As probably all of you know, the word “tsundere” is the combination of two Japanese onomatopoeia: “tsun tsun” and “dere dere”. These two words have literally opposite meanings: tsun tsun refers to someone who acts hotheadedly, or looks cold, unfazed, or even spiteful; dere dere, on the other hand, refers to someone who is sweet, affectionate, and cuddly. What would you expect from a tsundere personality, then? Yes, a character who is initially cold, but step by step, or even just in some circumstances, or toward determined persons, shows a dere dere side. Tsundere personalities are cute, and the world of manga is full of these kinds of characters. In this ranking, we'll talk about ten tsundere boys who are popular thanks to their attitudes. Stick with us until the end if you fancy tsundere boys; if not, stick with us anyway to come to love them!
10. Shinichi Chiaki from Nodame Cantabile
- Mangaka: Ninomiya, Tomoko
- Genre: Comedy, Romance, Slice of life, Josei
- Volumes: 25
- Published Date: July 2001 – August 2010
Let's start with Shinichi Chiaki, the co-protagonist of a wonderful manga called Nodame Cantabile. Shinichi, whose dream is to become a conductor in Europe, is grounded in Japan because of his fear of flying. While attending an elite music university, he meets Megumi Noda, a talented pianist with seemingly no direction in life. Their meeting will change forever Shinichi's life, as spending time with Nodame (as she calls herself) will help him fight his fears!
As a tsundere personality, Shinichi is very mean to Nodame in the beginning. Firstly, he despises her way of neglecting her talent as a musician; then, her being unkempt and lazy. Basically, Shinichi acts as if he doesn't care about Nodame, and that's the facade and his tsun tsun side. The truth is, Shinichi just can't bring himself to admit that he cares a lot about her. In fact, his dere dere side pops up when he cooks for her, cleans her house, and so on. Shinichi is the sweetest: no longer a boy, not yet an adult keeping his tsundere tendencies up!
9. Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist
- Mangaka: Arakawa, Hiromu
- Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Shounen
- Volumes: 27
- Published Date: July 2001 – September 2010
Let's go on with Fullmetal Alchemist and its protagonist, Edward Elric! He is an alchemist: a talented boy able to manipulate matter. In alchemy, though, there's one thing that is strictly forbidden, that can lead to severe consequences: human transmutation. Yet, after their mother's death, Ed and his little brother–Alphonse–decide to ignore that ban, in order to bring their mother back to life. Sadly, they fail, paying a high price: Ed loses his left leg, and Al his entire body. What's more, in order to save Al's soul, Ed gives up his right arm, too. Years later, these two brothers leave to search for the Philosopher's Stone, hoping to recover their bodies thanks to its power...
As a tsundere boy, Edward looks really composed, at least most of the time. Since he is a bit short for his age, he loses it each time someone alludes to his height. Ed is impulsive, and tends to jump to conclusions, or simply jump in the arms of trouble, and he may look somewhat cold. His dere dere side, though, pops up when it comes to Alphonse, and a few other characters he considers his friends. Throughout the story he will slowly open up, and finally show his true feelings.
8. Kyouya Sata from Wolf Girl & Black Prince (Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji)
- Mangaka: Hatta, Ayuko
- Genre: Comedy, Romance, School life, Shoujo
- Volumes: 16
- Published Date: June 2011 – May 2016
Kyouya Sata is our tsundere boy who finds himself involved with Erika, one of his schoolmates. Erika snaps a shot of Sata on the road, unaware that he attends the same school as her; then, she shows the picture to her friends, claiming that he is her new boyfriend. Sadly, her friends immediately recognize the boy in the picture as Sata, the Prince Charming of the school. What's more, Sata happens to overhear their conversation, and begins to blackmail Erika...
Sata is a peculiar type of tsundere boy, probably one of the sliest. In fact, he is a genius when it comes to fake a dere dere side: it is no coincidence that he is depicted like a Prince Charming by the girls at school. Only Erika knows his true colors; Sata treats her pretty badly, and goes as far as to consider her his “dog”. There are moments, though, when even Erika loses patience. Those are the times when Sata fears to lose her, and shows his dere dere side. Of course, he covers it up right after with an insult sequence! But at least we know there's a good side of him, perfectly hidden.
