The One True Ring

November 14, 2008 at 12:58 pm (Animanga) (, )

Okay, so this is beyond lame, but I want to gather up random bits of meta I wrote before I had this journal. This is the first: a collection of random thoughts on the theme of rings in Kaori Yuki’s Count Cain/Godchild (it’s had two English names. No, I don’t know why either.). Might be more to come…I can think of at least one or two other things I’ve written I’d like to add to the collection, if only for the sake of completeness. I can’t remember when I originally jotted these notes down.

Spoilers for much of the manga.


I remembered a comment I read somewhere about Kaori Yuki’s plots being INSANE but being set much more thoughtfully then you’d think. And I realized that that is more or less the case concerning Suzette’s ring.

The ring shows up three times: when Suzette returns to find her unfaithful lover, when Mikala shows up, and when Cain dies. Each time, there is the strong theme of fidelity with that particular story, and with the characters. The end result of that fidelity is always death.

With Suzette, she was devoted to her lover, who was not to her. The ring was her engagement ring. There was a Romeo & Juliet deal with them, except this time Romeo declined to die and decided to marry someone else. Juliet returns half-crazed from being buried alive and kills her Romeo, as well as herself. Suzette is loyal to her disloyal fiance, even until her death she believes that he loved her. She is buried with the engagement ring. (Maybe this is of significance: Cain was in love with Suzette, who was his cousin. He aided her Romeo & Juliet plot against his better judgement by providing the poison Emerald Forest.)

The ring later shows up on Mikala’s finger. Mikala is basically a clone made from the ring finger of the dead Suzette. Mikala was told and believes that Cain belongs only to her; she believes this to the point she will not tolerate anyone or anything hurting him (for example: a dog attacks her, Cain gets scratched protecting her, and Mikala nails the dog to a door). She is not so much loyal as obsessively and possessively in love with him. When he rescues her from the fire, she and Merry have a discussion about the nature of love. Mikala ends up betraying the Delilah member sent to make sure she kills Merry. However, as a result her unnatural lifetime runs out–and she “dies.” Leaving behind the ring.

The last time it shows up significantly is at the scene of Cain’s death, when Clehadol finds him. In the events leading up to it, we see Riff’s “fake” good personality win out over his “real” evil one, Riffael. The reason Riff’s fake personality wins out is because of his love and devotion to Cain; he can’t bear to watch his evil self kill or hurt his master. He finds Cain underground due to his understanding of Cain, knowing Cain’s likes and dislikes to the point he can find him anywhere. And then the building starts to collapse–but Cain refuses to leave Riff, who only has a little time to live. They are found together, Cain gently held in Riff’s arms, Riff protecting him with his body, even to the end. Both are dead. The ring is in Cain’s palm; Clehadol takes it and obliquely gives it to Merry.

So we see that the ring represents fidelity, love and loyalty, even until death. Actually, specifically suicide. It is a symbol of Suzette’s undying love for her fiance and belief in her fiance’s reciprocated love, despite all evidence to the contrary. She later dies along with her fiance (you could call it suicide as well since her hands are coated with the Emerald Forest poison; she may have still been aware that it killed, though why it took so long is a mystery). It is the symbol of Mikala’s (conditioned?) obsession with Cain, which later becomes a kind of genuine love for him, but her actions to prove it (to Merry and herself) result in her own death (suicide, again.) And then we have Cain and Riff. Riff, who kills “himself,” (ie. Riffael) to go to Cain’s rescue. Cain, who stays behind with Riff, knowing that he will die as the building collapses. Love and loyalty until death — to the point of suicide.

You could throw in the ring representing love from beyond the grave to boot. The ring appears with Mikala, who is at least Suzette’s body brought back to life. And then it appears when Clehadol carries out what he feels is Cain’s last wish, setting up the tea party with the ring for Merry, as a symbol of Cain’s promise to return to her for the party. The ring would represent love even after death, or love despite death, or the love of the dead.

More ring symbolism: the other ring, the sapphire one in the Solomon Grundy story. Not quite the same symbolism as Suzette’s ring, but the theme of love until death is certainly still present for Rose.


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