Top 33 Best Tsundere Anime Characters Of All Time (Ranked)

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“Anta baka?” is perhaps one of the phrases most associated with tsundere characters in anime.

More often than not, they’ll call others foolish or idiotic. Even though they totally don’t mean it.

But that’s part of the charm of a tsundere:

They start as these seemingly mean individuals before softening up, revealing their adorable, endearing selves.

Yet with so many tsunderes in the world of anime, who among them have stood the test of time? Well here are my all-time favorite picks.

WARNING: Light and heavy spoilers for some entries.


33. Minatsu Shiina

Minatsu Shiina from Student Council's Discretion anime

Anime: Student Council’s Discretion

Character design is a big deal in any medium. But it’s extra awesome when you can sense the tsundere vibe with a single look.

Is Minatsu an attractive woman? Definitely.

The student council vice-president is smart and sporty — and her tomboyish characteristic is just icing on the cake.

While the “tsun” part is more pronounced here than “dere”, no one can deny that she’s a traditional tsundere.

Also, I just love how she’ll always stand up to anyone thinking of harming her little sister.

The series itself isn’t anything special. But Minatsu doing her thing in this Studio Deen harem comedy is a nice way to start off the list.


32. Aya Komichi

Aya Komichi from Kiniro Mosaic anime

Anime: Kiniro Mosaic

I love the CGDCT (Cute Girls Doing Cute Things) subgenre.

And Kiniro Mosaic is one of its best examples.

You’ve probably heard Karen Kujou mention “desu” a million times already (thanks in part to the song on YouTube), but the main character isn’t the only good thing about KINMOZA.

Aya Komichi doesn’t act like a tsundere all the time. But that quickly changes whenever Youko Inokuma is around.

They’ve been friends for a while, but it’s clear that Aya has strong feelings for her.

Also, did you know that she has black hair, even though it 100% looks like blue?

Strange, right? Go figure.


31. Michiru Kinushima

Michiru Kinushima Plastic Memories anime screenshot

Anime: Plastic Memories

Speaking of CGDCT, Doga Kobo has been the go-to studio for adorable slice-of-life shows in recent years.

Yet this doesn’t mean the studio always goes for purely cute shows. In 2015, it produced the sci-fi drama Plastic Memories.

No one really talks about it these days. But the shows introduced us to the likes of Isla and the tsundere Michiru Kinushima.

Love, especially the romantic kind, is a primary aspect of the tsundere archetype.

The caring Michiru was infatuated with Tsukasa Mizugaki, but I admire how she never became bitter and toxic when he chose Isla instead.


30. Misato Tachibana

Misato Tachibana from Nichijou anime

Anime: Nichijou

Like many of you, I absolutely love Nichijou.

I think it’s a masterpiece — a legendary entry to the KyoAni treasure chest.

Yes, I can talk all day about Yuuko and her coffee-buying anxieties. Or Mio Naganohara’s love of yaoi.

But the series is simply brimming with many other wonderful characters.

You can’t mistake Misato Tachibana with any other character in Nichijou, especially because of one thing:

Her use of deadly weapons.

Whether it’s a Gatling gun, bazooka, grenade, revolver, or cannon, Misato is always ready to unleash hell whenever she interacts with the goat-riding Koujirou Sasahara.


29. Nene Odagiri

Nene Odagiri from Yamada-kun and the 7 Witches anime

Anime: Yamada-kun and the 7 Witches

Like Minatsu Shiina, Nene Odagiri is the vice-president of the student council in her school.

Also, she’s in a school-based comedy harem.

Nene reminds me of Hotaru Shidare from Dagashi Kashi because of her lovely purple hair, but the eyes make them easy to differentiate.

Unlike other tsunderes, Nene isn’t just tsundere toward one person. This relatively petite lady isn’t afraid to get angry at anyone.

Then again, her dere side does reveal itself in later episodes.

And who doesn’t want her power that can make others fall in love with her with just one kiss?


