Science: the final frontier, and this month’s IGGPPC theme. Science is a tool intended for the good of humanity, to make life better, to establish humanity’s dominance over mere things like gravity…until a scientist decides to take things too far and deliberately ignore the consequences of using science. Sometimes, these scientists just want to create science for their own means, possibly for creepy reasons, possibly for nefarious reasons. And when they create this science, we as readers can only sit there excited for – and terrified of – the inevitable chaos. WELL. Kazutaka Muraki from Descendants of Darkness (Yami no Matsuei) is one such scientist, so let us explore how this man uses science for dark purposes.
Plot Summary (as it relates to Muraki)
Descendants of Darkness follows shinigami Asato Tsuzuki on his adventures. Early on in the series, he comes across Kazutaka Muraki, who is a scientist, doctor, serial killer, and possibly a necromancer/vampire (he’s a very busy man, this Muraki) all rolled into one. As a shinigami (and possibly a demon of some sort), Tsuzuki’s body contains massively impressive levels of regenerative properties; he once survived without food, water, or sleep for eight years, and his body can heal most wounds. So naturally, Muraki becomes infatuated with Tsuzuki and goes about causing mischief to catch Tsuzuki’s attention.
Kazutaka Muraki the Scientist
Muraki is obsessed with bringing his dead half-brother back to life so he can kill said half-brother. So right away you know that this Muraki fellow is a swell guy. Muraki keeps his brother’s head floating in some sort of giant tube with wires all over the place, and Muraki is often depicted speaking to this head. The head doesn’t respond back, but that doesn’t stop Muraki from conversing with it in his creepy lab. Muraki intends to transplant his brother’s head onto Tsuzuki’s body because he will be able to torture his brother seemingly forever, killing him over and over at his pleasure. Simply put, that is pretty twisted. Instead of studying Tsuzuki to understand where these healing abilities come from and whether they can be replicated to help, say hemophiliacs or me when I get a shot at the doctor’s office, Muraki is focused on his own perverse goal and the satisfaction it will bring him. Now, I’m not a scientist, but it seems to me that Muraki’s priorities are a tad out of order. And what’s more, he’s not even interested in the science itself; he’s only about the end result and help him get revenge.
In fact, Muraki’s priorities are out of order even before he decides to chase Tsuzuki. Muraki has used some unknown means – likely a combination of dark magic and science – to previously bring people back from the dead and enslave them. These individuals can move like humans, speak like humans, and give off the appearance of being human, but their wills belong to Muraki. He can control them, he can manipulate them, and they are simply his puppets. What incredible science! Imagine how much the populace would revere the individual who allowed them to at least speak to a deceased loved one, or imagine how one could create an army of the undead to prepare us for an upcoming alien invasion. But no; Muraki doesn’t care to share the method he used, and he instead uses this science to attract Tsuzuki so he can use Tsuzuki’s body (in every sense of the word, FYI) to create even more maniacal science.
Muraki has no qualms with the pain he inflicts on others in the name of science (or, more accurately, revenge), and that lack of regret makes him a mad scientist. When Muraki does get a hold of Tsuzuki, it’s only via torture. He physically assaults Tsuzuki, harms those closest to him (Demonic possession! Rape! Murder!), and causes Tsuzuki to lose his mind by forcing Tsuzuki to question his own identity and ability to protect others. We watch multiple characters spiral into a hole of depression and pain that Muraki gleefully forces them into, and all of this is done in the name of science. SO. Be wary of any human claiming to be a scientist that you may meet, because you never know if they’re looking for the perfect body to transplant their dead half-bro’s head onto.