likes things that are unadorned and plain, and dislikes "dressing up." Takaya also noted in amusement that while Akito hates showing any skin, she seems more careless about that aspect when wearing a kimono.
However, in chapter 132, Akito dons a woman's kimono, and by chapter 133, seems mostly comfortable wearing feminine clothing. In fact, in chapter 136 (which takes place a few months after the events of chapter 135), Akito is shown wearing a dress on a day out with Shigure. This (coupled with the fact that before Akira's death, Akito was depicted as wearing a little girl's kimono) seems to imply that perhaps Akito's hatred wasn't toward women in general, but rather specifically for Ren and for anyone who tried to "steal" any one of her Juunishi away. In fact, one of the elderly female maids that helped raise both Akira and Akito herself seemed to have meant something special to Akito (rather than an object of hate because of her gender); Akito was shown throughout most of the manga (and especially in chapter 133) as speaking softly and respectfully to the woman. In chapter 133, when the elderly maid refused Akito's offering of help and peace, Akito appeared quite sorrowful.
Since in Japanese, gender-specific pronouns are not commonly used when referring to other people, no one in the original Japanese manga ever technically referred to Akito as a "he" or "she," thus making it easier to conceal her true gender in conversation. In fact, in the Japanese text, only Akito refers to herself as a male, using the masculine "boku" instead of any feminine first-person pronouns (such as "watashi," etc.) and (an often masculine) "omae" instead of a more feminine second-person pronouns (such as, "anata," "anta," etc.). This is a habit Akito continues even after revealing her true gender (chapter 132).
Akito's obsession with eyes also coincides with her penchant to use her nails to physically harm others. She once attacked Hatori when he requested her permission to marry Kana, leaving him almost blind in his left eye. (In the manga, it is never shown exactly how Hatori's injury is acquired.) Also, in the flashbacks to Rin's first hospitalization, Rin is seen with a bandage over one of her eyes, implying that Akito had injured her there. Akito also indirectly and directly threatened twice to blind Hatsuharu with her nails (chapter 79 and chapter 106).
Akito and Shigure have always had somewhat of a close relationship since Akito was a small child. In chapter 84 of the manga, in his childhood memories, Yuki recalled often seeing Shigure comfort a young, crying Akito; also, in chapter 78, Rin sought out Shigure for information on how to break the curse, her reason being that he would know since he was in Akito's "confidence," and that Akito was "fond of [him]."
On the night that Akito was conceived, Shigure (along with Hatori, Ayame, Kureno, and Ritsu ) although he was to young to understand.) had a dream of the Zodiac's god-spirit telling them that he would be coming to live amongst them soon, to fulfill the god's promise to the twelve animals made hundreds of years before. Shigure once mentioned this dream in volume three of the manga, saying that he had dreamed of "the one I love" (Akito), and that while the curse had become something painful for the other Jyuunishi, Shigure, on the other hand, wanted to capture the feeling he first encountered in his dream forever and "hold it in my hands."
One day in her childhood, Akito asked Shigure if he loved her. In response, Shigure picked a tsubaki flower (camellia) and presented it to her. He then embraced Akito and told her that he did love her and he thought of her more than anyone else. (chapter 101).
Years later, sometime shortly before the actual Fruits Basket series begins, their relationship was soured. Shigure had slept with Ren because he had always resented Akito's closeness to Kureno and was enraged upon finding out that they had slept together. After learning that Shigure had, in turn, slept with her hated mother, Akito banished Shigure from the Main House. Shigure, however, left without a fuss (chapter 101), which further hurt and irritated Akito, who had expected him to protest at least once. (This caused Akito to doubt that Shigure loved her any more; she even later accused him of having wanted to leave her all along, and that he would have done anything to get away from her. Shigure denied this, however, citing revenge as his only motive.) Since then, both Shigure and Akito were on tense terms with each other. In chapter 101, Akito confronts Shigure on why he didn't talk to her; that he didn't love her anymore..Shigure reminds Akito of what he said all those years ago: "I like you more than anyone could admire you... this is the definite truth." Shigure says he was going to leave, but before he could, Akito grabs him and kisses him on the corner of his mouth. Shigure remarks, "For someone who denied her 'womanhood', you sure do resort to it often." Then there's a strong implication that Shigure and Akito slept together.
