Dr. Franken Stein (フランケン・シュタイン, Furanken Shutain) is an eccentric but talented doctor and meister who is known to be the strongest meister to have graduated from Death Weapon Meister Academy and formerly Spirit Albarn's first weapon-partner. He later becomes a teacher at the academy upon Death's request and was later assigned to act as a meister to Marie Mjolnir.
Stein is loosely based upon the two central characters from the 1818 novel by Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus and its 1931 movie adaption, being an amalgamation of the mad scientist Victor Frankenstein and his nameless man-made monster. Like Victor Frankenstein, Stein has a mindset in which he wishes to live in a world "without God," setting his own rules rather than following those of some higher power. In addition, Stein also has motifs centered around electricity, similar to that used by Victor Frankenstein in the 1931 movie to give life to the creature. Both his attacks evoke electricity and his current partner has attacks centered around electricity. The screw in Stein's head resembles the bolts found in the head or neck in many popular portrayals of Frankenstein's monster that all follow the 1931 movie's lead. Stein has more moves than just electricity; he can also use his soul as a shield, as shown when Stein battled Crona. When he battled Medusa, he also uses an attack straight to Medusa's stomach., causing her to nearly die.
Being a man of science, Dr. Stein sees everything in the world, including himself, as an experiment. From childhood, he often wanted to dissect the people around him only to be stopped by Spirit. This personality trait made all those around him afraid of him. This strange hobby of wanting to dissect anything he thinks is interesting was still present, even when Stein became an adult; once, as part of a lesson, he tried to have his class dissect an endangered animal, claiming that it would be bad if he did not find out anything from it before it became extinct. The stitching across his face suggests that he had worked on himself at one point.
He also exhibits a sadistic and intimidating personality. During his battle against Maka and Black☆Star, he grabbed Maka by one of her pigtails, lifted her shirt up and drew marks on her body, to signify where he would put the knife through, and ponders if he should turn her skin into sand paper. When Black☆Star tried to attack him, he countered by knocking him out in a seemingly painful and bloody manner. His smiles are normally filled with sadistic intentions.
Stein seems to have dormant madness. He has even admitted that he is especially sensitive to it. Stein ultimately did go insane and struggled to maintain it. He even quit smoking as a way to convince himself.
Emotionally, Naigus has described him as always alone and that he has no love in him. He has admitted that he can't understand Spirit's reaction to Maka asking him to go out shopping. This shows he can't feel deep emotions other than the need to dissect whatever interests or irritates him. This tendency likely seems to be more destructive or psychotic, which explains his dormant madness. He is depicted as morally bankrupt, at least back in his youth. In Sid's flashback, he questioned Sid's decision to adopt Black☆Star, who was a baby. This suggests that if it were Stein's decision, he would have left Black☆Star. His immorality is supported further by his repeated experiments on Spirit back when they were younger. Furthermore, it was these destructive habits that would lead Spirit to leave Stein for Maka's mother (who actually informed him that he was being experimented on in the first place.)
Despite this cruel and twisted personality, Stein does have a kind and compassionate side that worries for his friends and students and he feels the need to protect them. He also exhibits a rather paternal demeanor towards his students. He also expresses deep disgust and moral outrage towards Medusa for stating that she would abandon her own child, Crona, when they would become useless to her. It is never stated when this other personality arose. However, one can assume this may have arose after Spirit left Stein and that perhaps the fallout between them had Stein go on to become a nicer person after losing one of the few people that could put up with him.
Stein is a tall man; around the time of Shaula Gorgon's attack on Death City, he was 210 centimeters tall (about 6 feet 10 inches). He has silver-gray hair, large and round glasses, and a handsome face.
Stein's most notable trait is likely the large screw-in bolt going through his head. He often turns this screw, a means to focus his thoughts or as he prepares to attack an opponent.
Another notable detail about Stein's body, as well as his clothes, are their zig-zag stitches. He has sewn stitches all over his body and clothing; even his house is covered in stitches. His most notable piece of clothing is his doctor's lab coat. He is also surprisingly well built for a man his age, due to a large portion of his time being devoted to combat training. He has a turtleneck shirt underneath his coat. It is 2 different gray shade pattern. With the dark one on top and lighter in the middle,with the same dark under the lighter one. The shirt also has stitches in a zig-zags on the lines on the shirt.