28. Lafiel Abriel

Lafiel Abriel Crest of the Stars anime

Anime: Crest of the Stars

I don’t blame you if you’ve never heard of Lafiel Abriel, or the show Crest of the Stars.

After all, it’s been over two decades since the Sunrise series premiered.

Crest of the Stars only had 13 episodes. But that was more than enough to inscribe the blue-haired MC in my mind.

This particular tsundere isn’t all about being cute and mean.

Lafiel Abriel excels in diplomacy, gunfights, and leading other people. She’s memorable for sure.

Lafiel appreciated how Jinto Linn didn’t see her as this intimidating, authoritative figure coming from a powerful family, which helped foster their friendship early on.

Yet they’ve been through so many difficult situations together. And I’m sure we can’t all agree whether Lafiel thinks of him as her dearest friend, or something more.


27. Kagami Hiiragi

Kagami Hiiragi from Lucky Star anime

Anime: Lucky Star

Konata Izumi maybe my favorite character in Lucky Star for obvious reasons (she loves anime and video games), but Kagami Hiiragi deserves recognition as well.

For one, Kagami also plays games. But she prefers shooters instead of Konata’s more intimate picks.

And while she isn’t an avid anime fan, she loves light novels, which is where many anime come from.

Kagami’s a regular tsundere. But her timid moments aren’t few and far between — and I really love her relationship with Konata.

It feels realistic, something people really have, especially during their teen years.


26. Emi Yusa

Emi Yusa The Devil is a Part-Timer! screenshot

Anime: The Devil is a Part-Timer!

Emi Yusa is proof that tsunderes will save the world.

As the heroine responsible for taking down Satan, she’s not a gal that any ordinary human being should mess with.

But The Devil is a Part-Timer isn’t about the apocalyptic days of demons and angels.

Thus, the Emi Yusa viewers witnessed is one who works as a call center agent. She remains a half-angel wonder, but she’s also cute in her skirt.

Plus she no longer has epic fantasy battles with the Demon King.

Much of the hatred toward Satan Jacob is now gone, and she’s even developing a rather heartfelt connection with the humanoid demon.


25. Chris Yukine

Chris Yukine from Symphogear anime

Anime: Symphogear

Admittedly, Chris Yukine’s character design is a major factor in her inclusion here.

Her long hair and style are downright alluring — and her tsundere expressions are some of my favorites.

It’s also fitting that she’s a tsundere.

Chris Yukine was one of the bad guys at the very start before she changed her stance in Season 1.

And as time went by, we got to see her more trusting side. She still gets annoyed quite easily, but she’s also no longer that fearful of being open to her peers.

Also, her detailed backstory gives fans a better understanding of why she behaves the way she does.


24. Ayano Sugiura

Ayano Sugiura from Yuru Yuri anime

Anime: Yuru Yuri

I’m not even halfway into my list, and I’ve already got a third student council vice-president tsundere girl.

Have I accidentally discovered a strange anime link in student council members?

Well Yuru Yuri continues to earn new fans to this day with its mix of slice-of-life and cute yuri goodness.

Her tsundere tendencies become apparent when she’s around Kyouko Toshinou, who’s the main source of laughs in the series.

Yuru Yuri has three seasons (and an OVA), and I definitely recommend watching them to witness Ayano’s development.

Lastly, shoutout to Doga Kobo for doing a mighty fine job with this series.


23. Nanami Aoyama

Nanami Aoyama from The Pet Girl of Sakurasou anime

Anime: The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

Isn’t it amazing how The Pet Girl of Sakurasou turned out to be one of JC Staff’s best productions in the past decade?

When I was watching this with friends, I didn’t expect to fall in love with its world.

I still dislike Mashiro Shiina. But characters like Misaki Kamiigusa and Ryuunosuke Akasaka more than compensate for her.

Similarly, Nanami Aoyama is such a well-written character, in my opinion.

