A Kaori Yuki 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 Crime and Punishment series, Count Cain brings up just about every kink under the sun. It has gothic sensibilities, as well as bad steampunk science. Abusive Parents, Incest, and Magnificent Bastards 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, Angel Sanctuary. 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.
Art Evolution: The art has changed a lot from the first volume to the fifth; then Kaori Yuki took a break from Cain to work on Angel Sanctuary, and when she took up Cain again, the art style was almost completely different from where she'd left off. The mangaka herself even makes note of this in one of the sidebars in Godchild.
Freudian Excuse: Averted. Cain would have some justification in invoking it, but he never does. Also averted with Jizabel; the excuse isn't so much "excuse" as it is the actual base of Jizabel's plot. His abuse isn't just a past event to spur revenge, but an actual plot point for the story and an ongoing point of development.
Gender Blender Name: Apparently, Kaori Yuki thinks the names Cassandra, Jizabel and Gloria are unisex.
Good Scars, Evil Scars: Cain's scars are easily hidden; the villain in "Scold's Bridle" has hers on her face and wears a mask to hide them.
I Ate What?: When Jizabel was a child, he owned a pet lamb that he spent a lot of time with. Alexis secretly had the lamb killed and served to Jizabel for dinner one day, promising him that he would be able to go see the lamb if he finished his meal. When Jizabel was nearly done, Alexis revealed what he had done with "I let you see him, didn't I? Did you enjoy Snark, Jizabel?"
Only Six Faces: Particularly in run of Count Cain, most obviously when it came to young boys who all looked exactly the same. More or less avoided after the Art Evolution.
Paper-Thin Disguise: Invoked and then subverted, twice in Godchild. Cain doesn't seem to realize that he really should disguise himself more properly before walking into enemy base... Just what made him think it would be okay to just wear glasses after his blonde wig attempt had failed so much earlier?
Wig, Dress, Accent: Cain in a chapter of Godchild, minus the accent. He doesn't speak since, well, despite being beautiful like a woman, he sounds very much like a man. His disguise is really convincing, and nobody suspects a thing. It's already too late when Mayor Gloria realizes who that woman truly was.