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Best Tsundere Female Characters In Anime

Highlights

  • Tsundere characters start off cold but gradually warm up, making them popular love interests in romance stories.
  • Anime has a long history of tsundere heroines and love interests, dating back to the early ’80s.
  • Classic tsundere characters and new ones are introduced every year, keeping the trope alive in anime.


A tsundere is a character archetype that commonly appears in anime and manga. The term describes a character who starts off cold and temperamental but slowly becomes warm and affectionate over time. While tsundere characters can appear in any context, they most often appear in romance stories as potential love interests.

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Tsundere heroines are a common sight in anime nowadays, but they’ve been around since the early ’80s with characters like Lum from Urusei Yatsura. Therefore, anime has a long, storied history of tsundere heroines and love interests. Here are some characters who represent the pinnacle of the tsundere archetype.

Updated January 23, 2024 by Danny Guan: Tsundere characters are some of the most popular archetypes in anime and are frequently used tropes, whether it be in romance, comedy, action, or mystery. Every year of anime is bound to introduce a few new tsundere characters to the medium’s long history.

With 2024 sure to introduce a slew of new classic tsundere characters, it’s a good chance to look back and remember both classic tsundere characters and new ones made popular over the past year. Here are some more of the best female tsundere characters in anime.


28 Saki Saki – Girlfriend, Girlfriend

A Strangely Receptive First Girlfriend

Saki Saki

Girlfriend, Girlfriend

Release Date
July 3, 2021

Studio
Tezuka Productions, SynergySP

Number of Episodes
24

Saki Saki is the childhood friend of Naoya Mukai, who has doggedly pursued a relationship with her for quite a while. At the beginning of the series, she has finally begun dating him, only for him to suddenly suggest adding a third person to their relationship.

While Saki is open about her feelings for Naoya, her shyness and exasperation at his antics lead her to act cold and prickly at times. Despite all this, she does love Naoya and wants to continue being in a relationship with him, regardless of how he acts.

27 Aoba Tsukishima – Cross Game

An Estranged Old Friend That Grows Warmer With Time

Aoba Tsukishima reading manga

Aoba Tsukishima and her older sister Wakaba were inseparable, which is why she always hated it when Wakaba spent time with their neighbor, Koh Kitamura. The two of them never got along, and when Wakaba died in an accident, the two of them drifted apart for several years.

When their paths cross again later in life, Aoba and Koh’s relationship remains frosty. However, as Koh starts to take baseball seriously and become a proper pitcher, Aoba can’t help but respect him. Their initially antagonistic relationship slowly turns into a romantic one.

26 Ami Kurimoto – DNA2

The Classic Tsundere Childhood Friend

Ami Kurimoto

Ami Kurimoto is the childhood friend of Junta Mochizuki, a boy with a bizarre allergy to girls that causes him to vomit whenever he is attracted to one. Despite this, Ami is an exception to this allergy, likely because Junta sees Ami as a sister more than a woman.

Regardless of Junta’s feelings, Ami does feel affection for him, though she is not honest about it. Because she knows Junta only sees her as a friend at best, she does her best to act out the role of a feisty childhood friend while keeping her feelings hidden.

25 Hinagiku Katsura – Hayate the Combat Butler

A Talented Heroine And A Loyal Friend

Hinagiku Katsura

Hayate the Combat Butler

Studio
SynergySP, Manglobe

Number of Episodes
101

The Student Council President of Hakuo Academy, Hinagiku Katsura is an incredibly competent young woman who is skilled with swords. She meets Hayate when he enrolls in her school to accompany his master Nagi Sanzen’in, and slowly falls in love with him as they continue to encounter each other.

For Hinagiku, her love for Hayate causes complications due to her friendship with Ayumu, who has also been in love with Hayate for a long time. While Hinagiku finally manages to be honest about her feelings for Ayumu, it takes a bit longer for her to reveal them to Hayate.

