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Why Is the Yandere Trope So Popular?

I’ve seen topics where people look at yandere games, financial success, etc. However, I don’t think anyone’s taken a good look as to why yandere is so popular. What is so appealing about psychotic stalking girls? As someone who is still very new to anime (even after 18 months!), I’d like more of an explanation about yandere, whether you can be a boy to be a yandere or if it’s strictly a girl thing, and whether yandere characters like Yuno Gasai have had a negative impact on adolescent and teenage girls. This would be a very fun article, especially as, again, Yuno Gasai remains one of the more popular anime girls because of her yandere status.

  • What lies in a yandere's past? What drives a yandere to become psychotic? What was the turning point or defining event that decided her future as a yandere? Every villain(ess) has a past and a backstory. It might also be worth considering that a yandere could actually has a positive influence on the life of an adolescent/teenage girl - by effectively offering her an avatar through whom she can explore her own darkness without resorting to violence or mayhem in real life. We all have shadow selves, whether we choose to accept them or not. – Amyus 6 months ago
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  • I agree, exploring the yandere trope from a female perspective would be very enlightening. I myself am not super well-read in it, so I can't offer any insight there, unfortunately. It probably also has to do with gender roles in Japanese culture, and a male fantasy of being desired and needed--even if it's excessive and dangerous. – Tylah Jackowski 5 months ago
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  • I can say for a fact that the yandere archetype is in no way exclusively female. I've seen plenty of male examples. That said, it does seem to me that the male version of the character is more likely to be treated as an outright villain and less likely to actually get into a relationship with the love interest (unless it's one of those weird stories about romanticized abuse). Another interesting angle to explore may be the distinction (if there is any) between a yandere as such and a character who just happens to get into or seek out a toxic relationship, without it being a defining aspect of the character. How central to a character's personality and arc do their mental problems and relationships with others have to be before they can be called a yandere? – Debs 5 months ago
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