It’s Not like I like You or Anything: The Trouble with Tsunderes
Tsunderes, ice queens, female characters hiding their feelings with anger and cruelty, oh my! Whatever name you give it it’s a common trope all over the shop, from Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew to Pride and Prejudice (come on, as if that’s not one big game of “It’s not as if I like you or anything, Mr Darcy”) to modern high school comedies from all cultures—not always specific to women and girls, of course, since the ‘bitterness masking embarrassing mushy feelings’ thing is rife in many forms throughout every genre, ranging from cute bickering to outright abusive behaviour. There’s something interesting and occasionally a little iffy going on with this archetype. What does is say about us as consumers that we love seeing this in our media so freakin’ much?
On one hand, it’s definitely wish fulfilment—especially where it appears in things like harem stories/games and romantic comedies…
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