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So if you’ve followed this site or blog or whatever you want to call it lately, you’ve probably noticed a lot of Yandere content. For those who don’t know, yandere is an anime character type defined by psychotic love and/or devotion. They often appear kinda and sweet initially, but then either mentally snap or demonstrate that they’re already crazy. Their version of the Tsundere cliché, “It’s not like I like you or anything, b-b-baka!” would be something like, “I love you, and want to be with you forever, and if you so much as talk to another woman I’ll cut off your balls and leave her face down in a pool of blood!”

The load of yandere stuff here lately is largely because I’m in the Eye Opening arc of the Higurashi manga. But I do absolutely LOVE the character type. I have never met a yandere I don’t love, or love to hate. So I figured, today on The Anime Harvest, why not take a look at what I think are some of the best and most diverse examples of the wonderfulness that is yandere.

5) Yuno Gasai:

You can’t bring up yandere without talking about the queen of them all. Yuno Gasai is the literal face of yandere; if you google, “Yandere face,” this is the result…Yandere Face Yuno Gasai

And why shouldn’t she? She’s a great yandere, embodying the character. She takes it as far as it can go. She’ll kill anyone and everyone for the love of her beloved Yukiteru, even her own parents… twice. Her weapons? Anything a yandere would use. Drugs, a hatchet, sledgehammer, crossbow, even a machine gun. Because nothing says “I love you” like dozens of rounds of hot lead!

Frankly, Future Diary is not the best show. It changes scope too quickly several times, Yukiteru is a protagonist only a yandere could love, and it runs into some pretty big plot-holes towards the end. It’s not bad overall, but doesn’t stand out, or at least, it wouldn’t without its great yandere icon. Yuno makes Future Diary the small landmark show that it is.Yandere Yuno Gasai

So why is she so low on this list (or high, considering you’ll have to scroll down to see the others; I don’t get our linguistic conventions sometimes)? Well, she’s a textbook example of yandere, and, like most textbook examples, she doesn’t really stand out beyond that. She can’t afford much characterization beyond masterhood of the yandere, because that would distract from her yandere. It makes for one great character type, but not the best fully developed character. Though credit to those that made her, she’s damn good for what she is.

4) Nonon Jakuzure:Nonon 3

This isn’t just because I love Nonon, or can’t let Kill la Kill go! Well… Okay, this isn’t just because of that. But Nonon’s an interesting example. Almost all yandere out there are deranged beyond all hope; they can’t live healthy and happy lives because they’ve gone so far over the edge. So how do you end up with a functional yandere?

Nonon looks up to Satsuki-sama as if she’s a god. Granted, all the members of the Elite Four have respect for her, but each has a different relationship with her. Gamagori serves her like an obedient pet, Uzu sees her as a rival he has to catch up with, and Inumuta accepts working with her as an opportunity for himself. Nonon is the only one who gets spiteful over Ryuko’s disrespect for Satsuki. Whether she’s attracted to her or just thinks very highly of her is debatable, but Nonon is definitely yandere for Satsuki.Yandere Nonon Kill la Kill

Yet for Nonon, it doesn’t destroy her; it doesn’t consume her. In a way, she even steps back a bit over time, referring to her as merely “Satsuki-san”, rather than “sama” in one of the last episodes. The whole relationship from beginning to end shows development, on both sides, and feels kind and heartwarming. And when was the last time you could call a yandere relationship heartwarming?

3) Misa Amane:

Death Note Misa Yandere

I think there are two types of yandere out there, those that could kill their beloved, and those who could never think of such a thing. Most fall into the first camp due to the instability of the character type. But there are a few, dedicated yandere who never falter in loving their beloved even more than they care for themselves. Misa Misa, from Death Note, is one of these.

AMisa Light Death Note Yanderend why wouldn’t she love Light Yagami? He’s handsome, very smart, has a successful future and is at least as messed up as she is. It’s one of the odd things in Death Note; we’re given a reason Misa loves Light so much- it was just one event- but other than that, they don’t seem to match well. They don’t make the best couple, and I guess they never really are a couple; it’s wholly one-sided. Misa loves Light. She cares about him much more than he cares about her, and more than she cares about herself.

She gladly risks her life for Light. She shortens her lifespan for him. And at any moment, she would be willing to kill herself on his command. She’s perhaps the most stable, consistent yandere there is, and it’s almost creepy. She doesn’t resonate the same feeling of horror as most yandere, because she’s not the monster. She’s just a puppet.

2) Shion Sonozaki:

What? Me not putting the Higurashi character on top (or bottom)?! Well, there’s a technicality. Shion is great! I hate her and she terrifies me, and I love her development throughout Higurashi’s the Eye Opening arc. And she’s yandere. But she’s not much a yandere.

Shion’s characterization is kicked off by a psychotic love, but the core of her character (and I’m going with pretty much just the Eye Opening and Cotton Drifting arcs here) isn’t about her love, it’s about her being psycho. It’s not so much yandere, but Yangire laced with some yandere. Specifically yangire 2 personality.Shion Sonozaki yandere laugh

Still, Shion is probably still my favourite character on this list. And it is hard to completely remove her love for Sataoshi from her madness. So even with these little technical issues, I will happily put the yandere that skulks my nightmares into the number two spot.

1) Lucy:Elfen Lied Yandere Lucy

The queen of death, and by far the best part of Elfen Lied, I’ve loved Lucy longer than any other anime character. I’ve mentioned my history with Elfen before; it was my first anime. But also one of my favourites, and that’s not because it’s just so great. The technicals are all sub-par except the music, the writing is crap, the majority of the cast is either boring or boring and unlikeable. But Lucy just saved the whole show.

Lucy is an interesting twist on the yandere. She was far gone before she fell in love, and rather than drive her to further madness, in the end it calms her. Not fully, but she’s the only yandere I can think of who’s more sane when considering her beloved.Elfen Lied Yandere child Lucy

It really adds up to being a small part of her character. The motivation behind most of her actions has nothing to do with genericman himself, Kouta. It’s her vengeance. Her anger at being imprisoned. Her hatred of the monstrous side of mankind. Her love for Kouta is almost just a footnote in the story. But somehow, it’s memorable. Especially that one particular scene. Because until that scene, she didn’t kill selfishly. It was out of love for him that Lucy let herself become a monster.

Don’t Lose Your Way