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Trigger Warning!

"You'd actually be attractive if you didn't have crazy eyes."

— Dilbert, Dilbert

Yandere: A term for a person who is initially loving and caring to someone they like a lot until their romantic love, admiration and devotion becomes feisty and mentally destructive in nature through either over protectiveness, violence, brutality or all three combined. Yandere characters are mentally unstable, incredibly deranged and use extreme violence or brutality as an outlet for their emotions. Yandere are usually, but not always, female characters.

Yandere ヤンデレ

Yandere girls are what one would call crazy girls. Not like dorky or stunt-loving girls, but rather the psychotic jealous girl that will murder their love interest's entire family and their dog just to stay with them.

Literally.

Simply put, a yandere is someone who is lovesick; someone who has been driven to insanity by extreme obsession or love, thus resulting in abnormal behaviour if not violence. Take the tropes "Love Makes You Crazy", "Love Makes You Evil", "Love Hungry" and "Stalker with a Crush", turn them all up to eleven, and condense everything into a singular personified character archetype.

yandere sees everyone surrounding the guy as if they're going after the guy, be it male or female, and she will actually attack people to get what she wants, in some cases gorily so, in other cases just name-calling or hiding their possessions somewhere or whatever.

Many yandere are introduced as looking normal and cute. Lovable. Extremely sympathetic. But that's often because they're only shown interacting with their love interest. Once a third character gets into the equation she starts showing her true colors. That is, a yandere character starts crazy, she doesn't go crazy, she was crazy from the beginning but nobody knew.

Note that the above isn't necessarily true. Some yandere are undeniably nuts from the start. Why a yandere has become insane can vary: she might be a broken victim of some horrible event, or she might simply have a natural inclination to become a serial killer. In any case, as long as she has a mentally sick kind of love she's a yandere.

The word "yandere", a term that blossomed in moe fandom, refers to a character who is crazy about someone else... often literally and violently. Despite the anime-inspired name, this type of character is much, much older than that, as one of the earliest examples is the Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar/Inanna (technically an Uruk Example, as that was her cult city that neighbored Ur in Sumer).

Yanderes are usually identifiable by their blank eyes when they go crazy, blood being soaked on them for the majority of their screentime, carrying at least one signature weapon that they use to kill and/or attack others for the majority of their screentime, a mostly moe appearance or at least an appearance that will deceive others, psychotic behavior, and a tendency to attack and/or kill people who would get in the way of their love. Many of them are Ax-Crazy. "Benign" cases don't even need to bring weapons or violence into the mix: just a well-established aura of menace and the feeling of dread if you step out of line is enough. When on the Good Guys' team, they are often the Token Evil Teammate (or at least Unscrupulous Hero).

The character almost always appears perfectly cute and harmless on the surface... but underneath they may be obsessive, controlling, and sometimes just plain insane. This is bad news for anyone unfortunate enough to be the object of a Yandere's obsession, as nothing will dissuade the Yandere from the notion that they are theirs and theirs alone. But even more pity should be saved for anyone who gets in the way, as this psycho-obsessive is amazingly unwilling to put up with any rivals to their often genuine affection. Most Yanderes have a history of mental instability, but some have always been just a little bit "off", perhaps the product of a dark and troubled past and a good round or more of "Break the Cutie". If a Yandere ever goes off the deep end, they are likely to go Ax-Crazy, taking up the psycho weapon of their choice and doing things to people straight out of a horror movie. Usually their target is whoever they perceive to be in the way, but if the person they love rejects them or leaves them, they may well decide that they would rather see the person dead than with another or themself because they're nothing without them, which may well lead to tragedy.

Interestingly, while Yanderes are usually villains by dint of their psycho and murderous nature, they can still be perceived as moe if they manage to gain enough tragic audience sympathy. A sympathetic Yandere often has the person they love as a "Living Emotional Crutch", and goes completely crazy and murderous at the thought of losing them, either romantically or otherwise. Worst case scenario, they'll go into a "Never My Fault" fueled villainous breakdown, at which point they lose the sympathy points.

