In Soul Eater, a Clown (道化師, Dōkeshi) is the physical representation of madness. They can only take form after a sufficiently large quantity of this particular force of chaos has collected at a singular location. Usually this process occurs only in the wake of a Kishin (鬼神, kishin; Literally meaning "Demon God"), whose corrupted soul emits a wave of madness so substantial that it can affect the entirety of the world upon release. However, it is only when this insanity gathers at a susceptible destination can a clown be brought into reality, by using the immediate area as a cradle from which to emerge.
Despite the uniformity in each individual clown's purpose and ability, their actual appearance varies greatly between them, with the only visible exception being that they all possess a vaguely humanoid structure in their stature. The remainder of their bodies are seemingly composed from a random assortment of items, which is as distinctive as each particular clown
|“|| There's terror that can't be seen...I am a terror that can be seen."
"I am the existence which surpasses Kishin Asura...Madness Incarnate.
—The Clown, Chapter 43
Upon its "birth", a clown's solitary purpose is the continued dispersal of the condition that created it, with the creature serving almost like a "contagion of madness" acting just to ensure that this particular infection continues its advancement along its destructive path. In order to achieve this aim each and every clown possesses a wavelength of madness that is capable of drawing other individuals in the immediate vicinity into the clutches of its insanity, by inspiring terrible visions within the minds' of its victims. However, how effective this actually is, is entirely dependent upon each individual clown's strength and how susceptible the afflicted person is.
Man Made Clown
As the name suggests, a Man-made Clown (人造道化師, Jinzō Dōkeshi) is one of artificial construction, created from another source of madness than what is normally considered natural, such as the Black Blood devised by Medusa Gorgon. Even though the substance from which they are generated is different, these man-made clowns possess all of the defining traits and capabilities of other clowns but due to the presence of impurities within the madness they originated from, they are typically considered inferior or even perverse in comparison to their natural brethren.
Powers And Abilities
Along with their own distinct powers and characteristics, they are all capable of regeneration and reanimation shortly after death by feeding on Asura's Madness wavelength. Without it, this power is nullified.