If you are an anime lover, I’m sure you are familiar with the dere types. The dere types Tsundere, Yandere, Deredere, Goudere are rather popular. However, many dere types are rare and are not as popular as the others. Today, we will be looking into one such rare kind of dere character archetype – “Shundere.” Be sure not to mistake it for “Tsundere” since they sound similar. Let’s understand the details and the meaning of the word.
What Is Shundere?
The word shundere is formed by combining two Japanese words, “shun” (a sound impression that means sad or depressed) and “deredere” (meaning lovey-dovey).
As you can derive from the meaning of the word, shundere characters are usually depressed and pessimistic. You would hardly see them smile. They overthink a lot which makes them sad over insignificant circumstances. Moreover, they tend to neglect others. There can be numerous reasons as to why they do so. Maybe they feel others might get annoyed by their personality or are probably scared of getting hurt. While shundere characters exist in the anime world, these issues are prevalent in real life too. Although the depressive tendencies of these characters are often proclaimed in a comedic way, in real life, these are serious problems that need to be paid more attention to.
There are two natures of shundere characters. The first one includes characters whose depression or grief is visible to everyone. They don’t necessarily try to hide it. The second nature consists of those who would probably smile in front of you but will hurt in silence. They aren’t expressive and do their best to hide their pain from everyone. Although they are distant and tend to stay away from other people, their love interest might urge them to open up. It might be challenging, but their love interests are probably the only ones who can help them get better.
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Famous Shundere Characters
Even if you haven’t heard of the word “shundere,” you have probably heard of these figures. This list will help you understand the shundere type better. Here I have noted a few of the most famous shundere characters.
Mei Misaki From Another
Due to the influence of social media, you have probably seen that girl with the white eye patch. Yes, she is none other than Mei Misaki from the famous anime Another.
Misaki sees the world very differently than ordinary people. According to her, humans are meant to be alone in the end. She also claims that bonds have no worth since all of that expires, and you are left all alone in the future. It is an unusual way to look at things. Sure it may be pessimistic, but that isn’t enough reason to disregard this way of thinking. However, even though she holds such a negative perspective on things, she doesn’t mind Kouichi Sakakibara‘s company, for whom she later develops feelings. Although she might come off as creepy sometimes, she is very kind, selfless, and surprisingly childish!
Tomoko Kuroki From WataMote
The most famous shundere is probably Tomoko Kuroki from WataMote. Like I have mentioned before, the depressive tendencies of these characters are shown in a comedic manner; this anime proves it.
She is the first type of shundere or the one who is very expressive about their condition and overshare. Her views on consciousness are somewhat bitter. I mean, for someone who daydreams about getting crushed by a motorcycle, she can be considered slightly funny. Another bad habit of Tomoko is speaking before thinking. She often says things that come off as perverted. I have mentioned before that shundere characters tend to overthink quite a lot. That being said, she fits the condition perfectly. The whole anime is mostly about her outlook on people and life. She is quick to judge people and expresses her views to no one but herself. Tomoko is indeed an interesting character.
Nozumu Itoshiki From Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
Our favorite blue-eyed sensei, apart from Gojou, is Nozomu Itoshiki from Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, another perfect example of a shundere. He is more pessimistic than depressed.
His viewpoint on life is rather harsh and hostile. He thinks death gives life meaning and openly suggests suicide! He has attempted suicide multiple times but has surprisingly failed and survived each time. This reminds us of another hilarious character- Dazai Osamu from bungo stray dogs. Both characters are inspired by the author Dazai Osamu’s novel No Longer Human. Well, jokes apart, these suicidal attempts can be considered problematic in real life. However, we can excuse it since it’s an anime after all. Dont get me wrong, just because he is pessimistic doesn’t make him any less loved by his students. Many female students also developed feelings for him. However, that is mostly because they misunderstood his words.
Rei Kiriyama From March Comes In Like A Lion
We all know one character who is socially introverted but a genius. However, the name that pops into our minds is Rei Kiriyama from the anime March Comes In Like A Lion.
Rei has a socially awkward and shy personality primarily because of his traumatic past or childhood. He prefers to keep to himself. Or, maybe he never received the chance to get close to anyone due to his personality and upsetting background. Either way, he is not very expressive and can be considered the second type of shundere mentioned earlier. Apart from his reclusive nature, he is brilliant and a master at playing shogi. However, things started changing for the better when he began opening himself to the Kawamoto family. His perspective on his surroundings starts changing due to the same reason.
Ririchiyo Shirakiin From Inu X Boku SS
The leading protagonist of the series Inu X Boku SS is Ririchiyo Shirakiin, also a shundere. She is considered to be cold-hearted and sometimes comes off as notably rude.
Ririchiyo comes from a wealthy and high-status family, and people generally tend to respect her for the same reason. She is rude to people and tends to disregard others’ feelings. Nobody seems to be interested in who she really is irrespective of her wealth, except for Soushi. He was a perfect friend to Ririchiyo, even though she had often been rude to him since that’s a part of her personality. Soushi is also partly the reason for her character development and increases in expressiveness. She later confesses that she has feelings for Soushi as well!
Here are a few shundere characters who deserve to be featured in this article!
- Laymia from Beelzebub
- Lisette Weltall from 11eyes
- Masashi Masamune from FLCL
- Spinel Sun from Card Captor Sakura
You can probably understand after reading the whole article that even though shundere characters are rare and pessimistic, they are beautiful in their way. Sure they aren’t as famous as the other dere types. However, that doesn’t make them any less enjoyable. Each one of these characters is special. It is a delight to see these characters achieve inner growth or development. I love this dere type, and I’m sure you do too!