Part of the dere family along with Tsundere (cranky outside, sweet inside), or sub-groups; Kuudere (cold outside, sweet inside), and Dandere (asocial outside, sweet inside). However, those are all sweet inside, while the Yandere is sweet outside, crazy inside. While a Sweet Tsundere may have some similarities with a Yandere (especially if jealousy is one of their vices), the Yandere will often patiently endure things that will send any Tsundere utterly bonkers, but the Yandere's jealous, possessive and obsessive nature won't let them accept the possibility that the person they love can be happy without them. Unlike most Tsunderes, including sweet Tsunderes, a Yandere is usually a girly girl with a tomboy streak since she is girly and lovey dovey outside, but violent inside.

Yandere characters are mostly female, but male examples exist. Compare with the "Violently Protective Girlfriend", who can become Ax-Crazy when the love interest is in danger, but is otherwise much more stable mentally. If the admirer is crazy, but tends to be the one who gets violently abused by their affection, then this is "Mad Love".

May God have mercy on you if you are caught in a psychopathic love triangle (a love triangle with two members being Yanderes). Contrast with "Bitch in Sheep's Clothing", in which a character is consciously using the illusion of purity and niceness to cover up a sadistic true nature (though a BISC can become a Yandere if we add obsession and mental instability to the mix). At the extreme, a love to dismember can occur. Due to their often violent nature, they are likely to be the unfettered. The more savage examples also very likely to be faux affably evil. Don't confuse with Yandere Kanojo, a manga which surprisingly doesn't involve actual yandere (except for one case, in which the victim had it coming. It ends well, though). Also contrast "Cute and Psycho" a.k.a. Yangire, who is also sweet and crazy, but whose craziness isn't tied to love.

Analysis

A possible origin of the Yandere trope

Yandere may have emerged as a deconstruction of the Yamato Nadeshiko archetype: an eternally serene woman who always puts the needs of her family and husband before her own. A yandere is all of this driven to the logical extreme and then examined realistically: a sentient individual put in such a position would invariably experience enormous emotional and mental strain. Sooner or later, she would snap, even at the slightest provocation. Ironically, it is this realistic take that makes a yandere so endearing to the audiences, often even more so than the traditional Yamato Nadeshiko. (Granted, there are realistically a wide range of possible responses to stress other than going Axe-Crazy, but this one is definitely more entertaining to watch.) Compare with the violently protective girlfriend who can become Axe-Crazy when the love interest is in danger but is otherwise much more stable mentally.

Why Yandere can be perceived as attractive

Someone who is crazy for you is someone who is crazy for you.

Interestingly, these types of characters can still be perceived as attractive if they can build up enough tragic audience sympathy, despite the argument that many originally become popular by being subversions of wishy-washy female characters until the fandom ended up loving them in the typical way. Sometimes this can play out in story, if the Love Interest ever starts to rethink his relationship with this girl, she might threaten to harm him or herself if he ever leaves her. This threat might be explicit, but often is more subtle.

The Trouble with Yanderes

A main problem with a Yandere is that a poorly-written Yandere is easy scrappy bait. As outlandish as the trope can be, Yanderes can still be likeable as long as they have elements of sympathy with them, but alas, there are a few that lack that key redemptive trait. A Yandere written to be unlikable is more than likely to be a villain of some caliber, planning to cause harm to a more level-headed character in a fit of blind fury simply because their dream relationship fell apart. Another bad sign for a Yandere is if he or she suffers from erotomania, and delusionally believes that the person they love is in love with them when in reality, the person is either indifferent or wants nothing to do with them. Unrequited Yandere attraction never ends well, and can be very ugly if the Yandere goes off the deep end.

(the most common type of yandere is violent and jealous, but there are other types of yandere written further below)

Yandere Word Meaning

The yan in the word yandere ヤンデレ comes from the verb yanderu 病んでる which means "to be sick (mentally)." This is slightly different from the verb yamu 病む which means "to be sick (generally)," despite yanderu 病んでる being also considered a contraction of the verb yamu in the te-iru form yandeiru 病んでいる.

A somewhat related word is the word koiyamai 恋病, meaning "lovesick" and written with the kanji for love (koi 恋) and sickness (yamai 病)

Types of Yandere

In the west, yandere is basically always associated with the jealous, violent type of yandere, which is the most common. However, given that the word just means "mentally sick and in love," there are other types of yandere which would be recognized only in the Japanese speaking community.

