25 Best Kuudere Characters In AnimeThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
They say there’s a direct correlation between the amount of -dere types you know, and your intelligence, it’s true don’t look it up.
So in the hopes of spreading this blessing with our community, we’re going to talk about a dere type that gets overlooked quite frequently: the kuudere.
A kuudere is a character that seems cold and uncaring on the outside, but actually cares about their loved ones on the inside. Specific yes, but it applies to plenty of anime characters out there. So let’s count down some of our favorites, shall we?
Anime: Black Clover
Kuudere actually comes from the English word “cool”, so I don’t think I have to explain why we’re starting off with Yuno.
He’s such a brooding bad boy that even in the most emotional situations, he usually gives just a half-smile. This is probably because he yields quite a lot of power, but is also discriminated against for being “from the boonies”.
So he always keeps his composure and acts like he is better than everyone, even though we all know his heart is far from stone.
24. Shouto Todoroki
Anime: Boku no Hero Academia
The cool persona basically comes with ice powers so early on in the series, Todoroki used full advantage of that.
The only time we’ve seen him show an outburst of emotion, it was pure anger. Which goes quite nicely with his flaming side.
After saying that, you would think that he uses both sides equally, and is therefore an undisclosed dere type.
But nope, his icy nature definitely reigns supreme.
23. Joutarou Kuujou
Anime: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders
There’s a good quote at the end of Joutarou’s fight with Dio that really sums up what this man is all about:
“There is only one reason you lost, you made me extremely pissed off”.
And that truly is the gist of it.
Not because he will lash out in range, he is a kuudere after all. But because if you hurt his loved ones he will become so determined to win that he’ll go above and beyond anyone’s expectations.
So taking into account what Dio did just before they started fighting, it all checks out.
22. Johan Liebert
This one is a bit more out there as far as what;s considered a kuudere.
Johan is (and has always been) calm and collected. We’ve seen him change his facial expression maybe once or twice in the entire show.
He’s also a cold-blooded killer and doesn’t appear to care for anything.
But after watching the show a few times, you start to see that it isn’t exactly true. He still cares deeply for his sister, in his own dark, nihilistic way.
Anime: Attack on Titan
As far as Mikasa is concerned, Eren in the only living thing on this planet. I guess you can throw Armin in there as well if you’re being generous.
Nothing gets a reaction from Mikasa. Not a horde of titans, not the death of hundreds of people, nothing.
But if you dare to just graze Eren with your hand, believe me, she will come running at you full speed and promptly break every bone in your arm. She’s somehow the most unbothered and most passionate character at the same time.
20. Kurisu Makise
You can definitely make a case for Kurisu being a tsundere as well. But for the purpose of this list I’m going to gloss over that tidbit and push on.
As a lady of science, Kurisu always tries to stay logical and calm, as we all know lab coats and mood swings don’t really go together. Except with Okabe.
But no matter how cold she acts, it’s plain to see that she’s one of the most caring characters in the series.
From her severe daddy issues all the way to her kind of romance with Okabe, Kurisu is far from an unfeeling person.
Anime: The Promised Neverland
Ray is quite the little performer, first trying to deceive mother and then Norman in regards to his motives.
In both cases he keeps trying to put up a front that he’s an extremely selfish person who doesn’t care about anyone, and will do anything to guarantee his own safety.
Norman luckily saw right through his façade, as he saw how much prep work Ray had done just to ensure that the three of them can escape one day.
Anime: The Seven Deadly Sins
With Gowther, it wasn’t the case that he acted like he didn’t care about anyone. Bute more so that he forgot he did.
For quite a bit of his screen time he truly does seem cold, unaware of what’s considered right or wrong. He just kind of did whatever.
But once we see his origin story, we see that he’s far from emotionless.
In fact, the state he had been in was the result of him caring to the point of sacrifice.
17. Sasuke Uchiha
Although I hate putting Boruto down in “best of” lists, it’s objectively the only time Sasuke has genuinely cared about someone.
We all know that throughout the original and Shippuden, Sasuke was a little ball of anger that just wanted to murder people he blamed for his past.
Now an adult, we see that he cares about his daughter and wife. Even though he obviously tries very hard not to show it.
The best example of his change is the episode when he tries to learn how to have fun with Sarada, to make up for the nearly stabbing her situation.
As far as hiding your real emotions are concerned, Yato is definitely the worst of the bunch. He can’t help it: he is a real softy when he’s not murdering entire armies.
But this doesn’t stop him from trying to at least put up a front of this powerful god, who only sees his Shinki as tools, and his followers as lesser beings.
The little shrine scene was probably my favorite when it comes to his play falling apart.
15. Giyuu Tomioka
Anime: Demon Slayer
From this guy’s introduction alone, we learn so much about him. Being that he’s a Demon Hunter, he had to become desensitized to both killing and watching people die.
The first time we see him, he has no issues with killing Nezuko, regardless of how human she might seem.
But just in a matter of few minutes we also see that it isn’t quite that simple.
No matter how tough he acts, he truly does care about his fellow man (or in this case woman) as he decides to trust Tanjirou and let Nezuko live, even backing them up further down the line.
14. Aguero Agnes Khun
Anime: Tower of God
As a rule of thumb, characters with white hair really tend to be kuuderes.
There’s probably some science behind it, but this is anime we’re talking about.
Khun generally fits the role of tactician. So things like emotions and subjectivity are quite detrimental to him.
So for a large part of the series he just waltzes around outsmarting everyone and never showing his true intentions.
But once we learn a little bit about his past, we see that he’s anything but heartless. In fact his heart is his main driving force in overcoming the tower itself.
13. Killua Zoldyck
Anime: Hunter x Hunter (2011)
Like I said, it’s all in the white hair.