7. Shihou Kimizuki from Seraph of the End (Owari no Seraph)
- Mangaka: Yamamoto, Yamato (Art) Kagami, Takaya (Story) Furuya, Daisuke (Story)
- Genre: Action, Drama, Supernatural, Shounen
- Volumes: 15
- Published Date: September 2012 – ongoing
Shihou Kimizuki is one of the main characters in Seraph of the End. In a world where humanity becomes subjugated by vampires, only the Japanese Imperial Demon Army can fight for mankind. Separated from Mika, Yuu Hyakuya – the protagonist – becomes a member of the Army, and while at school he meets new friends, including Shihou Kimizuki. Yuu and Kimizuki act as rivals and jump to each other's throats on daily basis, due to Kimizuki who openly despises Yuu and provokes him whenever he gets a chance to.
Kimizuki's tsun tsun side shows up with whoever, as he seemingly thinks to be the best, and claims to be the only one actually motivated to join the Imperial Demon Army. He keeps objecting his team's doing, all the more when his comrades listen to what Yuu says. Step by step, though, his dere dere side surfaces: his sister is sick, and he joined the Army in order to save her, and when push comes to shove, he demonstrates–even if briefly–to actually care about Yuu... he just finds it hard to show affection, like every tsundere in this list.
6. Sei Handa from Barakamon
- Mangaka: Yoshino, Satsuki
- Genre: Comedy, Slice of life, Shounen
- Volumes: 15
- Published Date: February 2009 – ongoing
Sei Handa is the protagonist of Barakamon, and a young calligrapher, who has always been considered a prodigy. His certainties and self-confidence, though, easily go crumbling down when one of his pieces is labeled as unoriginal. In order to punish him, his father sends Handa to the Goto Islands: actually, his father only wishes for him to find a new inspiration, through hardships. Resigned, Handa seeks at least peace on the Goto Islands, but little does he know about its inhabitants...
Soon enough, his neighbors–including a little girl called Naru–invade his new house, and Handa realizes that he won't find the peace he's looking for. His tsun tsun side shows every time his new friends try to involve him in new activities, and he harshly refuses; Handa doesn't even bother to hide how irked he is by their presence. As the story progresses, though, we figure his tsundere personality out. He grows fond of each of his new friends, and finally opens up, showing his softer side.
5. Teito Klein from 07-Ghost
- Mangaka: Amemiya, Yuki (Story) Ichihara, Yukino (Art)
- Genre: Action, Supernatural, Drama, Josei
- Volumes: 17
- Published Date: April 2005 – August 2013
Let's keep going with Teito Klein, protagonist of 07-Ghost. Teito is a student of the elite Military Academy of the Barsburg Empire. Hated by all the other students because of his attitude, only Mikage Celestine manages to befriend this tsundere boy, and in no time the two of them become besties. When some circumstances reveal to Teito a dark part of his past, before ending up imprisoned, Mikage helps him escape from the Academy.
Teito presents himself as your typical tsundere boy hated by the surrounding people who don't bother to scratch the surface. Snobby, obnoxious. and pretentious, he doesn't waste time to show the other students how skilled and powerful he is. Truth is, he just wants to make friends. When Mikage repeatedly tries to befriend him, he finally opens up. Teito's tsundere personality will pop up every time he comes to know other people, but as time goes by, he will grow up and manage to show his tender side more often.
4. Gareki from Karneval
- Mangaka: Mikanagi, Touya
- Genre: Action, Mystery, Supernatural, Sci-Fi, Josei
- Volumes: 20
- Published Date: August 2007 – ongoing
Gareki is the protagonist of Karneval. He is a poor boy who became a clever thief. While robbing a luxurious house, he meets Nai, a young boy looking for his friend, held captive by a beautiful woman. When Gareki decides to help Nai, though, the woman turns into a horrific monster. Gareki and Nai run for their lives, but are found by the government defense agency, “Circus”. Each of them with their own reasons, they join the Circus and their journey begin.
