Know your dere

by Punch Rockgroin


“I’m Taiga and I act like I’m in love with one guy but am actually in love with the one I treat like shit.”

It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day if there weren’t two sides to this equation: those who have, and those who don’t.  For those who don’t have, there are a few options.  They can choose to be bitter about it; they can choose to not give a shit; or they can choose to not give a shit while anxiously hugging and humping their body pillow with Kirino on it.  Hey, she’s one of those tsundere characters, isn’t she?  Wait, you don’t know what that is?  Why you uncultured swine, it sounds like you need some lessons!  To think you dare call yourself an otaku.  Nonetheless, I feel like I should educate you on such character traits as that, especially since the tsundere now has a couple of sisters, so to speak.  Without further ado, I shall introduce you, the trait newbie, to tsundere, yandere, dandere and kuudere.

First and foremost, there’s the tsundere.  This is a character that’s outwardly cold, if not hostile, but for whatever reason does this to hide their true feelings for another character.  Tsundere is considered one of the traits that could classify a character as moe.  Examples of tsundere characters include Senjougahara Hitagi from Bakemonogatari and Taiga Aisaka from Toradora!  The tsundere tends to gravitate between “smash your face with a hammer” and “blushing, incapable mess.”  If you go looking for a girl who is outwardly hostile towards you, chances are it’s because you’re a mouth-breathing moron who smells like beef stew and has a shirt covered in little girls, and not because she’s a tsundere.

So the tsundere really had its heyday in the 90s, and has remained with us since.  But there are a few more “deres,” one of them being a subtype of the tsundere.  The kuudere is outwardly cold like a tsundere, but rather than being hostile and abusive, the kuudere is, well, cool.  They control their emotions, generally hiding their true feelings from either trusted people or ones that, for whatever reason, feel it would be bad to let them out.  The best example of a kuudere would be Raven from the animated series Teen Titans.  Really they just want someone to take the time to discover their true feelings by digging deep.  Yeah, that’s it.

So far we’ve had two traits that, outwardly, are sharp and pointy.  But not all dere are the same.  The yandere is outwardly a soft blanket: warm, nice and comforting.  However, you might just get strangled with that blanket.  The yandere is outwardly friendly, sweet and cute, but inside is probably an ax murderer with a mean streak a mile wide.  If you are the target of obsession for a yandere, chances are it will feel like you’re under the thumb of a dictator.  To get between a yandere and its object of interest can only mean your body will no longer act as a friendly container for your oh-so-precious blood.  A great example of a yandere is Mirai Nikki’s Gasai Yuno.  She loves the main character so much she’ll kill anyone who even gets close to him.  You’d like that if that happened.  Admit it, you weeaboo.

Last of all, there’s the seemingly-normal dandere.  The dandere is probably like a lot of socially-awkward otaku: they’re fine otherwise, but will only speak if spoken to, and they do better when in numbers.  Thus they clam up when in front of someone they like or are unfamiliar with, but of course inwardly they’re nice.  They should probably just rename this trait to something like otakudere, weeaboodere or Aspergere (Asperger’s and deredere).

There you have it, all the dere you’ll need to know, at least for now.  So if in your group of friends there’s someone acting openly hostile towards you, or cold and emotionless, or obsessed, just remember: anime isn’t real, and it’s probably all in your head; unless of course, you surround yourself with terrible weeaboos like you.


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