The Salty Anime Challenge Day 19: Least Favorite -dere Character

Oh the possibilities with this one. Since it’s just -dere and there’s around a billion -dere types, I decided to split this into two entries: One for tsundere and another for yandere.

Yandere – Mayo from Fushigi Yuugi Eikoden

I forgot about her.

I wish I still forgot about her.

For today’s entry, I wanted to be accurate, so I looked up a list of tsun and yanderes on TV Tropes and lookee who I found! One of the world’s biggest irredeemable bitches in animation.

Fushigi Yuugi Eikoden is animated fanfiction. That is not a lie.

Mayo is a whiny little brat who devolves into a massive, malicious, malignant tumor of a person. She starts off the series whining about nearly everything in her life, treats everyone who cares about her like garbage and believes she’s entitled to Taka, the reincarnation of Tamahome and now husband of Miaka, because she had a crush on him for three years.

She hates Miaka because they got together, and she uses the book of the Universe of the Four Gods to become the new priestess of Suzaku, grant her wish of forcing Taka into loving her, magically steals Miaka’s baby from her womb, causes Miaka to go into a coma and doesn’t give a crap about her life, gives zero shits about the danger within the book because the Suzaku Seven protect the priestess and she gives even fewer shits about their lives, sans Taka, threatens to kill Miaka and Taka’s unborn child if Taka doesn’t love her and do what she says—I cannot go through the entirety of all the bullshit she pulls over the course of the four episodes of the OVA.

All that was from ONE EPISODE.

See here for a complete collection of Mayo’s Horribitch moments. Be warned, though – this review is old so the writing’s kinda iffy. Facts are facts, though.

Let me just say….While Yuka from 11Eyes is indeed terrible, Mayo’s on a different level. I can’t believe I forgot Mayo this whole time. I must’ve been subconsciously blocking her from my memory to avoid having a massive rage-induced coronary.

“But wait!” you say “How can she be a yandere where there’s no ‘dere’ side?”

Well, near the end, she pulls a 180 and acts all damaged and sweet and apologetic. And, even though she did some incredibly terrible, horrible, evil things, the other characters all up and forgive her without a thought or a doubt. She’s completely redeemed, ends up helping Miaka save the day and becomes besties with everyone.

Fuck. Off.

I’M CHEATING! 😀 Tsundere – Naru from Love Hina

Ah, Love Hina – one of the most well-known and treasured harem romcom anime. Love Hina was surprisingly popular back in the early 2000s, and it was one of those shows that was everywhere, but moreso in the AMV community. It was always a part of collabs somehow, and nearly every love song, comedy or otherwise, has been put to it.

Why is this entry cheating? I’ve never actually watched Love Hina.

Why am I putting Naru on this entry if I’ve never seen Love Hina? She’s the reason I’ve never watched Love Hina.

I was a part of the AMV scene back in its glory days. I made ‘em, I watched ‘em a lot – it was a fun expression of the fandom. Because of this, I saw a lot of Love Hina clips and learned the basic gist of the series.

The basic gist is that Naru hits Keitaro a lot, usually for no reason. But they’re totally in love and junk.

This series is basically famous for how much Naru hits Keitaro. She’s an OG tsundere.

A clip from AMV Hell 7 sums it up quite nicely. Naru and the others are questioning Shinobu (a young, shy girl) about something. She cries just because they’re insinuating that she might maybe know something about it. Naru, out of friggin’ nowhere, yells ‘Keitaro, this is all your fault!’ and punches him, sending him flying nearly off the porch. Then Keitaro says ‘What did I do!?’ and this sound clip plays.

Seriously, what the hell is her problem? Everything I read about her makes me not want to watch this series even more.

Here are some other stupid highlights brought to you by TV Tropes.

– Once she walks in on Keitaro changing and she punches him anyway! Naru justifies herself saying it was “a reflex”.

– One time, she tries to hit Keitaro on the grounds that he must be thinking something perverted.

– Another time, Tama-chan the turtle has gone missing, and Naru and Keitaro are looking for it. Shinobu has just got home and is changing her clothes, when she is scared by Tama-chan and comes running up to them clad only in her camisole, grabbing Keitaro in panic. He’s too busy trying not to choke to notice her, yet Naru still hits him “just in case”.

– Once ridiculed Keitaro’s hopes of getting with his promise girl on the basis that he’s a spineless dork. Keitaro retaliated by saying that Naru could never get with her promise guy because she’s violent. Instead of realizing how mean she was being, Naru just bursts into tears, making Keitaro feel guilty for something she started.