Yes, she’s a tsundere toward Sorata Kanda, but Nanami is a great motivator.

If you think you’re not good enough, remember how hard Nanami works for her dreams — and how she also inspires Sorata to do better.


22. Veldora Tempest

Veldora Tempest from That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime

Anime: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime

I already included a half-angel entity here, so why not add a ferocious dragon as well?

Also yes, this is proof that tsunderes aren’t all girls.

In the case of Veldora Tempest, here’s a feisty dude who happens to be the fourth True Dragon — a being that can live forever.

But when he’s in his human form, he’s just like another boisterous lad.

Veldora is also kinda adorable with how he thinks of Rimuru, doing everything he can to protect him and his so-called sacred texts, which are just manga.


21. Shintaro Midorima

Shintaro Midorima Kuroko's Basketball anime screenshot

Anime: Kuroko’s Basketball

The second guy on my list is none other than basketball phenom Shintaro Midorima.

If you’ve never seen Kuroko’s Basketball, you’d think he has no space in his heart for anything fun.

Yet Shintaro likes to file his nails — and he brings things like a plan or stuffed toy for good luck. Likewise, he believes in horoscopes and compatibility tests by blood type.

Those are telltale signs of a tsundere: He’s all cold on the outside, but you know he has a soft (or perhaps, weird) spot.

Shintaro does admire Tetsuya Kuroko. And he does go out of his way to help others.

But as a tsundere, he won’t be so open about these things.


20. Himeko Inaba

Himeko Inaba from Kokoro Connect anime

Anime: Kokoro Connect

Kokoro Connect has grown on me over the years, especially after seeing the four-episode OVA.

The creators could have made this into a full-blown brainless ecchi given how the five club members could switch bodies, but it managed to be so much more than that.

Anyway, Kokoro Connect wouldn’t be as good as it was without Himeko Inaba.

She’s not part of the student council. But she’s once again another vice president (I’m onto something, right?)

Himeko does have a love interest.

But her tsundere personality is more about having a general wall to keep everyone else away.

Himeko likes (or perhaps, needs) to appear tough. But she’s also awkward and has self-esteem issues, like anybody else.

Then again, the series also shows the other side of the coin: What if removing the figurative wall made her weak?


19. Maria

Maria from Maria the Virgin Witch anime

Anime: Maria the Virgin Witch

It still amazes me to this day that Production IG took on Maria the Virgin Witch, a series which had a witch using whatever she had to offer to bring peace in the human world.

The series never became a top contender during its season. But I do love the concept and character design.

Sure, Maria has blue eyes and blonde hair like many other attractive anime women. But her style is distinct.

Also, where else can you witness a tsundere willing to use a succubus and magic to bring world peace?

Some may see the show as blasphemous. But since when did a relationship between two people named Joseph and Maria become this entertaining again?


18. Chitoge Kirisaki

Chitoge Kirisaki Nisekoi anime screenshot

Anime: Nisekoi

Waifu wars were quite intense during the time of Nisekoi.

Either you were part of Team Onodera, or you sided with Chitoge, another appealing tsundere with blonde hair and blue eyes.

I’m not gonna reveal who Raku ends up with. But let’s just say I agree with the outcome.

While her appearance is undeniably top-tier, her personality also makes her worth fighting for.

Imagine growing up with many people your age disliking you. How would that affect you in the long run?

Chitoge’s childhood was far from ideal, thanks in part to her family. But you know what?

She chose to cling to the good memories, which involved not only Raku and Onodera but also Yui and Marika.


17. Madoka Ayukawa

Madoka Ayukawa from Kimagure Orange Road

Anime: Kimagure Orange Road

Kimagure Orange Road premiered back in 1987 — that’s more than 30 years ago.

Was the anime community even well aware of tsunderes back then?

Before tsundere became the popular term it is today, the world already had an anime character that fit the criteria.

