Seriously. This show doesn’t get nearly as much love as it deserves. So I'ma do a full-fledged review right now. Y’all sit yo asses down and listen.
Ruby Gloom is a canadian kids’ cartoon about a young girl and her group of friends. It’s quite a unique show in many different ways. For one, it’s not your typical diabetes inducing show for toddlers. It’s actually in a very..well, gloomy setting. Nightime is dark as you would expect, and during the day its perpetually cloudy and overcast. Heck, in the one episode it was actually sunny, the characters were doing everything they could to bring the clouds back! The main characters all live together in a mansion on top of a large hill, where most of the episodes occur.
Now. The Characters:
The eponymous Ruby Gloom. A young girl(Some fans have speculated she’s a living doll) who, according to the show’s tagline, is ‘the happiest girl in the world.’ However, shes not the typical happy-all-the-time, overly hyperactive and somewhat annoying character. She’s an optimist, through and through, and tries to see the bright side of everything. She’s also a pretty calm person. She doesn’t jump around and yell about how great everything is, but she’s happy. She also has a pet cat named Doom Kitty, who has quite the personality of her own.
Skull-Boy is the brains of the group. He’s just a teensy bit awkward and is trying to find out who he is, or more, who his family is. He’s a jack-of-all-trades, probably because pretty much every episode he tries a new profession stating that “I must be related to a long line of ______!” Ruby also has a crush on him.
Iris is the wild child. She loves taking risks and going to extremes to have fun and is cheerful and hyperactive. Sometimes she can be unintentionally insensitive and a bit too wild, but she’s never purposely mean. She has a giant flying worm named Squig.
Misery is pretty much the opposite of Ruby. She’s a fan favorite and most fans have come to the conclusion that she is a banshee. She is a disaster magnet and has the worst luck, and constantly gets struck by lightning. Despite always having bad luck and a generally gloomy demeanor, she’s not depressed. She has a place to live and friends that love her, and is generally happy with what she has.
Frank and Len are brothers who love to create music. Frank is usually smarter one who often gets annoyed by his brother’s stupidity and antics, but sometimes can be just as dumb as his brother, depending on the writer. Len is the dimmer of the two and doesn’t always get things. They are actually incredibly talented musicians.
Poe is a very posh crow. He loves to hear himself talk and can be a bit arrogant at times, but he’s still a good person and a good friend.
Boo-Boo is a mischievous little ghost that loves to pull pranks. He tries to be scary, but instead everyone finds him cute. He also can be stubborn at times.
Lastly, my personal favorite, is Scaredy Bat. Scaredy Bat is a shy little guy with an indian accent who’s afraid of everything. He gets nervous very easily and is also quite paranoid. Despite his timid personality, he’s the extremely talented drummer of Frank and Len’s band and forgets his fear behind the kit. He is also the only one that Boo-Boo can scare.
Woah, that got longer than expected, but I got the point across. ‘You can find most episodes on YouTube. Seriously, give it a shot.
So ever since I started reading the manga, there was always
one character I always wondered about; the Old Boss, or the boss that came
before Mori. Sure he seemed like an unimportant side character in the way he’s
presented, but I have reasons to believe he’s more than that.
First, let’s compile what we know about him.
He was ruthless even when he’s not bedridden and
paranoid, as was said by Kouyou whose lover was killed because she tried to
escape the Mafia with him.
And again when Tanizaki tried to kill Mori
but was stopped by Kouyou, saying that if Mori died, the Mafia would return to
its ‘wretched ways’. We can say with complete confidence that Mori’s way is so
much ‘kinder’ than the old boss.
He was bedridden with illness that also made him
paranoid of attacks. This is not the case before the illness strike because
Hirotsu mentioned he become like that after
If Mori hadn’t stopped him by slicing his
throat, he would have burnt Yokohama down.
Wait that’s it? Yep. All we knew about him was
in that episode and that chapter. But what we know about him was profound.
First let’s look at this scene:
Notice how Hirotsu mentioned Dazai specifically? Here’s the
original panel for that scene:
In this, we can confidently say that Hirotsu singled out
Dazai about how was the one who should’ve been most not alright with the development. The words used for it ‘Dazai –kun mo rikai suru tokoro de attarou‘ implies this. It hints that Dazai should’ve
been resentful to Mori because he killed the Old Boss. But against all odds, he
understood why Mori did what he did.
Then there’s this scene.
It really bothered me and when I looked deeper this is what
cemented my conclusion of Dazai and the Old Boss’ connection. So as we could
see in this scene, Mori killed the Old Boss and had Dazai become the sole
witness. Now this premise has many problems.
1. Other than Mori, who was a doctor so obviously
he was to take care of the sick, notice that Dazai was the only one in the room.
