Today’s article is the grand prize winner of our first ever writing contest. Congratulations to cultureshock!
KEARNEY, MO — The average high school boy would be heartbroken if his crush acted like she hated him. But for 16-year-old Joshua Ferris, local student and self-professed otaku, this is actually a sign of encouragement; he believes that his crush, classmate Kelly Liebowitz, is a tsundere. A prevalent archetype in some of his favorite anime, tsundere characters can be found in schools, workplaces, and dungeons around the world.
Joshua has experienced plenty of tsun from Kelly, so he hopes it is only a matter of time before her dere side shows through. Kelly regularly calls him names like ‘loser’ and ‘disgusting pervert’ and tells him that she hopes he dies. At times, her attacks escalate to physical violence. Joshua believes that she does these things as an attempt to repress her true feelings of attraction towards him. However, other students in his class see her behavior as an expression of heartfelt contempt.
“Kelly hates him, no doubt about it,” Bryce Jazkowski, Joshua’s best friend, told Anime Maru. “I can’t really blame her. He’s been acting like a jerk since he got into anime last year. We’re supposed to be best friends, but we never really hang out outside of class anymore. And when I see him in class, he acts like I’m supposed to be his comic relief sidekick or something.”
This is not the first time that Joshua has misinterpreted the behavior of girls in his life as signs of romantic interest. In April of this year, he made a misguided attempt to befriend classmate Andrea Yates. Andrea is a quiet girl who sits by herself at lunch and reads every day, which led Joshua to identify her as a dandere. However, as Andrea informed him in front of the entire cafeteria, she was not waiting for Joshua to pull her out of her shell, but wanted only to be left alone. Two weeks later, Joshua initiated an even more embarrassing conversation with his younger sister, Katie. She is no longer on speaking terms with Joshua.
Brenda Stockton, the guidance counselor at Joshua’s school, says that his situation is not uncommon. “Too many young men take their social cues from the fantasies portrayed in escapist entertainment, including the harem garbage Joshua likes to watch,” she said. “Unfortunately, he will have to learn that real life is not like one of his Japanese animes.”
“Although,” she added, “he may be happy to learn that the girl who follows him home from school is a genuine yandere.