Three Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Call that Cute Person Who’s Being Mean to You a Tsundere

If you’re anything like me (and I wouldn’t wish that particular fate upon anyone in the world, but there are unlucky people out there), then you’ve at least considered describing things via terminology out of anime and manga and other such media.

Real life is likened to a video game. Drinks are potions (and booze is a hyper potion that also moonlights as a poisoned elixir). Notable encounters or occasions are referred to as events. Personally, I picture myself as the unlucky side character with no sense of direction when I get lost trying to buy McDondald’s when I only have to go down a straight road to secure the fast food goods.

When it comes to labeling individuals with specific character traits, however, a sense of caution is pivotal if not crucial. Above most else, I’d recommend against calling someone a tsundere.

After all, “tsundere” is quite the loaded word. Its meaning has changed over the years, but a (subjective) definition would go on to explain that a tsundere is someone who acts mean when they are actually nicer than what their cold treatment towards others would suggest.

Sometimes they’re nice to everyone but mean to one person in particular. Other times they’re mean to everyone but nice to a specific individual. All in all, it’s a term that hints at biasedness, possibly even dishonesty from a certain perspective.

Of course, tropes often reflect real life. There are people who identify as tsuntsuns walking among us, believe me. But for you to call someone a tsundere, which seems to happen when someone is mean or cold to you, is to do them a disservice. Here are three reasons why you should reconsider calling someone a tsundere.

Tsunderes Have an Unfavourable Portrayals and Provide Unfair Comparisons

It’s not unreasonable for tsunderes in anime to be harsh. Subtlety is apparently overrated and the tsuntsun side is usually made blaringly obvious for whatever reason. But sometimes the characters go way overboard and seem to be excessively mean. I’ve heard such tsunderes be described as mentally unstable, even.

So if the person you’re calling a tsundere happens to hold these sort of notions regarding tsunderes, then it shouldn’t be a surprise if they prefer to not be associated with these seemingly hysterical characters.

To Label is to Disregard the Reason

If someone is being aloof or cold towards you, then they probably have some sort of reason why regarding their behaviour. Maybe you said something which offended them. Perhaps they’re in a bad mood. Or you might have just fucked up.

In any case, before you attribute their mannerisms to them being a tsundere, try to consider things from their perspective before opening your mouth. Otherwise, you might find yourself in a yelling contest if it just so happens they detest being called a tsundere.

They May Honestly Not Be a Tsundere

They could simply hate your guts. Or they could be a sadist who likes seeing you squirm. There’s probably a difference, you see, between a sadist and a tsundere, but I’m losing confidence with every word I type up for this blog post so I’m just going to end it here.

D-don’t expect me to thank you for reading, baka…

9 thoughts on “Three Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Call that Cute Person Who’s Being Mean to You a Tsundere

  1. Seems legit. Actually, to be honest the second reason perfectly captures why I don’t like the concept of labeling a person! especially if you’re in highschool, which back then I was- when that reason was obvious to me but no one picked up on it – I was subtle about it. It also didn’t help that I grew up being bullied, and that left me believing that socially I am an outcast to my generation.


  2. Describing real people using terminology generally reserved for describing fictional characters or media tropes is generally a bad idea! Anime and related media in particular tend to include heavily exaggerated characters (particularly when it comes to tropes like tsundere) so real people tend to have more subtletly about them. Even a socially inept Aspie like myself can see that. 🙂

    It’s quite interesting how some terminology kind of “softens” the impact of things though; consider “lolicon” and “shotacon”, for example — in cases where they’re used in anime and manga, it’s often (though of course not exclusively) played for laughs and/or used as a light-hearted insult, whereas if you knew someone in real life who was into little girls/boys, you’d probably call the police.

    Liked by 4 people

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