His soul is light blue featuring his trademark stitches and single giant screw. As a child, his bolt and glasses are noticeably absent. He is also much shorter and visibly smaller than Spirit.
- Manga and Anime
According to Death, Franken Stein is recognized by Death as the strongest meister to have graduated from Death Weapon Meister Academy and considers him very powerful. Maka also remarked him to be one of the very best meisters due to his acute soul sensing abilities. In the anime, He is remarked as a "ultra first-rate meister" (超一流職人, Chō Ichiryū Shokunin) by Maka and a genius by Spirit.
In both talent and skill, Spirit states that Stein's abilities in both areas surpassed that of his second meister partner. In addition, Spirit also considered him the most powerful meister at Death Weapon Meister Academy, surpassing that of Sid Barrett and the other faculty and students within the E.A.T Class.
During the events of the battle on the moon, Death the Kid claimed that Black☆Star was the strongest in Death Weapon Meister Academy, making Stein's power inferior to the assassin and proclaimed warrior god.
- Statements in guidebooks
|Max Base Attack Power||200|
Franken Stein sports one of the highest HP counts among bossess, surpassed only by (potentially) Medusa Gorgon and Ponera though his max attack output is the highest among the bosses alongside Ponera.
|“||Thanks to his excellent powers of observation and his innate talent, Stein can control soul wavelengths extremely well. In this way, he can beat his soul wavelength against opponents or perceive foreign souls without a weapon. During a fight, he adapts his soul to the opponent.||”|
—Stein's Power, Soul Eater Super Guidebook -How to Make a Death Scythe?- (German-to-English translation)
Meister Techniques (職人の技, Shokunin no Waza): A very capable genius meister, Franken Stein's talent enables him to master a weapon to a certain extent if he gers slightly curious about the weapon itself. As such, he is immensely skilled with a variety of weaponry:
- Hammers/Tonfo:He is capable of using in both a hammer form and the tonfo demon weapon, being able to easily take on Justin Law who retreated after Stein used Mjolnir's Lightning Rope,, even when the rogue death weapon merged with the Clown and used his abilities as a stationary weapon to his advantage, Stein manage to defeat and kill Justin.
- Scythe: Franken Stein is known to be an extremely skilled scythe-meister and normally employs Death Scythe as his main weapon of choice when using a scythe. He's very adept at handling a scythe enough to spin and twirl a scythe weapon with ease.
- Stein's Fighting Style (シュタインの格闘スタイル, Shutain no Kakutō Sutairu):When using a scythe, his fighting style revolves around the using his scythe weapon as a shield to block attacks and immediately counter-attack with his left hand with powerful attacks such as Soul Menace. His skill has enabled him to fairly easily and quickly outmatch Crona using the Demon Sword against him He also was able to fight on par with the witch, Medusa, and eventually won.
- Lamp: Stein has shown the ability to use a Lantern as a weapon such as the Demon Lamp with remarkable ability. While able to use it similar Kim Diehl's method, he can also improvise and use it like that of a propeller for his fists for extra damage, having done so against Soul Evans when he found he couldn't allow the formidable Death Scythe to touch the normal Demon Weapon without Jacqueline feeling pain due to the difference in power between the two weapons.
Hand-to-Hand Combat (体術, Taijutsu): Stein is exceptionally skilled in hand-to-hand combat With his unarmed combat skills combined with his various skills, he's been able to easily take down Maka Albarn and Black☆Star with they both used their weapons in their first altercation and seemingly gain the upper-hand in his spar with Black☆Star even after he improved his skills greatly. He's also not above with abandoning the use of his weapon and relying on some of his unarmed ability, evident as he did so during his battle against Crona.
High Physical Abilities (高い身体能力, Takai karada nōryoku): Stein has amazing physical prowess, posessing enough strength to kick Crona away a fair distance away when he saved Maka as well as break down the Santa Mario Novella Basilica with a kick whearas Maka wasn't able to push open due to the doors only opening inwards. His punch also managed to send Black☆Star a distance away. Stein also possesses incredible speed, moving fast enough to appear as a blur as he rushed to Medusa during his fight with her. He also managed to allude Ragnarok's eye sight moments after performing Experimental Ectoplasm and when the weapon quickly emerged from Crona's body. Stein also has great endurance for a human, having taken multiple bloody-needles from Crona on his side of both his body and head and continued to be able to fight despite the injuries. He's also survived being drilled though and hit by Medusa Gorgon's Vector Arrows at close range.
