Yandere

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

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).

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 his/her love. Many of them are Ax-Crazy. When on the Good Guys' team, they are often the Token Evil Teammate.

The character almost always appears perfectly cute and harmless on the surface... but underneath they may be obsessive, controlling, and sometimes just plain insane. Woe to anyone who happens to be the object of a Yandere's obsession — nothing will sway them from the notion that the person they love is theirs and theirs alone, and they will do anything to make them theirs and keep them theirs, whether the poor soul involved wishes it or not. Jealous possessiveness is the defining trait of many a Yandere, and bad things tend to happen if the person rejects them, even looks at other people, or tries to leave. Even more pity should be saved for anyone who gets in the way, as the Yandere is amazingly unwilling to put up with any rivals, actual or just perceived, to their affection, and will do anything to remove said rivals, up to and including murder. As one can gather from the above, Yanderes aren't exactly the sanest lot, but their mental stability tends to worsen the more the person they love tries to distance themselves from them or is kept from them by others until the Yandere ultimately goes off the deep end, going Ax-Crazy (psycho weapon optional). When this happens, look out. A Yandere off the deep end is capable of any number of violent and horrific acts, and at their worst can be downright murderous, either toward the person they love (since they would rather see the person dead than with another), or toward anyone they perceive to be in the way.

Yandere love, though it may often be genuine, is not healthy love, nor is it entirely selfless. It often stems from erotomania, a delusion where the person believes that another person, usually someone famous, is in love with them; or may be a sign of a narcissistic personality — not a few of them are All Take and No Give (on either side of the spectrum) when it comes to relationships, and usually don't even consider what the other person wants, only what they themselves want. In cases where the Yandere is sympathetic, count on them being the product of a Dark and Troubled Past and to have gone through a good round or more of Break the Cutie. Such Yanderes cannot handle being in love without being completely obsessive and fearful of losing the person they love, who becomes in essence a Living Emotional Crutch for them.

Such 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.

More details are available on the Analysis page, such as its history and its appeal.

Part of the dere family along with Tsundere (unapproachable 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. Also compare Cute and Psycho, who is also sweet and crazy, but whose craziness isn't tied to love.

See also Clingy Jealous Girl, her Spear Counterpart Crazy Jealous Guy, Love Makes You Evil, Love Makes You Crazy, Stalker with a Crush, Domestic Abuser, Violently Protective Girlfriend, and If I Can't Have You. Compare Stepford Smiler and Psycho Supporter. May God have mercy on you if you are caught in a Psychotic 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 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).

One may be compelled to wonder why the object of their affections doesn't just shoot them.

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, tee-hee!


Examples


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Alternative Title(s): Love Sicko, Psychotic Lover, Love Freak Gone Wrong