I’m not sure how much -dere there even is to her. I’ve seen some ‘sweet’ clips of her and Keitaro, but according to what I’ve read, she’s rarely ever nice and stagnates in character development regarding accepting her feelings for Keitaro and refraining from being violent until the very end of the series.

Non-Cheat Entry – Tsundere: Kagome from Inuyasha

Kagome’s not a big tsundere. She’s usually nice, but it is insanely common for her and Inuyasha to get into shouting matches. Plus, there’s the staple of the series in her ‘SIT BOY!’ ability, which creates the physical abuse.

Admittedly, the SIT BOY thing is funnier than the average punches and kicks, considering he’s a dog demon and all, but she’s still slamming the guy into the ground for offenses that are frequently just him putting his foot in his mouth. It was originally meant to keep him in line in terms of stealing the jewel or doing particularly bad things – it wasn’t meant to punish him for not liking a part of the lunch she made for him.

I’ve always found Kagome to be very grating. She screeches a lot, she screams a lot, she’s always yelling Inuyasha’s name and getting into danger so Inuyasha can save her.

I’ve learned to give her more leeway because she’s a teenager girl thrust into a dangerous world. Sango was born and raised a demon slayer, that’s why she’s so badass, and Kikyo was similarly brought up to be a powerful priestess. But Kagome still had plenty of time to get more useful in battle or to become a more interesting character. She does get some moments where her bow and arrow save the day, but it’s almost all Inuyasha and the others.

For the most part, she’s defined by her relationship with Inuyasha. We never learn what she really wants to be in the future or what she likes outside of typical modern day amenities. The only thing she strives to be is a person who stays by Inuyasha’s side, and she becomes Inuyasha’s wife in the end, leaving the present day world behind her. I would ask how that doesn’t massively change the ‘present day’ or her existence, but Back to the Future Part III has taught me that that doesn’t matter.

13 thoughts on “The Salty Anime Challenge Day 19: Least Favorite -dere Character

  1. I’ve never watched Love Hina either, but Naru is known worldwide when it comes to tsundere characters. You may not have watched Love Hina, but you definitely know her punches.

    I wonder what kind of life Mayo lived for her to be that cray cray. I’ve never watched the OVA, but it’s clear that she was never loved as a child for her to be that obtuse.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh no. She was and still is loved dearly by her parents. Her parents got divorced recently and Taka, whom she had crushed on for three years, married Miaka.

      Those are the two bad things that happened in her life to make her a miserable heartless bitch. We got one childhood flashback of her getting upset at her parents arguing, but they make it a point to show they were and are both loving and caring parents. I get that having your parents divorced sucks, but that’s no excuse for a drop of the crap she pulls.

      She also claims no one cares about her, but she has a fairly decent sized group of friends and a best friend who are all very attentive, caring and concerned for her, particularly her ‘best friend’ named Saori and even Miaka’s brother, Keisuke, who is her coach. When Saori and Keisuke express their caring and desire for her to leave the book so she’ll be safe, she tells them, literally, to drop dead.

      And just because I can’t express enough how terrible of a person she is – she also tried to murder a baby (Not Taka and Miaka’s unborn baby) by controlling someone and having them throw him off a flight of stairs. When that plot failed, she yelled ‘Can’t they even kill a helpless baby at this point!?’ Good times.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That is the eternal question to this whole OVA.

        I don’t know how the writer thought for a second that Mayo would be a relatable or likable protagonist. Being jealous of Miaka and using the book to grant her wish of wanting to be with Taka is bad, but at least it’s understandable. They just pile on way too much terrible stuff for her to be redeemable in the end, at least not with a simple ‘Well, golly, we forgive you. Give us a hug.’

        Even the most die-hard Taka/Tamahome fangirl wouldn’t want to Mary-Sue herself into Mayo’s shoes. It’s really strange.

        Liked by 1 person

      • She’d actually make a pretty great villain since she’s quickly hateable, and they could make off like she’s deceiving the others by being a sweetheart who accidentally got sucked up into the book due to the evil Suzaku’s wishes when she’s actually a horrible sadistic bitch who wanted to enter the book.

        They could’ve even had her make off like she was pretending to be one of Miaka’s best friends in the real world for years so she could steal Taka away from her, then she stumbled on the Universe of the Four Gods book and decided that would be the way to do it. Maybe they could’ve even kept the fact that she was a villain secret from the audience until the final episode.

