As a response to recent discussions in the forums section and the previous post highlighting the ‘confessions’ of a yandere it’s time to take a bit of an in-depth look into what yandere as an archetype entails and how it holds up to definitions in a broader, realer sense.
Let’s start with the basics;
The term “yandere’ is derived from Japanese (ヤンデレ). It’s a combination of the words ‘yanderu’ (病んでる) meaning ‘sick, ailing’ and deredere (デレデ) meaning ‘lovestruck, infatuated’. In other words, the portmanteau of ‘yandere’ translates into ‘sick love’ (did any of you catch the proposed name change of yandere simulator to Lovesick recently?). Generally speaking the term carries a very heavy negative stigma of a person that is just as likely to stab somebody’s (or your) eyes out as to love you tenderly, if the situation were to spiral out of control.
However, Like most terms stemming from fiction, doubly so for terms used in anime/manga works, it’s used as a caricature first and foremost. Series have to draw you in. Thrillers have to keep you on edge and excited. Overly nuanced character traits and designs would miss the whole point of a quick fix more often than not. If you’re thinking of watching a yandere series, would you be drawn in by the extreme confrontational moments and action or by the deep introspection and exposition of the yandere archetype? If you’re still with me reading this then perhaps you’d like the latter, but it’s undeniable that the former is going to make the sales and the headlines. Indeed, while the japanese coined version of ‘yandere’ might be the one most people associate with the term there’s a whole trove of underlying nuances that get lost in translation from reality to fiction.
The Yandere stereotype is not original from anime, it’s incredibly old both in practice, prose and literature… and, as a set of characteristics, has become heightened thanks to the ease and accessibility that technology provides, which has made it being noticed as a romantic anomaly. I completely disagree with there being a default connection between the yandere mindset and a personality disorder, and both blogs’ writers are using a reduction fallacy to support their self-serving points of view. A personality disorder being prone to cause an individual to become yandere doesn’t mean yanderes have personality disorders.
the latest version of both the ICD and DSM-5 recognize 14 general archetypes of personality disorder, of which only 2 are in any form compatible with true yandere tendencies (and not warped versions of it, like it would occur under a narcissist or a histrionic) and those are: BDP (Borderline Personality Disorder) and DPD (Dependent Personality Disorder). Both suffer from a strong fear of abandonment and separation anxiety, which makes them very easily able to become connected to a romantic partner to an unhealthy degree, but this degree of proximity is not necessarily love. A person with either disorder can lift that feeling into love for another person, but it’s not an automatic outcome and the odds are not strictly different from people with no disorder(s) at all.
Feeling a need for someone doesn’t mean you love them. Being obsessed with someone doesn’t mean you’re in love with them. There has to be an exchange of caring, concern and sacrifice… to the point that the feeling transcends into a virtue and the bond that (at least one of) the partners feels is pure and selfless. Ultimately, the yandere is not conventionally-psychotically obsessed with their loved one because they want them solely for themselves, but because they feel and believe that their love, in unison, is supreme in its form, or that the potential of their coalescence will be the paramount of both individuals’ romantic lives. Yandere tendencies are a mindset, they’re based on a set of notions that are ingrained into a person’s behaviour. They’re not an instinct based on a person’s disorders. People with BPD or DPD that are yandere are so despite their afflictions, not because of them. – Winter Hermit
The Yandere stereotype is not original from anime, it’s incredibly old both in practice, prose and literature.
The ancient Greeks called love “the madness of the gods.” The yandere stereotype or archetype if you will also has a very special place in their pantheon. As early as 700BC the ancient Greeks wrote elaborate myths about their gods and goddesses. Chief among them the myth of Hera. Hera (Roman name: Juno), wife of Zeus and queen of the ancient Greek gods, represented the ideal woman to ancient Greeks and was goddess of marriage and the family. However, she was perhaps most famous for her jealous and vengeful nature, principally aimed against the lovers of her husband and their illegitimate offspring. Hera herself was notable as one of the very few deities that remained faithful to her partner and she therefore came to symbolise monogamy and fidelity. As Kabir, the Indian poet put it: “The lane of love is narrow; there is room for only one.”
Zeal is wonderful when properly directed (Titus 2:14); misguided, it becomes a destructive, addictive distraction (Romans 10:2).
Walk carefully on the path set before you. Stay true to your convictions and the light of purity shall fulfill you. (Yanderion 1:1)