Science Explains Tsundere Appeal

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Science Explains Tsundere Appeal

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I-it's not like I studied this social phenomena because I like you or anything!

A tsundere character, for those of you who don't frequent certain types of message boards, is a character who hides their adoration of a particular character behind an impenetrable wall of bitchiness. Think Louise from Familiar of Zero, or if you require a less esoteric example, Helga from Hey Arnold! The trope has proven very popular amongst anime fans, which is odd given the community's well known appreciation for meek, submissive "moe" characters. Psychologist and anime fan, Yoshihito Nautou, thinks he can explain the attraction. With science.

Nautou's argument hinges on a study performed by Gerald Clore, of the University of Illinois. Clore performed an experiment in which he showed 338 people four videos of two people interacting. The videos were as follows:

  • Video 1: Person A is pleasant to person B.
  • Video 2: Person A is initially pleasant to person B, but becomes more standoffish as the conversation continues.
  • Video 3: Person A is initially unpleasant to Person B, but mellows as the conversation continues.
  • Video 4: Person A acts like an enormous, raging turd for the entirety of the conversation.

When polled on which behavior was the most appealing, the majority of subjects chose video number three. The process which causes this is called the gain-loss, effect. Essentially, when someone is consistently unpleasant towards you, it establishes a behavioral baseline that colors your expectations. When that person becomes more pleasant, even if it's by a tiny amount, you interpret that as progress, which is psychologically stimulating.

Nautou points out that savvy socialites can use this knowledge to their advantage. Something aggravating, popped-collar, frat-gremlins have been doing for years, judging by the popular "treat 'em mean, keep 'em keen" adage.

It's worth noting that not every person who treats you like dirt is trying to hide a deep-rooted romantic attraction that they just can't admit to. Some people just genuinely hate you.

Source: MyNavi News Via Crunchyroll

Permalink

Grey Carter:
[b]
It's worth noting that not every person who treats you like dirt is trying to hide a deep-rooted romanitc attraction that they just can't admit to. Some people just genuinely hate you.

I wonder if science can explain my genuine hate for anime and all the stupid cookie-cutter cliches that come with it.

First off? You wrote "romanitc" in the second-to-last line.

Secondly , my problem with tsunderes has always been that while it may be psychologically stimulating to see them come out of their shell, it makes it so once they inevitably do come all the way out in the series finale, its impossible to imagine them having any kind of real relationship with whatever protagonist they've latched onto. That and that they usually have to stall character development with them to prolong the status quo, which just gets annoying and makes the girl look like a bitch.

Chemical Alia:

Grey Carter:
[b]
It's worth noting that not every person who treats you like dirt is trying to hide a deep-rooted romanitc attraction that they just can't admit to. Some people just genuinely hate you.

I wonder if science can explain my genuine hate for anime and all the stupid cookie-cutter cliches that come with it.

I wonder if science can explain why people consistently click on articles and threads concerning things they don't like/things that piss them off, just so they can comment and bitch about them.

Science: they do what they can, because they can.

I'm glad you mentioned Louise from Zero no Tsukaima because she is the perfect poster girl for Tsundere. Not only because of her obvious treatment of Saito, but because of all the "aside" drama you see where she shows affection towards him. Tsukiumi from Sekirei would probably be my #2 spot for favorite Tsundere character.
I've always found Tsundere appealing because it is so damned entertaining to see the rage/love go back and forth.

hydroblitz:

Chemical Alia:

Grey Carter:
[b]
It's worth noting that not every person who treats you like dirt is trying to hide a deep-rooted romanitc attraction that they just can't admit to. Some people just genuinely hate you.

I wonder if science can explain my genuine hate for anime and all the stupid cookie-cutter cliches that come with it.

I wonder if science can explain why people consistently click on articles and threads concerning things they don't like/things that piss them off, just so they can comment and bitch about them.

Don't worry, there will be plenty of ME3 boards to saturate with ignorant hate for the next few weeks :D

GAAAAAAH!!! A thread about TvTropes and now a news article with a link TO TvTropes, what are you trying to do to me Escapist?!

*ahem*

Well, that's not all that surprising seeing as there are people that like to figure out how other people tick, and I don't really mean that in a romantic way either. I mean, yeah, it might lead to romantic paths, but it's just human nature to question.

