The start of the chapter begins with the picture of Tohru and Akito showing the polarity between the two and this chapter shows a side of Akito compared to last chapter's Tohru story.
置いていく気持ち vs 置いていかれる気持ち
I stared at the start to this chapter for a long time compared to the start of last chapter. This could be read as the feelings one leaves behind vs the feelings one's left behind, and while the first suits Tohru's chapter, I didn't get the feeling that the latter half suited Akito. So instead I went with the feeling of leaving vs the feeling of being left. Last chapter and Tohru's deciding to move on from her mother's death and her mother being #1, and Akito's refusal to move and having the others leave her behind. The other thing about the opening comment, was... unfortunately, I don't remember the chapter where it took place, but I seem to recall Kyoko wondering which was the more difficult, leaving or being left, and so that parallel seemed even more fitting in that sense.
Ren wants it, Rin tried to steal it (for Ren), Shigure doesn't like it, Akito treasures it, and Kureno saw what's inside... Personally from the look on Kureno's face and the way he holds it etc., I get the feeling it's empty. From Shigure's comment that Ren's the one who should have the box, I get the feeling that he also knows the true contents of the box. From one of my previous entries on Japanese funerary urns, typically the urn isn't left on it's own but has other wrappings and casings as well. (Remember, Japan is pretty crazy about wrapping things. If you buy a pen there, it'll be put inside a small paper bag/envelope that's taped closed and is in turn put inside a plastic bag that is also taped closed. That's the typical minimum wrapping for things.) In any case, I get the feeling that whether the box does or doesn't contain Akira's ashes isn't important, and that it's more symbolic in nature. And that as long as Akito clings to that box, it's like she's clinging to the past and to Akira. Shigure said that the box wasn't anything that Akito needed. That comment made me think of two different possibilities. That Shigure believes that Akito will eventually come around and start to move forward, and that even without the box (ie without the curse), the 12shi would still be there for Akito in some form and that they'd still care for her.
Go Shigure! I love what he said to Ren in this chapter! And while I doubt he'll show his support of Akito to her directly for a while yet, seeing his true feelings for Akito compared to Ren's self-delusions was nice. Ren needs a serious whack upside the head, and Shigure's comment of how seeing Ren allowed him to imagine what Akito would look like if she'd lived as a woman gave her a little taste of reality. That yes, some people really do love her daughter and not her, and that the world doesn't revolve around her regardless of what she may think. And it's quite clear from her comments, that she believes people should be more appreciative of her because she's the one who gave birth to Akito, even allowed Akito to be born in the first place (or live afterwards perhaps??), and that she was the only one who saw or was even capable of seeing Akira's feelings and had saved him. (Gag!) Ren's clearly more caught up in her own perceived self-importance than considering or concerning herself with anything around her.
Taken in by Ren's pity, I wonder if he realised over time what she was truly like. He seems to have understood something from when Akito was born, but I wonder how much he realised before then. Ren claims that they loved one another and shared a bond, but if that's so, why does she try seducing the other 12shi? Why is Ren so insistent that everything was fine until Akito was born, and why was she so jealous of Akito. Akira's comments to Akito that she's special, chosen, would know nothing of loneliness or fear, and the only thing in her future was "unchanging"... Akito's clearly clinging to those words as we saw back in the summer vacation story. How much of what Akira told Akito was from legend (ex. being special/chosen aka God) compared to his own inner demons and fears (being alone, afraid) is unclear.
From dreaming of never being left to the sudden realisation that Momiji's been freed from the curse, Akito's world continues to crumble. Momiji cried as he realised he's been freed from the curse, the question is what he will do from here on. From the interview in the Neko FB, it's doubtful that he'd want to bring up the past in being with his family, but would want to go forward and build a new relationship with them. And while this is now possible (as it is possible for him to live outside as well), the question is whether he'll "leave" Akito or stay in some form as Kureno did. Momiji's a very empathetic character yet at the same time also very responsible so it's hard to say exactly which direction he'll take. For whatever reason, Momiji's not particularly liked by Akito. I think for me, the question is more one of, to what extent will Momiji leave the other 12shi more than leaving Akito. However, at the same time, Momiji strikes me as seeing the overall picture better than Kureno and therefore may well act differently.
ANYhow, I'm going to bed. I'll think about being coherent in the morning. :P