Spoiler! This page contains major plot spoilers related to the Fruits Basket manga, not yet revealed in the anime. Read at your own risk!
God and the spirits of the Zodiac made a promise. It was a long, long time ago. Hundreds of years or more. To be together, for eternity. No matter how many times they were reborn, the spirits would go to God’s side and never leave. They would meet, and stay forever. Together… forever. We’re bound by that promise even now. Even if we don’t remember it, the blood of the Zodiac spirits remembers. From the outside, a “bond” may sound romantic, but if it feels like a burden to those involved, then it’s only a manacle. That’s why it’s a “curse”.
The Sohma Curse (草摩の呪い,Sōma no Noroi) is a "bond" between God and thirteen members of the Zodiac. Akito Sohma is the current "God" of the Zodiac, while various members of the Sohma family are possessed by the spirits of the animals from the Chinese Zodiac, including the Cat.
As told in the true zodiac legend, there was a man (later to be called “God”) who had always been alone. When a friendly cat came to visit and confessed that he couldn't help but be drawn to him and expressed his desire to stay by his side, the man was very happy. Because of his new friendship with the cat, the man yearned for even more connections, and therefore held fun banquets with the other animals (those that are considered part of the Chinese zodiac). The man, who didn't want their friendship or banquet to end, and only yearning to make his bond with his friends (the thirteen animals) last for eternities, created a spell by drawing a circle in a cup of water with his finger. This drink made sure that every single one of them would be reborn, and no matter how many times they were reborn, the bond of their friendship would remain.
Those who are possessed are born two months premature.
The Zodiacs transform into their respective animals if they are hugged by a person of the opposite sex, or if they are under a great deal of stress (such as exhaustion, sickness or lack of breath).
They do not transform into animals if they are hugged by another member of the Zodiac. There is no explanation for this.
They can attract animals of their possessed Zodiac animal and can somewhat communicate with them, and can be used for assistance; for example, rats are attracted to Yuki and he used their help to dig out Tohru's tent from under the landslide at the beginning of the series.
They have distinct characteristics and often share special traits with the animal they are possessed by. For example; Hatsuharu Sohma's natural black and white hair is influenced by the Ox's spirit, and Kisa Sohma's golden hair- and eye color is influenced by the Tiger's spirit.
They share special abilities that normal humans lack. Kyo Sohma can land on his feet after jumping from the second floor, Isuzu Sohma runs quickly as a horse, and Ritsu Sohma is extremely agile.
It is shown that whenever the Zodiacs transform into their respective animals and turn back to their human form, they are naked and colored clouds surround their bodies.
As long as all members of the Zodiac are alive at the same time, another Sohma possessed by a Zodiac's spirit won't be born. A new possessed Sohma can only be born if a previous cursed Sohma passes away. For example, only when Kazuma's Grandfather passed away could Kyo become the Cat.
The thirteen members of the Zodiac are in one way connected to one another, and share an extremely powerful and strong blood bond with their God, being physically and emotionally unable to openly defy them even when they do want and try to do so.
The Curse and The Bonds
For hundreds of years, various members of the Sohma family have been reincarnated as God or one of the thirteen animals by being possessed by their original spirits. Isuzu Sohma explains that even though they don't have any memories of the original promise between God and the animals, they are still bound by that promise, since the blood of the Zodiac spirits remembers. The original God only wanted the bonds to be sacred and something that would connect him to his friends forever, but he didn't intend for the bond to become something cursed and the source of generations of abuse, isolation och ostracization in the Sohma clan.
The depiction of the original "bond".
The depiction of the current "bond".
Although there is no definite answer to what the curse truly is, Kazuma Sohma theorizes that the God and the thirteen animals are in a “world” all their own, so it’s hard for someone on the outside to understand what’s between them. They are connected by a bond of blood and the very souls of the original animals and God. This is the reason why the Zodiacs aren’t able to defy Akito, since they all harbor intense feelings toward her and since she is like a god to them; someone to be feared and respected, whether they are weak or strong. Only a few words of rejection from Akito's mouth can both emotionally and physically wound the Zodiacs. For this very reason, Hatori Sohma couldn't blame Akito for blinding him, causing Kana Sohma to become sick, or making him erase her memories. However, it is shown that the Zodiacs are able to defy Akito if their will is strong enough; Momiji Sohma defied Akito's wishes and stood up against her in order to protect Tohru Honda, possibly because his bond with Tohru is much stronger than his bond with Akito.
