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Trigger Warning!
This page contains mature content not suitable for all ages or information, language or images that can be sensitive to some people! Precaution is advised.

Content Warnings: Depictions of depression, self-harm and suicide themes.
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Spoilers Ahead!
Some examples listed below are spoilers, so read at your own risk!

"The blood that flows through my veins is cursed. 'Twould be best if I were to disappear forever."
Alucard, from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

Not to be confused with "Shundere" or "Kuudere".

An "Utsudere" refers to a character who is often sad and depressed for a good reason. They are not sad as often as shundere characters, but they will show more of their depression when their "sad" side appears.

Utsudere characters have a good reason to be depressed, while shundere characters are sad from the start because of their gloomy personality and aura. Shundere whine about their "poor lives" for no good reason.

Meaning of the Name

This word is a compound of "utsu" (うつ), which means depression, and "deredere" (デレデレ), meaning "lovey dovey".

Utsu 鬱 happens to be one of the hardest kanji to write and has one of the highest stroke orders. It is joked that instead of depicting the meaning "depression", it causes the meaning.

Personality

Utsudere characters have a reason for their despair. Examples of such reasons include, being bullied at school, witnessing or being part of a devastating accident or event, having some chronic illness, or having a loved one or other close person dying or being fatally injured, etc. Usually, it is some sort of traumatizing event in their past or present that impacts their lives and/or personality.

It is for this reason that utsudere characters probably had another personality completely different before this impactful change, sometimes shown in the series or not.

However, almost always, they’ll gradually begin to trust others and build relationships after meeting kind people that will help them forget and move on.

Utsudere is often compared as being similar to kuudere, due to them being cool to others and usually not showing emotions. Normally this refers to the happy emotions. Contrary to kuudere, utsudere characters show more emotions of being miserable and hurt than kuudere characters. A Kuudere just wants to live in peace without much drama occurring in their lives and they're completely emotionless most of the time.

Variations and Similar Japanese Archetypes

Menhera


Menhera is an aesthetic and style used to represent depression in a more innocent way, usually used by people to normalize these dark themes and problems.

Meaning of the Name

"Menhera" is the word that is used in Japan referring to people with mental problems and illnesses. Although lately it has become a "fashion" to try to normalize mental illnesses, since people who suffer from them are often highly discriminated in Japan.

In fact, the most appropriate translation for Menhera (メンヘラ) is "heart disease woman". Sometimes, utsudere and yandere characters are called Menhera instead by those who aren't familiar with dere types.

History

Despite the fact that the term utsudere was created before in Japan, the influences of Harajuku fashion together with the cases of self injury created the term Menhera in its place, influenced by utsudere, making many think that both are the same, although this is untrue.

Menhera is a more extreme and visual representation of utsudere, while at the same time showing depression in a more cute way aesthetically. It is sometimes used as a form of expression by people who suffer from mental problems themselves, have dealt with such people in the past, or know someone close who has suffered from mental problems.

The Menhera style is based on a "kawaii" appearance but with "illness" themes. This can be represented by pills, syringes, crosses, bandages, and even wrist cuts, but mostly characters dressing in pastel colored clothing with symbolisms that have to do with a mental illness or addictions. They also tend to have a gothic touch in style, combining it with dark accessories.

Characters with this Personality

See Utsudere/Anime Characters to see characters from anime media.
See Utsudere/Western Characters to see characters from western media.

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