the power of anime dogs is not one to be taken lightly

Thoughts about Ran Mao (or literally « Blue Cat »)

I finally got some time to watch entirely Book of Murder part 1 animated (thanks Jane Doe Subs) and even if I knew that arc almost by heart, the animation made me aware of things I hadn’t noticed in the manga arc.
Especially concerning our little Ran Mao. It’s been a long while since I’ve started thinking Ran Mao was not a human but a supernatural being, different from Agni, Shinigamis or Sebastian and even if I had noticed several things in the manga, Book of murder made them even more blatant.

Let’s make it direct, I believe Ran Mao is a cat in a human body, probably something akin to a bakeneko (thanks wondrouswatchdog for finding info about it).
(I’ll be using the manga only to prove my theory, so no counter-attack with s1 and s2 please, I don’t consider that to be canon.)

Now, unto proving that:

  • Facts we know about Ran Mao so far thanks to the manga in general
  1. She’s very strong (she can hold chui weapons easily), and capable at fighting and killing. (Curry Arc when she kills Mina and Harold West)

  2. She seems to harbor an undying loyalty for Lau, and is rarely seen away from him

  3. She almost never speaks but when she does, she uses very few words and never speaks a complete sentence. She also often seems aloof. 

  4. She lacks common sense (remember the panties on the head?) and dresses outrageously, which goes against England’s customs for the Victorian era but also even against China’s. One other thing is that sometimes she doesn’t seem to realize that her outrageous clothing fluster people (Book of murder the, when she bumps into Arthur C.D.).

  5. She has bells always hanging around her ankles and her hair is always up in long braids circling cat ears.  

  6. Lau always pets her like one would an animal (stroking the top of her head) and calls her a “cat” (Curry Arc) and her name means “Blue Cat” in Chinese.

That’s mostly what one can gather from her different appearances in the manga. Now, thanks to Book of murder being animated, I managed to gain maybe some more info. (Just as a reminded: BoM is the arc in which Ran Mao appears the most and Yana indeed left small details hanging around throughout it.)

There is:

->  the peculiar color of her eyes.

I’m pretty sure many won’t agree on that point but compare it with Mey Rin’s from Book of Circus, Wendy’s, anyone who have brown eyes in Kuroshitsuji and you’ll see the shade of Ran Mao’s eyes is clearly different to any shade of brown or hazel that there is.  

Personally I call that color amber and after some research on the Internet, I’ve found out that while many animals have that eye color (dogs, cats, owls, eagles…), it’s way less frequent for humans (but not non-existing , which is I agree that point isn’t a proof in itself). 

-> A strange habit that she has is also to sniff food in front of her. There is that scene in the manga…

and it was also animated (check it at around 38:00). And I don’t know for you, but for me that’s not something a human would do, however that’s something cats do.

-> Also after discovering Phelps’ murder, she’s seen sniffing the dress Lau offered Ciel. Check it at around 39:55, you can even see her nose moving (that’s so cute).

So, adding the sniffing habit to the other facts + that small scene in the first episode of Book of Circus when Lau gives her food to eat, for me it’s quite obvious that Ran Mao is more cat-like than human-like except for the physical appearance

About that, I was speaking earlier of the possibility for Yana to be inspired for Ran Mao by the Japanese legends of Bakeneko (yōkai cat, literally “monster cat”) especially since their abilities includes shape shifting into humans and they can also speak human words.

More generally, I think if not a bakeneko, Ran Mao could simply be a Chinese girl possessed by the spirit of a cat, since there are a lot of legends about Chinese spirit possession and we all know how Yana researches a lot before introducing a concept in Kuroshitsuji. In any case, for me it could be that Ran Mao isn’t a human.

  • But what does that bring to the plot?

Well, except for demons and Shinigamis, we’ve had proof of other kinds of supernatural beings existing in Kuroshitsuji. Agni is an example of that with his godly hand, even if he is a human outside of this gift, but there are others that we can suspect of being supernatural (like John Brown after his moment in the current Werewolf/Greenwitch arc and maybe even Frances Midford).

Having Ran Mao as supernatural gives Lau a sudden power-up for things to come, because in the Underworld Lau is a very important ally of Ciel’s, and even if they’re not enemies yet, Lau’s got his own agenda and his own goal, and he might not stay Ciel’s ally until the end.
Furthermore, he’s a complete mystery and the fact he appears to be an airheaded idiot is something not to be taken lightly, so if a conflict between Ciel and Lau arises, you can be sure there will be a Ran Mao vs Sebastian show down (and just like how Undertaker showed to be different from his anime version, maybe Lau will have a way to beat Sebastian with Ran Mao this time).

One last thing, I don’t think I have to point out that Lau is probably aware that Sebastian is something not human (which means that if he believes supernatural beings that could be because he knows they exist, and that means more evidence to the ‘Ran Mao not being human’ theory) since he doesn’t seem unfazed by Seb’s “resurrection” after Book of murder while he showed signs of surprise to see him “dead” (his actual words being: “to be able to kill that butler, the culprit must be…”). 

That’s yet one more proof to take Lau very seriously, especially when he was the only one who managed to guess Ciel and Sebastian’s plan of introducing a 13th character in Book of Murder, right before Jeremy’s arrival (and you can be pretty sure that Ciel didn’t tell him beforehand, otherwise he wouldn’t have been surprised by Sebastian and Siemens’ murders).  

I hope it made sense. On that, I’m out. ~