In chapter 132, after the curse was broken, Shigure once more made clear his feelings and intentions towards Akito. In the end, Akito admitted her love for Shigure, too, confessing that he had always scared her the most, because he seemed the most distant from her, as if her words and actions had no effect upon him. Shigure, however, replied that he always had to force himself to remain calm and indifferent to her, "or else it felt like I would explode." The two kissed and reconciled. Soon after Yuki, Kyo, and Tohru graduated from high school, Shigure moved back into the Main House, quitting his job as an author (chapter 136).
When Kureno was about sixteen years old, his curse was lifted from him. As soon as that happened, however, a ten years old Akito found him, and began sobbing and begging him not to abandon her. Moved to pity and tears, Kureno agreed to stay with Akito until she no longer had any need of him. Since that day, Akito kept Kureno on a rather short leash, not allowing the other Juunishi to see or talk to him, fearing that they would find out that his curse was broken. According to Natsuki Takaya, Kureno also took on most of the work involved with being the head of the family for Akito.
Because of Kureno's closeness to Akito, Shigure grew very jealous of Kureno, his hatred only growing deeper when he found out that (sometime before the beginning of the manga series) Akito and Kureno had had sexual relations.
In chapter 118, after a nasty encounter with Akito's mother, Kureno finally confronted Akito on her behavior towards others, and her belief in an "unchanging" and "guaranteed" love/bond, telling her that he had, for some time, been meaning to address such issues. He hugged her, and asked her to change, saying that if she didn't, she'd be "torn apart by the 'Sohma bonds,' and be empty. You'll never be fulfilled." Akito told him that it was too late; she asked him why he had never spoken to her of "changing" from the very beginning, and why he hadn't just abandoned her all those years ago. Kureno guiltily conceded, before Akito stabbed him in the back with a knife (which had previously been lying on the floor, discarded by Ren); she yelled that Kureno's "kindness" to her (reinforcing her belief in "unchanging" bonds by staying with her) had been slowly killing her all along. Akito then screamed that Kureno should "die and atone" for himself, saying that simply admitting that staying with her had been a mistake wouldn't resolve anything. She then ran off, barefooted, in the rain, leaving Kureno bleeding and struggling to follow her. A young maid showed up, distressed that Kureno was hurt and bleeding; Kureno, however, instructed her not to worry about him, but to hurry to go after Akito instead.
Akito, meanwhile, immediately felt guilty over what she had done to Kureno. Later, in chapter 124, she visited him in the hospital. Akito apologized to him, remembering how, all of her life, she had always held a lot of affection for Kureno in her heart, thinking of him as "sweet," and "just so kind." Akito realized then that for a long time, she had been smothering Kureno, taking advantage of his kindness by forcing him to stay with her. As she cried, saying "sorry" repeatedly, Kureno smiled and placed one of his hands on her head, letting Akito know that he didn't blame her (chapter 127).
In chapter 127, Kureno told Arisa that he planned to "disappear," saying that if he stayed, it would only cause Akito distress and guilt every time she saw him. At the end of the series, Kureno lives in the country-side with Arisa, leaving the Sohma house for good "without saying much to those around" before his departure.
Akito has a tendency to hate women who threaten to steal away the Zodiac, and Tohru is no exception. The two first met on the first day of school after New Years. Akito was kind to Tohru, saying that she was cute; she also asked her to watch over Yuki and the others for her. This led Tohru to believe that the head of the family was a gentle person. Akito quickly proved that that was not the case, however, when she saw Yuki shortly afterwards. Yuki became frightened when he saw Akito speaking to Tohru, since he thought that Tohru was being threatened. Akito was angry with Yuki for not coming to the Sohma Main House on New Years and threatened to lock him back up in the room where Yuki was kept as a child. Tohru saw that Yuki was upset and pushed Akito away, saying that they need to get to class. Later, Shigure told Hatori that Akito gloated on the way home, saying that Tohru was stupid and ugly and could not steal the Zodiac members away.