Madoka Ayukawa is objectively attractive. I know that doesn’t make sense, but just take a good look at her.

She’s considered a delinquent and is relatively feared in school, but she’s also smart and sporty.

Likewise, as a classic tsundere (with a fittingly vintage look) her cold demeanor eventually gives way to a charming personality.

I’d honestly be shocked (angry, even) if Kyousuke didn’t develop feelings for someone like her.


16. Eri Sawachika

Eri Sawachika School Rumble anime screenshot

Anime: School Rumble

Can you guess how many blonde tsunderes I have on my list?

Is this another indicator I’ve stumbled onto?

Anyway, I love School Rumble — and Eri Sawachika was surely a huge factor why I always wanted to go home early after school and watch TV.

As you may have guessed, Eri comes from a rich family and does well in school. However her social status does harm her reputation.

The boys love her, but most fail to see her beyond her physical beauty.

On the other hand, many of her female peers in school dislike how she gets all the attention.

But on the bright side, her relationship with Kenji Harima is cute, hilarious, and heartwarming.


15. Kyou Fujibayashi

Kyou Fujibayashi from Clannad anime

Anime: Clannad

I have no intention of making readers cry merely with a mention of Clannad.

Instead I want to shine the light on Kyou Fujibayashi, the big sister everyone deserves.

Kyou won’t ever bore you with her stories. And she always has something to talk about.

Some series may show girl characters that are overly or unrealistically timid, but Kyou’s the opposite.

Apart from being highly energetic, Kyou has no qualms about being vulgar either. Her tsundere attitude stops her from fully chasing Tomoya, but she’s an overall awesome person, ready to take on the world for her dear sister.


14. Kaguya Shinomiya

Kaguya Shinomiya from Kaguya-sama: Love is War

Anime: Kaguya-sama: Love is War

I know, I know. Many of you will argue that Kaguya is simply Kaguya, that she’s not a tsundere.

But let me argue this:

Kaguya is still a tsundere, it’s just that she’s a well-written character that doesn’t have to stick to the roles of a typical tsundere (also the anime itself is already turning out to be one of the best in recent years).

She may not behave like a run-of-the-mill tsundere. But she still goes from being cold to approachable.

Kaguya also fits the kuudere archetype (and perhaps other types), but she can be considered a tsundere too.


13. Syaoran Li

Syaoran Li Cardcaptor Sakura anime screenshot

Anime: Cardcaptor Sakura

Before Madhouse took on Hunter x Hunter or Parasyte, I already knew it was a special studio.

After all, the guys there were responsible for Cardcaptor Sakura, a highly popular and beloved anime where I live.

My friends loved the anime mech, especially the set of magical cards. Sakura and Tomoyo were awesome, but Syaoran Li (and the rest of the guys like Touya and Yukito) also contributed a lot.

There he was, starting out as Sakura’s rival before catching feelings for her.

I love his development (he didn’t even call Sakura by her first name in the first season) and just how tsundere he is, being jealous but also afraid to confess early on.


12. Vegeta

Vegeta from Dragon Ball anime

Anime: Dragon Ball

Before Sasuke was around as Naruto’s rival and friend, the anime world had Vegeta.

Does he get angry? Most of the time, yes.

Is he tsundere? 100 percent yes.

This dude was a cold-hearted killer back in the day.

But time goes on, and after hundreds of episodes, he shifted from an archenemy to a protagonist — and he even started a family with Bulma.

I would still approach him caution, but it’s fun seeing him crack jokes and being protective of his daughter Bulla.


11. Eriri Spencer Sawamura

Eriri Spencer Sawamura from Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend

Anime: Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend

Eriri Spencer might just be my favorite blonde anime character ever — and I’m not even sorry.

I just love her voice, personality, and her green tracksuit look leaves me aflutter.

Does this mean I’m tsundere toward Eriri? No, because I’m unashamed of my love for this 2D character.

But here’s the thing:

Her standard tsundere attitude works so well for me (and she’s even a childhood friend).

