Some people laugh as a sign of mental instability. Others speak in a Creepy Monotone or openly show signs of being violent. Then there's the character that shows almost no signs of being crazy....at least not publicly. A character that feigns sanity, quite simply is the kind of person that can maintain their facade in most social situations but is completely insane on the inside. The Trope Namer comes from a book called The Mask Of Sanity, which describes how people that aren't stable can blend in with society. Yandere and Cute and Psycho are subtropes, when people may act perfectly normal until certain trigger is pressed, then they quickkly turn into murderous psychopaths. Compare and contrast with Stepford Smiler type C. Often overlaps with Reluctant Psycho. Contrast with Obfuscating Insanity. See also Beneath the Mask.
!Examples Anime and Manga
!Examples Anime and Manga
- Solf J Kimblee of Fullmetal Alchemist maintains his polite and empathic facade despite being a sociopath that is heavily implied to have pretended to be sane in order to join the military.
- Death Note
- Light Yagami goes insane by the second episode yet still manages to blend in with society. By the end of the series, he's defeated and everyone figures out just how crazy he was.
- Mikami also counts. There are quite a few scenes in which you see him completely calm, and controlled....until you see just how crazy he is in the warehouse scene.
- Sosuke Aizen of Bleach was hiding is true intentions for centuries by the time he reveals himself everyone is surprised by how insane he turns out to be.
- Yuno from Future Diary only appears to be an innocent girl, but reveals that she's an Axe Crazy sociopath early in the series.
- Asakura from Haruhi Suzumiya only seems like a calm, kind student, but turns out to be flat out insane.
- Subverted in Battle Royale Kiriyama, who was always The Quiet One, kills students mercilessly, but it turns out he's not crazy, he just has brain damage.
- Parodied in American Psycho. Patrick Bateman is an Ax-Crazy Serial Killer working on Wall Street. He constantly tries to confess the murders he has committed but no one takes him seriously. Finally he flips out completely and does everything in his power to get caught... and still no one cares.
- The murderer of And Then There Were None is a calm rational person in public, but an Ax-Crazy Large Ham once he arrives to kill the last victim.
- This is one interpretation of the title character's actions in Hamlet.
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Throughout the film Judge Doom appears somewhat malevolent but not blatantly so. Near the end he's revealed to be a Toon who's even more crazy than most Toons.
- Battle Royale: Kiriyama sits quietly in the background, but starts killing students once the game starts because he signed up for The Program.
- Children of Bodom's "Mask of Sanity" is a song about a person who's at least trying to "keep his mask on":
Daylight's sin inside, day's growing closer, wait for painI cannot wait another night to be alone
- Call of Cthulhu. Cthulhu Mythos cultists with a Sanity of zero usually act in a completely insane or otherwise irrational manner. However, powerful cultists (such as the leaders) are usually able to act in a sane manner when dealing with sane (normal) people in order to conceal their true nature.
- Hazama of BlazBlue is an odd example, considering how often he laughs maniacally you'd be surprised how calm and stable he can appear.
- A Malkavian (the incurably-mad vampire type) character in Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines ingeniously hides their split personality by pretending to be twins, namely, Theresa and Jeanette Voermann.
- Zant from Zelda: Twilight Princess. He seems like a calm, cold, mildly angry villain throughout the whole game. But before you fight him he takes off his mask as well as his controlled demeanor. Cue an enraged verbal exchange with Midna, and one of the most spastically moving and sounding bosses in the franchise.
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