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250px-Tsundere
It's not that I like you or anything
~ A typical tsundere phrase
Urusai! Urusai! Urusai! (Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!)
~ Shana (and many of her clones)

A tsundere is a common character archetype in anime/manga in which a character (usually a girl) is introduced as being cold and aloof (hence the tsun- part of the word) but later shows a warmer, more loving side (hence the -dere part) and keeps switching back and forth between the two. Like its sister term Kuudere, the term first became popular after the release of Neon Genesis Evangelion, which featured the debut of Asuka Langley Soryu, who to this day remains one of the best and most well-known examples.

Tsunderes can be either heroes or anti-heroes. Frequently, they are in love with someone but are too stubborn to admit it, whether out of pride, insecurity or simple fear of being rejected. To hide their feeling, they often yell at or hit the one they love, although the one they love often shares part of the blame for this. An example is Akane Tendo slapping her fiancée Ranma Saotome (or hitting him with any old object lying around) because of his smart mouth and often insensitive remarks.

Although primarily used in anime and manga, tsundere-like characters are also present in Western media, such as Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series and Toph Beifong from Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Tsundere can be divided into two main categories, depending on their default mood:

  • Harsh (or Tsun): These Tsundere have tsuntsun as their default mood. It takes someone special to trigger their deredere side. The intensity of the tsuntsun 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 Good Hearted Bastard, 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 Good Hearted Bastard 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 Good Hearted Bastard 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 deredere 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 deredere 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.

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