Isn’t it the cutest thing when someone is secretly in love with you but can’t muster up the courage to show it themselves? In today’s article, we’ll be going over what is “tsundere” and the many famous characters who portray this Japanese sub-culture.
The idea is that the character secretly likes you but acts as though they don’t, or acts harshly towards you, but once you get close, you uncover their softer side. The more excellent side is usually super embarrassed and blushes a lot, saying, “it’s not like I want to rip off your clothes and make furious, passionate love with you or anything.”
The term now enjoys common usage outside the esoteric otaku forums which gave birth to it.
In this article, we picked 15 tsundere who warm our hearts with their shy but adorable personalities. We hope you can find a tsundere who you like!
- What is Tsundere?
- 1. Asuka Langley Soryu/Neon Genesis Evangelion
- 2. Mikoto Misaka/A Certain Scientific Railgun
- 3. Hinagiku Katsura/Hayate the Combat Butler
- 4. Hitagi Senjogahara/Bakemonogatari
- 5. Azusa Nakano/K-ON!
- 6. Chitoge Kirisaki/Nisekoi
- 7. Kagami Hiiragi/Lucky Star
- 8. Taiga Aisaka/Tora-Dora
- 9. Maki Nishikino/ Love Live!
- 10. Haruhi Suzumiya/The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
- 11. Nino Nakano/The Quintessential Quintuplets
- 12. Rin Tohsaka/Fate Stay Night
- 13. Ai Haibara(Anita Hailey)/Case Closed
- 14. Kirino Kousaka/My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute
- 15. Futaba Igarashi/ My Senpai Is Annoying
What is Tsundere?
Tsundere is a Japanese term for a characteristic that describes a person who is initially cold (and sometimes even hostile) before gradually showing a warmer, friendlier side over time. The word is derived from the term Tsun-Tsun, meaning to turn away in disgust and Dere-Dere telling to become “lovey-dovey.”
Initially found in Japanese bishojo games, the word is now part of the otaku moe phenomenon, reaching into other media such as maid cafés, anime, manga, novels, and even mass media. The term was made famous in the visual novel Kimi ga Nozomu Eien.
1. Asuka Langley Soryu/Neon Genesis Evangelion
Asuka Langley is a character that embodies tsundere and is an anime fan favourite. The twin tails, red suit, and sharp tongue make her who she is. Asuka has difficulty being close to people due to her dark past. This past was soo sorrowful that it caused her to close her heart to all and even herself.
Asuka is different from your typical tsundere; while she does have her outbursts and verbal outcries with Shinji, she is not too fond of getting violent with her fellow companions. One remarkable fact about Asuka’s tsundere trait is that we can see her specific trait portrayed in other anime characters like Asuna from SAO or Ryo (the rare male tsundere) from Fruit Baskets. in a sense, she paved the way for future tsundere characters.
Asuka is from Germany; her parents comprise an American father and a half-German, half-Japanese mother. In the Rebuild of Evangelion series of movies, her name is changed to Asuka Langley Shikinami.
2. Mikoto Misaka/A Certain Scientific Railgun
Mikoto is the main heroine of this series. Her power is that she can manipulate electricity to create weapons. Fun fact: her nickname is “Biri Biri” in Japanese onomatopoeia for the sound electricity makes.
Kikoto’s tsundere attitude comes from her temper and that she’s quick to lash back at any given moment. She can also be considered a tomboy and get teased a lot about it since she is portrayed as a “proper lady” in the eyes of other characters.
Despite her aggressive nature, she is straightforward and a wholesome girl. She is also very childish, especially regarding her Gekota bear, which she gets teased about. When she gets embarrassed, she blushes hard, showing her cutesy side.
3. Hinagiku Katsura/Hayate the Combat Butler
Hinagiku Katsura is a character with many skills. At the age of 15, she was well-versed in the art of the sword, even defeating those who were thought to be her superior. Also, she holds the position of president of the kendo club and even is an unofficial idol. There’s nothing this girl can’t do!
Due to her many successes, Hinagiku suffers from having to put up a perfectionist image of herself. This, in turn, leads her to hide her more honest/cute side. In her interactions with Hayate, it’s evident that she loves him, even blushing in front of him (which never happens with anyone else).
Although she has the qualities of a tsundere and the image of a perfectionist, she still has weaknesses as well, being that she’s afraid of spiders and heights.
