Yuno Gasai Character Analysis (Part 2)

This post was originally combined with my Yukiteru (Yuki) Character Analysis, but that post was too long, so I split up the analyses for Yuki and Yuno. Still, Yuno’s character analysis was a little too long. As a result, it’s been divided into two parts.

This second part of my Yuno character analysis will be structured in a question-answer format. (These posts are being edited still, so try to forgive any mistakes you may find.)

1. Why did Yuno chose Yukki to obsess over?

We got to see Yukki’s memory of when the Second World’s Yuno told him she would be his bride in the future. Something almost identical happened in the First World. Gasai and Yukiteru were the only ones left behind in the classroom, unable to finish the questionnaire about their dreams for the future.  Yuno said she would be Yukki’s bride in the future. Yukki seemed touched but still thought of it as a joke; for Yuno, though, it was anything but. Her new cause, her new reason for living, was the desire and determination to be the lover of Yukiteru Amano.

Yukki just happened to be the person who stayed behind that day, and that might be reason enough for why Gasai picked him. It could also be that she felt a kindred spirit in him since, that day, he seemed as gloomy and hopeless about the future as Yuno herself. There’s the basic element of physical attraction. Yuno’s type seems to be the “cute” kind of boy rather than the “manly” type. (I’ve always agreed with her that Yukki is super cute with his dark hair, blue eyes, rich range of expression, and 90s-style hats and vests.) Perhaps stronger than any of these three reasons, though, was emotional neediness.

Though she has always been popular at school, Yuno has no close friends, and the only other people in her life—Saika and Ushio—were mistreating her horribly. While they were abusing her, the only thing holding Yuno together was the hope of being with Yukki. After her parents passed away, the need to have someone close to her increased dramatically. As for why she chose to stalk him instead of confronting him outright, it was probably because she didn’t believe he would like her. Well, that in combination with her lack of shame for actions commonly perceived as wrong. 

2. How can Yuno kill people so easily?

It’s mostly because she’s accustomed to it and she’d had practice in situations where she might die. First of all, there were her experiences at home. Thanks to her mother’s abuse, Yuno knew what it was like to have her life in danger, how to tell if someone was dangerous, and how to endure some pain. When she killed her parents, Gasai became desensitized to dead bodies. After that was the First World’s survival game, where Yuno helped Yukki kill all the other contenders. This made her even more used to death. The survival game also gave Yuno the opportunity to up her fitness and stamina, and learn to handle a variety of weapons.   

Arguably, Yuno only killed people in the first survival game because she and Yukki believed they could resurrect everyone after one of them became God. The inability to bring anyone back whom she had killed combined with the loss of First World Yukki hit Yuno harder than anything she had experienced so far.

Debatably, these factors are what actually made Yuno “kuruteru” or insane. She had been deeply in love with First World Yukiteru, wanting to spend the rest of her life—or maybe the rest of eternity—with him. Her little trick of letting him take poison pills ended up killing him for good. Can you imagine the guilt, regret, and emotional agony that resulted? It would twist or ruin anyone’s mind. After leading Yukki to his death, and becoming a God herself, Yuno lost all sense of life’s inherent value. She could only value one person, and that was Second World Yukki.

3. Does Yuno actually love Yukki?

The answer to that would technically depend on the individual’s definition of love. By my definition, though, the First World’s Yuno doesn’t love the Second World’s Yukki until about three-fourths of the way through the series. She thinks of him as a concept—her cause for living and fighting. He is a possession, something she treasures and protects, but can handle in a manipulative way. It’s the notion of “Yukki” that she’s in love with, and not Yukki the individual human. Yuno reveals says in episode 25, “As long as it’s someone I can obsess over, it can be anyone,” but “I need a Yukki.”

However, as we see in episodes 24 to 26, Yuno has unintentionally betrayed that line of thinking. She has fallen in love with the Second World’s Yukki as an individual. He is the only version of Yukki she truly wants to be with. More discussion related to this topic can be found in question number seven. 

4. Why did Yuno keep Yukki locked up?

There are three points to make here. First, around episode 14, Yuno still thought of Yukki as more of an object than a fellow human. She treasured him as a possession, and wanted to keep him in hiding with her even if it required being inhumane. Secondly, Yuno mistakenly thought that you can love people and confine people them at the same time. Mrs. Gasai loved Yuno, but she locked up Yuno because she was mentally ill. Seeing she was still loved even though she was abused created cognitive dissonance in Yuno’s mind. She came to believe that confining people could be an expression of love.

