Let’s Talk Yandere – Otaku Digest
I’m taking a break from talking about anime genres I usually bash as I want to give some major aspects of anime some column time.
I often say that characters make the series; you can have an amazing story but unless the characters click with each other and compel the audience then it is dead in the water. In saying that, anime characters come in all shapes and sizes with personalities that range from bland and blank to homicidal all coming together to create the story we are watching. In today’s column we’re going to break down stereotypes and point out some of the main culprits and the anime they below to.
First up is probably the most notable of character types to exist in anime – the Yandere character. Don’t recognise the term from anime? It has made a more notable name for itself in the Yandere Simulator game. This has been developed by YandereDev and has reached a large fan base with ‘Let’s Plays’ from some of YouTube‘s biggest Lets Players including Markiplier.
The definition of a Yandere is a character (usually female) who is obsessed with their ‘senpai’, who is usually the main character. Oftentimes the yandere is brought to the point of violent behaviour in order to keep their senpai to themselves.
Quite a few characters pop to mind when thinking of a yandere, but what is interesting is several anime characters that have yandere tendencies. We won’t be seeing any of those lesser yandere characters in today’s column; we’re gong to focus on ‘in your face’ yandere characters. Some are anime we have seen appear on different lists here on Otaku Digest, but all we want to do here is give you an idea of just what a yandere in an anime is like.
School Days – Kotonoha Katsura
She’s not the first character you think of when the term yandere is tossed around since she is a quiet, calm and gentle girl who is on the student council. Early on, she becomes the love interest of our main man, Makoto, and that is what leads to her downfall. The term ‘crazy in love’ does not even begin to cover it; she is driven to insanity from her love for Makoto and fuelled by her desperation to keep him with her even knowing that he is unfaithful to her.
Although she is not the first to spill blood, she does however lure her victim to their death and present them with the decapitated head of her love. No spoilers but if you want to slowly watch a woman lose her mind from love, this is your series.
Shimoneta to Iu Gainen ga Sonzai Shinai Taikutsu na Sekai – Anna Nishikinomiya
A newer addition to the yandere listing, Anna takes her power as student council president to express her obsession with the main character Tanukichi, following her awakening to lust after he accidentally kisses her. Although completely repulsed by immoral subjects, she tends to express her feelings in very outlandish and extreme ways. She endangers lives, pursues him ruthlessly and even attempts to force herself on him.
A series that is already quite hilarious in itself with the balance of lewd humour and strict look on justice, Anna is the ultimate portrayal of the two sides coming together, but especially for things that go wrong.
Elfen Lied – Lucy
It’s not a huge surprise that Lucy would be on this list, considering the amount of killing she is prepared to do for Kohta. Although she has a hatred of humans, she would never harm Kohta, even showing remorse to him for murdering his family in a jealousy-induced rage. Lucy is an empty shell in terms of emotion; she lacks empathy and will kill on a whim but tries to never kill in front of Kohta.
She’s not a classic yandere type character in the sense she has not been driven to violence by her love but more by her hate. She develops a penchant for killing for love later.
Mirai Nikki – Gasai Yuno
Even someone who has never seen this anime knows this character! When you think of yandere, Yuno is the first image that will pop into your mind. She is the classic yandere character to the extreme; she is so obsessed with her love for Yuki that all she cares about is that she and Yuki survive the game. She becomes jealous at the very thought of someone getting close to him and is ready to hurt or kill anyone.
She is a construct of her origins where her parents demanded she be the perfect person, even locking her in a cage, a cage she would later lock them in where they starved to death. Once again, there are no spoilers here in terms of the main story of Mirai Nikki (some people know it as The Future Diary), but if you want to see a classic yandere then this is the anime for you.
Who are your yandere favourites? Let us know in the comments!