Because they're just Japanese nouns followed by the suffix gata 型, meaning "model," as in "[car] model." So where one would say "a XXX(action here)-ing yandere" in English to say what the yandere does, in Japanese there's a noun for that, so it becomes XXX-gata yandere, "yandere of type XXX."

A single yandere can (and normally will) fit in multiple of these types at a time. In particular, Yuno Gasai fits a dozen of them, which is why she's an ideal example of yandere.

All types of yandere can be male or female, straight, gay, lesbian, etc. but the descriptions below assume a female yandere and that "you" are their male victim love interest;

Anyway, here's the list: (sorted by degree of insanity, ascending, see diagram)

mugai-gata 無害型

Harmless type.

"As long as he's happy, I'm happy."

The most harmless type of yandere, the one where she's fallen in love in an unhealthy, obsessive way, but she doesn't do anything insane about it. She'll try hard to become your girl, but won't harm anybody in the way. If you get a girlfriend, she won't attack you two, she'll be happy you found happiness, and maybe still have hope that you choose her in the end.

This can be associated with Megadere, Undere or Dorodere. Harmless type of Yanderes, who could also be one or three of these three types and would not even come close to being a real Yandere.

They can either be viewed as a crazy, obsessive version of a Deredere or a sweet, loyal version of a Yandere.

kanchigai-gata 勘違い型

Wrong idea type.

"He gave me an eraser... this must mean he loves me!"

She gets the wrong idea when you do something in order to match her expectations. If you say you don't love her, she'll think you're lying because you don't want to hurt her or something. If you do something out of kindness to her, she'll think it's out of love. And so on.

shuuchaku-gata 執着型

Obsession type.

"I sent you 50 messages, why didn't you answer? Where were you? What were you doing?"

Tries to learn everything about you. Personal information, hobbies, routine, etc. Sends regular messages to check on you, asks why you haven't answered if you didn't, wants to know what you're doing always. All the time. And, if possible, walks around with you all the time too.

The obsession type doesn't necessarily want to monopolize you. She'll let you hang around with friends, etc. but wants to know everything you do. She probably wants to go with you, too. If she can't go somewhere with you, she might stalk you.

If she learns a person is too close to you, she might attack.

sutookaa-gata ストーカー型

Stalker type.

Follows you around, often without you knowing. May be in broad daylight or at night, when you're walking alone on the streets. Maybe even online. A person of this type is also often of the obsessive type.

dokusen-gata 独占型

Monopoly type. (This is the most common type.)

"Who is that person you were talking to?"

She wants to monopolize you. Will ask who you talk to and hang with, in extreme cases won't let you be with anyone else, not even your friends.

This type of behavior is unfortunately common in real life. It displays insecurities and lack of trust in the relationship which might develop into much worse yandere behavior.

ison-gata 依存型

Dependence type. ("Dependence" as in addiction, alcohol dependence, chemical, etc.)

"No, don't leave me! Please! I can't live without you!"

Can't live without you. Begs you to not leave her/throw her away. Says she will die if you go away. May lose will to do anything if you aren't watching. If you do leave, she might go full crazy and end up doing something crazy like going on a murderous rampage or something.

touei-gata 投影型

Projection type.

"You're just like him"

After her former love turned out to be a completely different person than she loved, or got a girlfriend, or died, or something like that, and she can no longer stay with him, she searched for someone who was just like what her love was, and she found you.

This type of of yandere is very innocent at first, but if she's given power to dominate her new beloved, she might end up trying to make him more and more like what her old interest was. For example, wearing the same things, doing the same things, etc.

Sometimes, she might project her ideal lover not on someone else but on the same guy. That is, she might say "you are not him, he does this," to you even though you actually are him and you don't do "this".

shoushitsu-gata 消失型

Disappearance type. (This has nothing to do with Haruhi Suzumiya)

"He will never love someone like me... why exist?"

She loves you, maybe you know that, maybe you don't, but unknown this gives her a crushing depression. She think you'll never love her and she has no chance, but she can't stop her unhealthy feelings of love. She thinks you're too good for her, or that she's too worthless for you. This makes her slowly fade away, disappear from your life. Until she completely disappears forever (kills herself).

