Aimless Wanderings 17: Uncle Pudgetron’s Learning Corner!
‘SUP BITCHES? I realized that during the most recent podcast, I/we referred to some character types that, while prevalent in anime, may not be known by you folks in the world wide web. So, that is what I endeavor to clear up today or, at the very least, some of the major ones. Very few of these character types are really gender specific, but most are predominantly for female characters (given the typical fan base of anime, with the males as pretty blank slates for the watcher to project upon), although there are some notable male examples.
So, let’s start with the one I probably mention the most on the podcast, mostly due to its pervasiveness in anime, the tsundere. Used to describe characters that run “hot and cold” towards people(usually the lead), it is derived from the Japanese words “tsuntsun” (lit. aloof/irritable) and “deredere” (lit. lovestruck), which is precisely what these characters are. There are multiple types of tsundere, based on varying levels of the two sides and/or which is the default state. The reason why this character is so popular is due to the sudden change brought on by the switch from one mood to the other, especially those that are tsuntsun by default, as it makes the impact of the other side that much more powerful. Notable tsunderes include Asuka Langly (Evangelion), Tohsaka Rin (Fate/Stay Night), and Kagome Higurashi (Inuyasha).
Along with the tsundere, you will also run into the yandere from time to time. If you listened to the most recent(as of this writing) podcast, I described the yandere as the overly attached girlfriend, and that definition is spot on. For those who don’t follow internet memes however, a yandere is a character type that you would associate with a stalker; someone who “loves” somebody, and will literally do anything to make them theirs. This frequently leads to bloodshed, but can be played as a comedic role as well as the annoying girl(it is almost always a female doing the comedic parts) that won’t leave a character alone. Some of the more notable yandere characters are Yuno Gasai (Mirai Nikki) and pretty much every major female character of School Days.
The genki girl on the other hand, is just an aimless ball of energy who just needs to be moving all the time. Nothing they do is ever muted, and they will almost always speak their minds. Despite the name of the character type, there are the occasional male characters though, more often than not, this person is the idiot friend. The female variety is generally a much more fleshed out character, often with a painful past that they cope with by doing everything with tons of energy. A lot of the time though, they’re just really energetic happy people. When thinking of the genki girl I think of Excel (Excel Saga), Tomo (Azuamanga Daioh), or Haruhi Suzumiya (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya).
Naturally, this is barely skimming the surface of the wide variety of characters that can appear in anime but as time is limited, so is the length of these articles. This is certainly a topic I will be revisiting in the future though, so keep an eye out for another UPLC at some point in the not too distant future.