Haruko Obokata 小保方 晴子-like Game Character Conducts ‘Dangerous Research’

I’ve seen many crazy things over the years doing this blog.

There was the Moriguchi IPS cell fraud, the electric stem cell bra, the stem cell supermodel case, the stem cell soup No. 7 aphrodisiac, the STAP cell scandal….and the craziness goes on.

Today there’s a new one that even surprised me.

Haruko Obokata, lead STAP cell author, has now entered the online game world, although it seems not of her own choosing.

The Asahi Shimbun reports that a new character in the video game Star Galaxy, “Haruko Oppenheimer” bears a striking resemblance to Obokata. Presumably this name is a mash up of Haruko Obokata and Robert Oppenheimer of the Manhattan Project that made the first atomic bombs.

Gamers noticed the virtual Obokata. See image here for yourself.

Obokata was known for decorating her lab with cute cartoon-like characters as well (see one on her incubator).

Obokata game

In the Star Galaxy online game, Haruko Oppenheimer was conducting “dangerous research” under the theme “ultimate cell”. Not sure what that means exactly, but it sure seems like a reference to STAP cells.


Game maker Square Enix, apologized and changed the character’s name to “Jesca Fred”, but not her appearance.

Obokata is now officially immortalized in pop culture.