The Birds, The Bees, and The Deres

Hello everyone. Justin here, and welcome to the Otaku Mind. Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone out there, thank you for taking time to join me on this love-filled day where we’re talking about deres. As we know love is strange and over the years people have come to embrace this saying. But Japan has been saying this for years. Deres are archetypes of characters in anime which are involved in a romantic setting. Each dere is different and gives us a different perspective on romance. Since this is the day of love let’s take a look at the various deres out there and see what they tell us about.


Let’s start with the most well-known dere out there. The tsundere is a character who is harsh and mean at one point but at another point lovey-dovey. They can be split into two types. The first type is the tsun state where the character verbally and physically abuse the object of their desire. The second type is the dere state where the character maintains a public image and is nice to everyone around them including their love interest except when they do something wrong or perverted. The tsundere character is all about getting the attention of their love interest but not knowing how to handle this new emotion. tsunderes are characters who have been hurt pretty badly in the past and thus create a wall around themselves for protection. In truth, these characters are quite tragic as they’ve forgotten what love is and thus don’t know how to handle it. As a result, they act harsh and mean towards you because it’s the only emotion they know.


Here’s an archetype that seems to becoming more popular in today’s culture. Unlike the tsundere who is harsh and mean, danderes are shy, quiet, and harmless people who mostly keep to themselves but become quite talkative and outgoing when their love interest is around. This archetype tells us that love is about taking risk and stepping outside your comfort zone to open up to others. Truth be told, I’ve always thought of myself as the dandere type when it comes to romance. I do tend to be quiet at times but it’s not because I’m shy, I just like to hear what other people have to say and then give my input. I like to let the girl make the first move and then work my way from there.


These are characters who are cold, emotionless, and distant. They rarely talk and when they do they’re blunt and cynical about it. Despite their icy personality they can form romantic bonds they just don’t make a big deal about it. I’ve always viewed this archetype as someone being in a romantic situation but being entirely indifferent towards it. They’re happy they’re in a relationship but they don’t think that makes them anymore special than say another couple or someone who’s single.


Probably the most popular of the deres. These are characters who are sweet and kind on the outside but on the inside they’re maniacs. They’re very possessive and controlling, taking over the life of their love interest and isolating them from the world. This dere shows us the dangers of love in trying to control and manipulate others to our will not caring about what they want and only thinking of ourselves and what we want.


The most straightforward of the deres. You’re constantly smothering your love interest with affection. This dere shows us that when we’re in love we do everything in our power to make the object of our affection know how much they mean to us and make them happy.


The next deres from here can all be considered subclasses of the previously mentioned deres that I talked about. Each of them is either similar to the first 5 I mentioned or a combination of the first 5. Case in point, the himedere. This archetype is a character restricted only to females. They’re stuck up and want to be treated like a princess by everyone but in truth it’s all a mask to hide their insecurities. This dere tells us that love is all about opening up to your love interest and trusting them to understand and help you with your pain or worries.


This is the male equivalent of the himedere. Just like females have their own insecurities so too do males, it just takes us a little longer to open up about it because we want to appear as superheroes to our love interest. Acting as their rock and coming to their rescue whenever they need us without showing them how vulnerable we are.


These characters are egotist. They’re arrogant, proud, and have a god-complex the size of Jupiter. They believe that they’re always right and everyone should do what they tell them to do. They force their views on others as well. This shows us another dark side of love where we believe that by being in a relationship with someone that gives us the right to tell everyone what to do and what to do in order to be in a relationship. But it doesn’t. Every couple is different. What works for one couple may not work for another couple.


This is a rare dere in the world of anime. These characters always say yes to the person they have affection for in order to stay close to them. These characters are quite sad as they can be taken advantage of quite easily by others. We get another dark side of love here by showing us how oblivious we can be when we’re in love with someone but they don’t share the same feelings we have. In some cases the person of our affection winds up using us and hurting us in the process. A good example of this is Harley Quinn from the Batman series. She’s in love with The Joker and will do anything for him even though The Joker has no feelings for her whatsoever. To him, she’s just a pawn for him to use and dispose of as he pleases. It’s all a one-sided love and Quinn is so blinded by love she doesn’t realize she’s being played.


These are characters who start off as antagonist for the main character. Chances are they’ll fall in love with the main character but won’t switch sides and if they have to will kill their love interest. This archetype tells us that there are some characteristics or character traits of our love interest we just can’t change no matter what. We have to accept that this is the way they are. If it’s something bad, hopefully you can talk to them about it and they’ll make the necessary changes. If not, then chances are this person isn’t for you or doesn’t value the relationship as much as you do.


And the final dere is the bodere. This archetype is the newest of the deres and combines traits of both the tsundere and dandere. They’re characters who are shy around the opposite sex and lash out in order to hide their embarrassment. This archetype is similar to the tsundere when talking about love. This whole experience is new to them and they don’t know how to handle it so they wind up lashing out on others without realizing it.

And that’s all the deres and what they tell us about love. I know I skipped over the hinedere and sadodere but there’s really nothing to talk about with them. The hinedere is pretty much the male equivalent of a tsundere and the sadodere is just sadism for the person you love. If you’re in to that sort of thing, good for you. Just make sure you have a safe word. Well that’ll do it for me, let me know what your thoughts are on the different deres in the world and which one you think best describes you. Thanks for reading, happy Valentine’s Day and I’ll see you next time on Project Nitsuj.

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