Ah yes, anime “dere” girls. You love them, you hate them, you know what they’re about. Or maybe you don’t. In case you don’t know what I mean, I’m talking about “dere” girl personality types. It started with Tsundere fever, and eventually the other terms, kuudere, dandere, and yandere, followed. Each term has different attributes that describe a particular female (or, more recently, male) character in an anime, manga, or OVA.
The “dere” craze started in Japanese dating simulator forums back in 2002. My Anime List describes “tsun tsun” as having to break through a girl’s (harsh) demeanor to get to her “dere” (sweet) side. Soon after, the two terms became one and now we have Tsundere being used among forum members all over Japan. It grew beyond the walls of the forums and is now commonly used slang throughout the anime fandom.
A Tsundere girl often has a harsh and prickly personality when you first meet her. She’ll go out of her way to show she doesn’t like you, but once you’ve cracked her hard shell, she acts very coy. She’s just testing you to see how much you can tolerate, and how trustworthy you are before opening up.
The origin of the “kuu” in kuudere comes from the Japanese pronunciation of the English word cool. Not like, “She’s is a super cool girl.” No, this girl’s personality is as cold as ice. TVtropes has an analogy for why the Japanese compare a kuudere girl to snow:
“It may be cold and harsh at first glance, but it is also what keeps autumn’s seeds warm and safe until spring.”
She usually speaks with a monotone voice and says what is on her mind no matter who gets hurt. She often has an intense need to be in control, but is observant and tries to remain neutral. To those close to the character, she may be caring and nice, but strangers and acquaintances often get the cold shoulder. It’s possible she will become cold to people she is close to if she feels they’re being invasive. While appearing apathetic or realistic, her frosty facade protects a delicate girl that just needs time to blossom.
Anime Complexium explains that the ‘dan’ in dandere comes from the Japanese word danmari meaning silent and is one of the extreme personality types. This a character is prone to isolation, she’s anti-social type, and is poor at interacting with people due to social anxiety. You’ll see them lurking in the shadows watching the activities around them. Don’t try to approach them because they will just run off.
You slowly find that they behave this way because they are driven by their fears of not wanting to drive those they care about away. They would hate to say something wrong or behave in a way that would piss you off. If you did get mad at them they will probably cry for weeks. While danere’s shyness can be annoying as hell, once they become comfortable, they break out of their introverted shells and are known to flourish with a happy-go-lucky personality. That part of her personality is something only you will see, everyone else will get the shy treatment.
The word “yandere” is slang that sprung forth from the moe fandom. Like Beyonce, this character is crazy in love. Crazy and in love, usually to the point of violent obsession. She’s an attractive, charming girl and makes a great first impression. That harmless act is used to win over the person they are obsessed with and people usually fall for it. Unfortunately, this means you’re stuck with her. Don’t even think about speaking to another woman, Yandere will hurt or kill her. Try to break up with her or leave her, and she’ll end up killing you. This chick is NUTS!
If you look close enough, you’re bound to see at least one of these personality types in every anime. ‘Dere’ terms are mostly used to describe women, but fans are becoming more comfortable with using these terms to describe male characters as well. Whether you’re a long-time anime fans or a novice, knowing this lingo important to your future with anime.
Featured Image: Kaichou wa Maid-sama!
Image via Japanloverme