In this post I want to tell you about one of the most popular anime/manga character type, tsundere. This is also one of my final papers topic at Ryukoku University (Japanese movie and literature course). I will describe this topic briefly. Maybe it is interesting for some of my followers. So, please, enjoy!
My acquaintance with modern Japanese culture began with watching anime. Soon I noticed that many characters are moving from series to series changing only the hair color and school uniform. The behavior and character of these girls and boys remained the same. One of the central types of characters that remains unchanged in hundreds of titles is tsundere. I have the impression that this type is very popular. It is logical if practically we can find a character of this type everywhere, and most often on one of the central roles.
The name of the tsundere is a combination of two words: “tsuntsun” (ツンツン), which means tart, closed, indifferent, and “deredere” (デレデレ)- tender, languishing with love. In combination of these opposing properties the character is composed. Outwardly, the tsundere seems arrogant, cold, rough, irritable. It is an independent personality, which can behave quite harshly with others. But in relation with friends and lovely person manifests a different, soft side of the character. He or she tries to conceal feelings, often under the guise of anger, but with the development of the love line begins to manifest “deredere” more and more, realizing and accepting own emotions and feelings. Characters of this type are differed by a frequent change of mood, literally every second. One of the earliest examples of the tsundere is are Madoka Ayukawa from The Whims of Orange Street, and other well-known examples are Kyoko Otonashi from Maison Ikkoku and Akane Tendo from Ranma ½. Although they are kind girls and initially resist romantic attempts, they become cold and sharp when the main male character begins to show interest in other girls, and all three are known for sometimes showing physical aggression towards the main male characters.
For me, tsundere characters are not the most attractive, but here I also have my favorite, Louise from Zero no tsukaima. Here the behavior of the tsundere was a little more logical, most often aggression caused jealousy, the reasons for which were very serious.
However, why is this type of character popular? Does this type of personality really attract people? According to the study of psychologist Elliot Aronson at the University of Minnesota, people really are attracted to this kind of behavior and relationships. In their experiment, each person was identified in a couple and for a while they talked. Later, the person watched a record of their partner’s conversation with one of the researchers. After this audition people were offered to evaluate their partners. The results were unexpected: most of the subjects liked those who initially spoke about them badly, but then changed their minds for the better. The reason is in principle of acquisition / loss. The principle was formulated by Aronson after their experiment in 1965. He describes the reactions of a person depending on his initial knowledge of the interlocutor. A rude person, suddenly praised you, will be more attractive only because he or she exceeded your expectations. This will be some kind of psychological reward.
The popular Japanese site Mynaviwoman conducted a survey among 100 working men, whether they ever encountered such women: only 8.5% answered in the affirmative. Although some liked the tsundere girls the rest found tsuntsun dealing terrible. I also interviewed a few friends, many would like to have a girlfriend of this type of character, but only if she eventually turns into her soft side forever and the mood swings will stop. It is the ideal behavior and change to a pretty girl for her boyfriend. However, as interviews from the Internet show, such girls continue to behave like a tsundere being in relationships. Change of mood continues. But there is a hope that it can be overcome and love will defeat the harmful tendencies of the tsundere.
That is, we can conclude that such a girl for a person who can overcome difficulties and reveal the good side of the tsundere girl, especially as we know, in the manga and anime in the end all are happy and a tsundere girl blossoms into a beautiful and caring girl, infinitely loving her chosen one. In my opinion, this is also one of the reasons for the popularity of the tsundere, morality of such stories is overcoming all difficulties and becoming happy with a cute girl, which is finally loves you and shows only deredere part of her character with you. Here, too, there is a slight shade of chosenness regarding the fact that such a girl is cute with you, but not with all other people.
Characters like tsundere are used in Japanese animation very often. The nature of the tsundere-protagonist relationship allows for creative storytelling. With the tsundere, the storywriters would be able to create dozens of “possible” situations which allow for character development. Based on how well the episodes are paced and developed, the tension built along the episodes will surely have viewers wanting more, allowing for the making of overly long stories. If the character is attractive enough, you can sell more goods with the characters and symbols of the series.
Since the tsundere is the most common character archetype, a majority of anime viewers love seeing a girl who acts harsh at first and then softens up later. They enjoy seeing the girl act embarrassed once her deredere side is exposed. The anime industry sees this and that’s why they abuse tsunderes and we have lots of different girls and boys of the same type. If the audience likes it, so, why not?