Encyclopedia

What is Dorodere (ドロデレ) ?

Dorodere is a fictional character archetype in Japanese popular culture. On the surface, a dorodere looks innocent and sweet. But once their true personality is unraveled, they are truly twisted and sick. They can mask their negativity by acting like an average caring person. Sometimes they would not act out the dark urges that they declare to anyone. Yet, they would also lash out unexpectedly. They will be out of control, and it would take some time for them to calm down.

Fans sometimes confuse dorodere with yandere. It’s because both of the character archetypes share a few similar traits. They both pretend to be nice on the outside but are actually terrible on the inside. Nobody would suspect them of being vile. On the other hand, there are major differences between dorodere and yandere. A dorodere would backstab or scare off potential romantic rivals behind the scenes. They would assert their romantic feelings to their love interest, unlike yandere. A character who declares themselves to be yandere is actually dorodere. Yandere have different levels of obsessions from harmless to outrageous. Dorodere, however, are usually extremely obsessed. They overflow with negative emotions such as grudges, jealousy, and obsession.

There are a handful of examples of dorodere in Japanese popular culture, such as Alluka Zoldyck from Hunter X Hunter, Kanato Sakamaki from DIABOLIK LOVERS, Juuzou Suzuya from Tokyo Ghoul, Nagito Komaeda from Danganronpa, Reisuke Houjou from Mirai Nikki, Shiro from Deadman Wonderland, and Tsukasa Yugi from Jibaku Shounen Hanako-kun.

 

Etymology

Dorodere(ドロデレ)  is a combination of dorodoro(ドロドロ) or “muddled” and deredere(デレデレ)  or “lovestruck.” When combined, the possible meaning is “somebody confused but in love.” The alternate spelling for dorodere is doredere(ドレデレ).

 

A Brief History

Some fans have speculated over the origins of dorodere. The first suspected dorodere in Japanese popular media was Luca Trulyworth from Ar tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica, a JRPG released in 2007. Luca is a professional Dive Therapist and a childhood friend of Croix Bartel. She looks like a cheerful healer at first glance, and her agreeable personality made her likable in Rakshek. Despite the negative outlook towards Dive Therapists, Luca is proud of healing people’s mental wounds. Behind her sunny disposition are negative emotions like anger, apathy, pessimism, and bitterness. Her painful past made her very cold. She is also burdened with her desire to help people. In Ar tonelico II, players can choose to have a relationship with Luca. They can also unravel her past and help resolve her mental conflicts. Luca is not yet the extreme example of a dorodere since she never committed a terrible crime in the game.

 

Modern Usage

Some fans adore dorodere characters despite their creepy persona. They love their sweeter side, and at the same time, empathize with their darker side. Dorodere characters can also be viewed as tragic individuals with mental health issues. Everything they say makes them look unstable. Sometimes a simple event can trigger them. Traumatic past events may have broken their psyche. Many things in the past cannot be repaired or retrieved. Nevertheless, acknowledging the pain, dismantling the distorted perceptions, and making positive coping mechanisms can help them.

 

References:

Dorodere, Pixiv Encyclopedia, https://dic.pixiv.net/a/ドロデレ, Retrieved 22 March 2021.

Luca Trulyworth, MyAnimeList.net, https://myanimelist.net/character/20792/Luca_Trulyworth, Retrieved 22 March 2021.

Luca Trulyworth, the visual novel database, https://vndb.org/c3688, Retrieved 22 March 2021.

Luca Trulyworth, The EXA_PICO Universe Wiki, https://artonelico.fandom.com/wiki/Luca_Trulyworth, Retrieved 22 March 2021.

 

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