Coming from a family of professional assassins, it’s no wonder that Killua initially doesn’t care for anyone in the slightest.
Death and murder happen around him every day so he tries not to get involved with anyone. That is, until Gon comes around.
Whenever Killua breaks his shell and shows how he truly feels, the tension in the scene goes through the roof. And the possibility of me crying increases tenfold.
Anime: Dragon Ball Z
Initially being a bad guy in the original series, no one expected for Piccolo to grow a soft spot for anyone.
But with the very first arc of Dragon Ball Z we see that change ever so slightly.
Having become Gohan’s master, Piccolo treats his pupil terribly at the very start.
But as time goes on they do form a father-son relationship, to the point that Piccolo is now prepared to put his life on the line for his little pupil.
Anime: Dr. Stone
In a similar fashion like Kurisu, Senku can’t allow for his personal life to make him lose focus on his work. He is a scientist, after all.
So he just keeps popping out one invention after the other, slowly rebuilding society, only ever showing pride in what he does.
But when a certain message from the past finds its way to him, we do see that it touched him, even though it was only for a second. We still get to see that even the king of science has a mushy side.
Anime: Death Parade
By design, arbiters should not feel anything, so as to not sway their judgement.
Decim, however, is different. He is not like other arbiters. Why?
He was infused with human emotions.
This doesn’t come across for quite some time, in fact he seems more emotionless than the other arbiters. But then that final episode comes around and oh boy.
Having to part ways with miss no-name everything hits him all at once. And for the first time ever he shows that he truly does care about her.
9. Hitagi Senjougahara
This is another case where it’s difficult to draw the line between tsundere and kuudere, as she does tend to lash out, but also doesn’t really have those typical blush bakka moments.
Senjougahara just always seems cunning. She has a sharp tongue and can both insult and praise you, but she rarely changes her voice or actively portrays the emotion she should be feeling.
Even in the case of angry snake lady when Senjougahara had so many lives on her shoulders, she did not even stutter. Even though from the context of what she said, we know full well that she cared.
8. Karma Akabane
Anime: Assassination Classroom
Look out, we have another badass on our hands.
Being the lovable edge lord that he is, Karma just caused havoc for most of his screen time, never getting to gushy about anything.
However, in his brawl with Nagisa we see him take a truly selfless act and forfeit, as he realised how much it meant to him.
And in the final scene, even the cold-blooded Karma broke his composure. Which is good. Because anyone who stayed calm during that is a psychopath.
7. Lay Glanzudlii
Anime: The Misfit of Demon King Academy
Another white-haired one, just saying.
Lay seemed like the type who only cared about his blade and having a good fight.
Although he smiled quite frequently, and was genuinely nice to everyone, it always felt a bit hollow. Like an empty façade.
But as we learn more about him we see that this man has so many sources(pun intended) of joy and emotion.
From his past life to his new mother, and an old friend he finally met again.
6. Shinichi Okazaki
As they say, don’t mix your personal life with your business life.
That’s a bit damaging when you’re a male prostitute, though.
Not only that, but he’s also quite young. So it’s safe to say that Shin had to put up quite a few walls between himself and everyone else.
But as the walls crumble we see a very confused boy, now unsure of whether he should just feel normally, or whether it was nothing but lust and business from the start.
He also has the sharpest tongue ever. So be careful here, as he’s not afraid to hurt your feelings.
5. Akira Hayama
Anime: Food Wars
Mister Spicey, just like most of the cooks in this show, is extremely competitive and always acts as though his victory is secured from the very beginning.
And at home he constantly nags Jun for not doing the chores or getting drunk, and acts as if they have a strictly professional relationship.
But in the Autumn elections we see that their bond goes much deeper than that, as he’s made it his life’s purpose to guarantee her success.
We also get to see the cutest and shortest hug ever.
4. Kakashi Hatake
Anime: Naruto: Shippuden
Kakashi is genuinely one of my favorite characters. So it only seems right to put him on here.
Being that most of the time we can only see one of his eyes, it’s no surprise that he doesn’t show much about how he’s feeling.
Even when he gets angry, it’s usually done for comedic effect.
But boy does that whole perception change the second we start going into his backstory.
Let’s just say that he’s at the very top when tragedy at a young age is concerned. But even then, he proudly says that those who leave their friends behind are worse than scum.
At the beginning both Rem and Ram seemed like quite the cold shoulder duo, not trusting anyone who enters the house except Roswaal.
Rem, however, softens up to the point of being an absolute waifu by the end of the first season. While Ram keeps to her cold nature.
She shrugs off Subaru’s friendship verbally, but it’s evident that she isn’t as cold as she would like us all to believe.
Her biggest weak spots obviously being The Killer Clown and her sister.
2. Kusuo Saiki
Anime: The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.
You really have to dig deep to say that Saiki is a kuudere, and not just a heartless bastard.
He just never seems happy to see anyone and is always scheming how to get everyone to leave him alone.
I mean, he does save those around him quite frequently. But it never seems like he does it because he cares, but rather to avoid things getting messy.
However, if you stick with him all the way through the series, you do see a couple of glimpses of his more human side. The moments where he actually smiles are there.
And for a brief second it makes you believe that he had truly never been cold towards those around him.
Anime: Samurai Champloo
I was in two minds whether to put Mugen or Jin at this spot, but decided for Mugen as he’s way meaner.
Mugen is a lone warrior, traveling from place to place and beating people up if they look at him funny, never really committing to a group.
Even after being introduced to Jin and Fuu, he doesn’t seem convinced, and even tries to ditch them a few times.
But like a true kuudere, his true colors show once all the chips are on the table and the final episode rears its morbid head.
Even though they split up after everything is said and done, I know that Mugen will likely never forget his travel buddies.