SPOILERS : YES | NO
I actually wasn’t intending to write anything for Hyakka Hyakurou or Nightshade because there’re already so many reviews out there for this game. However, one thing I’ve noticed consistently from different players is how they view this character : Kuroyuki.
Now, everyone will mostly likely have different opinions about his route but the thing is, their reasons for disliking this character is… well, incorrect. I say incorrect because while people do have differing opinions about, let’s say a person – it’s still normally quite biased and is usually based from their understanding when they start placing the character within a certain category depending on their past experience.
To be fair, I suppose – not many people want to see anything else aside from the first few things they observe. They could barely scratch the surface of what someone is really like before they start judging others. Especially if you’re the type to form SET judgments on people you just met, it can be quite hard to get any deeper when it comes to having a better understanding of what’s in front of them.
I don’t think it should ever be like that. It’s always better to be objective and to look at each thing as they are and be as separate as possible from everything else. Sure, you gain knowledge from piecing things together but a lot of the time, people’s views on things are quite clouded because they have personal opinions about said “character” or “personality”.
Of course, incorrect or not – everyone’s free to like or dislike something. I think there’s a reason why you’re reading this post as you may want to understand him more or maybe you just want to read what other people think of this character.
Full disclosure though, Kuroyuki is my favorite character from this game (as for my favorite route… I’m honestly not sure actually). I will however try to be as unbiased as I possibly can and be objective. Remember, I also do not condone the things he has done. I’ll discuss about it more under the cut.
WARNING : It is long af. I am not exaggerating!
Please click on “Read More” if you’d like to see the content. I do not want to accidentally spoil anyone so I put it behind a cut. Again, this is your last chance. Close this page before you get spoiled about Kuroyuki’s (and the other guy’s) route(s).
Is he a Yandere?
So where do I start? Ah, one of the most common things I’ve seen circulating about this character is that he is somehow classified as a yandere. He is not a yandere. He may have the obsessiveness and/or possessiveness that you commonly see in a yandere character but that’s pretty much one of the very few things they’ve got in common.
Here’s one of the definitions I’ve found online :
Yandere (ヤンデレ) is a Japanese term for a person who is initially very loving and gentle to someone (or at least innocent) before their devotion becomes destructive in nature, often through violence and/or brutality. The term is derived from the words yanderu (病んでる) meaning a mental or emotional illness, and deredere (でれでれ) meaning to show affection. Yandere characters are mentally unstable, and sometimes are incredibly deranged and are not mentally sane, often using extreme violence and/or brutality as an outlet for their emotions.
I’ve also seen another website describing yanderes as those who become violent or abusive for the sake of their love towards a certain character. They would also do everything they can for the person not to leave them so they’d lock them up or chain them up somewhere if they decide not to harm someone else to be able to keep you with them. I don’t know about you, but I really don’t recall him doing such. The only time he hurt other people (and by that, I mean got rid of them permanently if you can catch my drift lol) when he was with her was to protect her.
Perhaps one of the reasons why people get confused with this character I suppose is that they seem to forget that not everything is black and white. I notice a lot of people don’t seem to understand this concept (they say they do and yet their opinions on certain things are usually just one way or the other – which obviously contradicts). Don’t misunderstand though and think I am excusing him of what he did. He DEFINITELY has done wrong and everyone in this route has been very open about it. However, it doesn’t mean he’s a yandere or it makes him one.
I’ve had quite a few selfish outbursts like he had. Heaven forbid I’d be classified as a yandere as well. *rolls eyes* It’s pretty obvious that it wasn’t normal for Kuroyuki to be acting that way. He can’t even really remember who he is anymore to begin with. We know he has changed, a lot, as Enju herself confirmed this for us.
The doujutsu that he acquired feeds on memories and his SOUL. Again, just to reiterate, that means he doesn’t even really know who he is anymore. Doesn’t know what he’s like or how he used to be. He forgot all his friends. He virtually had nothing else BUT his feeling that Enju is somehow important.
The kicker : He doesn’t even really remember why at first.
Of course you’d have to rely on that very person that you treasure most because you don’t have anything else. I wouldn’t be surprised if his train of thought went this way : Enju’s memories from their childhood are treated as proof that he used to be human. He used to be… normal. So maybe he can still remain human… maybe… he can go back to being how he used to be… as long as he has her by his side. Then… it might actually be possible for him to have that type of life again.
What I’m trying to say is that his obsessiveness for Enju goes way beyond than just feeling “love” or “liking” her romantically. There’s a lot more to it than just that and he failed at controlling his emotions as they turned into despair instead. He started becoming ridiculously clingy and he kept wanting more and more – thinking that’s what he needed. It was obviously VERY misguided and terrible of him to do everything he did just to make sure that she would let him whisk her away.