This is an atypical yandere since it has so little effect on other characters' lives.

shuumatsu-gata 終末型

Final type. ("final" as in "the end," not as in "final form" or "final fantasy" whatever that final means)

"I don't need a world where he doesn't exist."

After learning you died, she loses purposes in life. The world for her was you, and you're now gone. What this results vary. Most of the time, she becomes broken emotionally, as expected. She might also kill herself. Or, sometimes, she might become a terrorist and destroy the world that let you die, or just go on revenge serial killing or something.

DV-gata DV型

Domestic Violence type.

"It hurts? That's your fault! Next time learn your lesson and stop looking at other girls!"

When jealous, feeling ignored, etc. uses violence against you. She'll beat you and say it's your fault. This can be either discharging pent-up rage through violence and you just happen to be her favorite punching bag, or deliberately punishing you for doing something she didn't like.

Both cases, unfortunately, are also common in real life.

bouryoku-gata 暴力型

Violence type.

Another name for the "domestic violence" type above.

She "uses violence" (bouryoku wo furu 暴力をふる) towards you.

sokubaku-gata 束縛型

Restraints type.

"Let's stay together forever! You'll never leave my side, not ever again!"

She wants to be with you always, and always, and always, AND ALWAYSAND ALWAYS. And that means she'll probably kidnap you and lock you into her house so you're forced to stay with her.

There are variations, some lighter, some worse, but the general idea is that she wants you two to be inseparable.

mousou-gata 妄想型

Delusion type.

Similar to the "wrong idea" type above, but far worse.

When her insane love is unrequited (for obvious reasons), and you start literally running away from the crazy person, she'll think it's because you're embarrassed, and not because you don't want her. Her love distorts the reality she perceives. She sees a bunch of delusions instead.

The delusion type may also be in denial something unpleasant happened. She'll just forget it happened. Her memories may also be replaced with delusions: she'll remember you being extremely nice to her when you were indifferent, or you saying you liked her before you even met.

jishou-gata 自傷型

Self-harm type.

"Hey... look at me... look at me... look, there's so much blood coming out..."

She harms herself, cutting wrists, etc. in order to get your attention. This often happens when she's ignored. The "dependence" type might evolve into this if she is abandoned.

There are two sub-types to this:

First, the one where she harms herself in secret and has you notice her injuries, then she says "it's nothing to worry about" hoping you worry about it more. This is usually something light like a knee bruise, etc.

Second, the one where she harms herself in your face as a way to say "I'll kill myself if you leave me", forcing you to stay by her side by guilt.

haijo-gata 排除型

Removal type.

"You don't need other people. You have me."

She will remove from your life everyone she thinks you don't need. Which means everyone else. This can include things like excluding your contacts and messages to even murdering everybody who approaches.

This type of yandere has two sub-types:

First, the one that removes people secretly. She sees you hanging with a girl, the next day that girl has mysteriously disappeared. You, a main character, are probably as clueless as a sheet of sudoku in blank about this incident, and the next several incidents like it.

Second, the one that removes people openly. This also ranges from removing messages to killing people. She might be expecting you to agree with her, "Yeah, you're right, I don't need other people", or she might just want to show you what she's capable of.

shinjuu-gata 心中型

Double Suicide type.

"Let's die together! So we can stay together FOREVER in the afterlife!”

Why be always together in life if you can be forever together for all eternity? This type of yandere will propose what no sane person would: let's die!

Sadly, suicide pacts are a thing. Double suicide, lovers' suicide, too, is a thing. One of the most famous pieces ever, Romeo & Juliet, (spoilers) sort of ended up in a double suicide.

One thing different in an yandere double suicide is that, often, you don't really want to suicide. It's more likely she wants you both dead and she'll kill you then herself. Although there are also actual consensual attempted double suicides involving yandere.

jiko-gisei-gata 自己犠牲型

Self-Sacrifice type.

"If it's for you I wouldn't mind dying!"

She'd make any sacrifice for you, as long as it means getting you to love her. She doesn't even mind dying for you or fighting bloody battles, sustaining multiple injuries, etc. as long as it means staying with you.

Unlike the self-harm type, the self-sacrifice type isn't seeking attention with her suicidal behavior. Instead, she wants to make herself useful and support the one she loves.