I love her blue eyes, twin tails, the fact that she makes doujinshis, and the little fang she shows when she’s angry.

Also, like Sakurasou’s Nanami, she works hard for her dreams.

She doesn’t have to worry a lot about her future given her family background. But here she is, doing her best and being kind when it matters.


10. Kyon

Kyon The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya screenshot

Anime: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

I know what you’re thinking.

How (and why) did I put Kyon here instead of Haruhi herself? Isn’t Haruhi a definitive tsundere icon from KyoAni?

Haruhi is a tsundere, yes. But I appreciate Kyon more in this aspect.

I’m verging on heavy spoiler territory just by placing him at the 10th spot, but he truly is remarkable.

He’s always been this seemingly disinterested and skeptical teenager. But he’s always been yearning for something more spectacular in life — and then comes Haruhi and the rest of the gang.

You’ll have to catch the film The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya as well to fully understand why Kyon is a top-tier tsundere in my book. But it’s worth the watch.


9. Aoba Tsukishima

Aoba Tsukishima Cross Game anime screenshot

Anime: Cross Game

It’s a tad difficult to believe that Cross Game is already a decade old.

What’s even stranger is that its visual aesthetic reminds of anime from the 1990s.

Like a few of the entries here, Aoba Tsukishima is a tomboy. By that, I mean she’d almost always wear a shirt and shorts instead of a frilly dress.

Expectedly, her tsundere side is apparent when Kou Kitamura is around. I don’t mind if the two don’t end up together — they have great chemistry as (friendly) rivals.

Aoba is an excellent baseball player and she deserves more opportunities to play, particularly as a member of an official team.


8. Shiki Ryougi

Shiki Ryougi from Kara no Kyoukai anime

Anime: Kara no Kyoukai (The Garden of Sinners)

Kara no Kyoukai has at least eight movies. And the quality in writing and thrills has been consistent for the most part.

It’s certainly odd to see someone as cold and worrisome as Shiki Ryougi here.

But the kimono-loving woman does have a penchant for (wait for it) strawberry ice cream.

Amusingly, she doesn’t like cold food.

But she keeps getting ice cream, as if her tsundere self-manifests through how she treats the konbini (convenience store) staple.

She hates and loves it all the same.


7. Kyo Souma

Kyo Souma from Fruits Basket anime

Anime: Fruits Basket

Studio Deen made the right choice adapting Fruits Basket way back in 2001 — and the same goes for TMS Entertainment nearly two decades later.

While the anime is undoubtedly cute with its characters that transform into Zodiac animals, its story is what makes it such a compelling watch.

Kyo Souma isn’t just this orange-haired dude others might mistake as Ichigo Kurosaki.

This is a tsundere whose origins make life difficult for him.

Come for the shoujo appeal, stay for the top-notch character development of Kyo (and the rest of the gang).


6. Kaname Chidori

Kaname Chidori Full Metal Panic! screenshot

Anime: Full Metal Panic!

It doesn’t matter whether you first saw her in Full Metal Panic or Full Metal Panic Fumoffu because the Kaname Chidori in both shows is a proven tsundere.

You’d think that for someone who’s been in Japan and the US, Kaname would have no problems making friends in either nation.

Yet she feels isolated because she doesn’t exactly fit their respective culture. And her family history isn’t helping as well.

Thus, her tough outer shell serves to protect her from a world of hurt and appearing too vulnerable — and that’s why it was essential for Sousuke Sagar to come into the picture.


5. Mikoto Misaka

Mikoto Misaka from A Certain Magical Index / A Certain Scientific Railgun

Anime: A Certain Magical Index / A Certain Scientific Railgun

Please don’t crucify me for not putting the “One True Biribiri” in the No. 1 spot.

At this point, the rest of the entries are queens too (that’s a spoiler that the next ones are all women).

Anyway, the electrifying (pun intended) Mikoto fits the bill of a tsundere.