        That would’ve actually been interesting.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Maybe she is a villain then and we’re meant to hate her, while she stumbles through hateful act after hateful act? I haven’t watched the show, but I’d imagine it’s easier getting through the show if this were the case.

        Liked by 2 people

      • It would make it a lot easier to watch if you just pretend that’s the case, but it’s impossible to complete the story without Mayo being redeemed and being confirmed as just a ‘misguided’ ‘fallen’ hero of the OVA who saves the day alongside Miaka in the end.

        She’s even there when Miaka gives birth to her baby later in the real world, and everyone, Suzaku Seven and real world characters alike, seem on very good terms with her. They even make Keisuke, Miaka’s brother, her love interest at the end to truly give her a happy ending.

        I looked at the Wiki to confirm that because I couldn’t remember if I just got romantic vibes or if their relationship is canon (it is) and even the people who wrote the Wiki explain that Mayo just turned into a terrible person for no reason.
        http://fushigiyuugi.wikia.com/wiki/Mayo_Sakaki

        Wiki – “Mayo, as a child, still seemed to have received love. She was happy and energetic when she was young, and loved her parents.

        In the course of the plot, however, things are different. Because of her naivete and ignorance of the real world, Mayo appears to be short-tempered and she uses power and authority for personal things. She tries and struggles to make Taka love her desperately, in vain. She opens the book when she feels that her life is falling apart and expects a “storybook” ending with Taka.”

        “Though she appears to be very bitter towards the people who she dislikes and very jealous towards Miaka, Mayo is not an actually evil person without any chance of redemption. She is, apparently, only putting up an act to deceive others and hide her “true” feelings. Due to all of the hardships she has faced, especially her parents splitting up, she’s become a very jaded person and it takes meeting the Suzaku Seven to re-embrace her innocence again. During the light novels (or OVA) her character develops and changes for the better.”

        I need to go to the hospital, because I think I just bust a gut laughing at those last couple of lines. I don’t think you can ’embrace innocence’ again once you’ve threatened and attempted baby murder on several occasions.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Oh wow lol.

        You know, this description kind of reminds me of the excuse that one judge gave for the swimmer who raped an unconscious girl. “He did a bad act, but he’s a good guy and shouldn’t be judged for this. I don’t want to ruin his future, which is why he won’t be punished.”

        At least this is just anime though. lol. I need to watch this show now and see how they can justify her bad behaviour.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Oh god, I remember that swimmer story. Sadly, that’s not a very uncommon circumstance either.

        Good luck with that lol I….think you’d be able to watch Eikoden without doing the homework of watching the series and the other three OVAs first. It’s largely a standalone story, and Mayo’s an OVA exclusive character.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel second hand rage about Mayo xD despite never watching the OVA. She sounds like the perfect description of one of the worst characters to grace the screen xD

    Could she have worked if she had accountability? That for me is usually the biggest flaw with characters like that, the protagonists are so ‘nice’ they just forgive the villains regardless of what they’ve done because it’s the ‘right thing’ to do… So infuriating!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your comment. 🙂

      It certainly would’ve helped if she had accountability. The worst that happens to her in regards to any sort of repentance is that she attempts suicide in episode 3, but it’s a really heavy-handed moment and a decision that come out of nowhere. Not to mention that 1) She really only did it because she realized the evil Suzaku was using her and she wouldn’t get Taka and everything she was promised. 2) Committing suicide would kill Miaka and Taka’s baby and she didn’t give a crap about that fact.

      The best outcome she could’ve had after everything she did was have everyone reject her, have her end up actually alone, have the evil Suzaku thing possess her body or something then, in an act of repentance for all the terrible things she did, she would give the Suzaku seven an opening to kill the evil Suzaku by sacrificing herself.

      They reluctantly do so, she sacrifices herself while apologizing and then Miaka saves her at the last second because…magic or something.

      When they return to the real world, the others are still wary of her and openly don’t trust her, but they give her a chance because they’re so darn nice. She works to regain their trust, learns to appreciate the many people in her life that love her and tries to become a better person.

      That’s really the only way they could’ve given her accountability while still keeping her as some semblance of a protagonist in my eyes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • She sounds horrible xD I’d leave her at self sacrifice or living her life in solitude and repentance. I mean this isn’t just trying to split a couple up she is actively trying to murder babies! And it sounds like she has no redeeming qualities either so it’s not like we could use her as an excellent fighter or magic user, she’s useless and at worst murderous xD

        Liked by 1 person

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