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Ottservia

How to describe the appeal of a tsundere?

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I’ve made it no secret as to my love for tsunderes on this site and as someone who generally adores this archetype in all its forms, I often run into those who do not understand why I love this archetype so much. I mean that’s a valid opinion to have but that’s got me wondering what the appeal of a tsundere really is?

for me personally, I just find it adorable that they’re so awful at hiding their feelings. Like they really do care about you but they don’t wanna show it but they’re awful at hiding so they just become this flustered mess. I dunno why I find it cute but I do. It’s like when a child does something milidly bad and they don’t want to admit but it’s blatently obvious that they did it and they’re just terrible at hiding it. It’s kinda like that.

this is the kinda shit my mind gets up to when I’m bored.

Edited by Ottservia

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That makes sense to me. 

But is tsundere the type who will murder for their senpai? Or is that yandere? I guess as long as it doesn't get too violent what you said is solid.

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Yeah the clingy obsessive murdur bit is exclusively a yandere thing. The most a tsundere will probably do is probably kick/punch you in the face which is a bit extreme I’ll admit but honestly it’s all worth it for that blush.

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Everyone likes different deres. I do not like nor dislike tsunderes, they are just "meh" for me. They are good people at heart, but they come off as violent and unsociable, so that makes me not very attracted to them.

I like derederes, so I think I would unwittingly go after a yandere. Yanderes are good at being sweet and hiding their dark side.

I also like nyanderes.

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While I'm not particularly attracted to tsunderes, I believe their major appeal is basically what you're saying. Perhaps there's also something comforting about the fantasy of getting to play the courting game with a girl while also being basically guaranteed to get her if one just keeps at it that some people gravitate towards. I'm not saying that the fantasy is one way or the other in terms of morality, just that's what I theorize is the core idea behind their design choices.

Personally I engage in waifu culture mostly for giggles as opposed to actually falling for fictional characters, but when I do 9 time out of 10 I advocate for the girl who feels the most sensible pick for a lifelong partner. Which means I usually end up rooting for the childhood friend character. Which means I get the pleasure of being heartbroken alongside her as mysterious newcomer girl No. 789 gets the guy EVERY TIME. Ok I haven't actually watched a lot of anime structured around courting and this is just a joke structured around my limited experience and I may be totally wrong about this. But also seriously Japan let the childhood friends be happy.

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Honestly Tsunderes are a character archetype that can be done really poorly or really well, but if it's done well I usually like the character a lot.  Which I guess people could tell based on my current avatar assuming they're familiar with the character in it.

By "well done" I generally just want a decent character arc that incorporates it well and explains why they're like that, rather than just "I'm a tsundere to check boxes."  To use Waver as an example since I already brought him up, Waver's tsundereness generally comes from his horrible self esteem that prior to Fate/Zero he went to a lot of trouble to hide from both other people and himself.  I feel that was a fine way to make the tsundereness work, a person used to pushing others away in an attempt to seem self confident, and as that crumbles under the pressure of what's going on let the nicer side show.  

I probably explained that really badly.  Oh well.

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I typically don't like this trope, but that's largely because so many examples of tsunderes I've seen have been poorly written. However, there are a few characters that I have liked that were tsunderes. In most of those cases, I like them despite them being tsunderes, but the two exceptions to this that come to the top of my head are Midna from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and Riley Miller from Valkyria Chronicles 4. I think the reason why I like these two in particular is that the tsundere part of their personality is woven into their character development, rather than being left as some quirk we're just supposed to find funny or adorable. Minor spoilers below if you haven't played either game. 

Midna:

Spoiler

Midna starts the game bitter because of her transformation and failure to protect her people from Zant. She makes it clear that she doesn't care much for Hyrule and is just using Link because he can retain a physical form in the Twilight Realm. But, over the course of the game, she warms up to the people of Hyrule and to Link in particular, especially after Zelda uses her life to save Midna's. By the second half of the game, she's far more sweet and caring, though she never loses her feistiness, especially when confronting Zant and Ganondorf, and when teasing Link after regaining her true form. 

Riley:

Spoiler

In Riley's case, she starts off outright hating Claude for forcing her to run from the burning factory; leaving her parents to die in the fire. It takes Claude proving that he's changed since his childhood days as a coward to get her to warm up to him even a little, and even then, she still acts cold towards him because she hasn't fully forgiven him. It takes until the second part of the game for her to start trusting him, and it's only then that her sweet side starts appearing around him more often (and it's only then that the game starts dropping hints of any romantic attraction to him on her part). Her gradual warming up to him is the thing that makes their romance arc so sweet; if she had just acted tsundere throughout the whole thing, it would have been really off-putting. 

So, yeah; I normally really dislike this trope, but I do like it when it can be used well for displaying character development. 

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Oftentimes I do not like tsunderes. The reasons primarily due to 1) mostly simply being token characters that appeal to a specific audience 2) as others have said, they’re often poorly written, usually just there to beat up the (usually male) protagonist and constantly call them an idiot and 3) irl I usually prefer the sweet, mild mannered girls (the closest anime equivalent being deredere and dandere) as opposed to “hard-to-get” ones. Also, I often find tsunderes to cross the line of being flat out bitches/assholes. 

