But seriously, why are we so drawn to the anime personality that absolutely terrifies us? It's usually the Tsundere that gets lots of attention, no?
Well, the first thing I want to get out of the way right off the bat is that, much like Tsunderes and all other tropes, not all Yanderes behave the exact same way and have the same dispositions towards things. After all, the tone and setup of a story, as well as unique character backstories do impact interactions and how they'll deal with scenarios.
If you wanted the short answer, then I'd tell you that their unpredictability, intensity, and personal motives are what make them interesting and entertaining to watch/read about.
But if you wanted the long answer, then I'd tell you about why they're arguably the epitome of true romance.
Now, I wouldn't call myself a fan of the Yandere. But I do believe that their complexities and dimensions can be considered relatable when we really think about what love actually is and how many times we might've been hurt in life because of it.
When you put yourselves in the shoes of a Yandere, suddenly you may find yourselves sympathizing with them. Yanderes are undyingly loyal, trustworthy and devoted people who've probably been abused and taken for granted so many times in their lives, to the point where they feel as though they need to be prepared for anything in order to keep alive the very things they hold dear - even if it means taking the violent route.
They are everlastingly protective, possessive - and obsessive - but they're genuinely committed to making the relationship work however they can.
See, that's the key word here: "genuine." Yanderes know what genuine love is, and when they've fallen genuinely in love. They do not question their feelings, and aren't afraid to proclaim them, which I honestly find refreshing and something that the world is severely lacking at the moment.
Why? Because the love interest is potentially the problem here. Yanderes actively challenge what is considered "normal socialization." Any "normal" person would constantly evaluate and re-evaluate their feelings and relationships without necessarily resorting to extremities, whereas a Yandere simply trusts that everything will work out with extreme, eternal dedication. Besides, they'll always have their loved ones in their best interest, and whether or not they even know what's best isn't relevant. Their only real obstacle is whether their object of affection themselves can be trusted.
They don't trust others, and when you really think about it, you can hardly blame them. People seem to make things a lot more complicated than they need to be in their eyes.
That's where the power dynamic comes in. They don't just passively let things slip by them; they'll act on the first sign of trouble. They are in control. And we are compelled by characters who are highly motivated and have the courage to be the dominant.
We might call them selfish. But the second we think about the fact that they literally do everything and anything for us, only think about us, never brag about us to anyone, and are 100% true to themselves, they immediately start to look much more selfless than we realize.
What's interesting about all this is, they're not following us around because they need us. They don't need any kind of validation from us. They're around, because everything they do is for our sake. They're not ill-intentioned people; this is where the complexities come in, because while they might push the line, they aren't doing it out of animosity towards the offender, but rather for the safety of their beloved. They're so smitten with us, that even when we're gone they'll never think to look for another. It's no wonder they get so easily jealous; the least we could do is acknowledge them, and even then, we fail to reciprocate. That's actually pretty sad. Just think how different the situation could be if we actually made the effort to reach out to them emotionally.
I think it's about time we all got to know ourselves and understood what we really need in life. Maybe we all just need a good slap in the face every once in a while. Not a knife to the heart, of course, but a snap back to reality will do.
Or, would that be the Yandere's reality?
~ Milica M. "Mimo"