How tsundere should you be to be labeled tsundere?

So I was hanging out on a message board earlier and there seemed to be a couple of Toradora topics around. Kind of a rarity these days to have multiple ones on any general anime board. Being the fanboy I am, I hopped in. I saw several people in both topics calling Taiga a tsundere or saying something about tsunderes in Toradora. I simply replied to both with “There are no tsunderes in Toradora” and got (I’d imagine, since I couldn’t see them) some of the weirdest looks people have ever given me. One guy even asked me if I’d actually seen the show. (Unrelated note: I actually just recently rewatched it. I marathoned the whole thing on DVD in a single day, including SOS specials and all clean OPs/EDs. It was a week and a half ago on the 10th and I only casually mentioned it here. Just wanted to gloat a little.)

So this got me to thinking, just how tsundere should a character be to be labeled as such? Really, looking at Taiga, she’s not a tsundere. She shares very little with your common, garden-variety Rin Tohsaka-esque tsundere. She’s bashful and she can be aggressive and violent, but rarely do those traits overlap. In fact, the only instance of tsundere behavior that comes immediately to mind is at the very end of the series. Like, the very last thing we see in the last episode. I’m trying to avoid spoilers, but that’s tsundere behavior from Taiga at its finest, and the only one that immediately comes to mind.

I’ll grant that she shows some tsundere tendencies near the beginning of the series, but they’re really more like violent outbursts as there are no feelings involved. Additionally, they’re almost entirely missing from her character as early as the vacation arc.

Really, Taiga’s the kind of person who wears her heart on her sleeves. She doesn’t really try to hide what she’s feeling. One of the key aspects of a tsundere is that they’re always trying to hide their feelings by contradicting themselves or acting cold/aggressive/violent/abusive toward whomever or whatever is causing them to feel that way. I just really can’t see Taiga as this kind of person. She’s quick to say how she feels and if she’s not then she shows it on her face, making little to no effort to hide it. She may mask it with aggression sometimes, but it always seemed to me more like she was just trying to let off steam. An example of this would be her appearance on stage at the pageant. It never seemed like she was trying to mask her sadness, only to vent and make herself feel better. And she’s certainly not one to mask her feelings of affection. It’s written all over her face every time she’s smitten and she couldn’t possibly care less if anyone knows.

I’ve got more examples, but I’m trying to keep this as spoiler-free of a blog as possible.

This post is really just some food for thought. What’s the minimum requirement for a tsundere? Which characters considered tsunderes may not actually be? Why would they be confused for one? Is it up for personal interpretation or should there be some kind of rule for gauging?

Not like anyone reads this blog anyway, but if you do and you have something to say, feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to discuss this with people.

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8 Responses to “How tsundere should you be to be labeled tsundere?”

  1. Anon Says:

    Who the hell cares if a character is a tsundere? The show was beautiful, why are we arguing over petty things?

    :X

  2. Ryukishin Says:

    I agree with you :3
    It’s actually pretty important to discuss this sort of stuff because there are people who misunderstand taiga for being a tsundere just because she looks cute and acts violent as other tsundere do ._.)a
    Or maybe just because wikipedia says so :v
    Maybe most people just don’t know what tsundere actually are…
    Acting Violent ? Starting a brawl with people ? beating the shit out of people ? that’s not what It takes to be a tsundere
    the main idea of being a tsundere is an attempt at trying to hide feelings towards the one that the tsundere like with cold attitudes.
    and what does taiga do in the 1st episode ? a Tsundere Confession ,eh !?
    A tsundere is supposed to have more pride in herself
    Well, there are tsundere who confess to the one they like, but after confessing they normally say things like “Don’t make me say it twice, BAKA !!” and stuff..
    but look at taiga, she is so honest and she even acts shy without any attempt to hide her feelings…

    So I don’t think she can be categorized as tsundere , let alone The Queen of tsundere
    It actually makes me sick hearing people say that she is the queen of tsundere, what’s tsundere about her ? Kirino from oreimo even has more tsundere traits than her, also Fumino from mayoi neko overrun has perfect traits to be called tsundere..and there are still a lot more tsundere characters out there who are better than taiga, why would taiga be labeled the Queen of Tsundere then =w=)a
    is it just because the voice actor is Rie Kugumiya who has always voiced a lot of tsundere characters ?

    Taiga’s Confession in the first episode alone is enough to make her not-tsundere-like
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toradora!
    ^seeing description about taiga alone makes it clear that she is not tsundere
    ” She is also brutally honest” <— Tsundere \:v/ ????
    I wish people had more brains when deciding whether a character is a tsundere or not, they say a character is tsundere just because It's favorable to them and the character qualifies the misguided tsundere definition that they make up themselves :v

    • Daverost Says:

      It’s always nice to see someone share my opinion. Toradora is my all-time favorite anime and I’d like to think I know it inside and out, but I once had someone ask if I’d even seen the show when I said something along these lines.

  3. Ryukishin Says:

    It’s also nice to find someone who is smart enough to discover the fact about taiga not being a tsundere… :3

  4. Ryukishin Says:

    Well , Most people just don’t quite understand what tsundere are
    We can’t blame them for that though, but We can blame them for claiming Taiga to be the Queen of tsundere despite the fact that she is not tsundere at all =A=)a
    I’m glad that I found this blog, what’s more ? I found an anime lover who fully understands about how a tsundere is supposed to be
    Most people are just too ignorant about this dere”-related stuff that they can’t even tell which is tsundere and which is not

  5. Kenji Says:

    Years after the show ended, yet another soul rewatch it to ascertain whether Aisaka Taiga is actually a tsundere. Finally, I can put my mind to ease as I read this article and assured myself that I’m not mistaken. A very well done for this article :3.

  6. Ryukishin Says:

    It seems there is someone else who has discovered the truth :3
    Nevertheless, I’m still wondering what I should do to make the people who still think of Taiga as a Tsundere come to realize that she is not tsundere at all QAQa

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