This is easier to visualize in anime where fighting monsters, etc. is normal. However, this kind of sickness also exists in real life. Some people do sacrifice themselves for a beloved one in an extremely unhealthy and unrewarding way, just because they "love" them.

suuhai-gata 崇拝型

Worship type.

"I'll do anything for you! I'll even kill for you! Please use me however you want!"

She worships you and will do anything for you. Sometimes even without you asking. And more: she doesn't even mind if you love her or not, or what will happen to her. Killing, dying, committing crimes, losing respect of others, she'll do anything it means providing support to your infinite greatness.

This is one of the least-harmful type of yandere since she would never do anything to harm you and will never be in your way. Nonetheless, it's also one of the most depressing types; it makes you feel sorry for the yandere, who thinks of herself less like a person and more like a tool who might get thrown away if she's not useful enough.

The difference between the "worship" type and the "self-sacrifice" type is that the "worship" type is also like the "disappearance" type. The "self-sacrifice" type wants to be useful so she can be loved, the "worship" type doesn't mind if she is not loved back, in fact, she probably thinks she is not worth being loved by the delusive greatness she considers you.

She wouldn't, for example, attack your girlfriend or other girls out of jealousy, but she might attack a girl approaching you because she thinks the girl is stepping out of her boundaries and being presumptuous by daring to talk to your greatness without proper respect.

choukyou-gata 調教型

Training type.

"Say you love me... come on, say it. Say you love me. SAY YOU LOVE ME! Yay! Good boy! Here's your reward."

(the word choukyou was once only about "training [animals]" or "breaking [animals]". It has nothing to do with training for sports)

She'll break you into loving her. Sometimes using torture, a punishment/reward system, brainwashing, blackmail, etc. This probably involves you getting kidnapped and forced into it, although there might be more subtle ways to accomplish this.

koritsu yuudou-gata 孤立誘導型

Loneliness Induction type.

"Shhh... it's ok. I'm here. You don't need anyone else. You can just count on me."

She will make, induce, you to feel or be alone. By spreading malicious rumors about you that make others alienate you, by murdering your friends and family, etc. Then she'll jump in and present herself as the only one you can count on when you're most fragile mentally and in need of company.

Inducing things that don't make you feel lonely but give some sort of mental damage, trauma, also count as this type. Conversely, if your friends and family get killed on their own and you're alone but she had nothing to do with it, it's not the same thing since she didn't induce it, although an yandere might abuse your condition to get closer to you.

This type is similar to the "dependence" type, except it's not what the yandere can do for you, it's what you can do for the yandere.

kyouki-gata 猟奇型

Bizarre-Seeking type.

"I love you, so... can you give me your fingernails? I want them so I can always have a part of you with me.” “ I would also like your heart, because shows so much love....”

Undeniably the worst type of yandere, she will murder you, and not by accident, not by jealousy, not by revenge. She will murder you because she loves you. And then she'll keep your rotting corpse on bed or preserved inside a glass because there's no way she'd throw you away.

In a sense sane people are better off not even trying to understand, the bizarre-seeking type of yandere is purely insane, mad way beyond explanation.

The word kyouki, used in the type's name, is normally associated with disturbing imagery involving gore, blood and worse stuff. It's also related to "grotesque" art, guro グロ.

Likewise, nobody in their sane mind can relate to the grotesque love of bizarre-seeking yandere. Ranging from murder, mutilation, and maybe something even worse us mere mortals can't even begin to imagine, their bizarre displays of love can only be summed up by: "What on earth!?"

Diagram

A map to help you figure out what type of yandere you want in your life don't want to mess around with.
Yandere-types

References

The types of yandere above were based on the following articles in Japanese:

Variations

Yangire ヤンギレ

yangire ヤンギレ character is a yandere devoid of love and filled with rage, which is some pretty bad combination considering the yan of yandere means "mentally sick." So now you have someone who is mentally sick and that has snapped.

A common type of yangire character is the one that has gone through some sort of trauma and then snaps and goes on a killing spree after getting triggered. Generally speaking, yangire characters have no faith left for the world so they don't care much about killing or getting killed. They just want to watch the world burn.