24 Risa Koizumi – Love Com

A Tall Girl With An Unlikely Crush

Risa Koizumi

Risa Koizumi is tall for a girl, a fact that she hates. She constantly butts heads with the shortest guy in class, Atsushi Otani, but the two decide to work together when they learn that the other is interested in their friend.

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Unfortunately, things don’t work out as their respective crushes start dating each other instead, but Risa finds that instead of feeling sad, she finds herself seeing a new side to Atsushi. As time passes and the two remain friends, she starts noticing that they have a lot in common and pair well together. Though she is initially unwilling to admit it, she soon realizes that she has fallen in love with him.

23 Sagiri Ameno – Yuuna And The Haunted Hot Springs

A Standard Tsundere With A Ninja Spin

Sagiri Ameno asking Kogarashi Fuyuzora for a favor

Sagiri Ameno is a member of a demon-slaying clan of ninjas. A serious young woman who is focused solely on her duties, she has very little experience with romance. When Sagiri initially encounters Kogarashi Fuyuzora, she mostly sees him as a bother, but when he displays his strength in exorcism, she starts to see him as a dependable ally.

These feelings slowly grow from camaraderie to love, although Sagiri refuses to admit it. Both her pride and her unwillingness to get in the way of the other girls who are in love with Kogarashi keep her from admitting her feelings for him.

22 Noelle Silva – Black Clover

A Noble Tsundere With More Pride Than Sense

Noelle Silva head shot

Black Clover

Release Date
October 3, 2017

Studio
Pierrot

Number of Episodes
170

Sometimes, pride can be one reason a tsundere heroine might choose to mask her affection behind aggression. Noelle Silva, despite being a noble with large amounts of magic power, is regarded as a failure by her family, giving her an inferiority complex that she tries to hide by acting overly prideful.

When her initially low opinion of Asta turns into romantic interest, Noelle is unable to reconcile her feelings of appreciation with her initially arrogant first impression. Asta isn’t helping things, since he isn’t getting the hint. Still, Noelle’s acknowledgment of her feelings motivates her, allowing her to become stronger and better as a person.

21 Miko Iino – Kaguya-sama: Love Is War

The Strict And Upright Student Council Member

Miko Iino on a dark purple background

Kaguya-Sama: Love Is War

Release Date
January 12, 2019

Studio
A-1 Pictures

Number of Episodes
41

Miko Iino is the uptight, justice-minded fifth member of the Shuchiin Student Council. Initially cold and reserved towards the other members of the Student Council, she slowly warms up to them throughout the series – except for Ishigami, whom she continues to treat with contempt.

Despite this, Iino starts to develop feelings for Ishigami after getting closer to him during the festival but hides it due to his feelings for another girl. Despite their frosty relationship, Iino tries her best to be kind to Ishigami when she can, though she has difficulty being honest with her feelings.

20 Ran Mori/Rachel Moore – Detective Conan/Case Closed

A Tsundere Childhood Friend With A Caring Side

Ran Mori

Case Closed: Detective Conan

Release Date
January 8, 1996

Studio
TMS Entertainment

Number of Episodes
1100+

Ran Mori (known as Rachel Moore in America) is the karate-practicing childhood friend of Shinichi Kudo, currently masquerading as the elementary school kid detective Conan Edogawa. When the two were still together, they had a fairly close relationship, and it’s clear that they harbored romantic feelings for each other.

Unfortunately, their romantic progress was halted when Shinichi was forced to take APTX 4869, turning him into a small child. Because he is forced to hide his identity from Ran, Conan often goes a while without contacting Ran as Shinichi, causing her worry. Because of this, she is more caring than other tsundere characters, though she still exhibits common tendencies.

19 Mikoto Misaka – A Certain Magical Index/Scientific Railgun

An Electric Heroine With Conflicted Feelings

Mikoto Misaka blushing while with Toma Kamijo

A Certain Magical Index

Release Date
October 4, 2008

Studio
J.C.Staff

Number of Episodes
74

Mikoto Misaka is a Level 5 Esper known as the Railgun, making her one of the strongest espers in Academy City. While her massively powerful electromagnetic powers make her a force to be reckoned with, she finds herself frustrated by Toma Kamijo and Level 0 Esper who supposedly has no special abilities.

