It’s time for another “Anime Tropes Explained”~! Today’s topic is a rather mysterious one–every time I approach it, it gets flustered and calls me names before running away! Can you guess what popular archetype we’ll be discussing in this lesson…? If you guessed the “tsundere” personality trait…you’re right! Follow me as I explore the ins-and-outs of a tsundere character…if I can manage to get close enough to keep it from slapping me…and you better keep reading this post, b-baka…
From ‘Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi’.
There are many “-dere” personality tropes that can be observed throughout anime and manga, that play up a certain stereotype or quirk within a character. The “tsundere” personality trait is an easy-to-spot one, due to how loud and brash they can be, and is a favorite among otaku!
Before we begin analyzing these confusing characters, let’s look at what the word “tsundere” means. It comes from two phrases in the Japanese language–“tsun tsun“ (which means “to turn away in disgust”) and “dere dere” (which means to become “lovey-dovey”). From the meaning alone, you can imagine that this sort of character has a “hot and cold” dynamic. They’re both disgusted and in love–how confusing! But when it comes to romance in anime, this frustrating dynamic can be exciting.
So how does a tsundere character act…? When their person-of-interest comes around, they may blush wildly and look the other way, pretending not to notice their presence. If you speak to them, they may avoid you, act embarrassed, and even maybe get frustrated! The angriest tsundere may even call you names or even act violently! So what’s the appeal of such an unpredictable character…?
From ‘Lucky Star!’.
While all otaku are different, I think those fond of tsundere characters enjoy a sort of “thrill of the chase”. They can imagine themselves in the position of the character’s love interest–and while it may be dangerous to be close to them at first, it’s rewarding to eventually gain the approval and affection of the person you desire. To be the only person with knowledge of a generally cold person’s warm and affectionate side is something very special~!
Asuka Langley Soryu from ‘Evangelion’.
So what are some examples of tsundere girls from anime…? One of the most famous examples is Asuka from the classic sci-fi mecha series ‘Evangelion’, but there are many others as well! Kagami Hiiragi from ‘Lucky Star!’, Aisaka Taiga from ‘Toradora!’, and Rin Toosaka from ‘Fate/Stay Night’ are just to name a few…but there are countless examples of this trope throughout anime, manga, and visual novels!
Kyo Sohma from ‘Fruits Basket’.
Can boys be tsundere too…? Of course! They’re a little harder to find, but rough-around-the-edge guys can be totally dreamy for the female anime fan! Kyo Sohma from ‘Fruits Basket’, Edward Elric from ‘FullMetal Alchemist’, and Germany from ‘Hetalia Axis Powers’ are just a few examples. Heck, even looking back at older series like ‘Dragonball Z’, the legendary Vegeta is rather tsundere…!!
The tsundere phenomena is so popular that even otaku establishments such as maid cafes are capitalizing on its popularity. Maid cafe patrons can order the tsundere ‘treatment’ from their waitress, which can be anything from getting the cold shoulder, being scolded, or even a slap from the cute maid herself…! (after being warned in advance, of course) You can see the sort of service in the video above!
What do you think of the ‘tsundere’ phenomena? Do you have a favorite tsundere anime character? Are you a hardcore tsundere fan who would want to order the cold-shoulder treatment at a cafe? Or just hate the idea of it all? Tell me all about it in a comment below~!
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