I actually thought about it for a while during the time I was playing that… I find the root of his feelings very ….. pure, as confusing as it sounds maybe. I don’t mean pure as in it’s innocent and whatnot. I just mean the intensity and how you know for sure that is what he feels for her. There’s just no room for doubt.
Anyway, it just wasn’t the right way for him to express it. He shouldn’t have lied to her. Having been locked up since he was 8 years old has severely stunted his emotional and mental growth. Not to mention he was plagued with nightmares and horrible illusions. It’s no wonder that he became twisted from all that.
Remember when Enju kept freaking out as her skin kept splitting open by itself with blood gushing out, etc? Imagine Kuroyuki in a pitch black room.. an 8-year old – being subjected to this day in and day out for months.. years… The illusions consisted of everything horrible that they could think of.. including being burned alive while your state of mind is conscious the entire time. That means that NORMALLY people who are being burned alive would only have to endure it for a little bit before they eventually die after a few minutes. Except for him, it lasted for as long as the illusion went on. He doesn’t die from it. It never ended until those assholes decide it was enough. It literally was almost like hell itself.
Despite all this, his feelings for her were so strong that it was one of the 2 things that allowed him to cling onto his last shred of hope in being able to stay sane. The other was his feeling of wishing that he can still be saved. That there’s still hope if he just doesn’t give up or give in to this. It was also like some sort of defense mechanism that helped him hold back before he’d truly lose everything of what’s left of him.
We find out later on from Kando that Kuroyuki decided to be trained at Kaga himself. That seriously floored me. He obviously didn’t know what he was going in for, but the drive that he has is just… admirable. This may sound strange but even if I said this, it’s not like he earned some brownie points from me or whatnot. I’m not totally sure how to explain. It was just interesting to see how he was, even back then. He almost couldn’t believe that even then, as young as he was – everything he did was still for Enju. It always has and it always will be.
I guess what I’m saying is, this kind of trait… I don’t really see this in yanderes. For them.. it’s… different.
He believed that if he became good enough, he’d be able to take over and become her bodyguard instead. He thought he wasn’t chosen because of his lack of skill, but it turns out in Gekkamaru’s route – his brother was chosen because of the curse. It had nothing to do with his abilities at all.
It’s pretty heartbreaking actually in a lot of ways. As someone who treasures my identity and having carved a small space for myself in this world – being as lost as him is…. terrifying, to be honest. Losing your sense of self and the only thing waiting for you when you do is becoming a mindless entity that lives to kill anything and everything it happens to see.
Some people made quite a lot of important and notable points about his behavior too that I definitely agreed with.
Kuroyuki is indeed quite selfish, immature and an extremely possessive person. However again, it’s understandable why he turned out this way. It’s not like he had the freedom to interact with anyone for the longest time. To be honest, it’s a huge wonder for me how he didn’t turn out even more fucked up. It was hell for him from when he was 8 to 16 years old, which is obviously 8 years as well of living that way.
Okay, moving on. He didn’t ignore her wishes or stopped thinking about what is best for her. Yes, even when he said I won’t let you go even if you’re kicking, screaming or crying. Which is certainly one of the last things a yandere would think of. The fact is that he DID leave her outside Tokugawa Ieyasu’s estate and made sure she’s safe.
He would do anything for the sake of her happiness. In the end despite his moments of mental and emotional breakdowns, he has always managed to place her above himself every single time in the end. When he realized all he was doing was making her cry and unhappy – he wanted to respect her wishes and just decided to do what he think is best for Enju so she could be happy. He was about to sacrifice himself to kill Ueno Kando just to make sure that Enju will never have to worry about being used again by her own father in the future.
So yes, having said all this – this is why I do not think he’s a yandere.
What about when he kept lying and manipulating her?
There was a scene where Kuroyuki had to fight his former master and he told Enju to run away so that he can concentrate on fighting. She reluctantly agrees but as she was running, she bumps into Kyara. Remembering Kuroyuki’s warning that
9 out of 10 chances are that they will kill you. Don’t trust anyone. I’m your only ally.
So, was this manipulation? Well, yes and no. I’m sure you know why it’s a yes, but for the no – remember, he said 9 OUT OF 10 chances (that’s 90%). That means he actually never said it was 100% that they definitely will do so. There’s still a 10% chance that they wouldn’t hunt her down. Obviously that’s what happened in this route. Everyone else’s though, it did come true.
However, if I really had to ask you honestly. Would you disregard that 10% chance if it involves your own life? Also they’re right in the thick of the conspiracy so it’s even more dangerous to let your guard down and trust the wrong person.