The bond is a deep and intense emotional connection that only the Zodiacs can feel without having to do anything. For example, Kureno Sohma had a dream about a still transparent Akito when she had just been conceived, and she told him that they would be able to meet soon. Shigure Sohma, Hatori Sohma, and Ayame Sohma had the same dream and they all woke up crying and immediately reached out to Akito’s mother’s, Ren Sohma, womb, who didn’t even know she was pregnant yet. The four boys knew that their God was in there, and felt like they had always been waiting for her. Kureno also mentions that when Akito had come into existence, a part of him he didn’t know existed was crying out, and that it belonged to the voice of the spirit possessing him. He explains this spirit as another self living inside of him, as the blood of the spirit in his veins. Even if new incarnations were born, the blood of those spirits made their demand to Kureno and all the previous and current Zodiacs clear; to not betray their God. Both Kureno and Momiji could see how unnatural the bond was when their curses broke, and as a result, eventually lost their bond with Akito. It also mentioned that their emotional connection is so strong that every single person possessed by an animal spirit cries upon seeing their God for the first time.
Kureno cried upon dreaming about Akito and sensing that she was conceived.
Shigure cried upon dreaming about Akito and sensing that she was conceived.
Hatori cried upon dreaming about Akito and sensing that she was conceived.
Ayame cried upon dreaming about Akito and sensing that she was conceived.
Yuki cried upon seeing Akito for the first time.
The Cat's Curse
The Cat is the only member of the bond who was intended to be cursed. Since the Cat rejected the idea of an eternal banquet and friendship, God and the other animals saw the Cat as rejecting and betraying them, even if his words came from a place of wisdom and kindness. This is why the Cat is punished for this in each rebirth. Not only does the Cat have a “true form”, but they are also ostracized and isolated. Shigure explains that every Zodiac is well aware of Kyo’s future confinement, but none of them will lift a finger to stop it; either accepting it in silence or pretending not to think about it. The reason behind this is that the Cat fulfills the role of a scapegoat within the “bond”; he is discriminated against, disrespected, and locked up, a fate which the other Zodiacs won’t have to suffer. So when they feel self-hatred and that the bond is a curse, they can look at the Cat and think “Thank God. At least I’m better off than that.” It is also mentioned that despite how the Zodiacs acts towards the Cat, they feel superior to him deep down. However, as Shigure was purposefully being cold and cruel towards Tohru so that she would accept her feelings towards Kyo, it's unlikely that the Zodiacs themselves actually do feel such a natural superiority over the Cat and it has been shown that most Zodiacs have a positive relationship with Kyo and are actively worried for him.
The Cat's fate: to be locked up until death.
The Breaking of the Curse
When Kureno's curse broke, while the bond had previously been intact for thousands of years, those who were aware of Kureno’s situation knew that the curse was slowly weakening. Shigure in particular has many theories about the weakening curse and has stated throughout the series that he hears the sound of “something breaking”. He also had a feeling that since the current generation is the first time all twelve members of the Zodiac (including the Cat and God) are alive at the same time, the God and the animals all gathered for the final banquet. The reason why Hatori turns into a Seahorse instead of a real Dragon, and why Kureno turned into a Sparrow instead of a Rooster is also a sign of the curse weakening.
Because the bond is such an unnatural thing, it has begun breaking down and falling apart, since the “blood” itself had begun weakening. Shigure also predicts that the curse will break completely in the current generation of Zodiacs’ lifetime, although maybe not until they are much older. This is because Kureno’s curse had naturally broken through time. However, thanks to the accumulation of all small changes and triggers, the breaking of the curse only began coming faster. Although there is no definite answer to what these “changes” are, it is implied to be when a possessed member form a stronger bond with an outsider or someone other than God, than the one between them and God. This happens when Tohru forms meaningful and deeply emotional bonds with many of the Zodiac members throughout the series. Another “trigger” to weaken the curse could also be when a possessed member defies, stands up against, or becomes independent from God. It is implied that Akito, the God, holds much control and power over the bonds and the curse. So when Akito forms a bond with Tohru; a bond stronger than her bonds with the Zodiacs, is willing to destroy the Cat's Room and let the Zodiacs have their freedom, as well as admits that she doesn't want to be a special “God” anymore, but only a normal young woman living her own life and just being herself, these actions all weaken the bond and allow it to break, once and for all.
