Dere To Believe Part 2: Yandere

Here we go again with another segment on anime personalities and why they do not translate to real life. Today’s model personality (and an EXTREMELY popular one at that) is the yandere and what makes them so damn appealing. Grab your knives and turn off your cellphones because she’s likely tracked your location and she is on her way to your house.

What is a Yandere?

Yandere (ヤンデレ) is derived from the Japanese word yanderu (病んでる) which means “insane” or “sick” and deredere (デレデレ) which means affectionate. Put those two words together and you have someone who literally sick/insane with “love” for another person and laundry list of problems that are only beginning and will, in fact, get so much worse. 

The Yandere is (usually) a female character who is in love with someone who is often the main character. Since this is often a female trope I will use the pronouns she/her throughout this post. Her love is characterized by her willingness to do anything to prove her love to the object of her affection. And by anything we mean ANYTHING. Stalking, kidnapping, (attempted) murder are not stricken from the list. If she wants you, she will have you at ANY COST. She may or may not have a body count (dead or alive), several social media accounts, and maybe a burner phone along with diaries or a stalker shrine. And more often than not, she has a very cute appearance.

On the surface, most Yanderes are fairly well put together, likable, and unassuming and usually friendly people…that is until they develop a love interest. In anime they take the forms of characters such as the notorious Yuno Gasai:

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That cellphone is magic.

Possibly tied for first with Kotonoha Katsura:

Katsuna
Something about a boat?

And then there’s this bitch:

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Anna Nishikiyomiya- Shimoneta

You have to watch the anime to get the full scope of why she’s terrifying. She’s played for laughs.

Through my personal observations and some help from Captain Obvious I’ve noticed that in spite of the very terrible things these characters do (Yuno drugs and kidnaps Yuki, Kotonoha kills her rival and her love interest), they still have an even more dedicated fanbase. Even though these characters are in dire need of therapy and commitment to an institution, the predominantly male fanbase goes fucking nuts over them.

Who is a Yandere?

Technically anyone can be a yandere if they get desperate enough. Get rejected “one too many times”? Can’t get someone off your mind and refuse to deal with it in a healthy way? Got entitlement issues? You’re a Yandere in the making and you might want to seek help?

Why is a Yandere?

Why are they like this? In anime they’re usually given a tragic backstory that gains audience sympathy. You don’t agree with her actions but you’ve developed an understanding. Double those points if you can see yourself doing similar things if you were in their situation. Sometimes they’re used for comedic effect like Juvia from Fairy Tail.

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She gets a little better…

Sometimes they’re the Token Evil Teammate who is only around to protect their love interest from anyone who is a rival—which is pretty much everyone who is NOT them. They are prone to wildly inappropriate behavior which includes (but is not limited to):

  • Stalking
  • Taking pictures of said person without their knowledge.
  • Kidnapping or paying someone to kidnap their love interest
  • Attempting to isolate their LI, usually done by spreading rumors or emotionally/financially abusing them
  • Sexually harassing/assaulting them
  • Stealing items that belong to said person
  • Continuing unwanted contact (creating multiple social media accounts to continue interactions)

And this largely gets swept under the rug because they are attractive. Case and point:

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Article found here.

I found this on the Facebook page Eccentric Weeaboo where the poster cleverly shares the events with the caption “Real Life Yandere You Say”?

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Also, fuck this person for calling her a girl. She’s 21.

The story according to Tokyo Reporter is a woman stabbed the man twice and was prepared to kill herself when the police caught her. I will not link the aftermath photo to avoid the squeamish aspects. I will also not be linking the comments that state the various levels of admiration and the *ahem* things they’d like to have this woman do to them and vice versa. I will however share this post because it encompasses my collective confusion at some of ya’ll:

Screen Shot 2019-05-26 at 10.47.54 AM

How are Yanderes?

The collection of “what the fuck-ness” that is my brain continues to baffle me while reading the comments on these posts. I’m not entirely sure why men are this way towards cute female characters that would in fact kill them to keep them. In the case of this woman, I would dare say that Japense fetishization plays HEAVILY in the roll of wishing to have a yandere gf, but that’s a post for another day and ya’ll ain’t ready for this.

As long as the person in question is attractive, all sorts of behaviors can be excused due to pretty bias. It’s a psychological thing where you associate beauty with goodness and your cognitive dissonance erases anything resembling common sense because you’re stupid. That’s it. Stupidity. Your stupid horny ass is going to get you killed.

