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You have tsundere and you have kuudere, and now it’s time for yandere. It’s quite possibly the greatest of the bunch second only in numbers to Tsundere!
Yandere. Noun. Wikipedia defines it as - “A Japanese term for a person who is initially very cheerful, kind, loving, caring, and gentle to someone (or at least innocent) they really, truly like and care about a lot until, their purely intense romantic love, admiration, and devotion becomes feisty, stubborn, bossy, and mentally destructive in nature, usually, but not always through either overprotectiveness, violence, brutality, or all three.”
What a run-on. This is too much so, let’s break it down. A yandere is a character who starts out sweet and calm, and probably very good natured. However, at some point a corner is turned. Once they have moved onto that next path, usually they have decided that they like someone, they are usually prone to outbursts, being abusive, and potentially violent.
Yandere is another Japanese fusion word much like tsundere and kuudere. Yandere consists of “yanderu” which means to be mentally or emotionally ill, combined with our favorite “deredere” which means to show warm, genuine affection.” What does that actually mean though? Yanderes always start out sweet or are very good and gentle people all around. Then there is some sort of interaction with the main character (usually), and suddenly all they want to do is be with that main character or protect him/her. The problem is, is that they want that connection at any cost. This can lead to others being bullied, hurt, or worse, killed. This is the main point of the yandere character. Yandere start out nice, but do the crazy 180.
The big difference to point out here between yandere and the previous two, tsundere and kuudere, is that the sweet and nurturing part of the character comes first. Yandere’s are like that one candy that looks super delicious. You see it and you really want it. So one day you buy it. At first, the candy is sweet and delicious, but then slowly it turns out to be a sour bomb or flaming hot candy that was not what you were expecting. You go to spit out the candy, but you can’t. It is stuck in your mouth. That is a yandere in a nutshell.
Now then let’s scour some shows to see some good examples of Yandere!
1. Mirai Nikki (Future Diary)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: October 2011 – April 2012
Mirai Nikki or Future diary is the true, quintessential, crazy-to-the-core show with a true yandere character. It all starts out with Yukiteru Amano aka Yuki being a shut-in. He doesn’t really talk to anyone at school and he can’t wait to go home and write a diary on his cellphone. He talks with some deity called Deus Ex Machina. The problem is Deus is real and wants a game. Suddenly he’s thrown into a fight to the death game in real life with 11 other people. The goal is to get the happy end in their diaries and not be killed. The real shining star here though is Yuno Gasai or the second diary holder.
Yuno Gasai is the craziest person I have ever seen in an anime, ever. She does anything and everything to keep Yuki with her. She really does love him, but maaaaaaaaaaaaan is her love creepy. She will kill anyone who tries to come after Yuki in the game or in real life. She will not let anyone come between them. She is psychopathic to the core and manipulates anything that she sees to advance her and Yuki.
Even though with all the crazy flailing about within this series, she does progressively become more earnest in confessing her love for Yuki. At first, she is a borderline creepy stalker. However, as time goes on, Yuki learns that he cannot live without Yuno. This series is the perfect, and I do mean perfect, example of a true yandere. Don’t miss out on this series at all!
2. School Days
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2007 – September 2007
The crazy train is not stopping as we reach the anime School Days. School Days follows the life of Makoto Ito, a first year high school student. He sees Kotonoha on the train one day and liking her, takes a picture on his phone and saves it as his wallpaper. That day, his friend Sekai sees the photo and offers to help Makoto and Kotonoha get together. She goes back and forth between the two giving advice. Lies, betrayal, unfaithfulness, desperation, and some two timing later, lives are in ruin and lives have ended. Watch it to see (boats) what happens!
This show actually has two yandere characters. Kotonoha and Sekai. Both are actually girlfriends of Makoto at different points for different reasons. However, and I won’t spoil anything, the crazy really comes out towards the end of the series.
Kotonoha and Sekai start out as friends. They both care for Makoto with Sekai supporting the relationship between Makoto and Kotonoha. Kotonoha is the more mentally destructive yandere for the most part while Sekai is the more verbal and outburst type of yandere. Eventually, they become pitted against each other in their conquest for Makoto leading to some really intense scenes and I really do want to go on and on but I can’t without spoiling the show!
Just to let you know how good the show is, the finale was actually pulled from TV the day before it was supposed to air and was shown in a limited viewing. Instead TV stations showed pictures of nice boats. Which is where the “nice boat” meme comes from. The more you know.
3. Tokyo Ghoul
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2014 – September 2014
Ken Kaneki is a normal boy who befriends a girl named Rize Kamishiro. However, when he walks her home one night, she reveals herself to be a zombie who loves to eat humans. An accident happens and both are injured semi-fatally. His life is saved by the doctors putting her organs into him. Now he wakes up and he is unable to eat food. It tastes revolting and makes him want to puke.
A sign that he’s a zombie. He craves blood constantly. Yet another sign. He is taken in by a coffee shop run by zombies called Anteiku. Passing himself off as a human, he learns more about himself at the café and the increasing number of zombie attacks on humans. As he learns more, he encounters more and more zombies, and cue the entrance of Shuu Tsukiyama.
Shuu is about as well… he is just… it is that kind of thing where… ok he is just plain weird. He kind of reminds me, at first, when you first meet him, as one of those weird aloof characters. Maybe he is a tsundere? Nah. Then he takes some turns and it suddenly feels like Tokyo Ghoul is not a zombie action show anymore and it is a yaoi.
Then when “Gourmet,” his nickname, can’t find a way to have Kaneki and kill him too like he wants, he goes CRAZY. It’s like, instead of being a few French fries short of a happy meal, he is all the French fries short of it… you know what, Shuu is not even that menu item anymore. He is a whole nother level of WTF.
He wants to, at one point, eat Kaneki while Kaneki eats someone else. He always stays in the picture, obsessed with Kaneki, but his trademark is going to the bathroom. There he takes a handkerchief out of a zip lock bag and places it over his mouth. Restricting his breathing to only breathing through this handkerchief stained with Kaneki’s blood, he screams “tres bien” in a very high voice. What kind of autoerotic asphyxiationis this nonsense… NO.
Hope you like the series!
Yandere is great. It’s like doing a flip with the tsundere but to an extreme. Yandere is the character that exists to remind us that we aren’t as crazy as what we may think of ourselves to be. The best/most important part of yandere though is that they are misunderstood. Yea maybe they need therapists… about 10 per character.
They do mean well and they are just going about it the wrong way. Some other yandere I can offer up are, Mamimi Samejima from FLCL, Nina from Code Geass, Misa from Death Note, Leonard Testarossa from Full Metal Panic!, L.A. from El Cazador de la Bruja, Nanami Kiriyuu from Utena, the Negishi/Krauser persona from DMC, and Senjougahara Hitagi from Bakemonogatari.
Let me know what you guys think! I hope you enjoyed this beginner’s article!