Physical abuse may or may not be in the equation.

Torrasque:
Science: they do what they can, because they can.

I'm glad you mentioned Louise from Zero no Tsukaima because she is the perfect poster girl for Tsundere. Not only because of her obvious treatment of Saito, but because of all the "aside" drama you see where she shows affection towards him. Tsukiumi from Sekirei would probably be my #2 spot for favorite Tsundere character.
I've always found Tsundere appealing because it is so damned entertaining to see the rage/love go back and forth.

The voice actress of Louise tends to portray that role quite a bit though the only other example I can think of right now is Shana from Shakugan no Shana(tan).

I think the appeal is also the comedy value of the entire thing because as the viewer of a drama we see everything from an omniscient perspective, and what these characters are doing and thinking behind the scenes.

What's appealing and entertaining an a story doesn't nessicarly equate to a similar appreciation of it IRL from a limited perspective.

I tend to dismiss this study because you really can't apply stock drama persona and storytelling device to reality.

Well, as least I finally know what "tsundere" means.

...

So... all those women who seemingly loath me are actually just desperately trying to conceal their undeniable lust for my oh so very sexy self. Good to know! Anime is awesome!

Grey Carter:

*Snip*

Hmm, makes sense I suppose. I mean, a few of my closer IRL friends are people who either hated me, or I hated. That and the mind liking progress makes sense too.

Still, the heck Grey, you linked to TVTropes in a news article? Don't you know that site is like crack!? There goes writing on my paper anymore tonight...

The only problem I can see is that the study and the extrapolation are two different variants of the tsundere archetype.

The study seems to focus on the "classic" tsunere, the character who starts off obnoxious but mellows over time, rather than the "modern" archetype, which is simply a character with the often adoration-induced mood swings, which is what is usually meant in anime circles when talking about tsundere. The TV Tropes link kinda goes into both, though I think they consider the classic archetype to be a combination of both types, plus a heaping amount of "Defrosting Ice Queen".

Either way, the popular tsundere character is basically a Shana-like girl with mood swings, rather than necessarily one who becomes less belligerent over time, which would count as "progress."

I like them because I like arguing, and what could be better than arguing with someone ELSE who likes arguing with YOU because it's YOU and then there's all the BST or UST I dunno I haven't been on TVTropes for ages and you rage in each others faces and then you end up in bed and it's like didn't see that coming and I'm all like that's what she said and...

... that bloody LRR video has made me speak like an idiot. I apologise.

Fiz_The_Toaster:
GAAAAAAH!!! A thread about TvTropes and now a news article with a link TO TvTropes, what are you trying to do to me Escapist?!

Everyone here is tied into a conspiracy to steal away your free time for our master plan.

Hey look, a video about SCIENCE!

Zhukov:
Well, as least I finally know what "tsundere" means.

This article explained it for me as well.

*shrugs*

People like it when their presence visibly cheers someone else up. This works for most social interactions, not only romantic ones.

Redlin5:

Fiz_The_Toaster:
GAAAAAAH!!! A thread about TvTropes and now a news article with a link TO TvTropes, what are you trying to do to me Escapist?!

Everyone here is tied into a conspiracy to steal away your free time for our master plan.

Hey look, a video about SCIENCE!

Ooooh science....

*clicks*

Hey! This isn't science! You tricked me! >:(

Oh God it's everywhere!

*goes off to sob bitterly in corner*

So what you're telling me is that anime fans are attracted to bipolar women?

I could make a joke here, but this actually explains a lot.

Admit it, you just wanted to use Senjougahara as headline picture (not a bad reason at all)

That said, it's always good to have the entertainment of fictional archtypes explained with reality.

I know this is going to sound weird, but I actually did some research on this myself in the past.

It makes quite a lot of sense if you think about it. I think the study only skims the surface of the issue. It gets much more involved.

I won't bore everyone with the details of -everything- but there are a few essentials missing. First off, a tsundere exhibits characteristics of strength. The whole 'I'm a bitch' personality exhibits self-confidence and authority, which a lot of more passive-male viewers can associate with 'desirability' (not saying -all- anime fans are passive males, but, continuing on). This tsundere (which in real life is usually an -impossibly out of your league for who you are- girl), will secretly admire you and 'hide' how she feels. This is entirely unrealistic..., but also some anime fans' wet dream.