Kureno's curse broke ten years prior to the start of the story. For the rest of the Zodiacs, with the exception of Momiji and Hiro Sohma whose curses broke earlier for unknown reasons, the curse broke at the same time, with only a few seconds in difference. It is seen that when Kureno, Momiji, and Hiro’s curses broke, feathers surrounded them and they could sense that they had been released from the curse and their God. Akito could feel this as well, even if she wasn't present when their curses broke. Every member of the Zodiac also cried over having their curse broken. Hiro mentions that even though he should have been happy about it, he still felt anger, resentment, regret, remorse, and attachment all mixed up inside of him. Hiro's mother, Satsuki Sohma, explains to Hiro that he had lived with the “bond” his whole life; and even though he had suffered so much because of it, it had been a part of him regardless. It is implied that this is the way the other Zodiacs felt as well. Yuki also mentions having his curse broken felt like saying goodbye to someone he had been together with his whole life (presumably “God” or the “bonds”).
Kureno sensing that his curse broke.
Momiji sensing that his curse broke.
Hiro sensing that his curse broke.
Kyo sensing that his curse broke.
Akito sensing the remaining curses broke after releasing them.
Ayame sensing that his curse broke.
Ritsu sensing that his curse broke.
Kisa sensing that her curse broke.
Kagura sensing that her curse broke.
Isuzu sensing that her curse broke.
Haru sensing that his curse broke.
Hatori sensing that his curse broke.
Shigure sensing that his curse broke.
Yuki sensing that his curse broke.
In chapter 130 of the manga, and episode 11 of the anime, titled 'Goodbye," God and the zodiac disappear. God was happy that the zodiac members accompanied him for so long. But, all feasts must end. Nobody can see or hear him, but god bid farewell to all of the zodiac members. He pleaded them all to cry with him, together, like the first day they have been born. He thanked them to accompany him for so long, and wondered that when did the promise become a curse? And God finally left the world, and the eternal banquet came to an end.
Akito Sohma is a woman (a man in the first anime), but was raised as a man because her mother, Ren Sohma, was jealous of the attention the "god" of the Zodiac was receiving from everyone, especially her husband, Akira Sohma. The only members of the Zodiac who knew Akito's true gender were Kureno, Shigure, Hatori, and Ayame. Akito is very frail and gets sick often. She is short-tempered and acts in an extremely abusive manner to everyone, out of anger and despair over her mother's abuse. Akito plays the part of "god" and desperately clings to the assertion that she is the ruler of the Zodiac, believing that the Cursed Sohmas will stay by her side forever and she has the right to keep them bound to her. After the curse breaks and Tohru Honda manages to reach for Akito, she reveals her true gender to the rest of the Zodiac members and officially lets go of them. She begins to wear women's clothing and grows her hair down to her shoulders (though she later cuts it back short). She and her love interest Shigure begin living together at the end of the manga.
Yuki Sohma is possessed by the spirit of the Rat. The Rat is the highest member of the zodiac, partly due to being the one to finish first in the race in the original zodiac legend, but mostly because the original Rat was the first to drink the spell and create the bond with God. Because of this, the Rat is considered “the closest to god”.
Yuki's family received special treatment and began living a life in luxury, and Yuki received a special and different education from the other Zodiacs due to being deemed as an important and special existence within the Zodiac - just like the God. It is also mentioned that Yuki was set up into a competition against Kyo by the family since a young age, though nobody doubted that Yuki was better due to being the Rat. However, since Yuki was Rat and therefore the “closest to god”, he was sold off to Akito - the God, by his mother. He used to a playmate of Akito but was forced to endure years of abuse by her hands.
Being under the influence of the curse, Yuki's relationships with his family were almost non-existent; his father is never mentioned; his mother, although she never rejected him, used him as a tool for her own benefits; and his older brother ignored his pleas for help to protect himself, though he came to deeply regret it with time.
Whenever Yuki is hugged by the opposite sex, or if his body goes through a great deal of stress, he transforms into his Chinese Zodiac form, a small grey Rat with grey eyes. When he transforms into his animal or reverts back to his human form, a blue smoke surrounds him. Rats are drawn to him and Yuki can also somewhat communicate with them. It is possible that Yuki's grey-colored hair- and eyes are influenced by the Rat's spirit.
Yuki's curse was the last and overall thirteenth to break.
