Once you read the part in Sakura Gari where Youya Saiki aka Sakurako reveals to Masataka theri biological gender, you'll be all WHAT THE HELL for quite a bit wondering where did that come from. However... the mostly implied sex scene between Souma and Sakurakohad more than one subtle hinttowards this particular reveal... We never truly see Sakurako naked, but we do get to see some parts of their nude body - the face and torso covered in shadows (with the latter being easy to mistake for a girl's small boobs instead of a teen boy's chest, considering that Sakurako is just 15 years old and still not fully grown), their nude body blocked by the view of Souma's fully clothed one when their kimono is discarded, the slender hip that Souma kisses when they're about to have sex. And THE spoken phrase? Sakurako wasn't referring to themself when saying "Dedicate the rest of your life to making amends for your sins towards Sakurako"... Youya was actually referring to the Missing Mom that Katsuragi forced Souma to kill as punishment for all of the abuse (physical, emotional, sexual) she piled on him, and whose death drove Youya towards the edge and made them take up her name.Neatone, Yuu Watase.
Katsuragi's death takes on am ironic note when it's revealed he killed Souma's stepmother with an overdose.Passive Aggressive Combat on Souma's part perhaps?
The only way that Souma was ever shown any affection at all was through sexual abuse and rape. It is the only way he was ever able to interpret any kind of affection or care fromanyonethroughout his entire childhood. Anyone want to make an educated guess at what they thought he was going to actually do to Masataka when he finally realised he loved him? Knowing Souma's backstory, it becomes less surprising that Souma raped Masataka at all than that it didn't happen earlier. However, looking back from those very first chapters, you can see the hints being dropped, the situations slowly closing in. Only later do you find out that, despite being an Empty Shell with a backstory as painful as spending a nuclear winter in hell, Souma didn't ask Masataka to kill him to end his own misery, but to stop him for what he was going to do.note Or what other people were going to do because of him. ... There's a very good reason why the Karmic Death of this series' worst villains note You'll know them by their use of Cold-Blooded Torture and indiscriminate rape feels so very, very satisfying.
Balancing somewhere between Fridge Horror and Fridge Brilliance is this. Katou not only continued his Mistress' (and lovers') plot to get their son to take over a family he had no blood-right to after she was murdered, but helped break his own son into teeny-tiny pieces to do so. All to keep her memory alive by having the boy dress as a girl, as well as get revenge by using the resulting mental result. Cute. But, that's not enough: to keep his son with him, he even tried to finish the job after his death. I'd say he had just as many screws loose as both his son and lover under that butler's fašade. He directly helped enable almost all the events of this story, mainly by condoning and actively perpetrating the physical and mental abuse of two children by actually trying to create a Tyke Bomb and keeping quiet about the other.