Who's crazy now?
Some characters just need a way to show off how undeniably evil they are
. Unfortunately, pure black eyes
just seem too monochrome and don't allow said character to show off an extra spark of insanity. Cue the Black Eyes Of Crazy. In these cases, the sclerae or sclera
(the whites of the eyes) are black
, as are the pupils, but the irises themselves retain their colour, which can vary
. Generally an indication that the character is not above going on a rabid, murderous rampage, and, as such, usually coincides with Ax-Crazy
, though this rule is not absolute
Subtrope of Uh-Oh Eyes
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds, anyone who becomes a Dark Signer has their sclerae darken to black and goes rather insane.
- In Bleach, Hollows (normal ones, i.e. excluding Menos and the hybrid Arrancar) have this as a defining characteristic and tell-tale sign of their now inhuman nature. The group of Soul Reaper-Hollow hybrids known as Vizards, of which the male protagonist becomes an unofficial member, gain this feature as part of their Hour of Power-limited "Hollowfic" or "Hollowfication" mode - as well as when their Superpowered Evil Side manages to take over their bodies, as pictured.
- In the protagonist, Ichigo Kurosaki, the black and gold eyed evil side (pictured above) is indeed Ax-Crazy to an extreme and even acts as an internal usurper at times.
- In .hack//GU, characters who are possessed by AIDA will often gain these eyes, particularly during Ax-Crazy moments.
- Keroro Gunsou: the assassin Zoruru has this combined with red pupils, along with a half-cybernetic body covered in Spikes of Villainy and a Blade Below the Shoulder. Despite this, nobody can ever remember who he is...
- Mahou Sensei Negima! uses this quite a lot, along with Black Eyes of Evil. In fact, Akamatsu notes that Shinmeiryu users can tap into something that's basically the dark side for extra power. While this is not actually evil in itself, it does appear to cause a great deal of bloodlust along with turning the eyes completely black.
- In Naruto, using the second stage of Orochimaru's cursed seal turns the sclerae of your eyes black and the irises gold. Sasuke gets bonus points by using the Sharingan with the black sclera for bonus creepiness.
- And Jugo by proxy.
- Shukaku and Gaara, when transforming into his partial form, have black sclera and golden cross-shaped irises.
- In the manga, Hanzo and the 3rd Raikage both inexplicably have black sclera (but they still have irises and pupils), though, in the anime, Hanzo's eyes are normal.
- A specific variant of this color scheme, which also functions as Mind-Control Eyes, is seen in those brought back to life by Kabuto's version of Impure World Resurrection (which, oddly, includes the aforementioned two, who look exactly the same).
- Kabuto himself has these when he uses his version of Sage Mode.
- In Scrapped Princess episode 3 or 4, when everybody besides Pacifica gets put under mind control, this is expressed by turning all of their sclerae black (and their irises red). Whenever anybody is snapped out of it, their eyes return to normal.
- Masane from the Japanese Witchblade gets these when transformed.
- Because of a curse, Darcia of Wolf's Rain has one normal eye and one wolf eye. He hides it under a mask or eye patch. People who see it fall unconscious. By the series end, it is clear that he is more than a little Ax-Crazy.
- Rurouni Kenshin brings us Jinei Udo. His eyes are black with golden irises and pinpoint pupils which are capable of paralyzing you if he so chooses.
- Subverted with Renamon from Digimon Tamers: she has Icy Blue Eyes with black sclerae, but is a Lady of War with Nerves of Steel and a member of the core True Companions.
- In Dragon Ball Z, Majin Buu in his Super Buu and Kid Buu forms has the Red Eyes, Take Warning variation of this trope.
- Played for Laughs in Fairy Tail.
- Haguro from Wolf Guy - Wolfen Crest is perhaps THE scariest looking ninth grader because of his eyes.
- Christopher Shouldered from Baccano! has red sclerae rather than black (as the result of an extreme and perpetual case of red eye), but nonetheless matches all the connotations of the trope.
