[[quoteright:240:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/count_cain1_3768.jpg]]

A Creator/KaoriYuki manga set in a dark Victorianesque world, the series centers around a young earl, Cain Hargreaves. Cain is seventeen, apparently orphaned, rich and eccentric. Unfortunately, his family past will allow him no peace.

Everybody in Cain's family, we are told, has a habit of studying poisons, and Cain is no different. With the aid of his trusted manservant Riff, he uses his knowledge of poisons to seek justice for murder victims, usually by poisoning the murderer. Both halves of the series (see below) begin with murder mystery short stories that Cain investigates before launching in to longer storylines concerning issues close to Cain himself.

Like any good [[CrimeAndPunishmentSeries Crime and Punishment series]], ''Count Cain'' brings up just about every kink under the sun. It has [[ElegantGothicLolita gothic sensibilities]], as well as [[HollywoodScience bad steampunk science]]. AbusiveParents, [[BrotherSisterIncest Incest]], and {{Magnificent Bastard}}s are a staple. Blood, death, tragedy, and madness also abound.

The series was originally split into two halves, as the creator took a break to work on another series, ''Manga/AngelSanctuary.'' The first part consists of four arcs collected in five volumes, entitled ''Count Cain''. The second, done some years later, is eight volumes long and entitled ''Godchild''.

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!!The series provides examples of

