Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tsundere Tuesday: Hitagi Senjōgahara

I'm starting a new weekly feature called Tsundere Tuesday where I will feature a different tsundere character each and every week.

To the uninformed, a tsundere is a character archetype featured in anime and Japanese games that, as Wikipedia puts it, "has a contradictory personality which is good-willed on the inside, but with a harsh attitude on the outside."

There are of course many debates as to what this all entails, and some people find that term to be insulting as it implied "copy and paste" character design in anime. But I say, as with any character archetype there are good versions and bad versions. Of course the most basic tsundere is a one dimensional character where her entire personality fits into that definition, but if the author of the work is good at their job, then it is entirely conceivable to have a well developed tsundere character as well.

I also don't take offense to the term because I realize that I have a huge soft spot for tsundere characters and there must be something about that type of character that draws my interest, so I might as well proudly use the term that defines them.

So enough with the peramble and on to the tsundere of the week: Hitagi Senjōgahara.

Hitagi is the main female lead in the short novel and now anime series Bakemonogatari.

Honestly I'm only a few episodes into this show and already I am in love with her. In the first episode of the show, she even refers to herself as a tsundere so there is really no room to argue with the fact that this is her category.

She starts off in the show as a girl who weighs literally nothing. No pounds, no ounces. Then the characters of the show try to figure out why she is the way she is, and from there the storyline unfolds.

I don't know if there are different levels of tsundere, but if there are she is definitely on the "Asuka" level of tsundere, as she is pretty damn hostile towards Koyomi (the main character), and threatens to kill him a couple of times.

It's just refreshing to see Tsundere types finally take center stage in anime. It used to be the tsundere was the most interesting character but she was the character the main lead would never end up with. I'm glad to see more and more outgoing females being the main subject of focus and not just window dressing.