In Brightest Day: Papillon

So if you recall the original Buso Renkin post, I say that if you can get over Papillon’s Papillon-ness that you should take the plunge and read it. Because Papillon is one special snowflake. And at the end of the day, I think he’s just a special, whacky special snowflake and that’s it. Spoilers after ze jump.


Papillon, or Koushaku Chouno before he became a homonculus, was an older student at Kazuki’s school who stumbled across his great-great grandfather’s alchemic research and decided to experiment with it. Chouno becomes extremely sick and winds up being thrown to the wayside by his rich family so that his younger brother could take over the family business. Chouno recreates his grandfather’s experiments so that he can save himself and become a better, more superior being than who he had been. Eventually he accomplishes his goal, becomes a homonculus, and gladly casts aside his humanity.

And looking at Papillon, all he wants is to be the best, or as he says, a superior being. But does that make him a psychopath? Let’s look at the criteria that were introduced in the Joffrey post:

  1. Callous unconcern for the feelings of others;
  2. Gross and persistent attitude of irresponsibility and disregard for social norms, rules, and obligations;
  3. Incapacity to maintain enduring relationships, though having no difficulty in establishing them;
  4. Very low tolerance to frustration and a low threshold for discharge of aggression, including violence;
  5. Incapacity to experience guilt or to profit from experience, particularly punishment;
  6. Marked readiness to blame others or to offer plausible rationalizations for the behavior that has brought the person into conflict with society.

papillon2Well, he’s definitely got point one nailed. He only cares about himself and his rivalry with Kazuki. And two; he believes himself a superior being (because he sorta is) and therefore above societal norms. Three is also true, although he does demonstrate that he can maintain relationships, he just chooses not to because he believes everyone else inferior.

Now that’s where the points end. Papillon is a very patient fellow and rarely resorts to violence. The times he has fought have been out of desperate self-preservation, not for the hell of it. So point four is right out. Now point five you can argue either side. Papillon doesn’t exactly feel guilt so much, but to say that he does not profit from previous experiences and punishments is just wrong. He is constantly observing, constantly absorbing things like a sponge, so that he can use them to his own advantage. He demonstrates through his (failed) alliance with Doctor Butterfly that he’s quite capable of learning from his mistakes, because he doesn’t make a subsequent alliance with Ouka for that exact reason. And as for point six, he really doesn’t have much to do with society simply because he believes he is playing on a higher field. And Papillon realizes that the conflicts he has with others are conflicts that stem from himself. So six is not applicable.

On the psychopath scale, Papillon gets a 3.5/6. I guess that makes him only slightly psychopathic and not a total psychopath. A partial psychopath with whacky fashion sense and a penchant for thinking his crotch region is a large pocket.