I could make a very cynical statement about how these types of anime are using 'wish-fulfillment' to attract flies to the honey-trap, but in short, it really is a complicated/interesting subject matter.. Besides, Western television/movie romances usually aren't much better...

Hey...at least in Helga's case her bitchiness could be rationally explained.

I hate tsundere characters. And yes that most definitely includes taiga from Toradora. (People seem to LOVE her >.>). A tsundere is not an appropriate replacement for good character development. And the sad thing is I can't blame those results on the test group, people actually do like these characters. :(

Animes just take the Tsundere persona a bit too far. I know that statement itself is redundant, but bear with me here.

I can understand why it's appealing. Romantically speaking, if you're trying to talk to a girl who's a total bitch at first but you like her a lot, you're gonna keep trying. When she opens up to you, it will be a HUGE step forward, which is stimulating. That has already been covered.
This just means you'll want to keep on trying to discover more about this girl and maybe vice versa. It's not rocket science. if a girl is a bitch through and through, then you're just gonna give up eventually. If a girl is nice all the time, then...yay, that was easy. But we all like a challenge.

It's funny because I kinda have a tsundere-like relationship with a girl right now. I like her and I wish nothing more than to proclaim my love, but there are some thing that stop me from doing that. Yet. And I get the feeling she likes me too, but she could unsure about my feeling because, well, I can be a dick at times. Also, I mentioned once that if I ever liked a girl, I'd like to be the first one to make a move. Which kinda came back to bite me in the butt now.
Anyway, we bicker back and forth sometimes and we're kinda opposites but we're also kinda best friends. And apparently, a LOT of people find this incredibly amusing, often doing the whole "You like each otheeeer!" tease, that we deny, of course.

I gotta admit. It's fun and exciting. It's also sad and depressing, But kinda addicting too. So I can kinda see why that's all otaku's wet dream and why this whole thing is so popular. If executed correctly and instead of being used to replace a character's persona, this could be an interesting plot or whatever.

But again, anime shows the extremes, where a girl hits a guy with a boulder and then proceeds to have an awkward, romantic moment with him, just a few seconds later. And then you just know that everything will be resolved by the finale, where everyone will finally expose their true feelings and the tsundere personality will cease to exist. I'm looking at you, Ranma 1/2...
[sub]That also happens to be my favorite anime.

XandNobody:

Still, the heck Grey, you linked to TVTropes in a news article? Don't you know that site is like crack!? There goes writing on my paper anymore tonight...

OH MY GATO! THIS IS TRUE!

I have an assignment due tomorrow...and I've been reading stuff from that site for the last hour and a half! Ugghh, not again! D:

I began assuming this some time ago. It really isn't that huge of a difficult thing to figure out. I would add that it also mixes in with all kinds of sexual kinks in my opinion, and the desire for a strong female character who isn't too strong to be cute. I saw an explanation that related it to something about how tsunderes have a budding sexuality that they are just learning how to express, which is something else I see as part of why people like them so much.

On a side note, Grey, I continue to find the disproportionately large number of your articles that are related to Japan in some way suspicious.

Eh, good romance stories need drama. Even bad ones.

Every romance story ever either has them starting off as hating each other, or being in love, breaking up, and getting back together. Or nobody reads it.

I've read alot of back covers of romance books and they are all the same that way. Oh, and he's rich, and from somewhere exotic...in one case the author seemed to think Wales was exotic.

Oh, and being a secret billionaire is not an adaquately terrible secret that threatens to destroy their love!

Well, theres this german proverb:
"was sich liebt, das neckt sich"

"those who love another, tease another"

Admittedly, it seemed to be used by gradeschool teachers to keep kids from picking on one another: "you're picking on him/her quite alot, you must be very fond of him/her"

Chemical Alia:

I wonder if science can explain my genuine hate for anime and all the stupid cookie-cutter cliches that come with it.

It's called personal taste, and science says it's good to have it, gives you personality.
Not sure why you feel like posting it here though. You have a right to free expression but I don't think you gain much from posting "I don't like anime" and nothing else on an anime related article .

Hey! Moe isn't all about meek and submissive!

Just ask My Lady Vita-sama. Except don't call her that. You don't want to be on the receiving end of that hammer of hers.

