What is a kuudere?
The kuudere: one of the many -dere terms (see tsundere, yandere, and dandere) that anime fans use to describe certain lovable character archetypes. What exactly makes a character kuudere?
Kuudere comes from the word "kuuru", borrowing from the English word "cool", and "dere" the Japanese term for being sweet. If you "dereru" (verb), you are softening up more than you usually are to most people.
The most famous term, tsundere, refers to characters that are feisty, rude, and irritable, only to become blushing puddles of embarrassment when someone shows them affection. In much the same way, kuudere are cool, calm, and collected; that is, until you tell them "suki desu yo!" (I like you!) Kuudere use their cool exterior as a front to hide, when they are actually vulnerable, sensitive souls.
If you look up the term ‘Kuudere’, you will find words such as cold, blunt, and cynical. We agree. Kuudere characters are famous for being ice queens, both aloof and distant. But that is just their outer surface. Their hearts radiate an incredible warmth that fans worldwide can't help but want to bask in!
Here are 15 of the most popular kuudere characters in anime!
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One of the most popular kuudere characters is our favorite blue-haired beauty, Ayanami Rei. Her skills for piloting are so perfect, you'd think she was an emotionless machine, detached and withdrawn. However, her soft spot for Shinji beautifully portrays her caring nature.
Rei is one of the defining characters of the kuudere archetype, being one of the older and most well known characters.
Mei Misaki from Another
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It's no surprise Mei Misaki is emotionless, considering her entire class ignores her! But they have a good reason-they think she's cursed! Like Rei, this kuudere has red eyes and a quiet demeanor.
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Eucliwood is a quiet kuudere for a reason－her magic is very literal, and makes anything she says come true! She gets around this by writing on her notepad.
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As a world famous artist, this kuudere beauty lives to draw and draws to live. She is quiet and doesn't seem to have a care (or deep thought) in the world. But looks can be deceiving because as the series progresses and this young girl begins to truly bloom, she shows a completely different side of herself that no one could have ever known existed.
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Her violet eyes send a shiver down the spine, but she is not as cold as her kuudere exterior seems. This magical girl is hiding some seriously good intentions within her frightening glare.
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Sometimes, characters can be mixes of different deres. Some think Mikasa is more yandere than kuudere, but she's cool-headed enough, especially initially in the series, to count. Mikasa wasn't always this way, but childhood trauma and growing up in a world surrounded by titans can change a girl. She's a cool, fierce warrior, but she'll do anything for her best friend Eren. Plus, she has killer abs!
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It only makes sense for Yin to show no emotions, seeing as she's technically not human, but a Doll. While the show is unclear what Dolls can technically do, it's generally accepted that they are capable of some emotion, but cannot show it on their faces except for the rare tear or two. Dolls have been known to voluntarily sacrifice themselves for others, so we do know that they can feel. How kuudere of her!
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The kuudere owner of the Hotline to Hell, Ai carries out the wishes of the users of the website by entering into a contract with them. Literally sending people to hell can be taxing on your emotions－good thing because Ai is inscrutable. She does, however, seem to care for her assistants.
Sakaki from Azumanga Daioh
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Tall, cool, and beautiful, Sakaki is the object of envy or affection of all girls. Like a true kuudere, anything she does ends up looking cool without her trying. Little does everyone else know, she's got a ridiculous obsession with all things cute, especially cats!
Saber from Fate/stay night
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As her name suggests, she is strong, silent, and will cut through her enemies before they know what hits them. But Saber is fighting for good, every swing of her sword is put into motion by a gentle ray of hope. An ultimate warrior and an ultimate woman. Can you say Kuudere?
Minami Iwasaki from Lucky☆Star
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She has an exotic name and a straight, poker face that gives the impression that she doesn’t care. However, her close friend Yutaka will claim differently. Like other kuudere, she only looks emotionless.
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She may act like a studious geek who is seldom seen without her books, but she does care about her friends. We think.
Kuroyukihime from Accel World
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She may bear passionate feelings for Aruta Haruyuki, but when other girls come by, she acts as though she could care less. Being a Kuudere is harder than it looks.
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Don't let her cool demeanor fool you. This kuudere girl may look pretty and fragile, but she will kick your behind if she has to.
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She is just as geeky as her name is; her books and her glasses complete her persona. But deep down, this kuudere princess has the heart of royalty!
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Hitagi Senjougahara has a secret which she refuses to share with anyone. The girl even abuses and threatens people who stumble upon it! A sharp-tongued kuudere indeed. But once you get past that cold front, you may see the gentle girl she truly wants to be.
Hancock Boa from One Piece
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Her beauty seems to be matched only by her cruelty; her cold blue eyes mirror that assumption. But throughout the series, this pirate captain proves that she is a true Kuudere.
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A golden-haired assassin who can kill with a single glare. That’s her ice queen persona. Her caring persona, however, is revealed when she breaks her contract to kill her target because of her feelings for him.
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Ruri Gokou is one of the most endearing Kuudere girls out there. She is seen as socially awkward and snobbish, but when it comes to her siblings and close friends, her gentle aura truly shines!
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The most famous girl in main character Shido's school, Origami is the school ace when it comes to both academics and sports! Not to mention, she's also a beauty. She's got a soft heart though, and a girly dream of becoming a bride.
Anime is home to an array of different character archetypes. If you enjoyed this article, you will surely find the following "dere" anime tropes just as useful!