Shortly before the beginning of the manga's story, Akito had made a deal with her mother: let the Juunishi form relationships with "outsiders" (i.e. Tohru), to test whether or not the bonds between Akito and the Juunishi were really as strong as Akito claimed they were. If the Juunishi still returned to Akito's side in the end, then Ren would bow before Akito. However, if Akito lost the bet, Akito herself would have to bow before Ren and forever leave the Sohma family. Akito felt at the time that she could win, so when Shigure came to her, requesting that an outsider (i.e. Tohru) live with him, she readily agreed.
When Tohru and the Sohmas visited the summerhouse, Akito also went, intending to draw the Sohmas away from Tohru to prove her godly powers over them. The Sohma members realized this, but they were afraid that disobeying Akito would result in her attacking Tohru. When Akito saw Kyo and Tohru building a sand castle together, laughing care-freely, she quickly scheduled a meeting with Kyo, making him feel inferior and warning him that, since Kyo was to be locked up in the Cat's Room upon graduation, getting any closer to Tohru would only result in more pain for both involved. Just as Akito intended, Kyo decided to distance himself from Tohru and to deny his own feelings towards her.
On the second to last night of the vacation, Akito was forced to leave because her mother, Ren ("that person") was disturbing the peace at the Main House again. Shortly before departing, though, Akito visited the house that Tohru was staying at and angrily threatened her to keep out of the Sohmas' affairs. Akito scratched Tohru's cheek until it bled, and told her how the Zodiac would be kept in an endless "banquet" after graduation and that her (Akito's) own place in the Zodiac was God, the one who controls all of the Zodiac spirits.
Towards the end of the series, as the curse was weakening and more and more of the Zodiac members were being released, Akito angrily confronted Tohru, telling her that she (Tohru) had ruined her world and had succeeded in stealing away the Zodiac members. Akito threatened Tohru with a knife; but Tohru, realizing how both she and Akito had been trying to hold onto an "unchanging" reality (Akito clinging to the eternal bonds of the Zodiac; Tohru wanting her mother to always be first in her heart), told her that she understood how scary it is to be alone, and instead offered her hand in friendship. Before Akito could accept, the unstable cliff ground collapsed and Tohru fell, while Akito screamed for help.
Later, Akito visited Tohru in the hospital. The two reconciled, and Akito admitted that she had been jealous of Tohru all along, and that she had hated Tohru for being everything Akito was not — kind and beloved by all. Tohru, however, said that she wished to remain as friends, because if there was any good in her, there was surely good in Akito, as well.
In chapter 136, Akito helped to arrange things for Tohru's graduation party, despite declining to attend in person (as she believed, having been a cruel, dark influence in everyone's lives prior to then, that she would only dampen spirits). Akito said, however, that she intended to visit Tohru sometime afterwards with Shigure in town.
Yuki and Akito have a bitter past. Akito had been emotionally, physically, and mentally abusive towards Yuki; Yuki, as a result, was traumatized since then. In volume 15 it's revealed that, when both Akito and Yuki were young children, Yuki was brought to the Main House to live with Akito. She kept him by her side at all times, seldom letting him out of her sight. As Yuki recalled it, originally, Akito was kind and would only occasionally lose her temper. However, after Kureno's curse broke, Akito's world unraveled (since she had made the curse the basis of her existence), and she "snapped." Akito painted the walls of her room black, and also locked Yuki away in a dark room built "especially for [him]" for long periods of times.
