Hi everybody. This is a special post where I combine my two favorite subjects, anime, and true crime. It is amazing how often there are parallels between our favorite anime and crazy true crime stories. In this instance, I look at dangerous love. How does Yuno Gasai compare with the infamous Amy Fisher?
Love and Infamy
No one can deny that love is a complicated topic. Physiologically, it begins with a rush of dopamine from the brain, but it becomes so much more. It becomes a rush of positive and negative emotions, making sacrifices, and enduring multiple ups and downs. We celebrate or lament love in songs, poems, plays, and other media. But some take love to new extremes. Then, love can become dangerous, psychotic, and deadly.
There is no better examination of this truth than The Future Diary. One teenage girl becomes so obsessed with a boy, she would kill anyone. More importantly, she is willing to turn the world on its head.
Of course, violence for the sake of love is nothing new. There are many true crimes that happen for the sake of volatile love. The most glaring instance that has parallels to The Future Diary is the tragic, crazy, and infamous case of Amy Fisher and Joey Buttafuoco. Nearly two decades before The Future Diary would air, Amy Fisher would attempt to kill someone and, as a result, will bring about a media firestorm. But before we dive into the worlds of these tragic women, we will look at the circumstances of their stories.
The Future Diary centers around school student Yukiteru Amano (also known as Yuki). Yuki is chosen to participate in a deadly elimination game along with twelve other players. The last player left alive gets to be a god. Deus ex Machina (Deus for short) is the current god. Deus equips each player’s cell phone with powers to aid them in the game. Yuki’s cell phone can see the future. If a player’s cell phone is destroyed, they are killed. It is apparent from early on that Yuki does not have the killer instincts or wits required to stay alive during the game. This is where Yuno is an important ally.
Yuno is also tapped to participate in the game. Her cell phone, called “the diary of future love” is capable of tracking Yuki’s every move. Yuno has an unhealthy love and obsession with Yuki and vows to help him win the game. She becomes invaluable to Yuki, saving his life countless times. But, she also exhibits stalker behavior, wanting to kill not only enemies but friends and family of Yuki. Her tunnel vision is absolute and impenetrable. She only cares about Yuki, his life, and their love. Her devotion to Yuki would be charming if it weren’t insane and baptized in blood and death. By the climax of the anime, many have died and there is an unbelievable twist that is unnerving, both for the viewer and for Yuki.
The case of the Long Island Lolita
Before the world is introduced to Yuno Gasai, we are introduced to young Amy Fisher and a much older Joey Buttafuoco. 16-year-old Amy meets then 31-year-old Joey Buttafuoco in 1992 at his auto garage. I’m sure that when Amy’s father introduced the two, he had no idea the insanity that was to follow. Amy and Joey would begin an 18-month affair that would end in Amy shooting Joey’s wife Mary Jo in the head. Thankfully, Mary Jo survives the attack.
What follows the attack is a media frenzy, especially when it is revealed that the culprit is a high school student having an affair with the victim’s husband. They nickname Fisher “The Long Island Lolita”. Fisher would eventually plead guilty to reckless assault and is sentenced to a maximum of 15 years. She is released in 1999. Joey would be charged with statutory rape and served five months.
Yuno and Amy
Yuno and Amy share many similarities. The easy one is that they are teenagers that display violent tendencies. But, let’s dig a little deeper. Let’s talk about the nature of the teenager, specifically the nature of a teenager in love. I have heard adults brush off teenage romance as “puppy love” or “young love”. But, this may not be entirely accurate. As a matter of fact, they may be trivializing a very real feeling. A Psychology Today article best explains what happens when a teenager in love reaches a certain age. “By the age of fifteen or sixteen, teens move toward qualitatively different and more meaningful romantic relationships; certainly, by the time they are seventeen or eighteen, they begin to think about their romantic relationships in a much deeper, more mature, and long-term way, with significant growth in both emotional and physical interests and commitment” (Villanueva, 2015).
I know when I was a teenager, romantic love felt like heaven opened when it started, and being destroyed from the soul outward when it ended. It may feel like this as an adult too but, except for a few people, we recover well enough. Now, imagine loving someone to the point where you cannot go on without them. You will destroy anything and everything to be with them. And, you do not have the sense of morality that will stop you from hurting others. This seems to happen with Yuno and Amy. Keep in mind I am not justifying violent acts against others. I am merely comparing circumstances.
Yuki and Joey
Yuki and Joey are instrumental in the destructive behavior of the young women. With this in mind, I want to look at the predatory nature of Yuki and Joey. If anyone has seen The Future Diary, they may think I am reaching. But think about it, Yuki is not a sexual predator, but an emotional predator. He knows that Yuno will do anything for him because she loves him. Per an article on the website Step to Health, “[an emotional predator’s] objective is the emotional, personal, psychological, and social break-down of their victims, and at worst, they have been known to make people choose to end their lives” (Emotional Predators and How to Avoid Them, n.d.). So, for most of the series, he uses her obsession as a tool to survive a game he would not have survived without her, regardless of the risk to Yuno’s safety.
Joey is different from Yuki in that his life was not in danger when he began his romance with Fisher. Once may think Joey is a sexual deviant who had sex with an underaged girl and who plead no contest for soliciting an undercover police officer. He even tried the porn industry, which set apart from his other sexual deed, is not deviant behavior, but it is sexual behavior.
I believe what Yuki and Joey have in common is a sort of desperation. Yuki is desperate to stay alive, so he uses Yuno’s affection as a weapon against would-be assassins. I believe Joey is desperate to feel alive, so he used Amy’s affection for his for sexual gratification, much to the detriment of Mary Jo.
The Line Between Romance and Insanity
The fictional romance between Yuki and Yuno and the actual romance between Amy and Joey show how love can be an emotion that comes with chaos and conflict. For Yuki and Yuno, love is the key to survival in a deadly game. For Amy and Joey, it is the catalyst in a series of messy and nearly deadly events. In the best of times, love is a beautiful feeling that brings joy. But, in these cases, love is deadly and dark.
So what do you think? Are there any other anime and true crime comparisons that you can make? Maybe I’ll write about it. I will see you tomorrow for MC Tuesday and Iron Man!
Emotional Predators and How to Avoid Them. (n.d.). Retrieved from Step to Health: https://steptohealth.com/emotional-predators-avoid/
Villanueva, S. (2015, December 22). Teen love and dating in today’s new world. Retrieved from Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/how-parent- teen/201512/teen-love-dating-in-today-s-new-world