Tsun + Dere = BiriBiri? WTF?!

What is it about tsundere (ツンデレ) that is so appealing? Why do we constantly flock to these girls who would at one moment beat us to death and the next put a band-aid on it while blushing saying, “It's not like I care or anything...”? In this series of posts, yes I said series, I hope to explore and find out what it is that makes the tsundere character type so accepted and its sub-types such as BiriBiri.

Perhaps the best place to start is at the source. No, I am not talking about Japan. I am talking about the first tsundere, Asuka Langley Soryu. In my eyes she was the first, the one that started it all. In fact I believe that she was even around before the term tsundere had been created. I could be wrong but you know. Being the first she is the map or mold that all others are cast from. But what are the traits that make her so tsun and tere?

Before I divulge into Asuka, I want to take a moment to explain the term tsundere. Most of you reading this will already know what I am about to say, so indulge me. This is for those who don't know the term. The first part of the word , tsun (ツン), is derived from tsuntsun (ツンツン) , which means to turn away in disgust or reject. This is the first characteristic of tsundere. The second part of the word, dere (デレ), is derived from deredere (デレデレ), which means to be lovey dovey, affectionate towards. This is the second characteristic. In order for a character to fall into this type they must have both of these.

What it basically means is that in front of people she is very cold, violent, or not honest with her feelings towards the person she likes. This is generally shown through beating on the person of interest, ignoring the person, constantly yelling at them, and so on and so forth. But in private they tend to blush a lot when around that person and become complete wrecks. Their true feelings begin to manifest and become evident. They speak softer to the one they like, restrain the urge to hit them, and generally look upon them like they are the light of the world.

So now that you have an idea of the meaning of the term, let us look at the Goddess Creator of all tsundere, Asuka. As everyone should know, (and if you don't what is wrong with you?), Asuka is from that anime Neon Genesis Evangelion. I am not going to explain the series you'll just have to watch it. When she first shows up she is very cold to Shinji. But if you pay attention she begins to warm up to him. And yet she never really shows it. The series ends before she ever admits to liking Shinji. That is why we have the Angelic Days manga. Which is set in the alternate reality shown during the last two episodes.

Perhaps the best way to show the traits of Asuka the tsundere is with this image.

Ah sweet sweet product placement
Why does this figure best describe Asuka? Because it shows her in the deredere stage. Take a look at her face with the slight blush on it. Or the bandages on her fingers from trying to cook something for her "unspoken beloved". Doesn't that make you want to just run up and give her a hug? But be warned if there are other people around she may just beat you into the ground. Best give her a hug when no one is around.

As for me the thing I love about tsundere is the simple fact that in front of people she doesn't express any affection or attraction, but in private they are tender, gentle, and all around loving. And only I, or whomever the POI is, get to see this and revel in it. Imagine that and try to escape it without the thought "I could go for that".

Next time I will take a look at Inami from Working!!. A character who is a closet tsundere, (She just won't admit it.), and why she is considered one in my book. Till next time! Same tsun time! Same Dere channel!

What draws you into the world of tsundere?



  1. tl;dr, but Azuka's Tsundereness can be seen in the movies as she's trying to cook after receiving Rei's invitation to dinner.

  2. True. But I haven't watched the movies yet. Soon.

  3. Akane Tendo of Ranma 1/2 was the first full blown version of what would come to be called tsundere- she predates Asuka of EVA by seven years.

    But even Akane isn't the beginning, she's just the mold all following tsundere, including Asuka are based on.

    The origins go back to 1973 in two different manga. Influenced by the cultural impact of Japan's second wave of feminism, two different writers attempted to create a new type female character that reflected the new strong willed girls and women emerging from the late 1960's-early 1970's Japanese version of the feminist movement.

    The first comes in shoujo manga- Riyoko Ikeda's Lady Oscar from her Rose of Versailles. The shoujo version of the tsundere emphasizes the tomboyish side over the violent temper- although it's there, the girl also doesn't reject having feelings for the boy who has feelings for her (her feelings of disdain for the guy tends to be milder than the shonen type, sometimes not even disdain, it's just she starts out not thinking of him romantically but just a friend she's known since she was little, or just some guy she vaguely knows but wasn't interested in), but is merely confused by those feelings, it happens while she is crushing on a different guy (this pattern is in Rose of Versailles, she crushes on court playboy Fersen but Andre is just her friend that she's known since she was very young. Andre has already started to fall in love with Lady Oscar when the story starts when they are both just 15.)

    A few months later Go Nagai (pre ecchi manga series era) creates the origin of the shonen version of the tsundere type in Sayaka Yumi of Mazinger Z (and it's a mecha series, no less, in fact Nagai basically creates the genre that EVA would eventually be a part of...) The basic elements are there, Sayaka is more disdainful, she suspects Kouji of being a pervert, the temper (although not as over the top as the full blown type, nor anywhere as comedically violent)
    Kaori of City Hunter (created just a couple of years before Akane of Ranma 1/2) is nearly the full blown tsundere (the intense hatred of perverted behavior is there, as is the comedic over the top violent temper reaction to said perverted behavior, but Kaori is attracted to Ryo from the start despite her anger and disgust at his skirt chasing and perverted behavior, there's no real rival guy she crushes on one sidedly.