Trust me.

deidara:
I hate tsundere characters. And yes that most definitely includes taiga from Toradora. (People seem to LOVE her >.>). A tsundere is not an appropriate replacement for good character development. And the sad thing is I can't blame those results on the test group, people actually do like these characters. :(

You know it's pretty hard to take a post seriously when it includes emotes... especially any of the emotes with dot mouths...They're all so hideous -.- >.> <.<

-Dragmire-:

Torrasque:
Science: they do what they can, because they can.

I'm glad you mentioned Louise from Zero no Tsukaima because she is the perfect poster girl for Tsundere. Not only because of her obvious treatment of Saito, but because of all the "aside" drama you see where she shows affection towards him. Tsukiumi from Sekirei would probably be my #2 spot for favorite Tsundere character.
I've always found Tsundere appealing because it is so damned entertaining to see the rage/love go back and forth.

The voice actress of Louise tends to portray that role quite a bit though the only other example I can think of right now is Shana from Shakugan no Shana(tan).

Eh, Shana was only really tsundere for like 4 episodes of the first season, and even then she was more "I don't give a fuck" and passive than "I HATE YOU FOR EXISTING...BURN OUT YOU FUCKING TORCH" and aggressive. Kugimiya Rie was Taiga from Toradora and Nagi from Hayate the combat butler though .

Grey Carter:

It's worth noting that not every person who treats you like dirt is trying to hide a deep-rooted romantic attraction that they just can't admit to. Some people just genuinely hate you.

I can't stop laughing at that. That might become my new sig on like 700 different sites.

OT: That makes sense. Some of my favorite anime characters are kind of like that.

Azula
Diva
General Armstrong
Astaroche Asran
Cagalli Yula Attha
Charmcaster

...

The more I think about it, most of them are actually just psychotically violent.

Torrasque:

hydroblitz:

Chemical Alia:

I wonder if science can explain my genuine hate for anime and all the stupid cookie-cutter cliches that come with it.

I wonder if science can explain why people consistently click on articles and threads concerning things they don't like/things that piss them off, just so they can comment and bitch about them.

Don't worry, there will be plenty of ME3 boards to saturate with ignorant hate for the next few weeks :D

And theres March Mayhem, which just adds to the fun.

Chemical Alia:

Grey Carter:
[b]
It's worth noting that not every person who treats you like dirt is trying to hide a deep-rooted romanitc attraction that they just can't admit to. Some people just genuinely hate you.

I wonder if science can explain my genuine hate for anime and all the stupid cookie-cutter cliches that come with it.

So much win can be found in this sentence...I read it 5x over just to chuckle at it.

As annoying as this is probably going to be to some people, I just have to let my inner fan boy out for a moment, as the article picture is from one of my favorite series....

The picture you used for this Article is of Senjogahara Hitagi, who's Tsundere status is actually in dispute. She just says tsundere a lot, and is actually just your typical ice queen. At best she is a Kuudere, and at worst an Yandere...

Okay, fanboying done and over with.
PLEASE DONT HURT ME

I absolutely can't stand tsundere characters.
I don't mind characters with a negative/aggressive attitude if they're at least consistent but constant mood changes just irritate and aggravate me. Or maybe it's the fact that the protagonists remain sympathetic towards them most of the times, (seemingly) completely disregarding their behavior.
Sometimes I even stop watching a series because there is too much tsundere for me to handle, recent examples being Oreimo and Toradora.

Torrasque:

hydroblitz:

Chemical Alia:

I wonder if science can explain my genuine hate for anime and all the stupid cookie-cutter cliches that come with it.

I wonder if science can explain why people consistently click on articles and threads concerning things they don't like/things that piss them off, just so they can comment and bitch about them.

Don't worry, there will be plenty of ME3 boards to saturate with ignorant hate for the next few weeks :D

Gentlemen,

OT: Huh, that actually makes a lot of sense, thanks for the article!

Motherfucker linked me to TvTropes, now I can kiss all the shit I planned away.

I spend 7 hours reading stuff on there, must stay away from multi-tabbed browsing.

On subject though I see the appeal of tsundere girls, you know how girls tease and pretend not to like the one they like.
(Also applies to young boys being nasty to the girls they like on the playground).

Tsundere is smalltime. Yandere's where it's at.

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