Genius Intellect: Stein is an extremely intelligent individual, being resourceful in the medical field and is considered brilliant though eccentric and unlicensed as well as various rumors surrounding him tinkering his own body and performing zombie experiments, eventually resurrecting Sid Barrett as a zombie. He's also knowledgeable in Soul Studies and even has knowledge on magic and spells.
- Medical and Surgical Skills: According to Anya, Stein is a brilliant (but eccentric) unlicensed doctor. He's capable of performing advance, life-saving surgeries as well as treating and aid ailments caused by even magic.
Spatial Sense: Stein's senses are even acute enough to be able to sense when space itself is being twisted.
Perhap's Stein's most well-known weakness is his sensitivity to Madness, having himself noted that he's especially sensitive to Asura's Madness Wavelength and even felt Arachne's Madness Wavelength even from the Czech Republic, despite being in Death City located in Nevada. This can cause him to have difficulty concentrating and always puts him at risk of losing his sanity.
During his battle with Medusa Gorgon, Spirit Albarn once noted that due to having not fought a serious opponent in a long time has caused him to "lose his edge" and also lost the ability to intimidate. Despite being a powerful Meister, he's still able to have trouble with high-caliber opponents like Medusa. He also admitted himself while his spar with Black☆Star that the assassin himself knows he can get just as "jammed up" as anyone else in regular hand-to-hand combat when he got distracted by the power of the latter's Soul Menace.
List of techniques
- Standalone techniques
- Soul Perception (魂感知, Tamashī Kanchi): Franken Stein is able to sense and perceive the souls of other beings. Unlike most Meisters, not only can he simply see the souls himself, but his Soul Perception is also at such a high level that he can read an individual's personality, characteristics and Soul Wavelength. Unlike most meister's it doesn't seem to take any focus to use this ability.
- Wavelength Control techniques
- Adjust (相殺, Sōsai): With his control over his own wavelength, he stated that he can easily counter the attacks of certain soul wavelength attacks (such as Ultimate Move: Black☆Star Big Wave) by adjusting the characteristics of his Wavelength to match others, in which causes it to lose it's power. The relationship is similar to the Soul Resonance between that of a meister and weapon.
- Soul Resonance (魂の共鳴, Tamashī no Kyōmei): Stein is capable of synchronizing his wavelength with other Demon Weapon and performing more powerful techniques as a result of his given weapon amplifying his wavelength sent by him, sending the amplified wavelength back to Stein, and repeating the process.
- Teamwise Soul Resonance (チームでの魂の共鳴, Chīmu de no Tamashī no Kyōmei): Stein is capable of synchronizing his wavelength with multiple teams of Weapons and Meisters through an indirect connection between their souls.
- Soul Menace (魂威, Kon'i): Franken Stein is a very skilled and powerful practitioner of the special art known as Soul Menace, in which allows him to apply his own Soul Wavelength offensively without the usage of a weapon. This ability allows him to attack with a variety of techniques in which mimic the properties of electricity. This move also allows him to deal deadly internal damage powerful enough to negate the usage of the Black Blood from Crona/Ragnarok after three usages during their battle as well as send his opponents at a distance due to it's powerful force as well has a variety of technique variation thanks to this art as well as easily "kill" White Rabbit in one hit. Black☆Star once remarked that unlike himself, Stein is able to fire Soul Menaces consecutively without build-up and admits Stein's profiency over Soul Menace surpasses his.
- Soul Menace variations
- Two Palm Soul Menace - Twin Spears (二掌魂威・双槍, Nishō Kon'i - Sōsō ):A variation of the attack Soul Menace that instead makes use of both hands, rather than just one. However, due to the inclusion of an extra hand, the attack's power is greatly amplified and able to incapacitate even strong opponents.
- Consecutive Soul Menace Three-Fold! "Gi" "Go" "Shoku" (掌魂威 参極「魏」「呉」「蜀」, Renshō Kon'i - Sangoku "Gi" "Go" "Shoku): A variation of the Soul Menace technique, that instead rapidly hits an opponent three times in succession, using the same fist. The attack inflicts enough internal damage to cause the target to bleed from the mouth.
Long ago, much of Franken Stein's own violent tendencies and initial selfish disposition surfaced in his childhood, having been analyzed and examined by various doctors to determine the cause of his personality. Although they speculated that he must of suffered some traumatic event, the doctors couldn't conclude deduce the reason and Franken Stein himself only saw their attempt as inane.