Now this is strange. He was the only one who was by the Old Boss’ side, all alone
in the room with the vulnerable, sick man when there’s no doctor to hover on
the bedside. This in and of itself is a proof of their bond. If they weren’t
well-known to have it, then all the Mafia would be suspicious to the fact that
he’s accompanying the boss when he’s the most vulnerable.
On top of that he was entrusted with the
Boss’ security as he was in the room with Mori who might or might not harm him
(spoiler, he harmed the boss.) so he was supposed to be the one to care the
most about the Old Boss’ wellbeing.
As we know from the light novel, Odasaku
mentioned that Dazai was considered to
become an Executive at 16. In this scene he was only 14 and at that point of
time, he had enough sway in the Organization that he can be the sole witness to the boss’ will and
everyone just—nods and go along with it, making Mori the new boss despite them
should be having Five Executive that would have fought for the seat. Why?
In this case, Dazai cannot be adopted and raised by Mori as the fandom believed. If he
was Mori’s and he became the sole witness everyone would call bull on it
because he’d be perceived as Mori’s accomplice in taking out the Old Boss. They’d
be executed and one of the upper echelon would take the throne themselves.
This would only work if the Port Mafia to
believe that he couldn’t harm the boss and wouldn’t let harm come to him.
But what about this picture, you ask? Well, Mori did have a connection with Dazai too seing how Dazai got the coat he wore from before he was 14 to 18 from him. That’s a good 4 years wearing the same thing. I think this was actually the same case with Chuuya not appearing in the Dark Era; the plot has yet to be told to the readers and kept secret.
And then there’s the possibility that they knew each other because of Dazai’s wounds. If the Old Boss is as ruthless as Kouyou made him out to be, it won’t be far-fetched to say he’s the one resposible for Dazai’s numerous injuries and was frequently sent to Mori, the doctor, to get treatment.
Organization needs to know Dazai well and for some reason connect him with not
only being close enough to the Old Boss for it not be strange for him to be all
alone in the room with him and having enough credibility that he can’t possibly
lie about the Old Boss’ last will. On top of that, he needs some reason to be
the one ‘most not alright with it’ in a personal sense.
So what would make this credible? What could make this work?
It would be if by doing so he was giving up his rights to the throne.
Here cometh my conclusion: Dazai was the Old Boss’ son and
the rightful heir to the Port Mafia. If he was one, it won’t be strange for him
to have credibility as 14-year old kid claiming to be the sole witness to a
boss of The Mafia’s biggest bad that made a city doctor its next Boss. More than that, it would be natural for him to
spend time alone in the Boss’ bedside when he was sick and vulnerable.
No, I won’t be dropping Darth Vader’s ‘I am your father’ bomb
here, despite it being extremely tempting. How many father and child bound by
blood have you seen in BSD? That’s right, none. No reason to break the pattern
But what is prevalent? Adopting orphans. Hell, it was
dropped by Odasaku in his last moment as one of Dazai’s driving force. In fact,
most of the main cast are either adopted orphans or have adopted an orphan.
(Fukuzawa & Ranpo, Kunikida & Rokuzo, Akutagawa/Atsushi and Dazai, need
I go on?)
Here’s my verdict: Dazai was the heir to the Port Mafia because
he was the Old Boss’ adopted. When the Old Boss died, everyone in the Mafia who
knew about it, thought that he couldn’t possibly lie because by doing so he’d
be defacing the Old Boss and giving away his rights to the throne. This gave
him the ultimate credibility and thus allowing Mori to become the next King.
Most of all, this also solve the mystery of Mori’s behavior.
Why drive Dazai away when he’s 18, when Mori could’ve killed him or make him go
away before? He made the preparation to drive Dazai away two years beforehand
when Dazai was 16, a good two years after becoming boss. The answer was because
this will reveal his play to his subordinate. In the light novel Odasaku
mentioned about Mori’s fearsome reputation for being ruthless and clever as
hell. And this is the key; reputation.
If Mori killed Dazai before he got a secure standing in the
Mafia, he would be accused to be killing the Old Boss and taking down his heir.
Everyone would be on the scent of blood like sharks, especially in a place as
cruel as the Mafia. So he got himself a reputation, backed by people loyal to
him (Chuuya, Kouyou and, in an extent, Ace who was loyal only to money) and
when he was sure that he has shown what he could and would do to the whole
Mafia and the world, he cut off Dazai because he was no longer needed and now
poses only threat.
By exiling the Prince, he would be able to hog the throne
for himself since the older members would not be rallying behind Dazai to
retake his rights. Truly a long-running plan befitting of him.
But hey, that’s just a theory. A BSD theory. Aaaand cut.