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Tsundere characters have been around for decades, but when did anime start to reference it directly? What was the first anime to use the term tsundere, as part of dialogue or narration?

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2 Answers 2

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I seriously doubt that this is the first example of an anime directly calling someone "tsundere" but it is worth mentioning nonetheless.

Episode 10 of the Lucky Star "Lucky Channel" (2007) mentions the term Tsundere in reference to Kagami... only to then start some argument about the "real meaning of the term tsundere and how it changed over the course of its more widespread usage".

Sub being too liberal aside, the context should make clear that they are indeed talking about the term "tsundere".

Claiming that Kagami is a tsundere

Arguing she is not a tsundere

And then they go on pointing out that originally "tsundere" indicated a character that "starts hostile and then becomes affectionate over time" while now tsundere refers to characters that alternates between the two modes freely (usually depending on the context).

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  • Honestly it might be possible this is the first instance, I would certainly expect the first usage to be a meta, self-aware show like lucky star (although now it's said in every isekai/harem show seemingly).
    – MannerPots
    Dec 19, 2023 at 15:03
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This is more like a long comment.

Tsundere is a slang, and as is often the case with slangs, there is no definite answer as regards which is the first (and not really a fixed definition).

These wikis (1, 2) say ツンツンデレデレ was used to describe Daikuuji Ayu from the game/anime Rumbling Hearts on the internet in August 2002, which is the origin of the word Tsundere.

Then the word acquired wide recognition around 2005-2006. So as regards Kagami @SPArcheon mentions, it may not be the first but should be among the early examples and could be the most famous among them.


There are several websites (e.g. this) that mentions precursors of Tsundere, which include Scarlett O'Hara from Gone with the Wind or Vegeta from Dragon Ball.

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