At one point during Kindergarten, Stein would watch kids his age play together like the teacher told them, an act which sickened him. He also made an issue out of the children focusing on taking notes and listening to instructions given to them from the teacher; this made him feel as if he would lose control over himself.
After joining the DWMA, he was set as Spirit Albarn's partner. He would abuse his position and even beat up people not on Shinigami's List. This caused Spirit to get involved at one point and do his best to stop him. As he would adhere Spirit's word, he them claimed he wish to be born in a world without god. However, when Spirit asked him If he was serious, he dismissed that notion, stating that such a world would be "sick".
During his time within the DWMA, Franken Stein would secretly experiment on Spirit's body for five years. He also dated Marie Mjolnir but later broke up with her. He was also participated in the purging of the Star Clan. Seeing Sid Barrett thinking about taking a young baby, he questioned his decision on what to do with it. However, this earned him a chastising from his weapon partner and would understand the reason his partner feels a certain way was due to his own daughter being born soon.
After Shaula Gorgon ordered Eternal Feather to kill herself, it is Stein who performs surgery on the latter, thus he manages to save her. He also plays various jokes on Tsugumi, Meme, and Anya by making her seem like she was transformed into a Zombie along with having a screw on her head like himself.
Stein's first appears when Maka, Soul, Black☆Star and Tsubaki appear in front of his home, on orders to capture his soul by Death. Stein provoked this order by transforming Sid into a Zombie. He comes outside, after tripping and falling off of his chair, and takes note of the Shibusen kids. Stein, using his advanced Soul Perception abilities, looks at Maka's and Soul's wavelength, and proceeds to tell them that, Maka's soul, who is serious and a hard worker, does not stabilize well with Soul's sarcastic and twisted soul.
Black☆Star then interrupts their conversation, stating how boring it is, and recommends them to start one strictly about himself. Stein then views Black☆Star's soul and states it is "a terribly self-absorbed soul." With that said Black☆Star proceeds to kick Stein, only to be blocked and quickly given a powerful punch. He then notices Black☆Star's partner, Tsubaki, and notes that her soul is very co-operative and has plenty of room to accept people. After that, Stein states he will start the session.
Despite the efforts of both Black☆Star and Maka, Stein easily dodges and counters all of their attacks, all the while still remaining seated on his chair. Stein then displays his powers by striking Maka's weapon and disrupting their wavelength. Stein then grabs Maka and threatens to dissect her, only to be interrupted by Black☆Star, who manages to connect his Big Wave. Unfortunately, it is ineffective, as Stein managed to match his wavelength with Black☆Star, nullifying the attack. He then attacks Black☆Star, releasing a Soul Menace upon Black☆Star, apparently killing him.
Soul, angered by this, proceeds to attack Stein, only to be stopped by Maka, who is daunted after seeing the size of Stein's soul, and concedes that the difference between their strength is insurmountable. Soul, however, refuses to give up and, through a small pep talk, manages to rekindle Maka's fighting spirit. Together, they conduct a resonance between their wavelengths and perform Witch-Hunt. Stein is not daunted by this and takes the attack, barehanded. With some sign of actual effort, he manages to break it, knocking Maka away. Before he can put his hands on the fallen Maka, Soul appears and guards her. Stein, impressed, pats Soul on the head and gives him a passing grade for being willing to protect his Meister with his own body. He reveals that this was all a plan orchestrated by Death and, as it turns out, Black☆Star was not killed, but merely knocked unconscious.
As the new teacher, Stein decides to take a different route in his teaching by dissecting a natural world souvenir animal. He is, however, interrupted when he is forced to supervise the battle of Death the Kid against Soul and Black☆Star. He then preps Maka on the stability of Kid and his two weapons, Pattyand Liz; noting that they respect and admire each other.
After Maka and Soul initially encountered both Crona and Ragnarok, a battle ensued between the two pairs. The battle begins to go in Crona's favor and Maka looks to be in serious trouble. However, before the final blow is dealt on Maka, Spirit and Stein appears just in time to save Maka from Crona. With Maka saved, Spirit transforms into his weapon form, wielded by Stein, and prepares to do battle with Crona. During this battle, Stein deftly wields Spirit, blocking all of Crona's attempts to damage him and retaliating with his own devastating Soul Purge. After prolonged abuse by Stein, Crona is eventually defeated. It is then that Medusa, Crona's mother, appears. After scolding the unconscious Crona for failing, she proceeds to attack Stein with her Vector Arrow. Performing a Soul Resonance, Stein uses Witch-Hunt to deflect the arrows. After this failed attempt, Medusa takes Crona and makes her escape.
