Most of you probably already know what a tsundere is, they’re found in half of the anime out there, but today I’d like to discuss another character type that often appears in anime and manga, the yandere. The term yandere comes from the Japanese words ‘yanderu’, meaning to be sick or mentally ill, and ‘deredere’, meaning to love or show affection. Like a tsundere, a yandere does not show affection in a manner that is considered normal. Yandere are almost always bishoujo, but the more attractive they are, the more they lack in sanity.
Based on the Hot-Crazy Scale idea, there should be differing degrees to which a girl can be yandere. In order to better understand them, I’ve split them up into 4 groups: those that are possible yanderes, almost yanderes, deadly yanderes, and cannibal yanderes. Note that regardless of which category a character fits in, they’re all crazy.
A possible yandere is the least crazy of the yandere family and is normally not thought of as a yandere. I mention them here because yanderes typically start at this stage. They are the jealous girlfriends that you see in TV dramas. Possible yanderes will not resort to (extreme) physical violence, but will use abusive language against rivals in love. They are also very likely to grudges against people for the rest of their lives.
Examples: Ayase Aragaki (Ore no Imouto), Hitagi Senjougahara (Bakemonogatari)
As the name implies, an almost yandere is someone that exhibits almost all yandere traits. If a romantic rival appears an almost yandere will resort to violence or nasty schemes in order to scare them away. This may involve pushing/shoving, poisoning, and framing them for a crime. Actions of an almost yandere stop short of murder as they still have enough sanity to realize the consequences of their actions. It’s what separates them from a full-fledged yandere. If you break-up with an almost yandere, she will attempt to keep you through seduction, rape, and/or locking you up in a basement.
Examples: Kaede Fuyou (Shuffle), Ringo Oginome (Mawaru Penguindrum)
The most common and recognized yanderes are the deadly yanderes. They have little regard for human life as long as they can stay with their beloved. If a deadly yandere’s love interest so much as talks to another girl, that girl might disappear the next day. The homicidal tendencies of a deadly yandere are hard to spot as she puts up a very convincing “sweet girl” facade. In the event that she suspects her lover is cheating, or has lost interest in her, she will try to kill him in order to keep him to herself forever. After all, a guy can’t cheat on or dump his girlfriend if he’s dead.
Examples: Kotonoha (School Days), Rena Ryuugu (Higurashi no Naku Koro ni), Miu Asakura (Bungaku Shoujo), Yuno Gasai (Mirai Nikki)
The most dangerous type of yandere is the cannibal yandere. Not only will you end up dead, but there might not even be any remains to bury once a cannibal yandere is done with you. These yandere believe that by eating their lover’s flesh, they will be together forever in body and spirit. After consuming her lover, a cannibal yandere may pretend to be him to prove that they are now one.
Example: Aya Kaniba (Karin Airmail)
So with that said, what is it about yandere that makes them so appealing? While most guys would dump their girlfriend if they knew she was a possible yandere, there are those who seek out deadly yandere. There are two main reasons for this:
1. Yandere are usually high up on the hot scale and their outward personalities are initially tame. As Barney from How I Met Your Mother would tell you, if her hot level exceeds her crazy level, then go for it.
2. Some people like the idea of having someone that is absolutely devoted to them, even if it means risking death.
A girl with yandere tendencies is probably the closest I’d get to any of these characters. If you are interested in some yandere-centric anime, I would suggest Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Bungaku Shoujo, School Days, and Mirai Nikki.
or a more in-depth analysis of yanderes and how to survive if you encounter one, I recommend the Yandere Survival Guide. This article has been posted and reposted on the internet for at least 4 years now (circa 2008), so I don’t know who the original author is, but it has everything you need to know if you encounter a yandere. Here’s a saved text file in case that forum thread goes down like the ones before it: http://nopybot.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/yandere_survival_guide.txt
If people are interested, I may also discuss the wonderful world of yangire:
More information on deres can be found in Kai’s Guide to Deres.
This post is part of the Guide to Anime project. For more guides on various topics related to anime, check out the project page.
EDIT: This post was originally written a year ago, but I forgot to post it. That’s why there’s a lack of Yuno pics.