Look at this long section, all dedicated to M.
I hate this part.
Mainly because I personally thought M was poorly done, all because she was a late character into the story, and one of the antagonists. A lot of people didn’t get M’s bit, so I hope this section will clear some confusion; it IS confusing, strange and made my head spin as much it probably made the reader’s head spin, too. She could’ve done a lot more, but being a newly introduced character nearer the end of the story; it was really hard. Basically, M was when the story took a drastic tumble downhill. And M’s appearance gave the story a slight horror-genre feel.
Anyway, here are the questions that popped up:
Who is M?
Why is she called ‘M’?
What is her relationship with Kiriyuu? (wow, that sounded almost… yuri-like. Lol, M x Kiriyuu)
M, the easy way:
M is probably the Mary-Sue of COATH.
When Kiriyuu found out she died in ten years time, she basically went a bit loopy; I guess that’s the easiest I can explain it. And then there was Hibari and her one-sided love for him, the war between the Vongola, and all these other misunderstandings, that made her experience some sort of mental breakdown. And during this mental breakdown, Mukuro ‘took advantage’ of her vulnerability and persuaded her to believe that the mafia should be eradicated. It also kind of hints that for someone to go with Hibari, I think she must be incredibly insane (no offence, Hibari).
M was created the same day, apparently already hallucinated by Kiriyuu when she goes to the theatre where all the controlled Kokuyo students were; M is, therefore, an illusion of Mukuro’s, designed to confuse Kiriyuu and influence her to act all evil against the Vongola (so she is an OC in some way). She was ‘created’ by Kiriyuu when Mukuro ‘gave’ her an illusion to hide the bullet wound in her shoulder. She occasionally takes over Kiriyuu’s body from time to time but could also appear to Kiriyuu and talk to her, and ended up developing more free will than possible, and became more and more devious and graphically violent – like wanting to overthrow Mukuro and steal the Forbidden bullet for herself to split away from Kiriyuu and get her own body, and she even wanted to gouge out Mukuro’s eyeball, the one with all the skills and use it herself. She is also what linked Mukuro to Kiriyuu.
Because she is ‘based’ on Mukuro, she can use a trident, but because she is also ‘based’ on Kiriyuu (ie, the ‘opposite of Kiriyuu’), M can essentially use melee weapons which is an attribute Kiriyuu has, having been taught previously by her godfather. M also ‘murdered’ Kiriyuu at some point to gain longer control time over Kiriyuu’s body.
M sort of dies in the end, having been killed by Kiriyuu, and then re-appearing in the hospital apparently alive and healthy, where she finally broke her connection with Kiriyuu, thus breaking the connection between her and Mukuro all at the same time. By doing so, Kiriyuu changed her future.
PS. (e)M was basically ‘Me’ back to front, according to Kiriyuu; however, I have no idea where the surname Tsuzuru came from. I didn’t really think much about M’s character.
More about M, the not-so-easy way:
So, M is the Evil Embodiment of Kiriyuu. The Dark Kiriyuu, basically. Like, OMG Noe Wayz.
Ahem. Though she is an illusion, she is also sculpted out of a personality Kiriyuu had never exerted before (don’t we all have hidden sides, muhoho). She isn’t entirely ‘real’ to other people, only to Kiriyuu. She is the exact opposite of Kiriyuu; I did a lot of research on alter egos and even some information on multiple personality disorders for this. Her debut came in Chapter 34, and her reign of ‘terror’ thrived up to Chapter 49 or something. Every story needs some kind of character who will act all antagonist-y towards the main character, whether it is some mean salesperson pressurising the OC to buy Flash or Varnish, or an evil mother-in-law. So M was created for this purpose. She apparently acts like Mukuro and Kiriyuu believed she was obsessed with him; she has multiple appearances, and is typically ageless. Her memories are fake and based on Kiriyuu and her perceptions of Mukuro; if you squint, there were a lot of little clues/hints outlining the truth about M back in Chapters 34-35. She also has no parents or a birthday.
Or, if you want me to give you a bad feeling in the pit of your stomach, I will say, Mukuro and Kiriyuu are her ‘parents’ (ehehehe).
When M first appears, she is described to be at least 15 years old, with medium length brown hair and blue eyes, but occasionally wore a trademark caprine, or ram skull helmet over her entire head – it’s those kinds of rotted ram skulls you see in Art classes etc). On some occasions, I think Kiriyuu noted that M has no distinct human facial feature. Another occasion, M was supposed to look exactly like Kiriyuu. Other times, M appeared to Kiriyuu as just the ram skull.
Yeah, I know, you’re probably thinking, what’s so scary about a girl who wears the skull of a dead sheep over her head?
Well, M wasn’t meant to be scary, but rather cause psychological discomfort, to Kiriyuu (and if the readers felt threatened, then this was an additional bonus, I guess).
Obviously to Kiriyuu, she found the ram skull disturbing, and was also threatened herself by M’s behaviour and actions at some point. I once read about psychaesthenia and Sigmund Freud’s Psychoanalysis, that there was a psychological condition where the patient would sees his or her actions attributed as someone else, so it was like, Kiriyuu could see M as an external human being and could see M walking around and talk to her, whereas other people couldn’t because M is generally a figment of Kiriyuu’s imagination, but more specifically speaking, a manifestation of her own personality, the ‘hidden side’, the almost ‘evil’ side.