While being a dumbass sucks, it’s kind of understandable. After all, a yandere’s obsession can often be seen as love to some people. And honestly, the appeal of someone being willing to do anything to protect you and keep your happiness in the forefront of their minds sounds like an ideal loving relationship–at first. Unhealthy relationship expectations, inexperience, and low self esteem are pitfalls that make people vulnerable to these kinds of people. And then there are people who actively pursue this sort of thing.

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I’m not here to tell you where to stick your dick, but I’m also suggesting that you don’t bed crazy or actively pursue it. The Yandere personality translated to real life is terrifying with tragic results. A quick Google search will turn up no shortage of articles on “spurned lovers” who “snapped” and killed the objects of their obsession and caused TONS of collateral damage as a result. I also understand that not everyone is like this. The comments sections of articles of beautiful women committing crimes is full of people who understand the despicableness of their actions and hold them accountable.

When are Yanderes?

When are Yanderes acceptable? By acceptable I mean “when are yandere’s seen as love-interests and when are they creepy?” There are two rules that are consistently followed:

  1. They have a backstory with enough audience sympathy to make their actions seem “not as bad” or justifiable/understandable based on their plight.
  2. They are attractive, almost to a fault. The ones I’ve seen in media are often quiet and unassuming, often nice or polite. They are pretty, nice to look at, and have nice voices.

In real life this sometimes translates and sometimes doesn’t. Female stalking (a stock yandere behavior) is often seen as a sign of mental illness and is usually unacceptable. This is explored in the video “Stalking for Love” by Pop Culture Detective.

There are several videos that explore this and similar concepts that get portrayed in media as positive when they actually shouldn’t and also happen to be textbook yandere behaviors:

Yanderes in real life are obsessive, controlling, and abusive individuals. Making multiple social media accounts to “check up on” or stay in contact with people who do not want to be in contact with you is not healthy. Threatening to hurt yourself or others is also wrong. The best thing you can do for yourself when you’re rejected is to back off and move on with your life. Some therapy wouldn’t hurt either.

Are YOU the Yandere?

Maybe you’ve noticed while reading this that some of your behaviors fall along these lines. What do you do when you’ve been obsessively stalking someone? What do you do when you’re three accounts deep and people have receipts? You’ve recognized your behavior and you want to stop it.

First of all, I’m not your psychologist or your therapist so I can’t actually give you the best advice you need to change and rectify your behaviors. I’m also not studying psychology or anything in that field so I’m not an expert on these things. The only thing I can do is point you in the right direction. So here are a few bits of food for thought:

  • Schedule an appointment with a doctor/psychologist/therapist as soon as possible. If you’re unable to schedule with a professional, the next best thing is to join a support group for people with obsessive behaviors.
  • Delete your extra social media accounts. You don’t need them.
  • Look for and practice healthy behaviors that will help your mental health.

Seeking help is your first step to recovery and developing a health sense of self and relationships.


If you liked reading this buy me a ko-fi sometime!

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Guys and Dolls: First Post

In the wake of RealDolls and robots gaining citizenship the war between humans and machines is heating up. The commentary surrounding Artificial Intelligence and objects coming to life is as old as the tale of Pygmalion whose sculpture was brought to life by the gods due to his…devotion deemed as love. While some accept this story of wish fulfillment, others are quick to point out the obvious flaws and repercussions that come with creating new life and designing your ideal lover.

This story is told and retold through all forms of media and the only thing that changes is the tropes and setting.

Sources of reference:

  • Chobits – CLAMP
  • Doll –Mitsukazu Mihara
  • Franken Fran
  • Frankenstein
  • Ghost in the Shell

The topics I’ll be exploring include:

  • Relationships between humans and A.I.
  • Tropes: Born Sexy Yesterday, Pygmalion Plot,
  • Algalmatophillia and similar fetishes
  • Plastic surgery and dollification
  • Lust versus Love and psychological responses
  • Needs for companionship and relations between humans
  • Digital Ghosts, Brain Uploading, and the Future

This will likely be a multi part work seeing as this is a content-heavy discussion. I’ll make sure to post as many sources as I can, make links, and try to keep a sense of humor in all of this. However, themes concerning what it means to be human are hardly humorous. That said, I’ll get started.

