Of all the character archetypes commonly found in anime—specifically the -dere archetypes—one of the most interesting ones is the yandere character. Not only does this character often lend extraordinary twists to the story, but they can also make a scene much darker.
Yandere characters are ones who possess an extreme love, infatuation, or liking toward someone. It sounds romantic, right? But there’s more to it than simple attraction—for yandere characters, it’s an obsession that drives them to act in ways beyond socially acceptable behavior.
Yandere characters may seem normal and cute on the surface, but they are deeply possessive and often express their feelings in ways that essentially say: “He’s mine, not yours!”
Depending on the anime, a yandere character’s obsession doesn’t just end at protecting their target of affection—they may even go on a killing spree to prove their love and loyalty.
Here are our picks for the best yandere characters in anime!
9. Boa Hancock (One Piece)
This badass yandere of One Piece is the captain of the Kuja Pirates, the leader of Amazon Lily, and one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea.
We saw her enter “yandere mode” when she indiscriminately attacked both pirate allies and marine enemies to make way for Luffy (her love interest) during the Marineford War.
How crazy in love is she? Well, in doing so, she proved where her true allegiance lies, even though she was affiliated with the world government. She doesn’t care about either sides of the war, as long as she helps Luffy.
8. Mikasa (Attack on Titan)
Mikasa isn’t just one of the best fighters in the series, but also one of the most loved female characters in Attack on Titan. Unfortunately for those who admire her, she only has eyes for Eren.
She’s normally calm and composed to the point of apathy, but she wen’t crazy wild after Bertholdt and Reiner kidnapped Eren. She’s the kind of yandere who leaves no stone unturned for her love interest, which is kind of horrifying for those who abduct him.
7. Misa Amane (Death Note)
Misa Amane is a Death Note holder who poses as Light Yagami’s Kira. After Light kills her family’s murderer, she dedicates herself to helping him and his cause as the Second Kira.
Her dedication to helping Light is so deep that she willingly accepts being used as a tool for Kira’s master plans, putting herself in danger’s way without second thought. She’ll kill anyone who opposes them.
6. Shuu Tsukiyama (Tokyo Ghoul)
Contrary to what most people believe, yandere isn’t limited to female characters only! Shuu Tsukiyama from Tokyo Ghoul is one example. Shuu is obsessed with Kaneki and wants him to be his meal.
But he can’t do it so easily since the Ghouls of Anteiku are guarding him, plus he’s also making himself hungrier so that eating Kaneki will be more satisfying. We saw him kill a minion and save Kaneki for himself, and even kidnapped a human whom he used to lure Kaneki back.
Later on, he still possesses his obsession toward Kaneki but switches sides for good and eventually becomes a mayadere character.
5. Hisoka Morow (Hunter X Hunter)
Hisoka Morow is another example of a male yandere character in anime. He harbors a deep interest in the main character Gon, to the point that he wants him to become stronger before he preys on him.
This interest became quite thrilling when he later states that he wants Gon to live and plans to kill Illumi (who wants to stop Killua from using Alluka) during the 13th Hunter Chairman Election Arc.
4. Altair (Re:Creators)
Altair, known as the Military Uniform Princess, is the main antagonist of the Re:Creators anime series. She was a loyal creation of Setsuna Shimazaki, who planned to destroy the world when she found out that her creator was abandoned by the world.
Her case of being a yandere character is a bit different from the usual yandere characters, in that she’s already lost the one whom she loves. Instead, she’s fueled by revenge for the sake of her passed-away love interest, erupting with all the rage pent up in her.
3. Elena Aoki (Gleipnir)
How far can a person really go just to be with someone whom they love? For Elena Aoki in Gleipnir, there are no limits—seeing as how she simply turns that person into an outfit to wear, literally becoming one.
Elena doesn’t want any girl inside Shuichi, and goes berserk upon hearing that there’s a girl’s voice inside of him. She ends up ripping Shuichi’s head off, exposing her sister Claire inside.
2. Sato Matsuzaka (Happy Sugar Life)
Happy Sugar Life is a psychological horror anime series, which is perfect for a yandere character wrapped up in an unconventional romance plot that’ll blow your mind. In this case, Sato Matsuzaka only cares for Shio Kobe and will do anything just to be with her.
As a yandere character, she appears normal in front of many people, but whenever her relationship with Shio is threatened (even just a little bit), she’ll exhibit her murderous side without restraint.
1. Yuno Gasai (Future Diary)
Futury Diary involves a survival game in the real world. The main male character Yukiteru manages to stay alive mostly because of the badass Yuno Gasai by his side.
Yuno, being the ultimate personification of the yandere character archetype, is always willing to go on a killing spree rampage just to ensure their survival together.
And as with most typical yandere characters, she appears normal and lovable at first, but whenever Yuki is concerned, threatened, or in dire need, she never hesitates to kill anyone.