As one would expect, a yangire character doesn't necessarily have a romantic interest. A yandere would have one, and would go around killing everyone around her lover in a very jelly genocide, but a yangire is a strong independent character who needs no romantic interest in order to start a massacre.

Anyway, yangire characters are pretty much crazy and crazy violent. All you need to know is that they are crazier than yandere characters and that ought to say a lot.

A ''yangire'' is a Japanese term used to refer to normal people who suddenly become violent outside.

Personality

Yangires are very similar to Yanderes; they both suffer from personality disorder and can easily become violent and extremely dangerous. However, Yangires are far, far more chaotic, and they can be 10 times worse than yanderes. A yangire is character whom snaps suddenly out of jealousy, irritation, or something similar. Unlike a yandere, they are not motivated by the love of another. In other words, a yandere acts only with the love of another person in mind, while a yangire is free spirited and commits atrocities, usually at random, by their own will. They are violent sometimes due to a past trauma, or hatred.

A yangire is often considered a Mastermind or Evil Genius. The reason for the question is that a yangire socializes with other people to get what they want. They are always considered serial killers.

There are two types of yangires in general.

Yangire with 1 Personality (Y1P)

There are yangires that only have 1 personality, in other words, they are yangires who know very well what they do and have full control of the mind without showing any type of mental illness which affects the exchange of personality. They are yangires which has the full sense of right and wrong and do horrible atrocities by their own will. Due to this fact, the they have few redemptive qualities as they already kill and torture people by own will as if it were something more than simple as breathing. Should note that some of them put the pleasure of killing up their own lives.

Yangire with 2 or more Personalities (Y2P)

Not to be confused with Yandegire.

There are yangires who suffer from two or more personalities, these yangires show clearly effects of mental illness. They are often forced and compelled to share their mind with a psychotic personality that shows signs of an assassin mind and often the normal person lives with that another personality that comes to the fore in times of psychological disturbance such as anger, fear or stress and are repeatedly blamed for the crimes caused by another personality. In some cases that person lives with that personality like a normal person and even mark some moments that personality should be changed, however unlike a yandegire, they do not also kill for love.

Meaning of the Name

This word is an abbreviation of "yanderu" (んでる), which means to be mentally or emotionally ill, and "gire" (ギレ), which means to snap.

Yandegire

yandegire, also known as yandeguire or Y2P, is a type of personality not commonly used. They are basically a yangire in love, and are much more dangerous than Yanderes AND Yangires.

Personality

A yandegire is a character who suffers more than one or two personalities (a.k.a Y2P). They are far more chaotic than other deres.

A yandere commits atrocities to people who are close to someone they love, making the world of yandere rotate between that person. A yangire is violent and kills for any non-love related reason.

A yandegire is a character who suffers from both of these two types of "yan". They do not just kill for jealousy by the person that they love but also kill for any non-love related reason.

Meaning of the name

The name is the combination of "yandere" and "yangire"; or "Yande" ("Yandere") and "Gire" ("Yangire").

ヤンギレ (yan-gi-rre) in Japanese.

What is Gire ギレ?

The suffix gire ギレ is sometimes added to these personality words instead of dere デレ. Its meaning in words such as tsungire and yangire is that of "snapping" or "being mad" instead of dere's "being in love."

The word gire comes from the verb kireru キレる, which means "to snap" or "to be mad (at someone or something)". Basically to be full of it. To lose your patience. To be done with. To have had the last drop. To burst with anger. To get the last string holding your anger down cut. That's what kireru means.

The gire versions of personalities often have nothing to do with love or romance at all. People often attribute ~gire as more violent versions of ~dere, but these two words aren't actually related. A character deemed ~gire doesn't even need to be in a romance or anything. They just lean towards aggressive, abusive or violent behavior.

The part of the word kireru that becomes the suffix is kire, but it becomes gire instead because of a process called rendaku that changes the pronunciation of suffixes.

Characters with this Personality

It should be noted that while many below listed examples are drama and horror ones, this trope is not exclusively played for drama. It might just as well be played for laughs through comedic sociopathy and/or black comedy as it is for drama or horror. Almost all the examples listed below are spoilers, so read at your own risk!

See Yandere/Anime Characters to see characters from anime media.

See Yandere/Western Characters to see characters from western media.

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