4. Hitagi Senjogahara/Bakemonogatari
Bakemonogatari’s main character, Hitagi, is a fragile girl with an “incurable disease.” She and Koyomi are in the same class, but he rarely hears her speak. After that, in her first year of high school, she came face to face with a baffling crab, after which she nearly lost her balance.
She refers to herself as a tsundere even though she is more of a kuudere and once mentioned “moe”. This suggests that she is familiar with otaku culture.
Due to her “high-strung” nature, she asserts that she generally has trouble falling asleep. She also seems to dislike children. Additionally, when she felt threatened or jealous, she frequently used stationery to intimidate others, particularly Araragi. But she got over it in later episodes of the series.
5. Azusa Nakano/K-ON!
Azusa takes on the role of the rhythm guitarist in K-ON! One remarkable aspect about her is that she is very strict with Yui and the dynamic between the two characters exemplifies a true friendship.
Due to her strict personality, you could say she has a serious nature. In terms of being a tsundere, Azusa hates when she is being mocked by her peers and often has outbursts targeted at them, but of course, it’s all in good faith.
Azusa isn’t one to show her feelings when getting picked on, which is evident whenever Yui pets her. She is also quick to shy away when it happens out of pure embarrassment. Other scenarios include when she gets hugged or gets made fun of.
6. Chitoge Kirisaki/Nisekoi
Chitoge is Nisekoi’s leading heroine. She is in a fictitious relationship with Ichijo Raku and is the daughter of the Bee Hive Gangsters’ leader. Despite growing up in the United States, Chitoge is extremely intelligent and proficient in English and Japanese.
Chitoge tends to forget things, is aggressive, and is quick to attack anyone who gets in her way. However, she becomes very talkative and friendly once you get to know her.
Chitoge has a tsundere nature and will deny her affection for Raku by concealing them with cruelty and savagery. She tends to yell at Raku and punch or kick him whenever he gets in trouble, but unlike most tsunderes, she is never caught and always gets away with her actions. Additionally, Chitoge is prone to rapid mood swings.
7. Kagami Hiiragi/Lucky Star
The Tsundere character in Lucky Star is Kagami Hiiragi. Kagami has light purple hair that is long and straight up to her waist. She typically ties her hair with brown ribbons in high twintails.
Tsukasa’s older fraternal twin sister is Kagami. She studies very hard and earns excellent grades in school. In her first year, she held the position of class president. She belongs in a different category than Konata and Tsukasa, but she frequently eats lunch with them in class.
In addition, to be with Konata in her second year, Kagami enrolled in the humanities course, but she was the only student separated into a different classroom; In her third year, the same thing happened. Kagami, referred to as “Kagamin,” is not very good at cooking and has a bit of ego. She does bark back and argue but also has a soft side.
8. Taiga Aisaka/Tora-Dora
Taiga Aisara, man, this is a character to behold when talking about tsunderes. Despite her beautiful and well-regulated appearance, she cannot be around other people. Therefore, she was dubbed “Palmtop Tiger” due to her short stature and frequent aggressive snapping at others.
She has a complex and negative attitude and expression due to her underdeveloped body and the added nickname. In essence, Taiga is highly clumsy and gets upset quickly. She is brutally honest, though, wildly when slamming someone.
She frequently receives confessions of love from boys due to her adorable appearance (Ryuuji describes her as a doll). Still, she declines every one of them, including Yuusaku Kitamura (which she later regrets).
9. Maki Nishikino/ Love Live!
Maki is like a tsundere and has trouble telling her peers what she feels. Due to the group discovering that she still believes in Santa Claus, she also has somewhat childish beliefs. Additionally, Maki is stubborn.
Maki is the group’s composer and skilled pianist. She also works with their vocals. Her other interests include stargazing and photography. After the third-year students graduated, she became the vice president of the Idol Research Club.
10. Haruhi Suzumiya/The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Haruhi Suzumiya is a second-year student at North High School and a first-year student (in novels 1 through 8) known for being funny, eccentric, and somewhat unpredictable. She says she doesn’t like “ordinary” people in the show and is interested in aliens, espers, and time travel.
Unlike Mikuru in the aforementioned blackmail, Haruhi typically pursues her objectives regardless of who gets in the way or suffers harm. However, whenever Kyon becomes overly friendly with any girl, she becomes envious and irate. When Haruhi’s jealousy got out of hand, the universe was almost destroyed and rebuilt.