- Code:Breaker: The five "Angels" (plus Sakura when she was a child), a five-bad-band of Power Nullifiers whose eyes go jet-black when they suck the life out of power-users, in this case just for fun. Fortunately the power-users' masters anticipated that and made one of them Magneto: an iron beam in of itself isn't a power.
- The ghouls of Tokyo Ghoul have eyes with black sclera and red pupils.
- The vampire planeswalker Sorin Markov apparently has black sclerae and golden irises◊; in the actual card, this is hard to notice, since the image, obviously made smaller, doesn't focus much on the eyes.
- Actually, he's not exactly crazy as the rest of the entries in this page are, but the vampire clans he descended from used to be normal humans, and the blackening of the sclera happens when they turn into vampires.
- Subverted in Legion of Super-heroes, where two members of the Legion, Superman X and Timber Wolf, have eyes like this.
- Gambit of the X-Men has these, and his irises exemplify Red Eyes, Take Warning, but he is neither evil nor crazy. Usually.
- It should be noted that, despite the fact that he's usually a good guy, he did have a reputation in his hometown as "Le diable blanc"— people saw him as a demon because of his red-on-black eyes.
- Another counterexample is Jericho of the Teen Titans. When he's about to possess someone, he makes eye contact with the victim and the whites of his eyes go black. (Mind you, he was crazy for a little while, but hey, that happens to everyone in comics
sometimes at least once.)
- Similarly, In Teen Titans Go!, the Tie-in comic with the TV Show, the evil version of Aqualad was shown to have black eyes with red irises. Regular Aqualad just had solid black eyes.
- Doctor Robotnik/Eggman and Doctor Finitevus from Sonic the Hedgehog. Interestingly enough, Robotnik's crazy red-on-black-eyes were first revealed in issue #200, when he was defeated by Sonic one too many times.
- The Red Skull, Depending on the Artist. Carried on to the X-Men animated series and the The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes animated series.
- Shan Yu from Mulan.
- Santi from Guillermo del Toro's The Devil's Backbone has black sclerae and pale bluish irises.
- In the film version of Lord of the Rings, Frodo gets them after being corrupted by the cursed Nazgűl blade.
- People turned into vampires by the eponymous Count in Dracula (1979) have black eyes with hellish red pupils.
- Boogeyman's eyes inexplicably turned black during his feud with Big Daddy V. Of course, Boogeyman is crazy.
- King Dynal in Fossil Fighters has these, and despite being an alien, he's the only one, even among the other aliens. He's the Big Bad... until a Giant Space Flea From Nowhere pops in and he does an abrupt Heel-Face Turn.
- In .hack//G.U. this happens to players that get completely overtaken by AIDA.
- In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, the more reclusive vampires have these, usually indicating that they do not care about trying to blend in with normal society.
- As well as Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness. Can't get much crazier than that.
- Overlord Pram from Makai Kingdom has them, though she's more manipulative than crazy. In the same game, the legitimately Ax-Crazy Berserker class has them as well, even carrying over into Disgaea 3.
- The game-breaking Gideon class from Soul Nomad have them, minus Heroman.
- Akuma/Goki from Street Fighter sometimes has these, when not being depicted with fully red eyes. It depends on the artist.
- Both subverted and played straight in Pokémon: black scleras are rather common, but they don't necessarily mean anything about the owner's behavior. While some bearers of them are described in the Pokedex as being violent and dangerous (Most notably Hydreigon), it's never shown to be a consistent trait among their species (If it's even shown at all).
- The Thwomps from the Super Mario Bros. series originally had these, before shifting over to Red Eyes, Take Warning in Super Mario 64.
- Subverted with most asari in Mass Effect, whose eyes turn black when they meld their minds with another, an action done to not only share information with others, but for lovemaking and procreating as well. If the asari is an Ardat-Yakshi, though, it's played straight.
- Dirge of Cerberus has these with Azul the Cerulean, a huge Stone Wall of a villain, whose black-and-yellow eyes show he's not one to be trifled with.
- The Kelari race in Rift have black sclerae, but they're a case of Dark Is Not Evil.
- The Sabbat in Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines combine this with Red Eyes, Take Warning by having completely black eyes except for the blood-red irises.
