Right before I started university and went on an anime hiatus, I was binging through as many shows as possible. Just trying to cram in as much as I could before the inevitable pressure of higher education caught up to me. And 2014 was the year of the Yandere, thanks to the likes of Yuno Gasai from Mirai Nikki (Future Diary) and now, Faputa. So, let’s just say the idea of an obsessive, devoted waifu character being popular amongst teens didn’t exactly go over my head. But to hear that term come up now, in 2022, for something like Made In Abyss? Things were not computing in my head.
So, Faputa isn’t your traditional yandere style character. Faputa isn’t just some obsessive wild child; she has legitimate reasons for the way she behaves. And none of them are directly related to the object of her fixations, which is Reg. This makes sense for Made In Abyss, a show that prides itself in subverting the tropes it set for itself using a deceptively cute art style and vague description. It’s what it does best, hiding a deeper, more harrowing meaning in plain sight.
But it’s easy to see where the confusion might lie, considering how Faputa interacts with Reg. Despite her antics not stemming from a deranged love for Reg, she is still unhinged and near abusive towards him. She might have unwavering loyalty towards him, but how she portrays her devotion in action is, well, downright disturbing. So, yeah, she isn’t the healthiest of waifus. Arguably, she isn’t one at all. But just another victim of whatever misfortune the Abyss brings with it.
However, if it sits like a yandere and acts like one, how can you deem it as a subversion? For that, we’ll have to dive into Faputa’s life story in Character Analysis – where we take a closer look at some of the most intriguing characters in anime and manga to see where their character arc takes us. Today, let’s discuss the non-Yandere and what it means to subvert tropes in anime.
Yandere: She’s Not The Waifu You Want
So, before we discuss why Faputa isn’t a yandere, we need to define what being a yandere even entails because it’s not just about being obsessively in love. (And it definitely isn’t a personality trait you should look for in future partners.)
A yandere is described as a character type whose love and devotion are so strong that they are delusional and psychotic. They will fixate on their love interest so intensely that nothing else would matter to them. Hate, love, nothing that isn’t directly related to the object of their affections gets their attention. And if that affection isn’t returned, then they will make it happen by force.
And that’s where it dwells into dubious consent. Yanderes don’t care if their actions negatively affect the people around them. They won’t even care if it hurts the one that they love. It is a very selfish form of love and one that shouldn’t be romanticized easily.
Yanderes are not above threats and physical violence to get what they want. And to me, it always veered too close to abusive partners in real life for me to consider it a quirky little waifu trait.
Faputa: The Princess Of A Kingdom She Loathes?
Like most characters in Made In Abyss, Faputa has a tragic history.
Her mother, Irumyuui, was the daughter of a tribal leader who lived in the Abyss. However, when it was revealed that she was incapable of carrying children, she was sent into the Abyss as a sacrifice, which is where she met the Ganja.
It was the Ganja who settled in the 6th level of the Abyss and created the city of Ilblu, which they called the Golden City. But due to the curse of that level, they were stuck there. And soon, dwellers started facing an illness that left them grotesquely sick, which was contracted from the infested waters they had to drink from. Irumyuui was cared for by Vueko, a dweller that was already inhabiting the 6th level, and the two shared a maternal bond.
When the scavenging team unknowingly brought back an Artifact known as the Cradle of Desire, it was used to heal Irumyuui. But every child she bore wasn’t properly developed, being left out to die of starvation instead. Though, things turned out to be more sinister when it was revealed the Ilblu people were eating the dead children because it healed the sickness.
But the entire process left Irumyuui grossly malformed. She died in pain and despair, leaving behind her final child, Faputa. This is why Faputa hates everyone in Ilblu so much, wanting to burn it down, as it reminds her of the pain her mother went through.
She likely attached herself to Reg because he was an outsider who had nothing to do with Ilblu. And gives her the yandere label, when really she’s more traumatized than anything.