Japanese manga is known for its different types of love. One of these is Yandere, where romantic obsession is borderline harmful or even criminal.
Here, we see naive heroines stalking, brandishing weapons to deter their competition, or even killing anyone who gets in the way of their love. It’s different from a tsundere, where the character exhibits a rough, cold exterior only to show a warm, caring side whenever he or she gets the chance.
If this kind of plot intrigues you, or you want something fun to read to learn more Japanese, this list of the best Yandere manga (in no particular order) is sure to please you.
Let’s get started!
1. Shimoneta: A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist (Hirotaka Akagi, 2014 – 2016)
Imagine a world (or at least, the country of Japan) where an uber-conservative government suppresses sexual language. By law, everyone must wear a monitoring device to keep citizens under round the clock surveillance against “perverted” thoughts and language.
The main character, Tanukichi Okuma, was the son of a “terrorist” — outspoken, sexually-woke individuals prosecuted by the authorities. Even with his family background, he aims to live a normal, peaceful, law-abiding life as he starts high school. But that plan went down the drain when he meets Ayame Kajou, the student council vice president who’s also secretly the icon of modern terrorists, masked heroine Blue Snow.
But the real source of Yandere energy for this manga is Anna Nishikinomia, the president of the student council. She’s also the daughter of one of the conservative politicians pushing to suppress sexual thoughts and language.
Imagine the level of sexual repression she’s suffered not just in school but also at home. When she accidentally kissed the main character, it woke all kinds of emotion from her, often mistaking her deep lust for love. She became a full yandere, chasing, stalking, and even assaulting the protagonist in the name of love. During these outbursts, she exhibits superhuman strength and speed, a common trait of yandere characters.
You can find the Japanese version of volume 1 on Amazon. Unfortunately, they don’t have the English version, but if you can read Japanese, you can check it out here: Shimoneta Japanese Version 1 (BLADE COMICS)
2. Mirai Nikki (Sakae Esuno, 2006 – 2010)
Even in the early 2000s, mobile phones have already been quite useful. These bulky bricks helped people communicate on the fly, and the variety of features they pack also made them a must-have gadget for everyday activities. In this manga, though, we see another way to use these phones.
The protagonist, Yukiteru Amano, is your typical middle schooler: gloomy, stubborn, likes to keep to himself. And apparently, he loves to keep a diary on his phone. One fateful day, he was invited to participate in a ruthless survival game by Deus Ex Machina, an “imaginary friend.” If only he took his friend’s name as a clue, it would’ve saved him a lot of trouble! His mobile phone diary became the “Future Diary” that can tell him the future as a means to fight.
We’re also introduced to his only “comrade” in this death game, Yuno Gasai. Yuno is easily one of the most memorable Yandere heroines in manga. She’s ultra-protective of Yuki, making sure that those who dare to touch her Yuki will be dealt with horribly. You might think it’s convenient, especially with the survival game they’re in, but having a Yandere superfan is one of those things you really can’t be thankful for.
You can check out volume 1 on Amazon here: Future Diary, Vol. 1
3. Happy Sugar Life (Tomiyaki Kagisora, 2015 – 2019)
Yandere is an extreme kind of love, and those who exhibit such character is irreparably messed up. Take the main character of this manga, for example. Satou Matsuzaka is pretty and charming and has lots of male admirers. But this cheerful and innocent girl awakens her perverted feelings, not to a boy her age but to someone else you wouldn’t expect.
Not towards a boy, and shockingly not someone her age. Satou found the love of her life with Shio Kobe, an eight-year-old girl. And like every yandere, anyone who gets in her way, or anyone who tries anything towards her love will definitely taste her wrath.
From the art, character design, and just overall first impression, you wouldn’t think there’s anything wrong with this manga. A girl-to-girl attraction isn’t something that would raise red flags, and there’s a whole genre dedicated to it, even. But when you see Satou going full yandere because of Shio, you’ll know for sure why this belongs in this “best of” list. You may want to binge actual cutesy, happy titles after this so that you can cleanse your palate and eyes from the main character’s outbursts.
