What is a Tsundere?
I just started watching ToraDora! again and I just can’t get over how cute Taiga is! For those of you who don’t know, Taiga is the sweet-short-awkward-hot-headed female lead of the anime ToraDora! which, in my humble opinion, is one of the best romantic comedy anime of all time. Taiga is just so endearing that you can’t help but laugh and cry along with her while watching this show. This brings me to the topic of this post, the tsundere.
“I was bored so I wrote this page to pass the time. I-it’s not like I wrote this so you can read it! Don’t get the wrong idea, okay?! Baka…”
And that’s something a typical tsundere character would say. The word tsundere comes from two Japanese terms; tsun tsun, which means aloof or blunt, and dere dere, which means lovestruck or affectionate. Tsundere characters are often described as being harsh on the outside but soft and sweet on the inside. These characters are usually strong willed and independent, always eager to show how mature they are no matter how clumsy or socially awkward they can be. They won’t hesitate to insult or punish their love interest if the latter is caught womanizing, being a pervert, or just being plain stupid. They can even be hostile towards their love interest or any other character for no apparent reason.
Most of the time this is just a façade to hide their true feelings. These characters often care deeply for others and will go to great lengths to provide help to those who are in need. They are also known to assist even their rivals in love, claiming that they’re doing it to even the odds. Even when doing good deeds for others, they pass it off as a whim or a bother. They are usually not honest when it comes to their feelings, especially their feelings for their love interest. They have a tendency to shift from being cold and obnoxious (tsun tsun) to kind and affectionate (dere dere). This tendency to have alternating moods is what endears most fans to this archetype. For the most part, a tsundere character is a generous, kind, and loving person who tries to hide it by being the complete opposite.
A lot of notable tsundere characters exhibit most of these traits. Good examples for this anime character archetype would be Narusegawa Naru of Love Hina, Tendo Akane of Ranma ½, Chidori Kaname of Full Metal Panic!, Louise Françoise Le Blanc de La Vallière of Zero no Tsukaima, and Aisaka Taiga of Toradora!, just to name a few.
There are also male tsundere characters. They can be cheeky, arrogant and rude to other people including their love interest. But they can be very sweet and considerate as well to the girl they love or care for. A few examples of male tsundere would be Domyouji Tsukasa of Hana Yori Dango, Hiei of Yu Yu Hakusho, Shinichi Chiaki of Nodame Cantabile, Li Syaoran of Card Captor Sakura, and Natsume Hyuuga of Gakuen Alice.
Tsunderes appeal to a lot of otaku because it’s always a delight to discover that the person who’s always cold and mean to you secretly likes you. But be warned, just because a person hates your guts doesn’t mean they’re being a tsundere. Maybe they just don’t like you at all. XD