Back in the infirmary, Stein confronts Maka and tells her that the procedure on Soul was a success. This cheers Maka up. Though, when confronted by Spirit, Stein reveals that the surgery was fine, but the Black Blood of Ragnarok has invaded Soul's body, and is unsure if he will be okay.
Monotone Princess arc (game only)
After he tries to kill Medusa, and the Kishin revives, Stein mentions that the kishin's wavelength brings out the Madness in everyone. He himself notices that since his own madness is extremely large already, this effect could come to his madness possessing him. Death also sees this, and has Death Scythe watch Stein closely. Marie Mjolnir is assigned to be Stein's new partner as her soul wavelength is supposed to have a calming effect on the madness. After Medusa takes the form of a little girl, she instructs Crona to slip a snake into Marie's coffee which increases Stein's madness wavelength, and at one time renders him unable to fight. Even without this magic, Stein is slowly losing the fight against his madness, and he knows it. Stein is implicated as the murderer of a fellow Shibusen colleague, Joe Buttataki, but Death Scythe, Mira Naigus and Sid believe Stein is innocent and allow him to escape Shibusen with Marie to find the real culprit.
Stein only reappears after discovering the truth behind Joe's death, revealing that it was in fact Justin Law, a fellow death scythe, who had committed the murder. It is then explained that his and Marie's long absence was due largely to the difficulty in discovering Justin's current location. Marie firstly questions Justin about his reason for killing B.J., only receiving simply the reply that his "Soul Perception ability was too dangerous...the Kishin-sama was unable to rest easily". After hearing this and deducing that his next target was Maka, she charges towards him and hits him in the chest. It appears her attack has little effect but after extending part of her weapon from her fist, Justin is sent flying yet he still manages to recover in mid-air to land safely. Observing this ineffective result, Stein questions her on whether or not she was now even, before asking her to assume her weapon form so both her and Stein could go on the offensive. The resulting speed, enhanced by Marie's abilities, easily overwhelms Justin, who couldn't even re-act to their attacks, forcing him to retreat using an artifact. This leaves Marie and Stein in the desert outskirts of Death City, with nothing but the coffin Justin left behind.
When Stein and Marie eventually return to the Shibusen, both they and Spirit are brought before Death. They all proceed to apologize for their individual transgressions, with Stein focusing upon how his running away was in flagrant defiance of the regulations. Death appears unfazed and simply asks for all of them to say sorry. Stein then reveals that he has uncovered proof of his innocence and of the true culprit. Marie takes out a tape recorder and plays back what was supposed to be their previous conversation with Justin, unfortunately all that was recorded was 5 full minutes of his background music. Stein smiles and light halfheartedly comments upon the situation, before Spirit reveals that he had been conducting his own investigation, proving Justin as B.J.'s murderer. Stein replies by stating the information they had discovered, specifically concerning Justin's acquaintance with someone with magical connections.
Stein is seen again discussing with the members of "Spartoi" as to what it the group’s name means and why it was changed.
Kishin Battle arc (anime only)
Tezca, Sid, Nygus, Marie, and Stein arrive at Noah's place. Tezca is killed as soon as he walked in, then Sid and Stein are attacked by one of many of Noah's 'worm' things. Later on, he is restrained by Noah, however seems to be freed as the Spartoi members jump out the book. He refers to himself as "fatally injured", however he appears in later chapters having recovered.
Stein killed one of the Clowns that snuck on board the ship before landing on the Moon. Stein's personality seems to confuse his comrades. He remarked Marie and Spirit that he came to the Moon because he was allowed to "dissect" the enemies. When he was fighting, Spirit is worried and compared him to a Kishin. Stein fights against Justin and continuously dodges every single attack. He then managed to hit him directly with a powerful Soul Menace with Marie's help of channeling a massive amount of Stein's wavelength through her. Stein's mind is still normal even when he is deeply influenced by Madness.
- A running gag in the series is that whenever Stein goes and sits on a rolling chair, he leaves rolling backwards and falls in the exit.
- The two popularity polls that took place some time prior to Chapter 100 ranked Dr. Stein as Soul Eater's 8th most popular character.