Definition: What is tsundere?

Posted by Neko Kyou in Defining on August 8th, 2007

Shakugan no Shana - TsundereYou might have caught this word in forums, blogs or even hear people talking about tsundere’s and probably wondered what it actually means. Tsundere is a pretty common term used in the anime community but there are still many who don’t know what is actually means.

Tsundere is actually a term derived by fans to classify a type of anime character that is becoming more common, usually a female lead. It is the combination of two words – tsuntsun and deredere.


Tsuntsun refers to being egoistic, hostile, tough. A tsuntsun would be one who always seems moody or angry and never shows any sign of hesitation or weakness. An example of a tsuntsun character is anime is Suzumiya Haruhi.

Suzumiya Haruhi - A tsuntsun character

It’s debatable whether Suzumiya Haruhi is a tsundere, but from my point of view, she’s more a tsuntsun type character


Deredere is the opposite of tsuntsun. A deredere character is often uncertain and needs a push to get going. Nerine from Shuffle! and Mikuru from Suzumiya Haruhi can be considered as deredere characters.

Kinomoto Sakura - deredere

Come to think of it, Sakura is also a deredere type character…



Now we have tsundere, the combination of both tsuntsun and deredere traits. A tsundere is a person who starts off with a tsuntsun type personality but ends up with a deredere personality. They are the serious, highly ambitious and confident type but slowly develops or shows signs of deredere, usually developing feelings for another character and dropping the tough front.

Tsundere’s are usually female lead characters, but the term itself is not gender specific. Some of the more popular tsundere characters includes –

  • Hiiragi Kagami (Lucky Star)
  • Narusegawa Naru (Love Hina)
  • Shana (Shakugan no Shana)
  • Tohsaka Rin (Fate/Stay Night)
  • Tendo Akane (Ranma 1/2)

Cardcaptor Sakura - Li Syaoran - tsundere

Yes, Li Syaoran (in Cardcaptor Sakura version) is a tsundere!
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