The List 6 Times Evolution Went Horribly Wrong
by Lynzee Loveridge,
They say people never change. Humanity, as a whole, seems to have reached its physical limit. We're taller and faster. We climb higher and jump further. In fact, much of the next stages seem tied to possible biotech and enhancing existing human senses; be it putting magnets in your fingertips or brain implants to treat Parkinson's. The possibilities inspire hope almost as often as fear. Fictional media loves to show villains "playing God" and creating a Frakenstein's monster only to be killed by it.
6. Diclonius (Elfen Lied)
Lucy and Nana are Diclonius, mutated humans with fearsome telekinetic powers and horns. Instead of being simply humans with some cool parlor tricks thrown in, Diclonius have a predilection towards violence with humans often becoming the victim. Whether it's simply their nature to violently overthrow humanity or it's the result of living under a microscope at an experimentation facility is debatable. The result spells out the same for humanity. Certain death by invisible hands tearing through their bodies.
5. Humans (Boogiepop Phantom)
Boogiepop Phantom is an underappreciated horror-mystery series, likely because of its complicated plot that takes place in the past and future and blends an evil pharmaceutical organization, aliens, clones, evolution, electromagnetic fields, and a protagonist with an alternate identity. Unraveling the sequence of events in the non-linear plot and piecing together how all the players cross one another is a puzzle in and of itself. A group of humans who become evolved after exposure to a drug and a body of light emitted by an alien causes strange things to happen around the city. One character can read the memories of the places she visits while another is more animal than human and consumes people in the city.
4. Coordinators (Mobile Suit Gundam SEED)
We would hope that the next stage of human evolution would lead to the betterment of mankind and not a full-scale space war where the more evolved beings are chased from Earth. This is exactly what happens to the Coordinators in the series. The majority of their kind live on man-made colonies but one is suspiciously nuked. Things only continue to escalate from there with both sides planning attacks that will lead to the genocide of the other. The fictional reaction to genetically engineered humans touches on controversy that humanity has debated as science progresses. Cloning is the more recent example, but a cursory search of opinions when in vitro fertilization was first developed will find similar reactions as those shown by the "Naturals" in Gundam Seed.
3. Orochimaru (Naruto)
Orochimaru has big dreams, the biggest being immortality. Instead of seeking out some kind of Fountain of Youth, Orochimaru begins using his fellow villagers as guinea pigs. Predictably, they're appalled when his methods are discovered. He takes his creepy science elsewhere, conducting ghastly experiments on other clans. His quest to obtain as many powers as possible and extend his lifespan end up transforming the ninja more and more like his namesake. His body modifications cause him to become increasingly serpent-like, even shedding his own skin. In the end, Orochimaru's evolution seems to have succeeded in obtaining his goal, but whether he's still human is debatable.
2. SEELE & Gendo Ikari (Evangelion)
Both SEELE and Gendo Ikari have their own ideas of what the next stage of human evolution is. Gendo appears to be working with SEELE to transform humanity into one giant, gelatinous blog of consciousness and eliminating concepts like "pain." In reality, he still isn't over the loss of his wife and instead intends to sabotage their plan in order to resurrect her and reunite. This doesn't work out and instead the very elaborate process involving Judeo-Christian symbolism is mostly completed, creating a vast sea of primordial human soup. While this was "right" from SEELE's perspective, I'm sure the rest of the humans weren't exactly thrilled.
1. Devils (Devilman Lady)
Overpopulation is a major issue and some humans have gained a special gene to combat it. It isn't consuming less resources or abilities to survive in uninhabitable areas. Instead its an ability to transform into devil-like beasts and eat other people. Yes, Go Nagai imagines humanity's next step is vicious cannibalism to reduce the population size to a manageable level. Devilman Lady also contains the gene and the transformation abilities, but unlike her bloodthirsty brethren, she maintains control of her consciousness. Instead of eating her friends and family, she kills off the would-be predators. Hopefully the survivors can figure out how to make the oceans inhabitable in the meantime.
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When she isn't compiling lists of tropes, topics, and characters, Lynzee works as the Interest Editor for Anime News Network and posts pictures of her son on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.
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