Shigure Souma (草摩 紫呉 Sōma Shigure) is the Dog of the Zodiac. He transforms into the Dog of the Chinese Zodiac whenever he is hugged by the opposite gender, or if his body comes under a great deal of stress. Shigure is the eldest member of the Zodiac. He is the first Sohma to appear in the anime/manga.
Shigure's name is derived from the tenth month of the Japanese lunar calendar, Shigurezuki, or "Autumn showers month".
At his initial time of appearance, Shigure seems like a pervert, yet a laid-back character. As the story goes on, he begins to seem more sinister. However, he has a good heart deep down inside.
Occasionally, Shigure shows that he has another side to himself. He can be surprisingly mature, thoughtful, and gives rather sage and insightful advice to Tohru, Kyo, Yuki, and other characters, acting like an actual "adult". Only in the manga is it revealed that he is also quite cunning, manipulative and somewhat dark-natured (although this is most-likely because of his loyalty to Akito).
In the anime, since Akito is male (Later found out to be Female in the manga), Shigure remains very laid-back and cheery. He truly cares deeply for Tohru, growing to see her almost like a daughter. He becomes protective of her, and was not afraid to stand up to Akito twice to defend her.
Shigure has short black hair that has longer locks hanging around his face, and brown eyes, inheriting his appearance from his mother mainly. Shigure is fond on wearing Japanese traditional clothes as he claims that it gives him the vibes to write.
Role in the story
Shigure is laid-back and anything but solemn. He is a flirt, a tease, and often acts like a pervert. Though it's never really shown in the anime, Shigure also is manipulative, dark-humored, and rather selfish. Although he feels affection towards Tohru, Shigure is actually using her to break the Sohma curse; he causes many stirs among the other characters to reach this goal. This is not true in the anime.
In the anime, Shigure's personality is largely the same, but without his darker side. Since Akito is male in the anime, Shigure becomes much more cheery and lighthearted, truly caring for Tohru as if she were his own daughter, and not being afraid to twice stand against Akito to protect her.
As a writer of both romance novels and academic books, Shigure loves to drive his editor, Mitchan, insane by not giving his editor the pages on time and constantly goes off topic when his editor questions him about his work being finished or not.
His most famous and well-celebrated pen name is Kiritani Noa (western order, Noa Kiritani), which he usually uses for his romance novels, such as 'Summer-Colored Sigh', which he showed to Saki Hanajima, Arisa Uotani and Kyo Sohma. They give very different reactions, Hanajima asks if a sequel will be coming out, while Uotani says it is unacceptable to write that 'smut' and Kyo comments that it's sick. Tohru thinks it's amazing that she knows an author.
Shigure's best friends are Hatori Sohma and Ayame Sohma. This trio have been friends since their childhood. Together their nickname is the Mabudachi Trio (the Three Musketeers in the English dubbed anime). While it is obvious how Ayame and Shigure get along well, it's less certain how Hatori, who is always exasperated with them, became their friend.
Shigure was actually the first of the Sohmas to meet Tohru, other than Yuki at school. His little rocks that he had painted to look like the zodiacs drew her attention. He was also the one to suggest that Tohru stay with him, Yuki, and Kyo as a housekeeper. Although he often calls her "his housewife" (much to the annoyance of Kyo and Yuki and the embarrassment of Tohru) and likes to manipulate her into cooking or doing other things for him, Shigure deeply cares for Tohru and would do just about anything for her, kind of like how a brother would care for his little sister. It is implied that he had faith that Tohru could break the Sohma family curse as soon as he truly got to meet her, and that she is second in his heart next to Akito.
In the anime, Shigure and Tohru's relationship is best described as one of father/uncle and daughter. He is very protective of Tohru, and even stands up to Akito twice to protect her. Since Akito is male in the anime, Shigure's dark nature in using Tohru to break the curse never appears. And even though he still teases her, he truly does care about her, and would do anything for her. In the end, he has faith that Tohru will one day break the curse, and happily agrees to wait and see, giving her a very dear place in his heart.
Shigure has previously dated Mayuko Shiraki, though nothing came of it and the relationship began probably because he pitied Mayuko's loneliness. He continues to antagonize her by appearing and interfering with her life, even though his machinations have brought her closer to Hatori Sohma, for whom she has strong feelings.
Shigure had a complicated relationship with Akito Sohma in the manga, but not in the anime. When Akito sleeps with Kureno, Shigure bites back by sleeping with Ren, Akito's hated mother. A conflict between the two on this matter is shown in the manga chapters in later volumes after Akito is revealed to be female.