However... on the rare occasion it’s done right, I adore them. If there’s a genuine reason as to why the character acts that way, and there’s a solid arc behind it, there’s a fair chance there’ll be one of my favorite characters ever. Some examples of excellently handled tsunderes are Naofumi Iwatani from Rise of the Shield Hero and Rin Tohsaka from Fate/Stay Night. Hell, I find the “token sweet character” in the latter series to be one of my least favorites, but that’s another story.

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Yukari in Persona 3 is another good example of the archetype being part of character development. She also hides her feeling for people because of how much trust issues she had due to her father being a scapegoat for a severe industrial accident, and how she and her mother had to move numerous times due to being constantly ostracized by the general public from the fallout. It also did not help that one of her dormmates' (and fellow party members') grandfather, as Yukari's father's employer, was ultimately responsible for the disaster. By the time of Persona 4 Arena's story (which takes place at least 2 years after the end of Persona 3's story), she had more or less mellowed out as she had the courage to move on from her past. Well, except towards Junpei, but everybody from SEES/SO looks down on Junpei.

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I have a weakness for them because I would consider myself as one somewhat. 

Airi Ban from Devil Survivor 2 is my absolute favorite videogame character because of this attitude. 

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4 hours ago, Glaceon Mage said:

Honestly Tsunderes are a character archetype that can be done really poorly or really well, but if it's done well I usually like the character a lot.  Which I guess people could tell based on my current avatar assuming they're familiar with the character in it.

By "well done" I generally just want a decent character arc that incorporates it well and explains why they're like that, rather than just "I'm a tsundere to check boxes."  To use Waver as an example since I already brought him up, Waver's tsundereness generally comes from his horrible self esteem that prior to Fate/Zero he went to a lot of trouble to hide from both other people and himself.  I feel that was a fine way to make the tsundereness work, a person used to pushing others away in an attempt to seem self confident, and as that crumbles under the pressure of what's going on let the nicer side show.  

I probably explained that really badly.  Oh well.

I never pegged waiver as a tsundere. He comes off as too meek for me to even consider the thought. Most male tsunderes are similiar to characters like Fuyuhiko from danganronpa or Takumi from my understanding. I thought the resident tsundere of fate was Rin cause yeah. I mean I love waiver probably my favorite character in Fate/zero but I never though of him as a tsundere cause when I think tsundere in Fate I think Rin Tohsaka.

I do overall agree though that the archetype is very hit or miss. As many others have said this archetype is just kind of filled to the brim with really shitty characters that are just there to fill a fetish quota but when done well this archetype can lead to some of the most complex characters I've seen in fiction. I mean there's a reason I like Severa so much and it isn't solely because of my aforementioned love of the archetype but rather that she is a complex character that just so happens to be a part of that archetype.

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1 minute ago, Ottservia said:

I never pegged waiver as a tsundere. He comes off as too meek for me to even consider the thought. Most male tsunderes are similiar to characters like Fuyuhiko from danganronpa or Takumi from my understanding. I thought the resident tsundere of fate was Rin cause yeah. I mean I love waiver probably my favorite character in Fate/zero but I never though of him as a tsundere cause when I think tsundere in Fate I think Rin Tohsaka.

I do overall agree though that the archetype is very hit or miss. As many others have said this archetype is just kind of filled to the brim with really shitty characters that are just there to fill a fetish quota but when done well this archetype can lead to some of the most complex characters I've seen in fiction. I mean there's a reason I like Severa so much and it isn't solely because of my aforementioned love of the archetype but rather that she is a complex character that just so happens to be a part of that archetype.

Waver is pretty Tsundere, at least during Fate/Zero (he mellows out on it a bit afterward, though it still occasionally shows itself with Reines and Flat when they annoy him).  It's probably most notable in his and Iskandar's drama CD though, where some of the stuff he says to Taiga and Iskandar is like, the most textbook tsundere things in existence.

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On 9/11/2019 at 9:52 AM, Silverly said:

Oftentimes I do not like tsunderes. The reasons primarily due to 1) mostly simply being token characters that appeal to a specific audience 2) as others have said, they’re often poorly written, usually just there to beat up the (usually male) protagonist and constantly call them an idiot and 3) irl I usually prefer the sweet, mild mannered girls (the closest anime equivalent being deredere and dandere) as opposed to “hard-to-get” ones. Also, I often find tsunderes to cross the line of being flat out bitches/assholes. 

However… on the rare occasion it’s done right, I adore them. If there’s a genuine reason as to why the character acts that way, and there’s a solid arc behind it, there’s a fair chance there’ll be one of my favorite characters ever. 

I think you summed it up better than I did, and with far fewer words. 

 

On 9/11/2019 at 12:08 PM, henrymidfields said:

Yukari in Persona 3 is another good example of the archetype being part of character development. She also hides her feeling for people because of how much trust issues she had due to her father being a scapegoat for a severe industrial accident, and how she and her mother had to move numerous times due to being constantly ostracized by the general public from the fallout. It also did not help that one of her dormmates' (and fellow party members') grandfather, as Yukari's father's employer, was ultimately responsible for the disaster. By the time of Persona 4 Arena's story (which takes place at least 2 years after the end of Persona 3's story), she had more or less mellowed out as she had the courage to move on from her past. Well, except towards Junpei, but everybody from SEES/SO looks down on Junpei.

Interesting example. I must admit that I have never played the Persona games. 

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a tsundere has no intrinsic appeal, and tsunderes that are appealing are appealing as themselves, and not by any virtue of their tsunderity

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