The third reason Yuno kept Yukki locked up was that, at the time, some of her memories were blocked off because of Murmur. She knew her parents were dead, but she didn’t know how it happened. She didn’t remember that her neglect was what killed them. If she thought that confining Yukki could lead to his death, Yuno wouldn’t have done it. (One can also argue that she did remember killing her parents, and because of that, she knew what to do to keep someone alive while imprisoned. Unlike with her parents, Yuno kept Yukki fed and hydrated, and kept things relatively sanitary.)

5. Did Yuno really kill her parents by accident?

Yes. When Saika and Ushio died, Yuno was shocked and horrified. This is shown in episode 18. Yuno explains to her Third World self in episode 16, “Papa will rarely come home after work. Maybe he won’t want to. Mama will become more and more violent with you. Painful abuses from her await you. You will drug them with sleeping pills and shut them in the cage. You’ll only want a moment of escape from them. You’ll only want them to know your pain. And yet, you…!” She trails off there, but had she continued it would probably sound like this, “And yet you neglected them.”

6. Is Yuno a psychopath? A sociopath? Both?

Sociopath and psychopath are not clinical terms in that they have no official medical or psychiatric criteria. Not everyone agrees on the exact definition of these words. The psychologist that I asked told me that sociopath refers to people who cannot feel empathy, but may be fine functioning in society; psychopath refers to anyone who intentionally kills others and can no longer function in society. By this definition, Yuno is a psychopath (just like all the other diary holders, except Eighth and maybe Fourth). Is she is a sociopath too? Consider another definition of the word.

Antisocial Personality Disorder is a medical and psychiatric term with clear criteria that must be met. People with this disorder are considered sociopaths. Many are socially acceptable sociopaths who do not turn to violence or law-breaking. A person with APD has almost no ability to feel empathy or a natural sense of a shame for any of their actions. APD patients are usually highly intelligent, popular, and charismatic, with a wide circle of acquaintances but very few (or no) close friends. The causes of sociopathy and/or APD are not known for sure, but as with many mental illnesses, it’s s likely brought on by a combination of genetics and environment.

It sounds like Yuno could fit the criteria for APD, and thus be a sociopath. I believe sociopathy (the inability to feel empathy and remorse) exists on a spectrum. There are cases of people with no empathy at all for anyone else in any situation. But there are a lot more people with varying levels of empathy and regret, people who can only feel sometimes, or for some people. I knew a man with ASPD, who, by his own admission, didn’t care about anyone except his daughter—not even his wife or his mother.

There is no rule saying that someone on the spectrum can’t ever love someone. Yuno has sociopathic tendencies, but in my opinion, she can feel empathy for some people, including Yukki. She also feels regret and shame during the course of the anime.

7. Why couldn’t Yuno kill Yukki in the last episode?

In the series, we rarely saw Yuno fail an attempt to kill. When she did, she was usually beat by a much stronger or smarter person than Yukki. Very few people can dodge or defend against a head-on attack from Yuno. However, Yukki easily dodges the axe strike that could have killed him in episode 23. He also manages to climb partway up the floating island down which Yuno forced him to fall in episode 24. When he falls a second time, Yuno looks extremely upset about it, even though she’s the one trying to kill him. Furthermore, Yukiteru avoids being killed by Yuno’s knife throw in episode 25. Throughout that episode, Yuno has trouble fighting because of conflicted feelings and reluctance to kill Yukki.

In episode 26, Yukiteru broke free, saved Yuno from a bullet, and told her to stab him. Yuno finally had the perfect chance to kill Yukki. As God, she could save the First World from immediate demise and set it up to play out until its natural end. Then she could play the survival game a third time, because once Second World Yukki was dead, why wouldn’t she?

Still, Yuno couldn’t stab Yukki. It was because she had truly fallen in love with Second World Yukki as a person, and valued his life more than her own. She also couldn’t stand to repeat another survival game or go through with killing her Third World self, who had a promising future thanks to Yukki’s intervention. By breaking out of the world of his dreams and immediately running to Yuno, Yukki chose her as his lover once and for all. That finally satisfied Gasai, and she killed herself rather than her lover.  

That concludes part 2 of my Yuno Gasai Character Analysis here at Anime Rants! Thank you for reading! Take care until next time! Ja, ne!

Other Posts About Mirai Nikki/ The Future Diary
The Future Diary: Series Review
The Future Diary: Critic Complaints
The Future Diary: Thematic Analysis
Yukiteru Amano Character Analysis
Yuno Gasai Character Analysis Part 1

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