Animated has many tropes and archetypes, especially when it comes to characters that appear frequently across genres. These “-dere” classifications notably include “tsundere”, in which a tough character turns out to be much kinder in reality. Perhaps his greatest example is Taiga Aisaka’s Toradoraalthough this is not the only such classification.
One of the most esoteric types of “-dere” is “goudere”. Although little known compared to other character archetypes, Goudere has many examples in prominent cartoons. Here’s an overview of what the term means, and some popular series that have goudere actors.
What does the Anime Goudere archetype mean?
The etymology of goudere derives from “gou” (overwhelming) and “dere-dere” (lost in love), denoting a love interest whose passion for their beloved is overwhelming. As with most “-dere” archetypes, these characters are usually female. His goals are not only to win the romantic affections of his “love”, but also to achieve whatever he desires. Doing either of these acts can result in violent and tumultuous circumstances, with the goudere obsessed with helping his love in any way possible. Likewise, they might take certain desires or requests at face value, making their potential lover more annoyed than enamored in the process.
This gives goudere some similarity to the “megadere” and “yandere” archetypes. The former implies that the megadere loves someone in a fanboy/fangirl fashion, whereas yandere are obsessed and sticky to an extreme degree. The main detail that separates them is the fact that Gouderes are genuinely in love with the object of their affections, and even their most malignant actions are not intentionally cruel or harmful.
What popular anime characters feature Goudere?
A good example of goudere is Albedo, the female protagonist of isekai series Suzerain. Her passion for her Guild Commander Ainz knows no bounds, to the point that she is incredibly clingy and jealous of other women around him. Albedo is constantly trying to get her attention, with almost all of his actions meant to impress her in some way. Her passion for him is almost uncontrollable, for better or for worse. Not only is she quick to counterattack if Ainz is seemingly injured, but she constantly pounces on him in a sultry way, much to his chagrin.
Tohru, the titular dragon lady of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, is an example of yuri goudere. Saved by a human woman named Kobayashi, Tohru falls in love with her out of gratitude. It even changes her previous view of humans, as she had been raised to hate them. Now, she only attacks humans if they appear to pose a threat to Miss Kobayashi, whether or not that threat is real. Juvia Lockser Fairy tale is an example of goudere from a shonen series, as she is determined to ward off her romantic rivals for Gray Fullbuster’s affection as a so-called “hobby”.
Since much of the genre is wish fulfillment and power fantasy, several harem and isekai anime feature female goudere characters, or at least characters close to this category. Given the ubiquity of the genre, there will likely be more traditional goudere characters in the near future, making the term as well known as the beloved tsundere.