Not to be confused with shundere.
An utsudere refers to a character who is often sad and depressed. They are not as sad as the shundere, but are still very similar. Utsuderes have a good reason to be sad and depressed, while shunderes are depressed from the start.
Utsudere characters have a reason for the character’s despair, such as being bullied at school, a loved one dying, insecurity, etc. Usually some sort of traumatizing event in their past or present that impact their lives and/or personality.
However, almost always, they’ll gradually begin to trust others and build relationships after meeting said kind people.
Meaning of the Name
This word is a compound of "utsu" (鬱), which means depression, and "deredere" (デレデレ), which means "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.
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 メンヘラ Menhera is "heart disease woman". Sometimes Utsuderes and Yanderes are called Menhera instead by those who aren't familiar with deres.
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 not entirely true.
Menhera is a more extreme and visual representation of Utsuderes, while at the same time showing depression in a more cute way in fashion, sometimes used as a form of expression by people who suffer 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.