A dark laboratory. A piercing scream. A grinning scientist hovering over their intended victim. These are some of the images that come to mind when the subject of human experimentation comes up. There are a surprisingly large number of anime characters who went through human experimentation. Everyone knows about Nina Tucker, whose father fused her body with a dogs' in Fullmetal Alchemist, but that's not the only example. In Tokyo Ghoul, Ken Kaneki is the victim of a scientist who uses him as a prototype for artificially created human/ghoul hybrids. In Charlotte, Kazuki Tomori is driven mad by the pain he endures at a scientist's hands.
These are not stories of people who willingly signed up for safe and ethical experiments. These are stories of people who were forced against their will to endure excruciatingly painful experiments which left them with permanent physical and emotional scars. Some of these stories are disturbing, so read on at your own risk.
- Photo: Studio Pierrot
Ken Kaneki is brought into the world of ghouls through human experimentation. After an accident nearly takes his life, he needs an organ transplant - but instead of human organs, he receives ghoul organs. This transforms him into a hybrid of human and ghoul. While the procedure does save his life, it forces him into a dangerous and painful life that he never asked for. As it turns out, this wasn't done by accident or as a last-ditch effort to save him. Ken was actually a prototype for artificially producing human/ghoul hybrids who are more powerful than full ghouls. Most other people who endured this surgery passed away in the process, making Ken one of the few survivors.2,021232Is this brutal?
Mitty & Nanachi Are Forced To Take On A Curse In 'Made In Abyss'Photo: Kinema Citrus
The Abyss is a gaping hole in the ground that's incredibly difficult to study because everyone who ventures down there is hit with the Curse of the Abyss when it's time for the ascent. Once you get to the bottom of the Abyss, the curse can cause severe symptoms like agonizing pain, loss of humanity, and death. Scientists are always looking for ways to counter this, and a man named Bowndred decides to trick a group of orphans into a fatal experiment.
The only survivors of the experiment are Mitty and Nanachi. The two of them are sent down to the sixth layer of the Abyss in an elevator designed to push the curse onto only one person, allowing the other to survive. Mitty takes the brunt of the curse and transforms into an inhuman being with few cognitive abilities. Nanachi's body transformed as well, but it wasn't as dramatic. After that, Nanachi is forced to work for Bowndred while he repeatedly destroys Mitty's body to see how many times she can reform herself - since the curse has made her more or less immortal. Nanachi eventually runs away with Mitty on their back.1,02880Is this brutal?
Kazuki Tomori Loses His Sanity To Experimentation In 'Charlotte'Photo: P.A. Works
There's a reason why Nao Tomori is dedicated to making sure that people don't use their powers irresponsibly, and that reason is her brother Kazuki. Kazuki has the ability to control sound vibrations, and his initial idea was to use this ability to play music. Unfortunately, a group of scientists think that his ability is better suited for jamming signals, so he's taken from his school and subjected to painful experiments. These experiments aren't described, but they are so traumatic that they turn him into a bedridden shell of his former self. Nao seeks to make sure that nothing like this ever happens to anyone else again.90284Is this brutal?
The Nomus Are Made From Human Parts In 'My Hero Academia'Photo: Studio Bones
Nomu, the giant monsters with exposed brains who appear near the beginning of My Hero Academia, are actually the result of grisly human experimentation. In order to create beings who could use more than one quirk, body parts from different people were combined into individual beings who could use the quirks of every person they're composed of. The Nomus are one of the major weapons used by the League of Villains to take out their enemies.
The Nomu aren't the only characters in My Hero Academia who are the victims of experimentation - Principal Nezu is said to have developed a grudge against humans after being used as a giant lab rat, and there's a manga-only character whose quirk was used in painful, experimental ways. In fact, quirk-based human experimentation is alarmingly common.1,367170Is this brutal?