WHAT IS A YANDERE WAIFU IN ANIME?
“I-I just want you to love me!”
The motto of yandere waifu is often encapsulated as “If I can’t have them, no one can.” Yandere, a fusion of “yanderu,” meaning sick, and “dere,” signifying affectionate, defines individuals so consumed by love that they’re prepared to go to any lengths to be with their beloved.
Yandere waifus exhibit an intense fixation on their romantic interests. While they may project an outward facade of kindness and sweetness to those around them, their inner selves are willing to resort to extreme measures, including murder, to eliminate any obstacles. Curiously, yandere characters often garner a strong following, despite their chilling and unsettling nature.
In broad terms, the yandere archetype resonates with anime fans for similar reasons as the tsundere type. Both share energetic, proactive qualities and possess distinct personalities that drive their actions. They also attract viewers who appreciate characters with the notion of “it’s difficult to love you, but it’s worth it.” However, yanderes and tsunderes diverge significantly in their approach to obstructing true love.
The yandere archetype embodies an extreme form of “lovesickness,” going beyond mere infatuation. Yanderes don’t depict sympathetic characters nursing long-standing crushes; instead, they resort to drastic methods in their pursuit of true love, even if it means mistreating their love interest. Yanderes engage in actions that no other -dere type would dare, such as relentless stalking, wielding weapons like knives, and displaying an overwhelming obsession. Yanderes are not portrayed lightly; they are deliberately designed as antagonistic and repulsive individuals who selfishly harm others to satisfy their warped romantic desires. While some yanderes may have had innocent and sympathetic backstories, like troubled childhoods, in the present, they are the perpetrators of heinous acts. Yanderes are the ones who might resort to violence against romantic rivals or go to extreme lengths, like restraining their loved ones to ensure they cannot escape.
ORIGIN OF YANDERE
In 1992, the original run of “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable,” created by Hirohiko Araki, began. On November 30th, the chapter “Yukako Yamagishi Falls in Love” made its debut. The character Yukako Yamagishi is widely considered the first prominent yandere waifu and, as far as my knowledge extends, the origin of the modern yandere trope. She represented a subversion of common themes found in many shoujo manga.
“JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure” is fundamentally a horror series, and Araki used it to explore how the exaggerated expressions of love often seen in shoujo manga would appear in a real-life context. An example of this is the act of meticulously preparing magnificent bento boxes for one’s crush. From personal experience, I can attest that creating such intricate meals requires an immense amount of planning, preparation, time, and care to arrange the food in an aesthetically pleasing manner.
In short yanderes are a lot of things; obsessive lovers, stalkers with crushes, a subversion to an age-old trope, but most of all there is much more to them than what most people might think.
Pretty interesting how this trope found its way into popular culture.
EXAMPLES OF YANDERE
Yanderes indeed wouldn’t be ideal or enjoyable to date in real life, given their extreme and often dangerous tendencies. However, in the context of anime, these characters have garnered a dedicated fan following and become some of the most beloved and intriguing fan-favorite characters, despite their unsettling qualities. This paradoxical appeal highlights the unique and sometimes edgy nature of anime fandom.
Indeed, characters like yanderes are among the most chaotic and unsettling figures in the realm of anime. They are often portrayed with gruesome, blood-soaked scenes and terrifying expressions. Anime spanning various genres, from psychological thrillers to dark comedies, provide viewers with the opportunity to delve into the darker facets of love, showcasing its twisted and often horrifying aspects in all their glory.
- Satou Matsuzaka – Happy Sugar Life
- Yuno Gasai – Future Diary
- Yukako Yamagishi – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable
- Kofuku – Noragami
- Himiko Toga – My Hero Academia
- Kurumi Tokisaki – Date A Live
- Misa Amane – Death Note
- Esdeath – Akame Ga Kill
- Hitagi Senjougahara – Monogatari
- Konishi – Charlotte
- Midari Ikishima – Kakegurui