* AmbiguousEnding: The ending has its open element, along with being [[BittersweetEnding bittersweet]]. [[spoiler:Merryweather and Oscar are doing fine and Clehadol has fulfilled a promise he made to Cain. But the last we see of Cain is him embraced by Riff's decaying bones, but no blood on him or anything that implies he is injured. Was Cain actually dead already? Or unconscious, maybe asleep, and staying by Riff's side, as he said he would? Even Clehadol admits that he doesn't know if the promise Cain asked of him was real or his powers as a medium letting him hear Cain's words.]] Kaori Yuki has mentioned in her final notes that the last bit was done on purpose because she felt it was an appropriate ''Cain''-esque ending.
* AndIMustScream: The truth behind Rebecca's 'dolls'. [[spoiler:They are dolls made to resemble people she knew and wanted as friends, with that person's nails, hair and bones worked into it. Which puts the person's soul into the doll.]]
* ArchnemesisDad: Alexis to Cain, as well as to Jezebel.
* AristocratsAreEvil: Clehadol thinks so, based on what he went through. Averted for most of the aristocrats, though there are a few exceptions.
* ArrangedMarriage: ''The Mark of the Red Ram'' has Cain arranged to be married to Emelyne Lauderdale.
* ArtEvolution: After the fifth volume, Kaori Yuki took a break to dedicate her work on ''Manga/AngelSanctuary''. When she finished, the art had [[http://i5.mangareader.net/count-cain/5/count-cain-1056080.jpg heavily]] [[http://i1.mangareader.net/count-cain-godchild/15/count-cain-godchild-1253474.jpg evolved]]. She even makes a note of this in ''Godchild''.
* ArtificialHumans: Delilah specializes in Deadly Dolls. Artificially created clones from dead people that survive on other people's organs and blood. The bodies are instable and fragile, requiring near-constant care. All the Deadly Dolls have some kind of supernatural power... though it's unclear how that came to be.
* AssholeVictim: Quite a few here and there. [[spoiler:Abigail from ''The Butterfly's Remains'' and George from ''Bloodberry Jam'' are noticeable examples.]]
* AuthorAppeal: The manga is filled with [[BrotherSisterIncest sibling incest]], HoYay and FoeYay...
* AxCrazy: Several characters turn out to be this. [[spoiler:Baron Mayfield]] gets special mention for actually using an axe.
* BabiesEverAfter: The final pages mention that [[spoiler:Merryweather and Oscar]] are expecting a child.
* BadassAndChildDuo
** Cain and Merryweather turn into one very fast.
** Oscar and Merryweather get their share in the later volumes.
* BadassInANiceSuit: It's set in Victorian England, so this is a given.
* BastardBastard: Jezebel was born out of wedlock and is a primary antagonist.
* BeautyEqualsGoodness: Subverted in ''Scold's Bridle''. The pretty ladies are all obviously meanspirited and shallow.
* BigBad: Alexis Hargreaves.
** BiggerBad: [[spoiler:Augusta Hargreaves.]]
* BigBrotherInstinct
** Cain towards his half-sister Merryweather.
** Dudley to Eliza in ''Lion's Emblem''.
* BigScrewedUpFamily
** The Hargreaves are the prime example. Incest is abound, betrayal and usurping one's position are the norm. It's amazing that Merryweather is the only one that gets off ligtly. [[spoiler:And that's because she's not actually related to them.]]
** The Windsor family from ''Kafka''. [[spoiler:The previous lord sexually abused his daughter. In turn, she uses her brother's love for her to sleep with him and kill their father. Then there's the supposed vampire stuff going on.]]
* BrotherSisterIncest
** Between Alexis and Augusta, which resulted in Cain.
** ''Kafka'' reveals that Devon has slept with his sister Justine.
* CainAndAbel: Ironically enough, Cain is actually the Abel to Jezebel.
* CartwrightCurse: Every woman who loves Cain or is loved by him suffers a horrible death. The only one to survive is Merryweather because he takes ''extreme'' measures to ensure her safety.
* TheChessmaster: Alexis' specialty. [[spoiler:On a bigger scale, Augusta.]]
* ChronicHeroSyndrome: Cain is aloof, but he genuinely wants to help people and is upset when he cannot save someone. Especially noticeable towards Devon from ''Kafka'' and Emile in ''The Butterfly's Remains''.
* CreepyChild: Emile and Rebecca, for their strange obsession with the occult and spiders or abundant collection of dolls, respectively.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: Several characters, though Cain and Jezebel stands out.
* DiedInYourArmsTonight: ''Godless'' has three occurences. [[spoiler:Jezebel in Cassian's arms and Alexis in Ida's. Played with for Cain and Riff, as the latter is holding Cain, but is the one dying.]]
* DisguisedInDrag
** Jezebel was made to dress like a girl as a young child, to hide him from Alexis.
** Cain had to crossdress to get information from Gloria, much to his dislike.
** [[spoiler:Leroy]] gets forced to crossdress for most of his appearance.
* DoomedAppointment: In ''Zigeunerweisen'', Neil sets out to meet Alexis. The meeting occurs, but the doom happens on the way back. [[spoiler:Though Neil survives.]]
* DrivenToSuicide
** Several characters eventually commit suicide.
** Augusta threw herself out of a window when she saw Cain during a visit and mistook him for her brother, triggering memories of having been raped by Alexis. [[spoiler:Augusta reveals that she did this on purpose, to further drive a wedge between father and son.]]
* DysfunctionJunction: Most of the cast has issues.
* ElegantGothicLolita: Half of the female cast dresses this way.
* FreudianExcuse