Does Chii Dream of Electric Sheep?

Chobits

CLAMP, a world renowned manga artist team famous for their works such as Card Captor Sakura, Angelic Layer, and XXXHolic, explores the idea of relationships between human and machine. These themes show up poignantly in the highly favored manga series Chobits:

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Where guys will be guys and girls will be…robots?

The story explores a future where Persocoms (personal computers) take the form of humans with many options available. The protagonist, Hideki finds a discarded Persocom in an alleyway and takes her home. He turns her on and discovers she has no data and can only say “chi”. He names her Chii and hijinks ensue.

Across several volumes we learn the stories of other people who have had their lives touched by their experiences with Persocoms:

Yumi Omura: A high school student who has a complex about Persocoms and wonders if  she’ll be able to measure up. She’s in love with a man who married his Persocom, and she happens to resemble her. This does get touched on.

Takko Shimizu: A cram school teacher whose husband leaves her for a Persocom. Falls in love with one of her students.

Hiromu Shinbo: Cram student and friend of Hideki. He marries Shimizu. Owns Sumomo.

Hiroyasu Ueda: A baker who married his Persocom. She passes away protecting him.

Minoru Kokubunji: A Persocom expert who created a Persocom to replace his lost sister.

Chitose Hibiya: Wife of Chii’s original creator. She’s actually Chii’s original mother.

Without going into too many unnecessary details the story explores human/persocom, persocom/persocom, and human/human relationships. The story itself is surprisingly optimistic and falls heavily on the idealistic scale, believing that humans and machines can have actual relationships.

My experience with the series was rather emotional and the outcome was unexpected. It explored Persocoms exploring their own feelings and figuring out what life means to them as machines. The story within a story “A City With No People” asks the overlaying question if humans can truly love Persocoms and whether or not our second protagonist, Chii, will be able to choose the “someone just for her” and be accepted.

While people experience attraction to fictional characters and that is seen as odd, but somewhat normal; what happens when you bring those characters to life? What happens when you give them physical bodies? What happens when you give them a free range program complete with emotions? What if? What if? What if? First Hatsune Miku hologram concerts, then what?

IC: In a Doll

On the cynical side we have a much darker and dare I say, realistic (?) point of view from Mitsukazu Mihara. Her stories are steeped in tragedy told through stunning illustration and fashion design. Stories like Dokuhime and Beautiful People rip into the gut and nibble on the heartstrings of those not expecting the content to be so heavy. A warning to any who dare to read: death is a VERY common feature in these stories and the artwork contains gore.

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It’s all downhill from here.

I own the first volume of Doll and I’ve read it several times. Online I’ve read up to about 3 volumes myself but have not revisited them. The stories range from comical to disturbing as the story of Dolls, beautiful androids, and their place with humanity. The most touching story comes from the first book where the doctor who created Dolls has come down with a non-reversible form of dementia. Her memories degenerate very quickly and soon she’s unable to head the project. Her husband decides to try to replace her with a doll replica and well…:

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Goes about as well as you’d expect.

He ends up leaving the project to take care of his wife, but not before leaving some very important rules:

  1. Never create in the image of a living person.
  2. Never blur the line between human and doll.
  3. And the third rule: Never transplant human memories into a doll.

These rules get exploited and loopholed as the series goes on, as one might expect. One story tells of a young boy who gets a doll that looks like his mother. There’s another story of a man whose hatred of women (and underlying mommy issues) compels him to buy a doll and customize her to—you guessed it—look like his mother. Dolls are also easily discarded, another story shows, and are scrapped in favor of new ones.

Dolls are sometimes seen as a menace and some people are reluctant to have them. Others have their lives changed in positive ways–often before their certain demise, or the demise of others. This manga doesn’t shy away from the grim realities that face both humans and dolls alike. By the time Dolls hit the shelves, the economy is a wreck, jobs are scarce or poor-paying, and humans trust each other less and less.

The uncanny resemblance to our current culture should be disturbing, but really isn’t as I’ve been conditioned to accept these kinds of horror through my consumption of Nightmare Fuel. This manga raises all sorts of saddening and uncomfortable questions of agency, identity, and what it means to be truly human. With reality and fantasy seeming to come closer and closer together, will the lines blur and disappear completely? Or, will we manage to make some kind of distinction between the two?

 

Tune in next week for Part 2!