The anime and manga are full of fun tropes that keep fans coming back for more. One of the most beloved tropes is the contradictory tsundere. These characters give off a hostile or dismissive vibe towards people who truly love. The term is a portmanteau of the Japanese words for “to turn away in disgust or rage” (tsun tsun) and “to become affectionate” (dere dere).
The fiery natures of the Tsunderes are often represented aesthetically by physical qualities such as bold hues, especially red, and deceptively adorable faces. Not only are they physically eye-catching, but their strong personalities are also hard to ignore. Sometimes they are downright scary. Yet even the most terrifying tsundere can ultimately win the hearts of other characters and fans alike.
10/10 Kyo Sohma needs friends, not fights
Kyo Sohma from Fruit basket is an excellent representation of the tsundere archetype. From the first episode, Kyo had a combative attitude, battling Yuki after crashing through a ceiling. He focuses his energy on defeating people instead of building meaningful relationships assuming no one could love him.
However, Kyo’s assumption was proven wrong with the introduction of Tohru, someone capable of reaching him on a deeper level. When Kyo is forced to move in with Tohru, he finally begins to sort out his issues. Tohru’s kindness remains unwavering despite Kyo having trouble talking to her and often insulting her. Over time, she gradually warms his heart and melts his coldness. This heartwarming connection is sure to stick with fans long after they’re done. Fruit basket.
9/10 Naru is more than just a Jane
I love Hina
Naru from I love Hina may look like an average girl, but fans shouldn’t be fooled by her modest looks; she has an intense fury just waiting to be unleashed. Naru is fiercely independent and never hesitates to stand up for herself, sometimes forcefully. She often takes this to extremes and can be physically abusive towards others, especially the main character Keitaro.
Despite his antisocial tendencies, Naru possesses many admirable qualities. She is a gifted student who attends the University of Tokyo, where Keitaro was denied admission. When she is able to put her bad habits aside and open up to others, Naru is a very likeable girl with so much to offer.
8/10 Louise loves a whip
While many tsunderes are naturally gifted, others have no obvious talents. Louise Francoise Le Blanc de la Valliere Zero’s Familiar struggle with his spells. This earned her the nickname Louise the Zero.
When one of her spells goes wrong, she summons Saito, a human boy and his familiar. However, Saito is also Tiffania’s old familiar, and the other girls at Louise’s school flatter him. Not only does Louise dislike Saito, but now she has to share it. This angers the possessive tsundere, who attacks him verbally and with a whip. However, as the series progresses, Louise’s hatred towards Saito is revealed as a front for her affection towards him.
7/10 Yurio has a secret crush
Yuri!!! On the ice
Yuri Plisetsky, affectionately nicknamed Yurio, is a child prodigy of the hit Yuri!!! On the ice. By age 15, he was a major Grand Prix ice skating competitor. He is extremely ambitious but also rude and irritable. Audiences first meet Yurio in the pilot episode when he corners main character Yuri Katsuki in the bathroom.
Yuri Katsuki had a terrible performance and Yurio takes advantage of the situation. He berates Yuri for his incompetence and calls him names like “baka”. As the series progresses, his competitiveness and hostility towards the other Yuri never lessens, and he eventually loses his trainer Victor to Yuri. About halfway through the season, Yurio’s fixation on Yuri is shown through a series of photos on his phone. Although he is in direct competition with Yuri, Yurio also secretly admires him.
6/10 Vegeta is a likeable villain
Dragon Ball Z
Although he is one of the main antagonists of Dragon Ball Z, Vegeta is a likeable character. Not only is he ridiculously strong and a triumphant fighter, but he also has many layers to his personality. He’s not only a villain, but also a tsundere with a crush on a blue-haired girl named Bulma.
Like so many tsundere characters in anime, Vegeta’s pride often trumps his common sense. Bulma is the only person who can reach her on a deeper level, and she knows how to make sense of her man. Likewise, Vegeta may not always know how to show it, but he is very protective of Bulma. When Beerus slaps Bulma, he becomes enraged and yells, “It’s my Bulma!”
5/10 Taiga is the queen of self-sabotage
Toradora!‘s Taiga is a tsundere par excellence. His violent outburst and willingness to blame others for his problems is very typical of this trope. This immaturity shows in Taiga’s failed encounters with Kitamura, his longtime crush. His friend Ryuuji even tried to help him by creating opportunities for the two to be alone, but Taiga fiercely rejects them all. She even blames Ryuuji whenever she doesn’t talk to Kitamura.
Despite this, Taiga is easy to sympathize with. Shyness and the fear of being rejected by someone important are very relatable and difficult experiences to live with. It is obvious that his lack of self-esteem elicits these negative tendencies. Fans can’t help but want Taiga to see how great she can be if she stops the self-sabotage.
4/10 Faye Valentine mixes in The Femme Fatale
Most often described as the femme fatale of cowboy bebop, Faye Valentine also has many qualities of tsundere. She’s bratty and tough, and she often displays a cold front. When she meets Spike, Faye reflects on her femme fatale persona. However, when he fails to give her her last chip at the blackjack table, her mask begins to crack, giving the audience their first glimpse of Faye’s true personality.
As cowboy bebop progresses, the audience learns of Faye’s trust issues, which stem from a doctor taking advantage of her. This is then made worse when her former boyfriend shows up. He too was a swindler to swindle her. Like so many tsundere characters, Faye’s life has been plagued by a series of unfortunate events, and her antisocial behavior is a direct result of her emotional pain. Jet acknowledges that his bad attitude is just an act, and even Spike warms up to Faye.
3/10 Inuyasha is a demon
Some people may complain that their boyfriend is a demon. Well, Kagome’s love interest for Inuyasha is actually one. This ordinary teenager finds herself transported to the 16th century, where she comes across Inuyasha, a half-demon who hates people.
However, the audience learns that this wayward cat boy has trust issues that stem from a past betrayal. His first love, Kikyo, linked him to the Tree of Ages, which sealed Inuyasha in the feudal era. Inuyasha only likes Kagome because she reminds him of Kikyo. This couple has their fair share of issues to deal with, but love overcomes the demons of the past for this friendly tsundere.
2/10 Killua will literally steal hearts
Hunter X Hunter
Arguably the fan favorite character of the Hunter X Hunter franchise, Killua Zoldyck is as terrifying as it is cute. Killua, who was bred to be an elite assassin, possesses a variety of skills that make him extremely lethal. When confronted by a notorious murderer, he simply shrugged his shoulders and ripped out his heart with his bare hands.
Not only does Kullua’s violent inclinations send chills to audiences, but his temper is often argumentative. He can be rather haughty and likes to call others “baka”, especially Gon. However, the audience realizes that Killua pushes people away because he is a hurt child who really wants to be loved. Throughout the story, he opens up to Gon and becomes the ultimate best friend.
1/10 Asuka Langley Soryu takes the crown
Neon Genesis EvangelionEVA Unit 2 pilot Asuka Langley Soryu is very talented, like many other tsunderes. A child prodigy with a college degree at 14, Asuka is proud of her accomplishments and not afraid to show off. However, his bravado masks insecurities.
Asuka often lashed out at other Eva pilots when facing criticism or defeat. Shinji was an easy target and often ended up receiving his vitriol. She’s called him “baka” so many times it’s hard to count. However, the audience learns that Asuka grew up receiving conditional love and, as a result, always felt the need to prove herself. Like so many tsunderes, she just longs for love and acceptance.
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