Check out volume 1 here on Amazon: Happy Sugar Life, Vol. 1 (Happy Sugar Life, 1)
4. Uwakoi (Masahiro Itosugi, 2011 – 2014)
The problem with most mainstream harem manga titles is that they withhold most of the juicy parts from the readers. These titles tease readers with the progress of relationships, often stopping short of the characters fulfilling their actual sexual desires. Fortunately, this doesn’t happen with the manga, Uwa-Koi. Instead, it has an abundance of these encounters. Who could say no to that?
To start, our lucky protagonist Yukiteru Tamaki is dating, Yuno Kirishima the childhood friend you’d seldom root for in an actual harem story. But since this is title is in the “best yandere” list, the devil’s really in the details. Yukiteru is constantly sleeping with one of their close friends, Reno Saotome.
With his conscience bugging him, Yukiteru wanted to tell Yuno what’s been going on. Since this is a harem title, having two beautiful ladies at your beck and call isn’t enough. So, unsurprisingly, another friend, Kaori Yumeno, found out about his complicated relationship “arrangement.” And to keep her quiet, of course, she wants a piece of the action as well. Good stuff.
So, where’s the yandere in this story? Well, it’s in our hearts, after all, my dudes.
Kidding aside, Yuno is the cray-cray one in this story. And it’s quite unfortunate for Yukiteru to be holding back when it comes to her while going full throttle with the other girls. How’d she take that, you ask? Well, she “forced” herself on him, short of saying she had her way with our frisky protagonist. And that’s just one of her yandere antics you’ll find when you get immersed in the story.
Volume 1 can be found on Amazon, but they only have the Japanese version here: UWA KOI Volume 1
5. Ana Satsujin (Larsson, 2013 – 2016)
After a botched suicide attempt, Etsurou Kurosu found new meaning in life when he tore a hole in the wall to his neighbor’s apartment unit. Of course, it was purely voyeuristic, but he did realize that there are more things to discover in life, like his neighbor’s work schedule, her meals, and sexy “me times,” and lastly, her serial murders.
Yup, the neighbor, sexy Rio Miyaichi, was a serial killer who preyed on lustful, perverted men. Etsurou witnessed countless murders but didn’t do anything himself. He was a silent witness, or should we say, accomplice, because keeping her away from the authorities was also the only way for him to keep on his peeping addiction.
Of course, Rio learns that Etsurou’s been spying on her. But surprisingly, she gives him a choice: get killed like the rest of her victims and take her secrets to the grave, or keep her secrets, accept who she is, and love everything about her, serial murderer and all. Well, we won’t be talking about this manga if Etsurou took the first choice, right?
And this is just the start of their “complicated” relationship. And Rio is the epitome of yandere: she loves him, but she’s also a crazy serial killer. If that doesn’t get you hooked on this brilliantly messed up story, I don’t know what will.
6. Abnormal-Kei Joshi (Haruaki Katou, 2012 – Present)
The protagonist of this manga title, Shiina Shinya, thinks that the girls around him are pretty harsh — they’re either indifferent, rude, or don’t notice him at all. He’s wrong, though, because in reality, all eyes are on him. It’s just that all the girls are weird, and they have their weird ways to keep tabs on what he does on the daily. It is technically a harem, without the main character knowing about his harem’s existence.
And just like every good harem, there’s always bound to be a yandere character. In Abnormal-Kei Joshi, it’s Tsubasa Tooka, a likable, cute character on the outside and a raging yandere inside. She’ll go to great lengths to follow Shiina; she’s practically spying on him round the clock.
She’s obsessed with him, and it doesn’t bother her to stalk him (of course, it’s against his will). There’s a mystery element in this manga, and her stalking skills are put to great use. I don’t know if it redeems her, but we love her yandere ways either way.
7. Hiai Mousou (Uzuki Nakamura, 2013 – 2015)
Ah, student-teacher affection, a well-loved theme in manga but frowned upon in real life. Hiai Mousou is such a title. We see the interactions between teacher Kazuma Kadomae and student Kanade Noeda. Kazuma is your typical caring, concerned teacher, while Kanade is presented as a troubled teen seeking her teacher’s help and attention. And that’s where the problem started.