- In Azure Striker Gunvolt all of the bosses sport such eyes.
- In Drowtales, Asira'malika Val'Jaal'darya has darkened Sclerae (believed to be the result of a failed medical experiment). It's not clear if she's this trope played straight, averted, or subverted, but she does have an evil laugh.
- In Tower of God, Season 2, a character named Rapdevil appears. Though not evil per se, he is strongly associated with demonic powers and his entire color scheme from his clothing to his shortly trimmed hair is black-yellow. So why shouldn't his eyes be that way, too?
- Then there's Season 1 character Rak Wraithraiser, a humanoid aligator with black sclerae and red irises.
- In Girl Genius, the very minor and not-particularly-crazy (but still likely Sparky) character Dr. Vg had red eyes with black sclera. Tinted glasses were used to hide this.
- Dr. Schtein from String Theory gets prosthetic eyes after an accident. They're black with red iris apertures.
- Played straight and subverted in The Zombie Hunters. All classes of The Undead have black sclerae with Glowing Irises Of Undeath, though the Basilisk, a class with a paralyzing gaze, has red irises. Charlie, a partially revived zombie restored to sentience, is a subversion, sporting one human eye and one undead eye, which he hides with a contact lens.
- Two Keys : Colin, the protagonist, gets these as opposed to his nomal, Creepy Shadowed Undereyes look. He didn't go crazy, just got really pissed off after a guy he's fighting starts to touch on his Dark and Troubled Past
- Wayward Sons: Kronos got these after the star core incident, along with his powers.
- Heart Core: Some of the more powerfull demons in the series have this permanently and most other demons get this during fits of rage or when they go Ax-Crazy.
- Black Wolf, the villain of the Christmas Special The Flight Before Christmas, has black sclerae and an insatiable appetite for flying reindeer.
- In Ben 10 , Whenever Ghostfreak (real name Zs'Skayr ) takes over the body of someone as a host, that person's eyes become black with purple pupils (and pitch black nerve-like extensions around the eyes), very similar to his eyes in his normal form. You do remember who Zs'Skayr is exactly for Ben, right? ( The Dreaded )
- In Gargoyles, Coldstone has one mechanical eye with this effect, comprising of a red iris and black sclera.
- Shan Yu of Mulan displays these. Add yellow irises and it's clear they were looking for a falcon look.
- Older than You Think: the 1949 Looney Tunes short Bee-Deviled Bruin has Papa Bear develop these (white irises on black) after finding out all his attempts to get honey were for naught as Mama had a cupboard full. Actually pretty scary.
- In both Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic Sat AM, Dr. Robotnik is shown with black eyes and red pupils (in contrast with the Japanese depictions of the character, whose eyes were almost always hidden by Scary Shiny Glasses).
- The Son from Star Wars: The Clone Wars is the Anthropomorphic Personification of The Dark Side, and he has glowing, red pupils, surrounded by pitch-black sclera, without irises, and he has a spectacular Sanity Slippage through-out the Mortis-arc.
- In Allegro Non Troppo 1, all the animals are brightly colored and cartoony except for those jerkass apes with red eyes and black sclera, who are the only ones seen killing other animals on purpose and not for food. They eventually ruin the planet after creating religion, war, and civilization for, despite evolving into humans, they're still vicious, greedy animals.
- In ThunderCats (2011) this is Downplayed with Rascally Rabbit the Drifter, who has white iris-pupils on black sclerae. He's merely a frustratingly opaque and eccentric Trickster Mentor.
- The redesigned Joker for The New Batman Adventures had black eyes with white pupils.
- In Young Justice, Match, who is a flawed, insane clone of Superman, has black sclerae and blue irises. Apart from the black sclerae, he looks exactly like Superboy, the second clone of Superman.
- In the Season 4 finale of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Tirek has black sclerae and glowing yellow pupils.
- Chimpanzees have a dark-pigmented conjunctiva, which makes their sclerae look black. Captive chimps that have been mistreated or poorly-socialized are notoriously prone to unpredictable outbursts of violence and destructiveness.