TSUNDERE.

I have no particular interest in manga and related phenomena—I don’t dislike them or disapprove of them, and I’ve seen some interesting examples, but life is too short to delve into everything—so I hadn’t been familiar with the term tsundere until I read a MetaFilter comment by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing (the username is a reference to a Japanese song whose original title is 魔理沙は大変なものを盗んでいきました Marisa wa taihen na mono o nusunde ikimashita); the comment explains:

In the older sense, “tsundere” was a character who appeared to be cold, aloof even arrogant, but over time developed a softer, more caring side. In the newer sense, it’s been used to mean a character who appears to be cold, aloof and arrogant on the outside but is actually, on the inside, filled with feelings of love and affection, usually for the character they’re coldest with.

You can learn more at the Wikipedia entry (which explains that the word “is a combination of the two words tsuntsun (ツンツン), and deredere (デレデレ)”); at any rate, the reason I bring it up is that MSTPT also linked to a video in which “Minoru from Lucky Star explains it quite well,” and it’s one of the best examples of word rage I’ve seen—at about the 1:20 mark, after discussing the change in meaning, he loses it: “I declare here, this is plainly a mistake! We must bring back the true meaning of tsundere and restore this depraved nation! Rise up, citizens!” Prescriptivism knows no national or generational bounds.

Comments

  1. Sebastian?
    This is the first time I actually see any Lucky Star – I’ve seen a tonnes of spoofs (spooves?) of their opening sequence, though.
    I’m not particularly familar with the tsundere concept, but I recall reading the WP definition at some point.

  2. Bill Walderman says:

    “a character who appears to be cold, aloof and arrogant on the outside but is actually, on the inside, filled with feelings of love and affection, usually for the character they’re coldest with”
    Kniaz’ Nikolay Bolkonsky

  3. Excellent example, Bill! (Hmm, War and Peace manga/anime… nah, must have been done to death.)

  4. Well, there’s at the very least one manga bible (I think I’ve seen something called Manga Messiah on the shelves here, but I fear my tastes or more … juvenile).

  5. The latter definition closely resembles the hebrew word Sabra.

  6. marie-lucie says:

    There is also Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice.

  7. bathrobe says:

    Would love to see that Youtube clip, but it seems to be blocked in China.

  8. blocked in China
    This thread talks about Tor and several other work-arounds, if you want to go that way.

  9. ToussianMuso says:

    Even if one were to put aside the faulty notion of newer meanings lacking validity, this sounds like much too subtle a semantic drift to even bother getting bent out of shape about.
    And by the way, it’s fun to have a language that can split infinitives and end sentences with prepositions. But I think I’m just showing off now.

  10. If you’d like to try just one single manga before you die, Lone Wolf and Cub shan’t disappoint you.

  11. marie-lucie says:

    TM, it’s fun to have a language that can split infinitives and end sentences with prepositions.
    I don’t know about infinitives, but it is not that you can end sentences with prepositions, it is that you can’t even start a sentence with a preposition!

  12. David Marjanović says:

    you can’t even start a sentence with a preposition!

    In which language?

  13. If you’d like to try just one single manga before you die
    Oh, I’ve read a number of them, that’s why I said “I’ve seen some interesting examples,” but I’m not at all familiar with the culture, timeline, etc.

  14. marie-lucie says:

    you can’t even start a sentence with a preposition!
    - In which language?

    In Japanese.

  15. My niece who seem to have a special affinity for Japanese and Japan says the mangas for boys are all about blowing things up and the mangas for girls are all about mushy romance stuff.

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