What is Yangire? – [Definition, Meaning]

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What is Yangire? – Why be normal when being insane is much more fun?

They are cute, they are innocent, they are completely insane. They are yangire.

You thought yandere girls are dangerous? Then you haven’t met the yangire, a person who seems to be normal on the outside, but can easily snap and reveal a violent and insane personality. They can be both male and female and have one, two or even multiple personalities. Yangire characters are sometimes also referred to as “Cute and Psycho”.

Both yandere and yangire are crazy. The difference though is what causes these characters to go crazy. While yandere girls (and boys!) do insane things out of love for another person, yangire characters have their own set of reasons. Usually they went through a traumatic experience in the past which causes severe emotional and mental damage. This also makes yangire characters more dangerous than yandere since it is impossible to predict when they will snap and show their true self.

The word yangire is a combination of the word “yanderu” which means being sick and “kireru” which means to cut or to snap (as in losing one’s temper and turning crazy). While yangire are similar to yandere in the sense that they have a clear personality disorder, they are not “deredere” meaning caring and in love with another character. This means that their actions are not caused by affection, but simply because they are crazy. Charming, aren’t they?

Now that we all know a little bit more about the mad world of yangire, let’s take a look at a few examples. After all, every yangire is a unique little (psychotic) snowflake. Enjoy!

Yangire 1 Personality (Y1P)

Most yangire characters can be divided into two categories: yangire with one personality and yangire with two personalities. The first group includes all characters who - you guessed it - only have one personality, meaning that they are fully aware of all of their actions. They know exactly how psychotic they are and yet don’t really seem to care. One of these characters is Rena Ryuuguu from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.


Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (When They Cry)

  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: April 2006 - September 2006

When They Cry is a thriller with psychological and mystery elements set in a quiet Japanese town. Since the story is based on a mystery game it is told in the form of different story arcs all revolving around Keiichi Maebara. He lives the life of a normal school boy, but as it usually goes in anime this soon is about to change. He gets involved in a mysterious murder that not only turns his world upside down, but also makes him question the true identity of his closest friends.

Even though Rena is not the main hero of the story, she is easily one of the most well-known characters in the series. Her appearance and behavior perfectly match the sweetheart stereotype. She is a kind girl who loves treasure hunting and collecting everything small and cute. But we wouldn’t mention her right now if that was all, right?

Without giving too much away of the storyline, let’s just say that Rena has a traumatic past which caused her to discover a darker side of herself. And when we say “darker” we mean “more psychotic and clearly ready to kill you”. She is highly unstable and can turn into a killer within seconds if someone crosses her path. If you want to see a yangire girl in full action, definitely check out When They Cry.

"When They Cry" Blu-ray BOX 30 seconds CM


Yangire 2 Personality (Y2P)

What is better than a person with a psychotic personality? A person with two psychotic personalities of course! That’s not really how it goes, but you get the point. This group includes all characters with a split personality, mostly due to a traumatic experience. They usually don’t know that they have an alter ego and are genuinely harmless people. But when their second personality comes out you’d better run, because these characters are not known to be forgiving. Just like Mahiru “Shinya” Banba from Akuma no Riddle.


Akuma no Riddle (Riddle Story of Devil)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: April 2014 - June 2014

Akuma no Riddle is an anime for all fans of Battle Royale and similar murderous games. Thirteen girls enroll in Class Black of the prestigious Myoujou Academy, but they are not here to learn algebra nor grammar. Their mission is to assassinate one of their classmates and whoever succeeds in doing so will get one wish granted. Sounds like the place to be for a yangire character.

Mahiru or Shinya is one of the school girls and the very definition of a split personality. Her two names can be translated to “midday” and “full night” and that is exactly how much her two sides differ from each other. Mahiru is a shy girl who struggles at standing up for herself and usually walks away from confrontations. Her other side, Shinya, has a different way of solving problems and let’s just say it involves lots of cursing and the use of a giant sledgehammer.

Her split personality is also reflected in her clothing since she wears both a white and a black sock on her legs. Even though Mahiru knows of Shinya’s existence, she treats her like a different person and talks to her more like a friend than to herself. Once again, a traumatic past was the cause for Mahiru losing her mind and creating Shinya as a coping mechanism.

Riddle Story of Devil The Complete Series - Coming Soon


Male Yangire

You didn’t think only anime girls could be this crazy, did you? The most famous yangire characters might be girls, but there are more than enough male counterparts out there to keep you up at night. Just take a look at your favorite anime psychopaths and chances are high that they are at least to some part yangire characters. But there is one man who all of you know, but probably weren’t aware that he is yangire. We are talking about no one else than Light Yagami from Death Note.


Death Note

  • Episodes: 37
  • Aired: October 2006 - June 2007

Death Note is easily one of the most famous anime out there and of those shows that you recommend to your friends who say “anime are only for kids”. The mystery thriller revolves around Light Yagami who stumbles across the Death Note, a notebook with the power to kill anyone whose name is written inside of it. What comes next is a head-to-head between Light and the police force as well as his restless pursuit of becoming a god.

Light shows all the yangire characteristics. He is a sweet boy and ace student on the outside, loved by everyone and role model to his peers. But what no one knows is that he hides a darker personality on the inside. He might be fueled by a strong sense of justice, but his way of fighting for it is more than questionable.

What is also debatable is what actually causes Light to create Kira as a second identity. Some might say he was just born this way and already had an almost psychotic side. It’s also possible that Light couldn’t handle the power the Death Note gave him and slowly lost his mind. But whether the Death Note is the actual cause of his madness or simply brought out a side of him that was already sick before doesn’t really matter. What’s important is that as the story continues Light slowly but surely grows insane and doesn’t back away from killing anyone standing in his way.

DEATH NOTE Complete Series Omega Edition Blu-ray Official Trailer - Available Now


There is a whole spectrum of craziness when it comes to anime characters. Some are just a little bit eccentric, others are questionably weird and then we have mentally deranged characters like the ones we have presented today. You might think of them what you want, but one thing is for sure: they are some of the most interesting characters out there and are always good for bringing more action into the storyline.

To put a quick disclaimer at the end, let us just mention that anime definitions are not set in stone and there is more to each of them than we could mention in one article. Whether a character is yangire or more of something else can be subjective, so keep that in mind when you start a discussion down below.

Feel free to tell us your opinion on yangire and who your favorite characters are. Your input is as always more than welcome in our comment section.

Cornelia Wagner

Writer

Author: Cornelia Wagner

Coffee enthusiast, world traveler and writer at heart. Left Europe to live and study in the insanity called Tokyo.

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