Especially when you see how she behaves toward Touma Kamijou — and then compare that with how she interacts with other peers.

Still, Mikoto has lived a lot since her debut in A Certain Magical Index, and her growing importance in the franchise, plus her rise in the general anime community, is nothing short of amazing.


4. Taiga Aisaka

Taiga Aisaka Toradora! anime screenshot

Anime: Toradora!

Sure, she’s a small girl (she’s 4 feet 9 inches, to be exact).

But Taiga Aisaka is always a force to be reckoned with in Best Girl contests each year.

You may have seen people argue that she’s written as a reexamination of the tsundere archetype. But it’s not wrong to see her as a regular tsundere as well.

Granted, her emotional outbursts toward anyone & everyone are unlike other tsunderes, who only behave differently (or unkindly) toward a few people (or even just one person).

But Toradora has dedicated enough time to Taiga and the crucial moments that made her the way she is: her family, physical appearance, and how others treat her.

I love well-written characters and character dynamics.

And Toradora is all the better with Taiga around.


3. Kurisu Makise

Kurisu Makise Steins;Gate anime

Anime: Steins;Gate

Do I even need to introduce Kurisu Makise from one of the most highest-rated anime series ever?

At this point, you’ve probably been spoiled about Steins;Gate. Or you at least know its characters, memes, and iconic lines.

Yes, Rintarou Okabe is awesome.

But the series wouldn’t be at the level it is without Kurisu.

The red-haired (okay, somewhat red-haired) woman who often looks unimpressed helps form the emotional core here.

Kurisu is a genius. But her scientific achievements at a relatively early age have caused resentment from others.

It makes total sense why she sometimes acts the way she does.

Also, Kurisu is the only tsundere who will act like a tsundere to deny that she’s a tsundere. Legendary.


2. Rin Tohsaka

Rin Tohsaka from Fate/stay night anime

Anime: Fate/stay night

Now that we’re closing in, I’ve realized how amusing it is for my top two entries to be related by one term: Absolute Territory (or zettai ryouiki).

With her black hair, red turtleneck, and black skirt, Rin Tohsaka has captured the hearts of many FSN fans all over the world for years.

She’s like the neighborhood kid you want to grow up with — it’s that kind of appealing tsundere-ness.

Rin’s public image consists of being smart, gentle, and just being an ideal girl.

When she doesn’t have to put up this wall, she’s boisterous and domineering, but she’s not a bad person.

No matter how “tsun tsun” she gets, Rin’s “dere dere” will always be there.

She’s not a purely cold and calculating woman.

Instead, Rin’s a genuinely caring and honorable individual who just doesn’t want to (easily) reveal her softer side. And yes, I think she’s gorgeous.


1. Asuka Langley Soryu

Asuka Langley Soryu Neon Genesis Evangelion screenshot

Anime: Neon Genesis Evangelion

Was there ever any doubt about who my all-time favorite tsundere is?

As the “anta baka?” queen herself, Asuka Langley Soryu is a household name (and the same goes for the Evangelion franchise).

Somehow, I already knew how she was going to speak and act the moment I saw her character design — and that’s major props to the design team.

Asuka is smart, highly skilled, and speaks German and Japanese.

Yet even with all this, her assertive public image can’t always protect her from her fears and insecurities.

Her voice actress once said that it was tough trying to understand Asuka. That even after the movie was done (The End of Evangelion), she was still unable to be one with Asuka, because the character had a wall around her heart.

Asuka has inspired an entire generation of tsundere characters, the same way characters like Shinji, Rei, and Kaworu have influenced other archetypes.

And she did this all with their own distinct visual look, social and familial troubles, and emotional complexities.

But none have yet to match what Asuka achieved for anime in the long run, at least in my book.

Browse: Anime

R. Romero

Millennial introvert on the lookout for slice-of-life anime, world cinema, and European music. Follow on Twitter @notspencer08