I feel like the series has really lost it's way, which is depressing since it started out well. So here's my tl;dr list of things that annoyed me.
1. Machi ( I think that's her name ) annoys me because I feel like she's really only there so that Yuki doesn't end up old and sad and rrrrooooonnnnneeeeeerrrrrryyyyyyy. Okay, memo for Takaya-sensei: romantic love is not the end-all and be-all for all people. And when Yuki had his revelation that he wasn't really in love in love with Tohru, I thought that was what you were getting at. And is it really sensible to have somebody who has some serious deep-seated emotional problems and really ought to be in therapy end up with someone who's even more emotionally repressed than he is? It's not that I dislike Machi in and of herself, just... she doesn't feel like a real, fleshed-out character to me. She's really only there so that Yuki isn't alone, which sounds like a pretty depressing purpose in life, if you ask me.
2. My suspension of disbelief only stretches so far. I can accept people changing into bizarrely cute animals, and I can accept this randomly having something to do with the zodiac; however, I can't accept that there don't seem to be any real consequences for anyone's actions. Case in point: Akito. She's my favorite character by far, so I do rather hate to pick on her like this, but oh well =.= She pushes Rin out a window, and nothing happens. She stabs Kureno, and nothing happens. She kinda sorta pushes Tohru over a cliff... and nothing happens. Now, I can understand that she's not exactly going to get sent to her room without any supper, since she is in charge after all. And I doubt that anyone who got injured by her is likely to press charges. However. Rin, Kureno, and/or Tohru could easily have died. Of course well all knew they wouldn't, since Takaya doesn't have the balls for it ( yes, I am feeling bitchy today, thank you for noticing ), but the other characters don't have any way of knowing that. I think it's highly unlikely that Akito actually intended for Rin to die, but that hardly matters, does it? To quote the glory that is Law & Order, intent follows the bullet. Or in this case, the window. So, uh, what were Shigure and co. going to do if Akito seriously killed someone? Would they help her cover up a murder? Shigure probably would, as would Kureno and quite possibly Hatori. But I don't think Ayame would, nor would Kyo, and let's not even get into what Haru would do; it would be Black Haru time forever ( hell, if Rin had died, I wouldn't be surprised if Akito were next ). The point is, we'll never know, because despite all the time Shigure and Hatori spend discussing Akkii's behavior, we never actually see them planning for what they'll do if things go seriously wrong. Not to mention that I'm a little surprised that by this time no one's just started drugging Akito to keep her compliant; it would certainly make a lot of the intra-familial politics work more smoothly.
3. Let's talk about Kyoko. Maybe this is just a cultural thing, but I was really disappointed when I finally found out about her past. I mean, this is the (in)famous Red Butterfly? Just a school girl who's in a gang? Maybe it's different in Japan, but as far as I'm concerned, they're a dime a dozen. I never did figure out what was so special about her. Why was she intimidating? Yes, she did beat people up. But lots of people do that. And she can't really be all that hard boiled if she immediately goes all... mushy... over some random guy way older than her who's teaching at her school that she supposedly never goes to anyway.
Anyway, the point is: I'm sick of it. Now I just need to figure out what on earth to do with my massive amount of now useless manga.