11. Nino Nakano/The Quintessential Quintuplets
Along with her sister, Itsuki Nakano, Nino Nakano is one of the secondary characters in The Quintessential Quintuplets. She is the second sister of the Nakano quintuplets. She cooks for the quintuplets and takes care of the household chores, acting like a mother to them.
Nino has many friends and is a social butterfly due to her outgoing personality and social awareness. However, she speaks bluntly and with a sharp tongue when confronting others, including her sisters. She resembles a “tsundere” because of her rebellious attitude, which makes her the least cooperative of the sisters.
She takes care of her nails and has a variety of adorable accessories, making her the most fashionable sister. She hasn’t pierced her ears yet, but she plans to at least have them a shot before getting married.
12. Rin Tohsaka/Fate Stay Night
Rin is one character known in the anime fandom for her near-perfect tsundere qualities. Her small stature and cute looks make her a target for being labelled a “tsundere princess.” Also, she is one of the main heroines throughout the series
Rin’s tsundere qualities stem from her hostile speech and her secret soft side. Throughout the series, she has this image of perfectionism, but on the inside, she’s more of a bossy girl. She always tries to portray herself as a cold/calculating character, but in reality, in the most trivial moments, she will make mistakes, going against the image she tries to put out.
Rin’s love interest is Shirou, and boy, does she know how to show affection. Incorporating her pompous exterior, she is always teasing and aggressive with Shirou despite her deep-rooted feelings of affection.
13. Ai Haibara(Anita Hailey)/Case Closed
Haibara Ai, real name Miyano Shiho, is the creator of the poison APTX 4869, which turned Kudou Shinichi into Edogawa Conan, and they also fell victim to it. Sherry of the Black Organization used to live with Professor Agasa away from them. She is also the only character who is aware that Shinichi is Conan.
Haibara is intelligent, sarcastic, and has a relaxed personality. She was cold when she got away from the Dark Association and drove others away. Since then, Haibara has embraced her new life as a child and developed strong relationships with the Detective Boys, Agasa and Ran.
She tries to prevent Conan from acting carelessly in ways that could reveal their identities. She is, however, frequently taken aback by his actions, which typically result in obtaining the information he requires while concealing their identities. Haibara, on the other hand, plans to bury Conan whenever he is careless about concealing his identity from Ran.
14. Kirino Kousaka/My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute
Kirino is what every sis-con individual wants. Kirino struggles with a “brother complex”; a lot of the media she owns centers around “older brother-younger sister themes. Following the blueprint of cute characters, she has a short build and long glossy hair.
Kirino’s personality can stem from her fetish. She has a “little sister” fetish in which she has no idea how to go about/explore it. Although Kirino is younger, she is pretty mature for her age, using her modelling job to fund her fetish adventures.
Her tsundere quality is portrayed through her interactions with Kousuke. She is always bossing him around and usually aggressive with him, not to say that she enjoys it and even shows her loving side.
15. Futaba Igarashi/ My Senpai Is Annoying
Due to her height and age, Igarashi is frequently mistaken for a high school student. Her hair is long and green. She typically dons her gray jacket, grey pencil skirt, and white shirt as part of her business attire.
She is a tsundere, especially with Takeda in mind. She is too embarrassed to admit that she has a crush on Takeda, her senpai. However, she has a slightly strong personality and is very concerned about her diminutive height, which hasn’t changed much since elementary school.
She says that she has style envy for Sakurai and Natsumi. Igarashi cooks well despite frequent outings. She has never met her parents and uses her left hand. Since her grandmother passed away, her grandfather has been her only surviving relative.
The anime short Comical Psychosomatic Medicine had an episode where they suggested the tsundere was appealing because otaku, being more recluse, have low opinions of themselves. So psychologically, they feel more trusting towards a character who tells them they’re trash. I have a personal theory that it’s appealing to think that all the pretty men and women who acted as though they didn’t like us in the past did so because they were secretly madly in love with us.
The most believable explanation is that it appeals to our idea of successfully beating a game. The tsundere, in their natural state, treat you like dirt. But their defences will drop once you display attractiveness through a series of dashing sweeps of the hair and acts of goodwill.
Be sure to keep checking back on our site for more great anime recommendations!