Tropes: Crazy Jealous Guy & Berserk Button

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Ayano Yamane’s yaoi manga are especially rich in tropes. Maybe that’s why I love them so much. Today we’re going to explore the crazy jealous guy trope and the berserk button one. For that we’re going to use Crimson Spell because it’s perfect to show both tropes. In this yaoi manga, Havi and Bald fall in love with each other after a complicated curse, and some lewd very questionable acts. Both of them are jealous when the other is hanging around other characters. But, Havi, is the King of being a crazy jealous guy.

Havi hates when Bald is touched by someone else that’s not him. Plus he has a Berserk button that when pushed, he goes mad. Bald isn’t much better either. When Bald is in his demon persona, he threatens to destroy the whole world if Havi leaves him. When Bald is normal, he also has his jealous moments. However, Havi wins the jealousy contest. So, what’s up with these two tropes?

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The crazy jealous guy trope happens when you have a perfectly healthy character and reacts irrationally when someone approaches his love interest. The perfect guy becomes wrath. The female counterpart of this trope is the irrational jealous female. These tropes are used mostly in comedy. However, while crazy jealous women are seen as more sympathetic, crazy jealous guys are seen as flawed. In many instances, the crazy jealous guy many times ends up raping his love interest. Havi ends up having forced sex for the first time with demon Bald. Of all the things to stop the demonic self of Bald, Havi chose to force him.

Then we have the Berserk button. It happens when you have a perfectly normal character who goes Berserk for the most insignificant and trivial thing. Havi goes mad with Rulka, and it shows up in the drawing style. Havi’s Berserk button is Bald. Whoever approaches him is a target. And so, Rulka almost ends up being stew for the sorcerer. Although the Berserk button is used as a comedy device, it can be unsettling at times. Havi reacts irrationally with Rulka many times because he approaches his beloved Bald.

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These tropes are easily found in comedy yaoi manga. However, you can see them easily in shows and movies. Gaston from Beauty and the Beast is insufferable. He reacts to a collection of triggers in the most fascinating and irrational ways. Christian Grey from Fifty Shades of Grey is the perfect jealous guy with more buttons than a keyboard. Gaston’s case is funny. However, Christian’s is quite spooky.

So, why the use of these tropes? Because they convey information very quickly. However, I cannot imagine having a partner who is a crazy jealous guy with a Berserk Button. Although traditionally this has been seen as romantic, there’s nothing romantic about jealousy gone wild. In extreme cases, the love interest ends up caged in the relationship, and very isolated.

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Although in comedy it kind of works, in other genres these tropes can become extraordinarily damaging and they end up sending the wrong image of what a healthy relationship is. Christian Gray is everything but a healthy example of a healthy relationship. Despite the risks, I’m sure you can name more than a couple examples of these tropes in media.

So, what do you think about the crazy jealous guy and the Berserk button? Do you find them funny? Or do you think that they can be dangerous?


Copyright: Top image on this post made by dePepi with a (C) Ayano Yamane (C) Crimson Spell image / Other images on this post (C) Ayano Yamane (C) Crimson Spell.

About pepi

A Geek Girl interested in Geek Anthropology, comic books, books, Superheroes and discovering all about pop culture.

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