While my notes say this happened “the other day”, in actuality I procrastinate terribly and this actually happen several weeks ago. None the less, on a day that is other than this one, I watched the movie Gone Girl for the first time, and got a little more than I expected. Spoilers ahead, and it’s a pretty cool movie that I recommend checking out; you have been warned.
While I was a little surprised just by the movie being better than I expected, what surprising me the most was what type of film it was. Gone Girl is a yandere flic, and the character Amy Dunne can go right up there with Elfen Lied’s Lucy and Mirai Nikki’s Yuno “Fucking” Gasai (Zero-Q, get on more episodes already -.-). It took me a few days to realize it, but she is more yandere than the average Charon character.
But I don’t think there’s much point in talking about why or how yandere this is. Anyone who’s seen the movie will get it as soon as it’s mentioned. What I want to talk about is, why did it take me so long to notice? I love my yandere, like psychotically love them. So why didn’t I see this one right away? It comes down to two things, expectations, and presentation.
As for the expectations part, it’s pretty simple. I don’t generally look at wester or live action media as being yandere, so I didn’t expect it; I didn’t even look for it. It was placed right in front of me, but I couldn’t be made to see it. There are certain things I expect before thinking of something as yandere; I expect it to be presented in a certain way, with certain traits. One of which being, as animated.
There are two types of traits yandere (or any character type, or perhaps anythings) have: defining traits and complimentary traits. The defining traits are necessary for a character to be a yandere; they are the things that make them that character type. In the case of yandere, that would be things like mental instability, murderous intent, extreme love or affection towards “sempai-kun”. They could also be understood as necessary conditions for a character to be yandere.
By complimentary traits I mean traits that are not necessary for a yandere, but are often used with them and we’ve become accustomed to them. They are essentially clichés, or tropes if you’re being generous. Things like an eye patch, or hair the covers an eye but isn’t emo, or school scissors as a killing weapon. There generally aren’t present in all yandere, but they are subtle indicators that a character is yandere. Yuno Gasai’s laugh and expression is one example. So it’s Shion Sonozaki’s laugh and expression, though the blood splatter on her shirt makes it a little more obvious. Or Yandere-chan’s (from Yandere Simulator) pink aura around Sempai-kun. Or Mia (from Yandere-chan) being such a recluse. Long bangs and frail looking figures has become pretty standard for yandere as well.
Back to Gone Girl and Amy Dunne, she has the defining traits of a yandere. Her actions are motivated by a romantic relationship. She has murderous intent. And she is pretty fucking sick in the head! It’s not a cut and dry thing, but I think anyone who understands yandere will understand, after seeing this movie, that she is a prime example in the same way this:
is moe, even if you’re not quite sure how to explain moe.
What Amy Dunne doesn’t have is a decent divorce lawyer who could tell her how to solve her problems the way normal sane people do. Also the complimentary traits or a yandere. She doesn’t laugh manically, or play with sharp objects. Sure she’s a little reclusive, but that’s not a sign of anything special outside of anime. Until those defining traits show up, until it is spelled out that she a yandere, you really wouldn’t know it.
It’s just a funny thought that, even when it was spelled out, I still didn’t see it right away. Yet in anime, I can spot a yandere from ten cat-girl lengths away. It’s funny how we, or at least I but I think we, can more easily identify character types by their non-essential traits than by their essential ones.
Don’t Lose Your Way