Long twintailed hair? Thigh-high socks? An animated teenage girl? All of this must seem like nonsense in relation to English, but it isn’t. While discussing Okonkwo’s internal empathy in class the other day, it occurred to me how much Okonkwo has in common with one of the most commonly used stock characterizations in media. It’s a combination of two Japanese terms, tsuntsun, meaning aloof and irritable, and deredere, meaning lovestruck. What do you get when you put them together? Tsundere! The Tsundere diagram above, utilizing Tosaska Rin from Fate/stay night, helps illustrate this archtype’s varying behaviors. Furthermore, there are two types of Tsundere, Type A and Type B. Type A, also known as the harsh Tsundere, classifies the character’s default mood as tsuntsun. On the other hand, Type B, known as the sweet Tsundere, classifies the character’s default mood as deredere.
Now, back to Okonkwo. While he obviously does not have Tsundere visual cues such as the long twintails, the thigh-high socks, and teenage girlhood, his tsuntsun side comes through in his assertion of manliness, from his daddy issues to his brutal household management. His internal thoughts, specifically his remorse over murdering Ikemefuna and care for his children, comprise his deredere side. In terms of type, Okonkwo often comes off as a Type A Tsundere, given that he displays his abrasive tsuntsun side while with others to show off his manliness and that his deredere side remains internal, with very few exceptions.
Actually, after writing this, it’s really hard not to imagine and laugh at an image of Okonkwo in thigh-high socks and I’m very sure that vision will have come to you before you reach this point of my post.