When Shigure is seen by Akito and Kureno, having dinner with his editor, Akito becomes jealous. Later that night, when Akito returns home, Shigure is waiting in her room. He apologizes for not greeting her at the restaurant, but Akito waves it off and bitingly asks if he had slept with his editor yet. Shigure laughs at the thought and says that it would be "rather difficult". Akito expresses sarcastic surprise, saying that she'd thought he would "sleep with anyone as long as they were female".
When Shigure still pretends not to understand, Akito screams at him accusingly for sleeping with Ren. Shigure replies that it was because she slept with Kureno. Akito refuses to believe it was her fault and Shigure, seeing he was not getting through to her, decides to leave. To keep him from leaving, Akito desperately throws herself at Shigure and kisses him. Shigure appears surprised but responds by kissing her. He is next seen watching a still naked Akito sleep. Shigure covers her with his outer garment.
One of the main reasons Shigure wanted to help trigger the curse's breakage was so that Akito would no longer want to tie everyone down and force them to be with her. Shigure was in love with Akito since what seems to be childhood and has been waiting for the day when she would let everyone go, no longer clinging to the idea planted in her brain by her father that she was born to be loved by all and that everyone in the juunishi was born to do just that. He wanted Akito - the "God" that clinged to the bonds she had with the juunishi, restricting them rather than sharing affections, watching from above - to join them as an equal, with nothing holding her or anyone else back, and able to love each other as - like mentioned before - equals. And at the end of the series, that is exactly what happens.
In the anime, since Akito is male, their relationship is completely different. Shigure instead sees Akito as the dangerous head of the family, but is not afraid of him. He twice stands up to Akito to protect Tohru, restraining him once. In the end, he thinks that Akito may've changed yet, just like the other Sohmas, but agrees with Hatori to wait and see.
Shigure is also noted for having an affair with Ren Sohma, who is Akito Sohma's mother, on the basis that Akito had chosen Kureno Sohma over Shigure. Because of that incident, Shigure stated that he hated Kureno for having an affair with Akito. Akito, angry that he would have an affair with the person she hated most (her mother), kicked him out of the main house. In truth, it appears that Shigure actually loves Akito and has since they were both very young.
His manipulations not only appear to be for the purpose of breaking the Jyūnishi curse, but also to get closer to Akito; believing that the end of the curse will cause Akito to let go of the person her father wanted her to be and become her true self (just 'Akito', rather than 'God'). Shigure also states that he slept with Akito's mother, Ren, because she looked like what Akito could have been, if she had she been raised as a woman. In chapter 132, he confessed his feelings to Akito and kissed her. In the anime, however, Shigure has no love relationship with Akito.
Hatori, along with Shigure Sohma and Ayame Sohma are very close friends. The group is known as the "Mabudachi Trio". Shigure says that Ayame respects and desires to be more like Hatori. Shigure also respects Hatori and seems to know a lot about him. Hatori thinks of Shigure as annoying.
Rin comes to Shigure for information about the curse, specifically how to break it. When he didn't tell her about the curse, Rin told Shigure that he could use her however he wanted, but he said no for Hatsuharu's sake.
- Shigure's name, like most members of the Zodiac, is a pun regarding his Zodiac animal; the dog. His name translates into shower of late autumn, whereas the dog's lunar month is October.
- Shigure repeatedly uses his favorite phrase "Qué será, será. Whatever will be, will be. What won't happen, won't".
- To prove farther he really is a pervert, he constantly sings his made up song "High School Girls". The song made it`s first appearance when Uo and Hana came over to the Sohma's for the first time, also making a second appearance in the episode "Black or White". Here is the song as follows: High school girls! High school girls! One, two, three, high school girls! High school girls! High school girls! All for me, high school girls! It is unknown if the song has anymore verses but those two.
- Yuki also made a claim that he's more like a pedophile and Hatsuharu admits that it's amazing how he hasn't been arrested yet for his behaviour around Tohru.
- As a result of acting like a pervert, Yuki or Kyo would hit him and call him a 'sick bastard'.
- When Shigure first met Tohru he knew that she was born in the year of the dog too, because the "connection" they had.
- In the manga, when Yuki and Kyo brought Tohru back to the Sohma house, Shigure called it Operation: Kidnap the princess!, to which Yuki and Kyo acted disgusted, saying he made it sound wrong.