Archetypes are a standard in any genre requiring the written word and people, but anime still manages to take things up a notch with its own special brand of personalities. Much rather than just have “The Hero” or “The Fool,” anime has what is commonly referred to as the “Dere” types. These are strong personalities akin to the unique personality quirks of anime kind, particularly female characters.
Here, characters are modeled after an oddly specific list of traits that define their entire tone and direction. This list will be going through some of the most common “Dere” types known to stalk a high school hallway or another world as well as highlight which anime characters best signify each one.
10 DEREDERE: Meiko Honma (Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day)
To start things off with a high note, the deredere is the bright, happy-go-lucky character that is just hard to imagine without a smile. No matter what happens, characters like these always happen to find the bright side of an occasion and manage to spire naive though inspiring hope within their friends and especially the audience.
Perhaps the best example of a deredere is Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day’s Meiko Honma, aka Menma. There is rarely a scene without her bright smile which is especially heartbreaking given her tragic death as a child. However, even as a ghost, Menma doesn’t let the situation overwhelm her, and she maintains that same level of childlike innocence as a figure who’s been looking after her friends for seemingly years.
9 DARUDERE: Shikamaru Nara (Naruto)
The darudere is the classic lazy, nonchalant character who would obviously prefer to do anything else than what they’ve just been told to do. Characters like these often have a slouched stance or are just found sitting down. They constantly say that everything is a pain and do everything with a permeating sense of reluctance, unless they’ve been called upon by their love interest.
In which case, they’ll oddly help with little hesitation though with the same level of energy. The best example of a Darudere is Naruto‘s own Shikamaru Nara, the tired genius of Konoha whose catchphrase is appropriately, “What a drag!”
8 NYANDERE: Tsubasa Hanekawa (Monogatari)
Nyandere is not so much a personality, as they are the living embodiment of an entire quirk. These are characters who have catlike qualities if they’re not blatantly cat-like people themselves. These people have smug glares, rub their faces like cats, and commonly end every few words or sentences with “nyan,” the Japanese meow.
One of the best examples of a nyandere would have to be the Monogatari series’ own Tsubasa Hanekawa or, to be more specific, her spiritual, cat-like form “Black Hanekawa.” Black Hanekawa portrays everything about a cat from the creature’s mischievous behavior to walking and pouncing on all fours. If the series could fit in, she’d probably also be shown using a litter box.
7 HINDERE: Hachiman Hikigaya (My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU)
The hinedere is a sarcastic, cynical person who always looks to the darker, more realistic side of things and is very quick to reveal that to other characters. Beyond just having a pessimistic tongue, however, the hinedere will have a soft spot for their love interest and will reluctantly but reliably do anything for them.
One of the best hinederes to date would have to be Hachiman Hikigaya from My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU. He’s such a pessimist that his school literally forces him to join a service club just to show him how bright the world can be. Even then, he accomplishes a lot of the club’s missions at his own expense. What a world.
6 BAKADERE: Hanabatake (Aho Girl)
Any anime fan doesn’t even need to know to see a bakadere to know what they are. Just looking at the name is enough. To put it bluntly, the bakadere is a character who acts stupidly and clumsily, either getting into a variety of mistaken mishaps or misinterpreting obvious and common knowledge.
They’re sweet and gentle at their core, but their entire being just screams slapstick and failing tests. One of the strongest examples to date is Aho Girl‘s Hanabatake. She’s a very simple minded school girl whose main interest seems to be bananas. Aside from that, Yoshiko is always clumsily falling down or giving hilariously bad answers in her homework and tests.
5 HAJIDERE: Kosaki Onodera (Nisekoi)
The hajidere is one of the simplest and most common anime tropes in romance series. They are the king and quiet characters who always find themselves flustered around their main crush. While red may commonly be used for blood in other anime, a hajidere will use up every shade there is to highlight their constantly blushing demeanor.
The leading example for a hajidere would be Nisekoi‘s own Kosaki Onodera. She’s one of the series’ main love interests, but she’s always at odds with finding the right words to talk with the main character, Raku Ichijou.
4 DANDERE: Yuki Nagato (The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya)
The dandere is similar to the hajidere, but they kick up their shyness to 11. They are a wholeheartedly quiet and reserved character who find it difficult to express any emotion at all. Though they can come up with a poignant point every now and then, their lines are often drowned out to their hushed volume.
However, in typical romance style, they’ll come out of their shell when it comes to their love interest. One of the best examples of a dandere would have to be Yuki Nagato from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. She’s the classic bookworm who only seeks to keep to herself unless the situation calls for her direct opinion. Her very dandere essence becomes a central plot point within the film The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya.
3 KUURDERE: Angel (Angel Beats)
The kuudere shares the same seemingly cold and cynical traits as the hinedere; but instead of just being a pessimistic person, they’re actually just a pragmatist with a very sweet and caring center. These are silent, honest characters who simply live with a minimalist style yet still offer a friendly hand to other characters. The best example of this would be Angel Beats!‘s titular Angel.
While seemingly to be an otherworldly presence, Angel is just an awkward and quiet girl who just likes to follow the rules of the world but is very easy to approach and get along with once the other characters get to know her.
2 YANDERE: Yuno Gasai (Future Diary)
The yandere isn’t so much a character archetype as they are a force to be reckoned with. These are nice and sweet characters on the surface who can suddenly turn demented and obsessive when it comes to their love interest. They are best characterized by their propensity to stalk their crush’s and show violent and unnerving brutality to any danger to them or, even worse, a rival love interest.
While the industry has plenty of textbook yanderes, there really is no beating the queen of them all, The Future Diary‘s Yuno Gasai. Yuno’s iconic stare has defined all yandere, and very few have been able to upstage how creepy and lethal her antics with a knife could get.
1 TSUNDERE: Asuka Langley Sohryu (Neon Genesis Evangelion)
Last but not least is the most iconic dere of them all: the tsundere. They’re sour. They’re sweet. They’re the characters who are quick to insult in one scene but can just as easily apologize in the next. Sometimes, they have twin tails. Other times, they just need that pouty, reluctant look. They’re famous for saying things like “It’s not like a like you are anything!” or just screaming “Baka!” in flustered rage.
There are quite a few iconic characters that could be associated with this archetype, but the one who really checks all of the boxes but even manages to make people think about the character more personally would have to be Asuka Langley Sohryu from Neon Genesis Evangelion. With the wishy-washy attitude that has annoyed loyal fans for ages, and a romance that tantalized everyone’s hearts, Asuka is perhaps the best tsundere of them all.
The “dere” character is a mainstay in anime, but it's also one that has many variations, such as these 10 and their most iconic representatives