Hatsuharu Sohma is possessed by the spirit of the Ox. The Ox is the second member of the Zodiac animals, as the Rat was able to take advantage of the Ox in the zodiac legend to become first himself in the Zodiac because the Ox was stupid. However, it is later revealed that in the true zodiac legend, the Ox is the second member of the Zodiac because he was the second to drink the spell and create the bond with God.
The Ox has always had a reputation for being stupid, which is why Hatsuharu was ridiculed by the adults of the Sohma family. He even developed two different personas because of this; the Sohmas calling these two sides his "white" and "black" sides. He blamed his misfortunes on Yuki Sohma; the Rat, for it when he was a child. However, after Yuki asked Hatsuharu whether he believes he is stupid, he realized the mental trap, has since loved Yuki and learned to control his temper. However, it is still shown that being called "stupid" hits Hatsuharu's sore spots.
It is unknown how being under the curse's influence affected his relationships with his parents. He lives with them, but they aren't particularly close.
Whenever Hatsuharu is hugged by the opposite sex, or if his body goes through a great deal of stress, he transforms into his Chinese Zodiac form; a black and white Ox with brown eyes, piercings, a necklace, and Hatsuharu's human hairstyle. His natural black and white-colored hair are also influenced by the Ox's spirit. When he transforms into his animal or reverts back to his human form, a purple and turquoise smoke surrounds him. Oxes are drawn to him and Hatsuharu can also somewhat communicate with them.
Kisa Sohma is possessed by the spirit of the Tiger. The Tiger is the third member of the Zodiac animals in the zodiac legend, though it also later revealed that in the true zodiac legend, the Tiger is the third member of the Zodiac because he was the third to drink the spell and create the bond with God. She is also the second youngest member of the Zodiac.
Being a pre-teenager, when she transforms, Kisa is shown as a tiger cub. When stressed or angry in her Zodiac form, she has the tendency to bite people. Her natural yellow-golden hair- and eye colors are influenced by the Tiger's spirit. Since these hair and eye colors aren't considered normal for a Japanese person to have, this has led to her classmates at school to bully and eventually ignore her. Kisa was visibly affected and even went mute for a period, but she eventually embraces the fact that she is different from other girls and learns to love herself.
Despite being under the curse's influence, Kisa has a normal and loving relationship with her parents. Her mother's instability at one point was mostly due to Kisa being bullied rather than her being a Zodiac, as she felt that she was unable to help Kisa deal with the harassment.
Whenever Kisa is hugged by the opposite sex, or if her body goes through a great deal of stress, she transforms into her Chinese Zodiac form; an orange tiger cub with black stripes and amber eyes. When she transforms into her animal or reverts back to her human form, a light pink and yellow smoke surrounds her. Tigers are drawn to her and Kisa can also somewhat communicate with them.
Momiji Sohma is possessed by the spirit of the Rabbit. The Rabbit is the fourth member of the Zodiac animals as stated in the zodiac legend. However, it is also later revealed that in the true zodiac legend, the Rabbit is the fourth member of the Zodiac because he was the fourth one to drink the spell and create the bond with God.
Momiji's family situation was shattered when his mother first held him when he was born and he transformed into a Rabbit. His mother, implied to be extremely anxious over the curse (and maybe already unstable) rejected Momiji with her entire body and became so depressed over having given birth to a creature as Momiji that she attempted to commit suicide via first slitting her wrists (implied) and stabbing herself (confirmed). She later got her all of her memories of Momiji erased by Hatori, and as a result, Momiji became estranged from his mother and sister by his father (though he does love Momiji and accepts his curse), and they are not aware of their familial relationship, except Momiji and his father.
Whenever Momiji is hugged by the opposite sex, or if his body goes through a great deal of stress, he transforms into his Chinese Zodiac form; a yellow rabbit with brown eyes. When he transforms into his animal or reverts back to his human form, a yellow smoke surrounds him. Rabbits are drawn to him and Momiji can also somewhat communicate with them. His natural yellow hair and eye colors could either be influenced by the Rabbit's spirit, or through his German heritage since his mother is also a blonde.
Momiji's curse broke earlier than everyone else's, and was the overall second to break.
Hatori Sohma is possessed by the spirit of the Dragon. The Dragon is the fifth member of the Zodiac animals in the zodiac legend as well as the fifth animal who drank the spell to create the bond with God in the true zodiac legend. He is also one of the oldest Zodiac members, knowing that Akito was a girl from the beginning.