Yuki once cried to his mother that Akito said "scary things"; Akito was in fact filling Yuki's head with horrible lies, slowly chipping away at his will, telling him the world was a dark place and that there was no reason to hope and no possibilities to make his life better. She continued this day after day, until Yuki began thinking it was the truth. As a result, Yuki started to get very sick from the emotional strain, especially after Kyo's rejection of his friendship, which only confirmed what Akito was telling him. Akito pretended like she wanted to comfort the ailing boy, but when she went into his room to visit, she merely taunted him by once again repeating how much he was hated, asking him if he was going to die, and calling him boring.
In chapter 95, Yuki attended the New Years banquet, and told Akito that he forgave her for all she had done, because he simply wanted to move on with his life, unbound by the pain of the past. This instantly reminded Akito of the day Kureno's curse had broken, and thus, she reacted violently, hitting Yuki with a vase and wounding his face.
In chapter 132, Yuki learned of Akito's true gender. When asked by Tohru if it surprised him, Yuki responded that he couldn't explain what he thought of it all, since lately, so much had happened to him (such as the curse breaking).
When Yuki's classmates saw him in rat form, Yuki asked Akito if it was so unusual to turn into a rat. Akito responded cruelly, and Hatori suppressed their memories.
Also, Akito backed up her view that everyone hated Yuki by quoting Kyo's line "I'll kill him then I'll kill myself!" This line was as seen in volume 6 of the manga, when Kyo was recalling how he and Kazuma (Shishou) met. It was also in volume 15.
Akito viewed Kyo as a "monster" and neither considered him to be part of the Zodiac nor held any feelings towards him the way she did for the other Juunishi. As part of tradition, the Sohma member cursed by the cat must live alone and imprisoned in a room designated for the cat until the day they die. Akito planned to do the same to Kyo unless he could win a bet: should he be able to beat Yuki in a fight before he graduated from high school, Kyo would become part of the Zodiac and would not have to be locked in the Cat's Room.
In chapter 126, Akito announced that Kyo would be free, and that she intended to have the Cat's Room knocked down. When Kyo was on his way home in chapter 127, he saw Akito leaving Kazuma's house; he tried to speak with her, but she brushed him off in annoyance, saying that he could do whatever he wanted with his life from then on.
In chapter 132, Kyo learned of Akito's true gender. He told Tohru (in chapter 133) that his first thought upon the revelation was that he'd been pretty rough against a girl, referring to when he'd originally made the bet with Akito and held her up forcibly by her shirt. He then also said he was somewhat glad because having so many guys that seemed fond toward Tohru might be a problem for him. Yuki then proceeded to burst out in laughter.
When asked in an interview, Natsuki Takaya said she had always planned on Akito being a female.
It also has never been confirmed in the manga that Akito will die at 25-30 years old. In the manga, Hatori (Akito's doctor) and Shigure various times throughout the series imply that most of Akito's illnesses are psychological or somewhat exaggerated, though his father, Akira Sohma, was also quite sickly, and died at a young age. Ren was also noted several times as being both physically and a bit mentally ill (chapter 98). No one in the manga ever mentions anything about Akito dying. In that same line, it has never been confirmed in the manga that Akito holds bitterness against the entire Sohma family because of his role of the curse. In the anime, Shigure informs Tohru that Akito will die at a young age --- the decision of which had been made at Akito's birth --- because Akito bears the "core" of the curse; in the manga, however, Akito was born possessed with the Zodiac's god-spirit, the Jade Emperor, and is never mentioned to be dying because of it. Also, in the anime, Akito resents his family for deciding to make him the sacrificial lamb of sorts, having never asked what Akito himself wished for. In the manga, though, Akito isn't dying and has no grudge against his family; he tries desperately to make the curse last forever, as he was told by her father that he was "born to be loved" by the Juunishi; he fears that without the curse, everyone would abandon him and he'd be alone.
In the anime, Shigure also mentions that the reason no one can go against Akito is because he's dying for them, and so the family tries to accommodate him until he passes away. In the manga, no one can go against Akito because he is the god of the Juunishi; the animal spirits within the cursed Sohmas will not allow them to "betray" Akito.