Anime Know-How: What is Yandere?

The anime lexicon can be a big and scary place, but it doesn't have to be.

Yes, it's true that the fandom has coined dozens of terms and borrowed many more from Japan. At points, navigating the anime community can feel like a crash course in niche Japanese, but ComicBook is here to help out.

If you've heard the phrase 'yandere' and were too afraid to ask for a definition, then there is no need to fret. We've got an in-depth breakdown of the (terrifying) term for you below.

The word yandere is one that's starting to take off in the anime fandom thanks to some trope-defying series. Taken from Japan, the term is used to refer to a cute character who goes crazy when they fall in love - literally. The adorable characters aren't crazy in the cute way; They become obsessed with the object of their affection, and a yandere figure will kill anyone who gets in their way.

Over the years, yandere characters have become more popular as horror anime and psychological thrillers gain popularity. Yandere characters aren't bound by any gender, but a typical protagonist baring those traits is likely female. Yandere character are most often shown to look totally normal as they play up their cute exterior. However, it is there interior that is messed up.

There is little forewarning to a yandere character's crazed personality until their violent side erupts. For characters who are being crushed on by a yandere, they might as well kiss their social lives goodbye. Even if the yandere doesn't interact with their unrequited crush outright, they will make it so that no one will tread upon their perceived territory. Threats and bodily harm come easily to yandere figures, and many anime series will go so far as to have yanderes murder in the name of love. And, yes - that means they will kill their crush if they think the other person is 'cheating' on them.

Despite being classified as a villain, yandere characters still exist within the realm of moe figures. Moe is a subset of anime which describes characters whose main purpose is to be cute. Yanderes fall under the moe label because of their sweet demeanor, but there is nothing about the personality that will make you swoon. Many of these psychotic leads may try to gain tragic sympathy, but even the biggest moe fans have a hard time redeeming such characters.

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When it comes to yandere characters, the bottom line is this: you definitely don't want senpai to notice you if he's touched by the yandere fever.

mirrai nikki
(Photo: Asread)

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