And I’m glad Ice-senpai pointed out after I had finished my story how the whole split personality thing Kiriyuu had felt Fight-Clubby. I had a look at the movie and the main protagonist guy ended up having Brad Pitt as his Multiple personality (whoops, did I spoil it for you? O_O). Anyway, I was really upset with the fact that M’s bit ended up like the scenario in Fight Club and I sincerely apologise T_T”” But writing about the split personality was really interesting. I looked up a lot of books at my University’s library and I had a good time researching all the facts ^-^
Anyway, the story of COATH was weird enough that it was enough to drive anyone insane so rather ending the story with Kiriyuu being sent away by Hibari, to be forever locked up in a Mental Hospital in a straitjacket while rolling around in a padded cell, I looped this part with the future events – so the Kokuyo events would explain the drastic change in Kiriyuu’s personality in the future.
M, the other personality, the more hostile, violent and aggressive personality of Kiriyuu, maybe the ‘primitive’ one, was triggered off within Kiriyuu when she ultimately realised that she had been exploited by her own family, along with several other factors that her head feeling as though it was repeatedly smashed with a hammer (resentment towards Hibari because she liked him so much but he never returned her feelings, that she grew frustrated at herself, for having feelings for him).
When she meets Mukuro, he is the ‘catalyst’ to the series of events.
In detail, here are the reasons as to why Kiriyuu suffered a mental breakdown:
– Kiriyuu found out about her future prematurely, and learnt that her TYL self died in the future; she had also split up from Hibari.
– Hibari didn’t return her feelings. This caused Kiriyuu to resent him, but at the same time she blamed herself for liking him (because he obviously didn’t care about her and she couldn’t stop liking him).
– Due to a misunderstanding caused by TYL Elia, TYL Kiriyuu was labelled as a traitor and had ties with Mukuro. TYB Kiriyuu found out that her TYL self was ‘killed’ by TYL Hibari
– Then she found out that she had been used by her family the entire time for an ‘experiment’. And from this experiment, she could’ve NOT met Hibari in the first place. This means she could’ve lived, wouldn’t have liked him in the first place and would’ve probably been better off without him. This created even more resentment between her and Hibari
– She couldn’t tell the Vongola about the war. Also, the experiment was created because of Hibari in the first place, who joined the Vongola. So, basically, if he hadn’t become the Cloud Guardian, then they wouldn’t have dispatched Kiriyuu to Hibari in the first place. It’s an evil cycle of events. This made Kiriyuu unable to figure out what was the right thing to do, and what to do
– Kiriyuu was alone, and couldn’t tell anyone
All this began to make her think that her life had been unfair to her, and that there were external and extrinsic forces behind the scenes, manipulating the way her life worked out. Kiriyuu left Namimori to try and sort out her future, only to fall into the (cue dramatic, booming voice) ‘Hands of fate!’, ie, events began to stroll as they would’ve, leading to the future Kiriyuu found out about.
Kiriyuu was also abandoned by Elia during the meeting, after being shot. This was a further contributor to Kiriyuu’s bitterness and hatred towards herself, the injustice done to her, and almost everything around her, eventually casted off, or split off, from her mainstream of consciousness and this negative energy manifested into the form of M, who was characterised as someone Kiriyuu thought role-model like; someone who understood her and eventually, Kiriyuu came to realise that M is not so much as a shady individual who had just randomly ended up on this ‘road trip’ in Kokuyo with Mukuro and his lackeys, but rather a person harbouring plenty of motives herself, and even though M even made clear that she was not ‘here’ for Kiriyuu and to help her cope, but rather to punish her.
Okay, it even kinda went a bit Silent Hill 2-ish (the same way Pyramid Head was made from James’ unconscious guilt, and ‘desire’ for punishment for killing his own wife).
M’s goals and ambitions were also disclosed to have perhaps manifested from Kiriyuu’s own unconscious ‘desire’ for revenge and the eradication of mafia and Hibari Kyouya, only M is the one acting on it on behalf of Kiriyuu, because these are M’s impulses, rather than conscious decisions. M was more straightforward, rude, brash and honest in her words.
And yeah, she still wanted to steal the Forbidden bullet and pry out Mukuro’s eyeball.
So how does M link to Future TYL Kiriyuu?
As tacky as it sounds, if M had not removed herself from existence, then she would’ve continued to serve as the link and a messenger between Mukuro and Kiriyuu because essentially, Mukuro has established some of his ‘powers’ within Kiriyuu, like the way how he inhabits Chrome’s body and vice versa, only Kiriyuu/M still retained free will and whereas Mukuro did not depend on her to survive, SHE depended on him to survive (or else he would remove M and she would be ‘killed’). I think I told Ice-senpai in one of our penpal entries, to think of M as a lightbulb. While Mukuro is the fossil fuel, that provides energy for the lightbulb, Kiriyuu is the electricity generated that powers the bulb. Or to make it more easier, think of Piggy in the Middle. M is the piggy. Poor Piggy.
Of course, back in the first draft, it was Kiriyuu who did all those things towards the Vongola and Hibari on her own. She was completely conscious and aware and I didn’t think it was ‘Kiriyuu’ to do something like that, so I re-wrote the Kokuyo saga and M was born.
But whether M is really an illusion or a split personality, I wanted to make you think this – if it REALLY was Kiriyuu who did those things on her own accord towards the Vongola and Hibari at some point, how you would feel towards her if it was true? Disappointed in Kiriyuu? Shocked that she could do such a thing? An important lesson in life is to know people do have hidden sides to them – they don’t always appear to be what they seem to be – they CAN change. Just like that. You think you might know someone, but you might not. Ehehehe, sorry to scare you – Also, I don’t really think Kiriyuu is an illusion wielder. In COATH, she was already mentally insane when Mukuro met her so her mind did all sorts of crazy things she had never done before.
PS. In a censored chapter, which I rewrote to become chapter 42, Kiriyuu was the one who murdered M.