A lot of the things he said were actually from his own deductions when it came to how Kando and perhaps the 5 elders might react. Again, don’t forget that I’m also aware of the actual lies that Kuroyuki came up with. Especially when apparently he was attacked by his own team for apparently “trying” to save her. Of course we all know that’s complete bull and that he has lied about several other things to make his deductions sound even more convincing.
The Koga clan are also mercenaries. It means ANYONE who is willing to pay money can ask them to do their bidding. And with their “Shinobi Code”, they’re willing to kill even their own husband, daughter, wife, sibling, mother or father. Above all else, the leader’s orders are absolute. Fight back and you’ll be branded as a traitor.
Now, fast forward to near the end – we figure out that Kando and the head of the Kaga clan were hoping to start another war so their clans can profit from it and that they will hire shinobis again.
You’re probably wondering why I mentioned this and what does this have to do with what he told Enju? Kuroyuki is involved so obviously he knows that Kando was behind this. It also doesn’t take a genius to be able to predict what he might do next seeing as he’s fully capable of doing much worse things.
He already knew that the first thing Kando will do is to disown his daughter. He knew what would happen when he was asked to kill Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Kando took advantage of his feelings for Enju and promised to let him live in Koga again if he assassinates Hideyoshi.
He already knew there was a VERY big chance that Kando would mercilessly order the Koga shinobis to hunt Enju down whenever he sees fit and would kill her just for the sake of saving his own hide.
So, do you think this is still 100% manipulation? Unfortunately, what he said were not unfounded. They made sense and it may happen. The unfortunate thing is that he used this for the wrong reasons as well. He also had ulterior motives and took advantage of it to serve his own selfish agenda. I don’t blame people though that at this point, they’d rather pick one or the other and just be done with it. It’s much easier or simpler to conclude this by deeming him as despicable right?
Well, to me the answer is pretty simple and you don’t need to spend so much time analyzing it. He’s both. Is he a horrible person? Well, no. Is the relationship healthy for them? No, but it can work. Is he misguided? Yes. Is it all intentional? Again, yes and no. My point is, it’s not completely black and white.
What do you think of Enju in Kuroyuki’s route?
I think Enju was definitely the worst in this route. No question about it. However, there are a few things that bother me.
Many have regarded her passiveness as being weak. She’s become a “wimp”. I definitely cannot deny that and I agree actually to some degree.
As an MC, it honestly could have gone better – way better. She should’ve prioritized with handling herself properly and used her head a bit more if helping Kuroyuki out was beyond her ability. She could have pushed herself to become a driving force that could help pull Kuroyuki out from that hell he seems to be living in if she was capable, but in this case she isn’t. LOL!
One of the problems to begin with here as well is that women are normally stereotyped or even expected to be submissive, demure and passive in Asian culture (as well as in the Western countries during that era). This already influences how the writers want their MC to be like. Also, it is what’s considered attractive back in the day – and to some extent even in the present as much as people would like to deny it but it’s there.
However, in this case – most of the “…..”, “…….. I don’t know, but….”, “…… but what about Kuroyuki?” or brainwashed doll-like type responses we kept getting from her was mostly due to her confusion about how to handle the situation.
The thing is, she’s never experienced this before. How exactly do you deal with someone who has gone through horrible stuff as Kuroyuki had? What should you do? What should you say? What is the best way to help someone you care about without making things worse as fragile as he already was? Do you even know anyone half as tormented as he was? Would you confidently say that the answer is clear as day and you’d 100% know what to do to resolve this?
It’s also important to note that she also still doesn’t know the entire story. Enju needed to have that 1-on-1 talk with Kuroyuki so she could find out once and for all regarding what happened to him exactly then proceed from there.
Not only was she already confused about what was happening, she was given a lot of conflicting information. If you’ve noticed – she decided to ask everyone their side of the story. She wasn’t sure how much of what she was told was true and which ones were lies.
To me, she just didn’t want to jump into conclusions. Enju needed some time to get enough information to process things and figure out what she’d like to do next. Of course, she didn’t come to this conclusion right away. She needed to be scolded by several people for her to even get to that point. However, I really don’t think this situation is as easy as people are making it out to be.
I know a lot of people act really arrogantly about what they’re going to do and all that. However, when that time actually comes and they’re put to the test – most of them just fail miserably. Some are even paralyzed from fear of even deciding what to do next.
I guess it just brings me to another conclusion that perhaps there’s just too many people in this world that can’t empathize with anything they haven’t experienced themselves. I think it’s sad that Enju was the worst in this route. She was pretty much useless and too dependent on someone else. However, I also can’t agree with bashing her for every single thing I suppose.
Well, that’s it for now. I might update and
add more but so far I’m happy with this. 🙂