As Mikoto and Toma continue to interact, Mikoto slowly falls for him, especially as he helps her out of various crises. While she is initially not honest about her feelings towards him, she eventually accepts them when she sees how much danger Toma puts himself through.

18 Kaori Makimura – City Hunter

A Beleaguered Assistant With A Hidden Affection

Kaori in City Hunter

City Hunter

Release Date
April 6, 1987

Studio
Sunrise

Number of Episodes
140

Kaori Makimura is the ever-exasperated partner of the City Hunter Ryo Saeba. Ryo is quite the troublemaker, and his skirt-chasing and unabashed flirting forces her to constantly put a stop to his antics, often requiring her to use massive hammers or other forms of slapstick to keep him in line.

Despite all this, Ryo has a sentimental and serious side to him, and Kaori can’t help but fall in love with that aspect of his personality. While she does her best to hide her affection from him by any means possible, it’s clear to everyone except Ryo himself that she cares for him deeply.

17 Yui Kotegawa – To Love Ru

The Strict Disciplinarian With A Weakness For Romance

Yui Kotegawa standing with her finger pointed out

To Love Ru

Release Date
April 4, 2008

Studio
Xebec

Number of Episodes
64

Streaming Service(s)
HIDIVE

Yui Kotegawa is a stickler for morals, which is why she constantly badgers the main characters Rito Yuuki and Lala, who always seem to get themselves caught up in scandalous situations. She has a strong dislike for perversion and degeneracy — which puts her in a complex situation when she ends up falling for Rito, whom she sees as a major source of both.

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Despite her aggressive moralizing, Kotegawa is surprisingly innocent when it comes to love, and despite her dislike for overt affection, she’s much more receptive to it with the person she likes. While Kotegawa is never a major love interest in either the main series or its sequel, she remains a popular character who features frequently.

16 Kana Arima – Oshi No Ko

The Smart-Mouthed Acting Genius

Oshi no Ko E2 Kana Arima

Oshi No Ko

Release Date
April 12, 2023

Studio
Doga Kobo

Number of Episodes
11

Streaming Service(s)
HIDIVE

Kana Arima was once a child actress renowned for her ability to cry on command. However, when she reconnects with Aqua as a high school student, she is washed up, having lost her popularity. Nevertheless, she maintains a strong front, refusing to give up on her acting career.

Kana falls in love with Aqua relatively quickly, but she has yet to be honest with her feelings due to her lack of self-esteem. Still, she maintains a friendly relationship with Aqua that is occasionally combative due to both of them being uncommunicative.

15 Louise De La Valliere – The Familiar Of Zero

The Tsundere Archetype Taken To Extremes

The Familiar of Zero Louise and Saito about to seal a pact

The Familiar Of Zero

Release Date
July 3, 2006

Studio
J.C.Staff

Number of Episodes
49

Japanese Title
Zero no Tsukaima

Louise de la Valliere is a mage at the Tristain Academy of Magic – and a complete failure mocked by her fellow classmates as “Zero” due to her inability to cast even the simplest of spells. During an exercise where the students were expected to summon their first familiars, Louise ends up summoning Saito Hiraga, a young boy from another world.

Initially, Louise berates and mistreats Saito, considering him to be completely useless. However, as Saito proves his worth and the two become closer, she eventually falls in love with him. Unfortunately for Saito, reciprocating her feelings does not improve her jealousy or short temper.

14 Kagome Higurashi – Inuyasha

Opposites Attract, Even 500 Years Apart

Kagome Higurashi from the anime, Inuyasha holding an arrow and aiming

Inuyasha

Release Date
October 16, 2000

Studio
Sunrise

Number of Episodes
193

Kagome Higurashi was just a normal high school girl until she was dragged into a well by a demon. There, she finds herself 500 years in the past and meets Inuyasha, the half-demon. With Inuyasha’s abrasive personality and Kagome’s virtuous nature, it’s not a surprise to see the two butting heads.