On the ship of the Circus, Gareki's tsundere personality explodes, all the more when he interacts with Yogi, who is affectionate and cheerful. Gareki looks spiteful and obnoxious, but actually he just has very little trust in people, as he grew up poor, robbing here and there in order to survive. His tsun tsun side is that of an arrogant fellow; his dere dere side pops up with Nai, as Nai's straightforwardness hits where it hurts, and sometimes with Yogi, too. Gareki demonstrates to be caring, and affectionate: he simply doesn't want other people to know his weaknesses.
3. Ciel Phantomhive from Black Butler (Kuroshitsuji)
- Mangaka: Toboso, Yana
- Genre: Action, Mystery, Historical, Supernatural, Shounen
- Volumes: 26
- Published Date: September 2006 – ongoing
Ciel Phantomhive is the 12-year-old protagonist of Black Butler. He lost his parents under strange circumstances, and decided to form a contract with the devil, Sebastian, who – in exchange for Ciel's life – will help him revenge his parents. At his young age, Ciel is also the Queen's Guard Dog, investigating the unsettling events occurring in England.
Ciel appears to be aloof, and–of course–even spoiled, as he is the young earl of a noble family, and very rich. He keeps distance from other people, even because he finds it hard to feel pity, or sympathy toward the others. As a tsundere boy, he acts unfazed and, sometimes, he bursts in anger. What's more, he frequently makes selfish decisions, and can become very cruel when it needs. Yet, his dere dere side is right behind the corner: first of it all, he shows to be very shy in some circumstances; then, when it comes to Elizabeth, his fiancee, Ciel shows his tender side, and his willing to protect her, as she is a girl he really cares about.
2. Gilbert Nightray from Pandora Hearts
- Mangaka: Mochizuki, Jun
- Genre: Adventure, Mystery, Supernatural, Drama, Shounen
- Volumes: 24
- Published Date: May 2006 – March 2015
Gilbert Nightray is our tsundere boy from Pandora Hearts. He was taken in by the Vessalius Duke House, and given the role of servant of the young master, Oz. Only a bit older than Gilbert, Oz never considered Gilbert as a servant: rather, he considered Gilbert as his loyal friend, and swears to protect him. On the day of Oz's fifteen birthday, the ceremony is interrupted by the Baskerville Clan, who sends Oz in Abyss. After his disappearance, ten years go by, and Gilbert in reunited with his brother Vincent, adopted by the Nightray family. When Oz appears once again before his eyes, he is still the 15-year-old boy of that day, as Abyss had sent Oz back ten years forward.
Gilbert Nightray's tsundere attitude shows in the way he interacts with his former young master Oz. As a child, Gilbert was a sweet boy and a loyal servant, while ten years made him moody, hot-tempered and surly. This tsun tsun side hides the guilt he felt, as he considers himself responsible for Oz's vanishing. Throughout the story, though, his dere dere side pops up once again, in the way he manages to open up to other people, too. We totally love a tsundere boy like him!
1. Yuu Kanda from D.Gray-man
- Mangaka: Hoshino, Katsura
- Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Supernatural, Shounen
- Volumes: 25
- Published Date: May 2004 – ongoing
Here we have our first position, a tsundere boy from D.Gray-man: Yuu Kanda! Kanda is part of the religious organization known as the “Black Order”, and he is an exorcist. Kanda and the other exorcist fight against the Akuma – creatures born from human souls, wishes and desires – with the Innocence, and the weapon differs for each exorcist.
Kanda is a super tsundere boy, and it shows in many ways. At a first glance, he comes across as stoic; he is arrogant, and cold toward whoever. Although he looks almost always unfazed and careless about the other exorcists, and is frequently at Allen's throat, chapter after chapter his true nature surfaces. When it's about Alma Karma, his precious childhood friend, finally his tsun tsun side crashes down. What's more, he manages to show gratitude to his rival, Allen; not only that, but he begins to demonstrate how much he actually cares about his comrades. It was so hard, and took so much time to wait and see his cute side, that we thought he deserved our first position!
Well, our ranking for the tsundere boys in manga came to an end! Did you enjoy it? We tried to put into it all the different types of tsundere boys that we could think of, from the mildest ones, to the most stubborn. We even tried to explain what brought them to hide their dere dere side behind a tsun tsun one! We know the world of manga is full of other tsundere characters that would be worth a mention, so why don't you name some other of them in the comments below? Let us know what you think, and see you next time!