Bringing you (my pandas) a lesson in all things tsundere! I know most of you, (especially the ones who dabble in all things anime like myself) know what tsundere means, but this little mini-lesson is for those who may not be as familiar with the term.
“A Japanese term for a character development process that describes a person who is initially cold and even hostile towards another person before gradually showing a warmer side over time. The word is derived from the terms tsun tsun, meaning to turn away in disgust, and dere dere meaning to become ‘lovey dovey’.”
So you can essentially think of tsundere as a light switch. Switching from on and off; on representing the character’s hostile side and off representing the character’s more loving/caring side.
Most of the time a “tsundere” character is in love with someone but they are too stubborn to admit it. This usually stems from being insecure, being too prideful, or simply the fear of being rejected.
To hide their feelings most “tsundere” characters will yell or hit the person they are in love with.
There are two different archetype’s to the “tsundere” category. This usually depends on the character’s mood. (I will be gathering some help from http://www.hero.wikia.com for this section since the information is waaayyy too long for me to summarize on my own).
- Harsh (or Tsun): These Tsundere have tsun tsun as their default mood. It takes someone special to trigger their dere dere side. The intensity of the tsun tsun can range from “I must glare and fight my way through life” to grumpy pessimism. It’s about which part of the tsundere personality is the public face and which the hidden. If the Tsundere is The Rival, she is more likely to be Harsh. Helping a rival out is usually accompanied by a line like “Don’t get me wrong, I’m not doing this for you.”
- Harsh types can overlap with a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, but usually not. The moods of a Tsundere tend to switch in reaction to the actions of select people or adverse scenarios; the deredere side usually only comes out when someone has acted in a way to trigger it. A Jerk with a Heart of Gold is jerkish in general regardless of whether the other person is mean or nice, and shows their hidden heart of gold only when the situation warrants, regardless of how the other person had been acting. Male characters in particular should be considered for Jerk with a Heart of Gold status, as arguably because of double standards, men are generally that instead of tsundere, although the kuudere subtype is more equally split in gender. Oranyan is sometimes used to refer to a male tsundere character – incorrectly since it means the complete opposite.
- Sweet (or Dere): These Tsundere have dere dere as their default mood. They are sweet, kind and generous, but just happen to have a hidden violent side as well. In this case, temper is almost always triggered by someone or something else, usually a love interest. Either they have belligerent sexual tension, are an accidental pervert, or just have no idea how to handle feelings of love and attraction. May also overlap with violently protective girlfriend if her love interest is threatened or in danger.
- Sweet types should not be confused with a Yandere. If a Sweet Tsundere were really convinced that their love interest didn’t want them, they would revert back to the dere dere side and probably enter an “I want my beloved to be happy” phase, while Yanderes are not good with rejection at all and have been known to get downright murderous under such circumstances.
There are also other classifications of “tsundere” which include kuudere, dandere, and yandare, but we will get to all of those lessons at a later time!
So why are “tsundere” characters so common in the anime/manga world? Mostly like due to “tsundere” being a cross between a mildly masochistic fetish and liking a highly quirky person. It also might even cater to the fact that the “tsundere” girl/guy finds the MC special enough for her/him to show his/her true sweet/loving side.
These “tsundere” qualities are typically what leads the viewer to finding this type of character attractive. Some people really feed into the “hot” and “cold” personality of others. I think it also has to do with the so called “chase” of another person. People like to be “chased,” because it allows them to feel wanted or needed. I think “tsundere” characters feed off of this quite well. They want to play coy in order to get the main character to notice them, but they also don’t want to admit their feelings because of their pride being largely vast.
Sometimes tsundere characters can be annoying, while other times the viewer can find their situation quite relatable. I know I find myself struggling with my feelings sometimes. I find tsundere characters more relatable than not. But other times I just want to slap the shit out of them! Like spit it out already!
My personal favorite type is yandere. I’ll have to cover that next week! Which is your favorite type of tsundere? Which character(s) fall under the “tsundere” category that you enjoy watching the most? Let me know down in the comments section! I always enjoy hearing from you guys.
Disclaimer: All imagery and photos come from searching for them on the internet. I have no claim or right to them. If I find any links I will always post them (this usually entails fan art or any other work affiliated with an artist).