You see, Kanade is not your average student. She’s obsessively in love with her teacher, and as the story unravels, so does her warped mentality. What started as an innocent crush became a nightmare for anyone in their right mind. Kanade is your textbook yandere: cute and caring but can turn crazy in a snap. And the scary part is, she’s not aware of what’s wrong with her actions. She’s naive with a love so pure, it hurts!
You can find volume 1 of the Japanese version on Amazon Japan here: Hiai Mousou 1 – 被愛妄想 1
8. Berserk (Kentaro Miura, 1989 – present)
One of the manga masterpieces still running today, Berserk is a manga full of dynamic characters that you’ll either love or hate. It follows Guts’ story in his quest for vengeance against those who wronged him and the people he loves. The story’s so long that it’s impossible to give a wrong summary. Vengeance, betrayal, friendship, love – you could mix and match any of these words in describing the manga, and you won’t be wrong.
But how does this slot in our “best yandere” list? Well, to start, the main antagonist, Griffith, is probably one of the biggest yandere characters today. And yes, he’s a guy, a once-trusted companion/leader for Guts, and yes, he has betrayed our boy countless times.
Griffith’s love-hate relationship with Guts is borderline creepy; it perfectly matches his role in this title. He’s the devil that looks divine, and he’ll go to great lengths to torment Guts. He stole, raped, and discarded his girl in the early arcs. He’s basically purged every single one of Gut’s loved ones in the world.
You can find the 5 book set on Amazon here: Berserk Volume 1-5 Collection 5 Books Set (Series 1)
9. Death Note (Tsugumi Ohba, 2003 – 2006)
This anime is a staple in any mystery or psychological thriller list, simply because of the well-written storyline and compelling characters. Imagine getting thrust into a world where you have the power to kill anyone, but you also have a nemesis who can read your every move like a book. The whole series is an enduring chess match, where the loser is bound to die. We could go on and on about how good this manga is, but that’s not what this is list is about.
If it’s yandere you want, Death Note has one that fits the bill perfectly. Misa Amane, a goth idol, was one of those people blessed with a Death Note. She’s deeply devoted to the series’ antihero, Light. Even with a power that equals or even rivals Light, she’s willing to be used as a tool by him. She does this so Light can evade those who are after him, and of course, continue killing the scum of the world.
Misa Amane is the yandere we want but don’t deserve because even with her scary “kill you this instant” power, she’s still subservient to her one and only love. Even when she knows that he’s just using her, she’s willing to do everything in her power to fulfill his wishes.
You can get the complete set with volumes 1-13 here on Amazon: Death Note Complete Box Set: Volumes 1-13 with Premium
Students get involved in a killing game, and a cute yet mysterious girl offers to protect the main character. What else could go wrong? Well, don’t forget what this list is about!
Japanese version of volume 1 on Amazon Japan here: Cock Robin Wo Korosu No Wa 1 – クックロビンを殺すのは 1
A strange girl follows you to your room in the dead of night. WIN! Well, that’s probably what the main character thought until her personality starts to unravel, and her desire to be part of your world becomes more apparent!
Check out volume 1 here on Amazon: Ibitsu
Okay, how about this? On a school project, you decide to follow and film a psychopathic girl. Surely, you’ll get an A+, right? Maybe even a girlfriend as a bonus? Well, how about you become her official videographer, and if you stop, you get to be one of her victims?
You can find the Japanese version of volume 1 here on Amazon Japan: DEAD Tube 1 – デッドチューブ １
Imagine a cute girl pulling “notice me senpai” moves on you; surely you’ll be flooded with happiness, right? What if she does that over and over again? Will that win you over? Now imagine catching her doing crazy, perverted stuff with your flute, as in the musical instrument. How would you feel now?
The Japanese version of volume 1 can be found on Amazon Japan: Koharu no Hibi 1 – こはるの日々 1
The protagonist has a crush on a cute girl. The cute girl gets murdered by his yandere stalker/admirer. They’re all little kids back then, so imagine the trauma our main character suffered. Flash forward to high school, our MC has another crush on another girl. Will she suffer the same fate?
The Japanese only version of volume 1 can be found on Amazon Japan here: Ijousha no Ai 1 – 異常者の愛 1
After reading this list, did any of the abovementioned items made you curious? Or do you have a title that we might’ve missed, and you want other readers to know about? Head on to the comments to share and discuss!