** Averted. Cain would be justified in invoking it, but he never does.
** Also averted by Jezebel. His parental abuse isn't just a past event that spurs revenge, it is a plot point to the entire series and an on-going point of development for him.
* GenderBlenderName
** Cassandra, Jezebel and Gloria are used for men.
** In the opposite direction, Merryweather (or Meriwether) is tradtionally a boy's name.
* GoodScarsEvilScars: [[spoiler:Viola]] from ''Scold's Bridle'' has heavy scarring on her face and wears a mask to hide them.
* InTheBlood
** There is a lot of discussion around the fact that the Hargreaves are a cursed bloodline, to what extent the curse may affect Cain and if Merryweather will manage to escape the bloodline's terrible fate. [[spoiler:Since she isn't actually related by blood, she's fine.]]
** [[spoiler:Augusta Hargreaves]] claims that everything they have done, which included causing most of the internal strife of the latest Hargreaves generation, was because it was all part of their cursed bloodline.
* InformedDeformity: [[spoiler:Viola]] from ''Scold's Bridle'' insists the scars on her face are a birth deformity and she was shunned by her family because of them. [[spoiler:They were actually caused when she tried to throw acid into her sister's face for stealing her fiancé, but Viola got splashed by the acid herself during the struggle. Though she ''was'' insane.]]
* IronicNurseryTune: Several of the chapters are themed around Mother Goose rhymes.
* JackTheRipper: Appears in ''The Mark of the Red Ram''.
* KillEmAll: Most of the minor characters end up dead.
* KissOfDeath: ''Forgotten Juliet'' has Suzette kiss the fiancé that betrayed her, with a mouth full of fast-acting poison.
* KnifeThrowingAct: Cassian's prime method of attack. Justified, as he was sold to a circus and this was his performed act.
* LightFeminineAndDarkFeminine: Merryweather is the Light to Mikaela's Dark.
* LivingDollCollector: Rebecca in ''The Little Crooked House''.
* LivingEmotionalCrutch: Riff is one to Cain. [[spoiler:Which is why Cain becomes much more reckless and further off the deep end when Riff betrays and abandons him.]]
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: A lot of characters are introduced almost every chapter.
* LostHimInACardGame: Jezebel bets himself over to be a slave to Cassandra, if the latter can manage to actually beat Cain and Riff's close bond.
* LostInTranslation: Merryweather turned to Mary Weather; primrose into prom rose; Baraba Company was supposed to be Barabba, named after the thief; Lucia was turned into Lukia...
* LoveHurts: Most of the love portrayed in the series has a lot of pain to it.
* MadLove: All over the place.
* ManipulativeBastard: Several characters, though Cain is the most prominent.
* {{Meganekko}}: ''The Mortician's Daughter'' has Marjorie.
* MercyKill: Cain performs one on [[spoiler:Madeleine Russel]] when asked.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Cain Hargreaves, though a non-villainous example.
* OjouRinglets: Found on plenty of aristocratic women.
* OlderThanTheyLook: Cassian is in his mid-thirties, but looks like a young teen.
* OnlySixFaces: Very noticeable on the younger boys that appear during the five ''Count Cain'' volumes. Though this becomes averted after the [[ArtEvolution art evolution]].
* PaperThinDisguise: Cain wears a blond wig when infiltrating a house where Jezebel is, but is immediately figured out by him. And the next time he does this, all Cain does is [[ClarkKenting wear glasses]]... again, nobody is fooled.
* PetTheDog: Jezebel's moments with animals. And some of his moments with Cassian.
* PimpedOutDress: Every single one that appears.
* RapeAsDrama: Alexis' rape of Augusta is the most prominent example. [[spoiler:Though it turns out that she was the one to purposefully instigate the seduction that led to the 'rape'.]]
* RapunzelHair: Several female characters. And Jezebel.
* RavenHairIvorySkin: Several of the Hargreaves.
* RoyallyScrewedUp: Many characters.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Nobility, rather than royalty, but Cain is not idle.
* RuleOfThree: ''Godless'' features three occurences of a character dying in another's arm.
* ShownTheirWork: Kaori Yuki likes to point out that she often has done the research... and then decided to favor it into a more interested development.
* SmugSnake: Look no further than Lord Cassandra Gladstone, the High Priest of Delilah.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS
** Jizabel/Jezebel/Jezabel. Lucia/Rukia/Lukia and Emile/Emyle from ''The Butterfly's Remains''. Merriweather/Merryweather/Merrywether. Emmeline/Emelyne/Emilyne from ''The Mark of the Red Ram''.
** Special mention to Drew from ''Scold's Bridle''. When Merryweather recalls her during a later chapter, her name is suddenly spelled as Dolly... and then goes back to Drew during an even later chapter.
* TarotMotifs: Delilah runs on the tarot cards being the higher arcana, with the 'play cards' of diamond, spade, club and heart being the minor arcana. Sometimes they are used incorrectly, other times they are used correctly.
* ThereAreNoTherapists: Justified, as this ''is'' Victorian London. Their idea of mental health 'care' was not very caring.
* TogetherInDeath: All over the place.
* TrueCompanions: Cain with Oscar and, eventually, Clehadol. They still have shades of being VitriolicBestBuds, but neither of them would leave the other alone when they are in need.
* VictorianLondon: The story's setting.
* YaoiGuys: Riff and Cain, all the way. Part of an AuthorAppeal.
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