Automata (オートマータ) are mechanical beings in Karakuri Circus. Because the vast majority of the Automata are affiliated with the Midnight Circus, Automata are considered the main antagonists of the series.
Automata are self-operating mechanical constructions, much unlike Puppets who actually require a Puppetter to control them, but nonetheless also created through a mix of puppetry and alchemical techniques. Much like human blood, Automata can operate through a special silver-colored fluid that gives them life.
Automata vary in shape and size all depending on their construction, however, they have some key common traits. Because Automata were originally created to make Doll Francine smile, they are entertainers by nature. Because of that they have the following rules ingrained subconsciously:
- Because their primary duty is to "entertain" their audience, they most show off while in the presence of a rival entertainer, namely a Shirogane wielding a puppet. This causes their maximum performance to drop, as if they went at their full strength their "audience" would be unable to see their tricks, as such they must reduce their power so others can witness them properly.
- Automata can learn and adapt from their surroundings, and these includes enemies as well. While facing another performer like a circus artist, Automata can be driven by their urge to improve and so they'll witness the tricks their rival can do. This can potentially render them non-hostile and susceptible to attacks.
- Automata literally live by their raison d'etre, as they have no real other purpose. If an Automaton is driven to deny the reason of its existence for whatever circumstances push it to do so, the fluids inside the Automaton will cause a rejection, bursting out of the Automaton and causing its immediate termination.
Automata's bodies are vulnerable to Aqua Vitae which can both break and dissolve them, as such Shirogane blood which tends to contain Aqua Vitae is poisonous to Automata, and a sufficient dose of it can cause a violent reaction enough to make affected body parts to implode, despite their mechanical composition. If injected directly with Aqua Vitae, an Automata can be destroyed instantly in a matter of seconds (depending on where it has been dosed as well).
Automata for the most part are also rational and intelligent beings and can think and to an extent feel on their own accord, however, they follow the orders of their creator to the utmost. As such and while capable of despicable acts, Automata aren't evil per se, but will nonetheless be capable of commiting genocide and other heinous act if their creator wills for them to do so, conversely Automata can act on good will if given the freedom to do it.