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What is a Goudere (豪デレ)?

Goudere (豪デレ)is a character archetype in Japanese fiction and media. A goudere is typically an excitable female character who is relentless in pursuing her goals. She would help her love interest to achieve anything he desired. She tends to be quite a perfectionist and tough in helping her love interests. The goudere would often misinterpret whatever her love interest wishes to achieve, and her mistakes oftentimes end up with over-the-top and comedic after-effects. Meanwhile, the love interest becomes the receiving end of awkward situations due to the goudere’s haphazard decisions. She would give what her love interest wants, but not what he actually needs. A goudere may be aggressive against others or potential rivals. She would force others to “contribute” to the happiness of her love interest. She would refuse to listen or yield from others’ reprimanding.

The trait of the goudere could be paired with a mother or sibling complex for an extra romantic effect on the plot. There is also overlap on goudere with megadere (メガデレ) and yandere (ヤンデレ) due to their obsession over their love interest. The major difference between these archetypes is the intention and method of pleasing the love interest. A goudere would do anything to gain her love interest’s favor without asking him, and they only focus on what they think will be the best for their love interest. Everything a goudere does is out of pure love and devotion rather than malice.

Some examples of goudere characters in Japanese media are Albedo from Overlord, Hina from Plunderer, and Momo Belia Deviluke from the To LOVE-Ru series.

 

Etymology

Goudere (豪デレ) is a combination of two Japanese words: gougou (豪豪) or “overpowering,” and dere-dere (デレデレ) or “love-struck.” The combined meaning is “overwhelming infatuation for the love interest.”
There are also multiple interpretations for the word gou: these include goshujinsama (御主人様) or “husband/master,” gouki (剛毅) or “fortitude,” gouki (豪鬼) or “strong demon.” A goudere is like an unstoppable force of nature blinded by love.

 

A Brief History

There are few select series that feature goudere characters. The titular protagonist Nagihara Sora from Gou-dere Bishoujo Nagihara Sora (豪デレ美少女凪原そら) is a prime example of goudere. Gou-dere Bishoujo Nagihara Sora is a manga created by Suu Minazuki in 2008. The romance-comedy manga is about the relationship between an otaku named Shouta Yamakawa and a manga character named Sora Nagihara who came to life. Shouta was not popular with girls, so he devoted himself to reading manga. He was at first infatuated with Sora after reading the manga Tama x Kiss, but when Sora appeared in Shouta’s world, he was disappointed. Sora wishes to fulfill Shouta’s primal urge by catching girls on his behalf. Despite having a gentle demeanor and frail health in Tama x Kiss, she is quite a bold and brutal lady. Her abilities include manipulating reality as a 2D character. Her brash personality in the world of Shouta often leads to comical and risqué situations.

 

Modern Usage

Being devoted to a special someone is natural; anyone would do crazy things for love. Goudere turns devotional love into comical levels. It can be utilized as a critique to romantic-comedy genres like a harem. Meanwhile, good intentions can eventually hurt a love interest. It is wiser to consider the love interests’ feelings rather than forcing oneself. There is a peril in one-sided romance.

 

References:

Gou-Dere Bishoujo Nagihara Sora, Baka-Updates Manga, https://www.mangaupdates.com/series.html?id=42858, Retrieved 10 January 2021.
Gou-dere Sora Nagihara GN 1″. Anime News Network, https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/gou-dere-sora-nagihara/gn-1/.82761, Retrieved 10 January 2021.

 

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