The Mad Scientist trope is often employed in anime, but the portrayed characters are rarely original or well developed past the point of simply doing crazy experiments. Few characters truly deserve the title of mad scientist, and it is these characters who can give a wide assortment of creative depth to a show for entertaining or villainous values. Here are seven mad scientists who are truly worthy of the title.
Slight spoilers may follow.
1. Dr. Stylish
Image © White Fox, C-Station
One of the more recent mad scientists, Dr. Stylish from Akame ga Kill! is obsessed with two things in life: his experiments, and anything he considers to be stylish. After continuously flirting with the other male Jaegers and even offering his test subjects a night alone with him if they do well, he clearly has his priorities in line. At the core, the doctor is hilarious and is one of the more enjoyable evil mad scientists with all of his eccentric and fabulous poses that are a reference to JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.
2. Rintarou Okabe
Rintarou Okabe from Steins;Gate is not exactly a mad scientist per se, but more of a dramatic pretend mad scientist who has convinced himself that he is in fact, mad. He conducts various useless experiments with his friends while pretending to be an agent against some organization that is after him. Rintarou teaches us that true geniuses drink Dr. Pepper, and to end every phone conversation with the saying, “El-Psy-Congroo.”
3. Mayuri Kurotsuchi
Image © Studio Pierrot, VIZ Media
One of the weirdest characters I have ever seen, Mayuri from Bleach is one of the creepiest scientists that pushes the boundary of how far one can go to satisfy their thirst for knowledge. Mayuri is the type to act completely calm and natural; as if experimenting on people is just normal business. He is never satisfied and is easily disinterested in those who cannot live up to his crazy high expectations as test subjects. While not entirely evil nor good, he is a neutral man who only cares for experimentation, even going as far as completely altering his own body, including the replacement of all his bones and organs.
4. Shou Tucker
Image © BONES, FUNimation
The Full Metal Alchemist series is full of humanoid experiments gone wrong, and with nearly everyone being able to use a mix of science and magic called alchemy, there are bound to be a few characters with some loose screws. Shou Tucker is a name that sends a chilling shiver down the spine of anyone familiar with his deeds from the show. Shou Tucker was never a bad guy or an antagonist, but as a side character he gave us one of the most horrifying experiments in fiction — one that represents a man who maintains a twisted sense of normality even after he loses all sense of sanity. The resulting abominations are a fate worse than death, and too cruel to witness.
5. Dr. Stein
Image © BONES, FUNimation
A personal favourite, Soul Eater‘s Dr. Franken Stein is a man of science and one of the most powerful Meisters to have graduated from the Death City Academy. Dr. Stein has always had a problem with his insanity, and while his madness has been dormant inside of him, he has always perceived the world and its creatures as fascinating objects to dissect and study. Dr. Stein eventually loses out to his madness and succumbs to his own psychological torment.
6. Takano Miyo
Image © Studio Deen
The quiet countryside village of Hinamizawa is home to some of the most disturbing and frightening series of events in anime. When They Cry will take you on a dark, psychological thrill ride, but looks can be deceiving — it features an assortment of cute characters who host a twisted dark side from within. Dr. Takano is a crazed scientist who is connected to the terrible experiments on the villagers and the haunting mysteries of the village and its past. Takano’s hellish nightmare of a childhood gave birth to a twisted sense of duty to prove her savior and adoptive father’s research true. Her actions lead to horrendous tests on the villagers which results in a living hell for those unfortunate enough to come in contact with her. When They Cry proves that you should never judge a book by its cover.
7. Sadami Natsuiri
Image © Satelight, C2C
A prime example of a mad scientist, Natsuiri is a man who has long lost interest in anything that doesn’t help him further his research. He will use any means to reach his goals, even sacrificing the ones he loves and turning people into painful live experiments. As a genius and expert manipulator of those around him, Natsuiri is able to take on the role of puppet master, controlling his subordinates and pilots through guilt and a sense of duty in order to gain the information he desires. Natsuiri has some quirks that make him entertaining and interesting enough to help carry the show (M3 The Dark Metal). His addiction to sweets ensures that you will always see him with candy on hand, and his range of eccentric behaviour is a perfect example of the mad scientist trope done right.
While there are plenty of crazed doctors and scientists out there, which are your favourites?