It is known that both of Hatori's parents were very strict and his home life wasn't very warm, which could possibly be due to Hatori being under the curse's influence. His mother passed away from illness when he was in elementary school, and his father died of an unspecified illness while Hatori was in high school. At some point, the memory suppression technique was passed to him by his father, who held that role before him. His former lover was Kana Sohma, an extended member of the family who found out about the curse while working for Hatori. When Akito didn't approve of their love she injured Hatori; Kana suffered mentally and had to have her memory erased. He also erased the memories of Momiji's Mother, and it's implied that Hatori feels guilty for it and that's why he is close to Momiji (apparently being his caretaker for a while).
Whenever Hatori is hugged by the opposite sex, or if his body goes through a great deal of stress, he transforms into his Chinese Zodiac form; a yellow eight-centimeter long seahorse rather than an actual dragon, there are no more dragons in the world. It is explained that in mythology, all dragons start out as seahorses, and only some gain the opportunity to ascend to dragon-hood. Shigure has stated that he believes it to be a sign that the curse is weakening. Hatori is extremely self-conscious about his transformation and uses blackmail to avoid having it revealed to others. It is mentioned that Hatori in his seahorse form is able to function fine in both salt- and freshwater. His natural dark hair- and eye colors could are also influenced by the Dragon's spirit. Whenever he transforms into his zodiac animal or reverts back to his human form, a dark purple smoke surrounds him. Seahorses are drawn to him and Hatori can also somewhat communicate with them.
Ayame Sohma is possessed by the spirit of the Snake. The Snake is the sixth member of the Zodiac animals as stated in the zodiac legend, as well as the sixth animal who drank the spell and created the bond with God in the true zodiac legend. He is also one of the oldest Zodiac members, knowing that Akito was a girl from the beginning.
Ayame is also the older brother of Yuki; the Rat. His younger brother was favored over him due to being born as the Rat, and Ayame didn't particularly receive any special treatment due to being born as the Snake. Being under the influence of the curse, Ayame's relationships with his family were almost non-existent; his father is never mentioned; his mother, who although never rejected him, threw him away and focused on Yuki to make him the perfect obedient child that Ayame never was; and his younger brother Yuki, who Ayame ignored during their childhoods to protect himself, which he'd come to deeply regret witg time.
As the Snake of the Zodiac, Ayame is sensitive to heat and cold like a cold-blooded snake. Whenever the surrounding becomes too warm or cold for him, Ayame would transform into his Chinese Zodiac form; a white snake with golden eyes. 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 the slightest wind can cause Ayame to transform and needs warm surroundings to transform back; he also gets colds and the flu easily due to this. When he transforms into his animal or reverts back to his human form, a violet-colored smoke surrounds him. Snakes are drawn to him and Ayame can also somewhat communicate with them. His natural white hair color and gold eye color could either influenced by the Snake's spirit.
Isuzu Sohma, also known as Rin, is possessed by the spirit of the Horse. The Horse is the seventh member of the Zodiac animals as stated in the zodiac legend, as well as the seventh animal who drank the spell and created the bond with God in the true zodiac legend.
Rin's family situation is very complicated due to her being born as one of the Zodiacs. Her parents initially posed as normal, loving, and affectionate people who never got angry or sad - to which Rin describes to them as being in a "play". However, when she was a small child, she posed an innocent question to her parents; "are you really always this happy? Doesn't anything bad ever happen?", her parents snapped and admitted that they had only pretended to love Rin. She was physically and emotionally abused by her parents, and they threw her out of their house when they realized that they could never love her. She came to live with her cousin Kagura's family, but was unable to truly bond with them due to the emotional damage she had suffered.
As the Horse of the Zodiac, Rin is noted to be extremely fast in both her human- and animal form, to the point where no one can catch up to her. She is very stubborn and straightforward, like the Horse she embodies. She is also the only Zodiac who is actively searching for a way to break the Sohma curse in order to free Hatsuharu from his suffering.
Whenever Rin is hugged by the opposite sex, or if her body goes through a great deal of stress, she transforms into his Chinese Zodiac form; a dark brown horse with brown eyes and black long hair, similar to her hair in her human form. Whenever she transforms into her animal or reverts back to her human form, a red smoke surrounds her. Her black and brown hair- and eye colors could be influenced by the Horse's spirit.
Hiro Sohma is possessed by the spirit of the Sheep, or Goat. The Sheep is the eighth member of the Zodiac animals as stated in the zodiac legend, as well as the eighth animal who drank the spell and created the bond with God in the true zodiac legend. He is also the youngest member of the Zodiacs.