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Still, as the two worked together to gather the shards of the Shikon Jewel, Kagome and Inuyasha found themselves attracted to each other. Unfortunately, the presence of Inuyasha’s former lover Kikyo complicates things, keeping Kagome from being upfront with her love. Nevertheless, her affection for Inuyasha is true, and she is more honest than most other tsunderes about it.

13 Lina Inverse – Slayers

Experienced In Magic, A Beginner In Romance

Lina Inverse about to fire off a spell

Slayers

Release Date
April 7, 1995

Studio
E&G Films, J.C. Staff

Number of Episodes
104

Streaming Service(s)
Funimation

As an adventure-comedy series set in a fantasy world, Slayers does not put a lot of emphasis on romance. Nevertheless, it is pretty clear that there is something romantic happening between the main character, Lina Inverse, and her traveling partner, Gourry Gabriev.

Since the two of them often bicker and tease each other over their various shortcomings, it’s hard for Lina to come clean about her feelings for the swordsman. While the two never really begin a relationship, it’s clear that the two of them are extremely close.

12 Naru Narusegawa – Love Hina

A Fierce Love Interest With A Violent Temper

Naru Narusegawa wearing glasses

Of the various heroines on this list, Naru Narusegawa is easily among the most hotheaded and aggressive tsunderes in anime. She is quick to anger, jumps to conclusions instantly, and is swift to resort to violence — classic tsundere traits. Her love interest Keitaro Urashima has a lot of problems, and trying to stay on Naru’s good side is one of them.

Still, when Naru eventually realizes her feelings and accepts them, she quickly becomes a very loving and affectionate girlfriend. While she still has her violent tendencies, she is much more understanding, which is indicative of her maturing relationship with Keitaro.

11 Madoka Ayukawa – Kimagure Orange Road

Classic 80s Tsundere Icon

Madoka Ayukawa

The fierce and beautiful Madoka Ayukawa puts on a tough exterior but is actually a kind and sincere person. Misunderstood and lonely, Madoka’s life starts to take a turn for the better when she meets transfer student (and secret esper) Kyosuke Kasuga.

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While Kyosuke starts dating Madoka’s friend Hikaru, he can’t deny his feelings for Madoka herself. Madoka also has feelings for Kyosuke, but can’t admit them because she doesn’t want to hurt Hikaru. This love triangle ends up forming the majority of the drama surrounding the series.

10 Erina Nakiri – Shokugeki no Soma (Food Wars)

A Vicious Critic Who Refuses To Let Her Guard Down

Erina Nakiri head shot

Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma

Release Date
April 4, 2015

Studio
J.C.Staff

Number of Episodes
86

Streaming Service(s)
HIDIVE , Hulu

As an elite member of Totsuki, a high school for culinary students, Erina Nakiri and Soma Yukihira couldn’t have gotten off on a worse foot. In her pride, Erina tries to fail Soma during the entrance exam, and when he is admitted to Totsuki anyway, Erina remains an antagonistic presence to Soma.

This rivalry eventually turns to friendship and affection when Erina and Soma slowly get to know each other better. However, Erina’s pride (as well as a little bit of embarrassment) keeps her from even admitting that the two of them are on friendly terms, let alone admitting any possibility of romantic feelings.

9 Eri Sawachika – School Rumble

A Refined Girl In Love With A Bad Boy

Eri Sawachika

School Rumble

Release Date
October 5, 2004

Studio
Studio Comet

Number of Episodes
52

Eri Sawachika is one of the most popular girls in school, as well as the daughter of an extremely wealthy family. That is why she’s so conflicted when she finds herself falling in love with the main character Kenji Harima, the school delinquent and general goofball. It doesn’t help that a series of increasingly ridiculous misunderstandings cause their relationship to become incredibly volatile.

Despite initially being a supporting character, Eri and her dynamic with Harima boosted her popularity to the point where she became a major part of the series. While the ultimate status of their relationship is never resolved, fans of School Rumble adore watching the two of them go back and forth, as a true tsundere and their love interest do.

Antonio Josse

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