Shikimori can be more than just cute and she can be more than just cool. But does she qualify as the tsundere, one of anime’s most iconic character archetypes?
Kodoani.com – The following contains minor spoilers for episodes 1 and 2 of Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie.
As a new anime rom-com in spring 2022, Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie is about the relationship between cosmically unlucky Izumi and his girlfriend Shikimori. What makes the lead role unique in the genre is that she often looks cool rather than cute, handsome rather than likable. Shikimori’s stern defense of Izumi makes her more like the protagonist of an action thriller than a high school romantic comedy. Even so, there are certain types of classic romantic comedy that can be applied to an unusual heroine.
The term “tsundere” essentially describes a character that starts out aloof or aggressive but reveals a warmer side of their personality over time. However, it can also be used to describe characters who switch rapidly between aggressive and affectionate. Given Shikimori’s often-changing personality, fans wonder if she can even be considered a tsundere. Here are a few ways the term may or may not apply to her.
The lead role of Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie has two distinct sides to her personality – while tsundere characters can be both harsh and kind, Shikimori can be both “cool” and “cute”. Like a typical tsundere character, one side is more friendly and aggressive while the other seems more intense and aggressive. In episode 1, Shikimori pouted when Izumi said that she was “not cute” sometimes, then revealed that Shikimori’s cold side was one of his favorite things about her. Izumi encourages her to beat her bad grades when they go bowling together, and says “I’m in love” as she kicks a signpost that almost falls on him.
On the contrary, there are a few ways that Shikimori’s unique personality doesn’t fit the tsundere style. The stereotype of a tsundere in a romance is that they either initially disliked another character and warmed to them over time, or fell in love with the main character but felt embarrassed about their feelings. self. Both of these scenarios can make for a romantic drama. However, Shikimori never hides his romantic feelings for Izumi.
She always has feelings for Izumi, even when she’s in “cool” mode. Shikimori’s first cold-faced appearance is when she protects Izumi from the smoke of a passing truck and tells him with a smile, “I swear… you have to stop worrying about me so much.” Even if she hides her excitement about being in the same class as him again, it’s because she feels embarrassed about her excitement level, not about her Like Izumi like. In this way, it can be said that Shikimori and Izumi’s relationship is very secure compared to a more flamboyant tsundere love affair.
Shikimori sometimes expresses frustration towards Izumi, but even this is mostly because she wants to spend more time with the guy – she doesn’t pretend to like Izumi any less than herself. In episode 2, she accuses him of spending more time with his friend Inuzuka than with himself. She did this intensely and confidently, but not to the extent that it was as if her personality had changed. Being calm and jealous and angry at other times doesn’t necessarily make Shikimori a tsundere, it simply makes her human.
She may not be as aggressive towards her romantic interests as a stereotypical tsundere, but she has shown aggressive potential towards other characters. In episode 1, Shikimori overhears a group of boys hinting at Izumi that she’s too good, much to her dismay. One sharp look from her was enough to make the boys scream in fear, jumping up and down as she slammed the door shut. When Shikimori seemed to be jealous of Inuzuka protecting Izumi from a wrong volleyball in Volume 2, another intense glare sent Inuzuka into a similar state of fear.
Shikimori is clearly capable of both anger and love, but does not shift from person to person in the story or fluctuate unpredictably between the two. It seems clear from the first two episodes of Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie that the name tsundere doesn’t particularly suit her. It’s a term with many definitions that have changed over time, though, so it’s understandable that fans might view this cute yet awesome character as another evolution. Like it or not, Shikimori is on her way to becoming one of the most memorable new anime characters of the season.