Despite being under the curse's influence, Hiro has an unusually loving and close relationship with his parents, especially his mother Satsuki. Hiro and his mother are viewed as an anomaly within the Sohma family, as Satsuki has never once been rejecting or overprotective of Hiro, and only exclaimed "I love sheep!", after she held him for the first time after he was born. Hiro also has a younger sister named Hinata, and the fact that he can't hold her is treated as nothing more than a mild obstacle.
Whenever Hiro is hugged by the opposite sex, or if his body goes through a great deal of stress, he transforms into his Chinese Zodiac form; a light brown lamb, as he is still a pre-teen boy and the youngest of the current Zodiacs (even younger than Kisa), with beige wool and dark brown eyes. When he transforms into his animal or reverts back to his human form, a light brown smoke surrounds him. Sheeps are drawn to him and Hiro can also somewhat communicate with them. His brown hair- and eye colors could be influenced by the Sheep's spirit, though Satsuki has a similar hair color.
Hiro's curse broke earlier than everyone else's, and was the overall third to break.
Ritsu Sohma is possessed by the spirit of the Monkey. The Monkey is the ninth member of the Zodiac animals as stated in the zodiac legend, as well as the ninth animal who willingly drank the spell and created the bond with God in the true zodiac legend.
As the Monkey of the Zodiac, Ritsu is blessed with an extremely agile body, able to climb to high grounds easily. He is also blessed with fast reflexes, and was able to react quickly enough to stop himself from falling off of the roof of Shigure's house.
Despite being under the curse's influence, Ritsu has a relatively normal and loving relationship with his parents. However, his parents always used to apologize for everything in Ritsu's stead, possibly because of him being possessed by a spirit and due to him generally lacking in many fields. This eventually developed into a deep problem for Ritsu in the present.
Whenever Ritsu is hugged by the opposite sex, or if his body goes through a great deal of stress, he transforms into his Chinese Zodiac form; a light brown monkey with light green-greyish eyes. Whenever he transforms into his animal or reverts back to his human form, a green smoke surrounds him. His light brown hair and green-greyish eyes could be influenced by the Monkey's spirit.
Kureno Sohma is the former Rooster of the Zodiac, whose curse had been broken when he was around Tohru Honda's age. Despite being freed, he said he missed being able to fly, as he usually transformed into a sparrow. Even though this information remained a secret from the rest of the Zodiac members, the other members always 'sensed' that something was off about him and therefore tended to distrust him, with Rin even saying that she could feel he was not like them. Akito forced Kureno to stay by her side because she was afraid of being abandoned. He is currently living with Arisa Uotani in the country side.
Kureno's curse broke earlier than everyone else's, and was the overall first to break.
Shigure Sohma is possessed by the spirit of the Dog. The Dog is the eleventh member of the Zodiac animals, and was the eleventh animal to drink the spell and create the bond with God. He is also one of the oldest Zodiac members (if not the eldest), knowing that Akito was female from the beginning.
It is unknown how being under the curse's influence affected his relationships with his parents. He seems to get along with them and are on speaking terms with them, but they aren't particularly close.
Shigure has been the most conversant about the curse and everything it entails. This is because he wants to free Akito, the God, from the curse and the need to live as a man, so he can have her all to himself, having been in love with her ever since she was conceived and he was a little boy. For this reason, Shigure has stated that he is willing to sacrifice anything or dirty his hands to get what he wants - and what he wants the most, is Akito's love. He can thus be very manipulative and scheming; he “challenges” Akito, allows Tohru to stay at his house because he predicts she will be a factor in breaking the curse; he stirs up trouble in order to make things moving, and he forcibly triggers people's traumas and insecurities to make them act and be an accumulation in breaking the curse.
Shigure is also open about how he views himself and the curse; he has stated that he is the most cursed for genuinely being in love with Akito as a woman, not as a God. He also says he feels miserable living in a normal world as a “monster”; at the same time, he acknowledges the Cat's role in the bond and has openly mentioned that he, and the other Zodiacs as well, finds solace in Kyo's existence, since they would never have to suffer as much as he does.
Whenever Shigure is hugged by the opposite sex, or if his body goes through a great deal of stress, he transforms into his Chinese Zodiac form; a grey-blackish Dog with light green eyes. When he transforms into his animal or reverts back to his human form, a mint-green smoke surrounds him. Dogs are drawn to him and Shigure can also somewhat communicate with them. His hair- and eye color could also be influenced by the Dog's spirit.
Kagura Sohma is possessed by the spirit of the Boar. The Boar is the twelfth member of the Zodiac animals as stated in the zodiac legend, as well as the twelfth animal who drank the spell and create the bond with God in the true zodiac legend.
When Kagura was young, her parents used to fight all the time due to her being possessed by a Zodiac animal's spirit. Because of this, amongst other factors, she began hating herself immensely. However, when she met Kyo, the Cat, she found solace in how much more miserable he was compared to her, reinforcing the idea that the Cat is supposed to be the scapegoat for the Zodiacs.
As the Boar of the Zodiac, Kagura has great strength, a very impulsive behavior, and easily resorts to violence. Her behavior is not born from malice, but from emotional immaturity. Her physical strength is seen when she unintentionally knocked Tohru out on the floor with a single slap once (which got her screamed at by Rin, who's very protective of Tohru), and she also destroys parts of her house and Shigure's house in fits of anger on a regular basis.
Whenever Kagura is hugged by the opposite sex, or if her body goes through a great deal of stress, she transforms into her Chinese Zodiac form; a dark brown boar with light brown spots and brown eyes. Whenever she transforms into her animal or reverts back to her human form, a pink-magenta smoke surrounds her. her brown hair- and eye color could be influenced by the Boar's spirit.
The irregular member of the zodiac, the cat of the Zodiac was the one "left out," as detailed by the zodiac legend. In the Zodiac Legend, the cat was the one who came first to god and was his closest friend. The cat has three forms; human, cat, and true form. The cat's true form is warped and ugly, and smells of rotting flesh. Kyo Sohma, the current cat, as well as all past cats, must always wear a bead bracelet made out of human bones and blood to keep from transforming into that hideous state. Kyo has to suffer isolation and rejection, and he blames his horrible fate upon Yuki, because the rat tricked the cat in the legend. The cat is to be isolated at some point in his/her life (in Kyo's own, after completing high school), and then the other members of the zodiac are joined in an everlasting banquet until they die.
Kyo's curse was the overall fourth to break.
Only 12 of the cursed members appear in the 2001 anime. This includes 10 of the official Zodiac, along with Kyo and Akito. Rin and Kureno are absent, since the first anime finished few before their introductions.
In the first anime, Akito bears the "core" of the curse; thus shorting his lifespan.
Additionally, the Zodiac only obey Akito out of fear, not the curse. Thus Shigure and Hatori are able to restrain Akito when he violently lashes out at Tohru.
The 2001 anime shows the curse to be much more sensitive than in the manga, as simply bumping into a cursed Sohma causes them to transform.
Since the curse is broken, it is unknown if the zodiac banquet is still held. If so, the Cat is likely now included.
It's possible for the cursed members of the Zodiac to have children with non-cursed humans (as Kazuma is the grandson of the previous Cat). Shigure, however, states that sexual intercourse is tricky because of the curse, thus potentially causing the spouse to grow frustrated with the lack of intimacy.
Kazuma mentions that the Cats are treated so miserably to the point where they aren't allowed to be buried in the Sohma's local graveyard; instead, they are buried in a faraway site. However, Kazuma mentions that it may be good for them to be buried "outside", as the Cats are forced be confined inside for life and it could be said that they're posthumously "released".
Akito says that before her and Yuki, “God” and the Rat hadn’t been reincarnated in a very long time.
From a neutral point of view, the curse isn't that big a deal; something Tohru had. Aside from the involuntary transformations, there wasn't actually anything wrong with those afflicted by the curse.
Since the Sohma family is shown to have many different businesses under their control, it's not too far fetched to believe that they have considerable pull/influence within the government to help cover up the curse whenever they have to erase memories and move the exposed Sohma to new schools (since the constant school changes would set off a ton of red flags that something was off).
The most likely reason within the recent century for keeping the secret is that the cursed Sohmas could be exploited if the government ever found out; the cursed ones can command and understand the animals of their zodiac form. (Cats, bunnies, birds and seahorses aside, the rest could prove dangerous for many things)
Natsuki Takaya has said in interviews before that the Chinese Zodiac aspect of the story was a motif she was encouraged by her editor to add, which she picked on a whim, to fit her original intention of the story she had planned from the beginning.