To Minnie’s Readers,
The following is a rant by my close friend and reader, Steve. We talked a lot in the past about the subject of whether Naito Mamoru from Warau Tame Ni is a tsundere or not, and I decided to share his thoughts on this topic with all of us! Enjoy! Note: The rest of this post will be edited by me but from Steve’s perspective~
Steve here! There has been a lot of talk about whether Naito Mamoru is a tsundere or not. I will end that discussion right now- Mamoru is NOT a tsundere. I will prove this by comparing him side by side to Lucas Yeung, a famous tsundere from Minnie’s story, Spirits Remake!
It’s hard NOT to make a comparison between these two guys when they have a lot in common:
1. Both are bitter about society
2. Both have horrible tempers
3. Both are lone wolf types/introverts (Ironic isn’t it? Lucas being the captain of his crew? Yet all he wants to do is hide in his room and read romance novels?)
4. Both have little attachment to family
5. Both are seen as cool and desirable by the female population
6. Both have dark hair (But all of Minnie’s main males do except for Blaine West…)
7. Both are around the same age (Lucas 17 going on to 18, Mamoru 16 going on to 17)
8. Both don’t care for women for the most part (see later section)
9. Both are rebels/anti-conformists (main reason why I like them both)
10. Both are crazy and extreme
11. Both have an awesome best friend (I must add this one- how can you NOT like Flaine or Naoki?)
12. Unlike most of Minnie’s ship teases and crazy relationships, it’s pretty darn obvious from the beginning of Spirits that Lucas and Adabella are soulmates and have feelings for each other; same with Mamoru and Mizuki from Warau Tame Ni (Sera is only there for drama purposes). It’s no wonder AdaLu is the most popular pairing and MaMizu the second most popular pairing right now.
13. Both are top tier on the manliness scale
I know. What the fuck does that mean? Here, my little invention:
Scale from NOT MANLY to SUPER MANLY:
Locke (New Era)
No offense to Caramel. Love the dude to death but he’s too MOE to be a real man.
I love how Jin is the ideal medium.
It’s too bad Lucas is pretty. Personality alone, he is THE man. Damn you, Minnie.
Francis is a total asshole. Damn, I miss him already.
Noticed how all of Minnie’s coolest characters are manly (including Adabella)? Cough cough
A lot of people claim Mamoru is based off Lucas. I can see that. It’s a fair comparison. I mean, hell, look at that long list up there. But that theory is totally off. And I’ll tell you why with 3 major reasons:
1. Mamoru lacks self-confidence; Lucas has too much self-confidence.
2. Mamoru’s goal is to become a man worth of supporting Mizuki; Lucas’s goal is to free all Mules and fight for equal rights
3. Mamoru is NOT a tsundere; Lucas IS a tsundere
The last one is why we’re here, but let’s talk about the two stories first. I swear it’s relevant. Have you guys noticed that Warau Tame Ni is unlike any of Minnie’s previous works? I read the first chapter. My mind exploded. I got a little too excited. Minnie has never written anything like this before! As I read more and more chapters though, I can’t be fooled anymore. It’s obviously a Minnie work. The differences between Warau Tame Ni and her other works are still mind boggling though because they make analyzing Mamoru and Lucas that much more fun.
Warau Tame Ni is a man’s world. Every other work of Minnie’s is a woman’s world. Don’t believe me? Here. I’ll throw you guys some proof.
From Spirits Remake:
“She’s no ordinary noblewoman,” Alvin said in reassurance. “I heard that this same woman rode a horse and took down an army of Knights when they tried to stop her from chasing down a bunny for her sister.”
“That’s nothing,” said Sherman in dismissal.
Alvin chuckled. “At the age of eight.”
I know, I know. Adabella is not a good example. She’s a total badass. Also, Spirits takes place in a world where women have way more power over men, but there are more.
From Gorgeous Geek:
“Can’t we all get along?” asked Jin, trying to calm them down. They [Gangs] were closing in on him. Jin had no choice now so he shouted loudly. “Fi, stop being all cute and helpless! Can’t you see that it’s no time to be acting innocent?”
Before the boys could do anything to Jin, one of them fell over. The remaining three turned around to see Jezebelle stepping on their fallen comrade with her right foot. She had her hair down now and her heels off. She smirked cruelly, playing with her long, light brown hair. They noticed that the other two that were supposed to guard the girls were also knocked out.
“About time you ask me to be myself again, codfish,” said Jezebelle, clicking her tongue at Jin. “Time for you boys to go bye-bye.
Besides that fun scene above, remember when Jezebelle took out all of Cammy’s people at the mall? And eventually took over the school? God, I missed that story.
I don’t even have to include examples from Eulalia or From Vain to Dandy. Mandy Monroe, a woman, is the boss of all the men. Eulalia is able to be lazy and unproductive and still have men like Brice fall for her. The entire story is under her control, making all the men useless against her. Heh. Go Lally. Hell. Look at Fool’s Paradise. Bogancio has all the ladies, but he has no power within his own harem!
Then… Warau Tame Ni came along and changed everything with men in power everywhere:
Minnie set the tone early- Sera’s male homeroom teacher caught her sneaking into class. Too much of a stretch? Mamoru is the one who pushes Sera to gain confidence in herself. Her “female” friends Kimi and Asuka tried and failed earlier in the chapter remember?
Now, we all come to expect the strongest characters (in terms of willpower and emotions) to be female in Minnie’s stories. Eulalia from Eulalia? Roseanna from New Era? Jamie from Sweet Hearts? Adabella from Remake? In Warau Tame Ni (and I know this is debatable), the boys are the strong ones. Yes, I am counting Asuka-kun as a boy because she is. Asuka, Kenji, and Naoki are undoubtedly the ones who actually have their shit together. What’s going on with the ladies?
To be fair, there’s Beni. I thought so too until we meet Mitsuru, her husband, who is way cooler and more awesome of a character than she is. Let’s be real here. He is the dominant of the two here.
Aside from the major characters, look at all the mother characters and compare.
Naoki’s mother? Died from cancer. His father? Raised him and his siblings on his own.
Asuka’s mother? Unable to cope with her daughter being ‘abnormal’ and goes into state of denial. She hasn’t said anything about her father, but he and her bros seem to be cool with it.
Kimi’s mother? Doesn’t seem to care about her daughter and let her do whatever she wants. Don’t know anything about her father.
Kenji’s mother? Can’t seem to survive without him. Kenji is without a father.
Beni & Mamoru’s mother? Pathetic excuse of a parent. Their stepfather? Obviously a man of power.
Sera’s parents don’t really matter in this equation because they’re just regular people. Why the fuck does she get a normal family? That’s not fair to everyone else.
Lastly, there’s Mizuki’s mother. A strong woman who singlehandedly takes care of Mizuki. But as you can see in the latest addition, yeah, no. Her life is dictated by her ex-husband. It’s kind of sad.
Unlike Jezebelle and Adabella in my previous examples, Sera is the one who needs saving from being kidnapped during the Kenji arc. That’s not all. During the Mamoru arc, I feel so fucking sorry for Mizuki. Her voice is silenced the entire time. The readers don’t get to hear her side of the story at all. She is getting pushed and pulled by all the men in her life. Kenji drags her into the classroom for that one scene. The boys force her to wear that maid outfit. Even on the rooftop, Mamoru refuses to hear her opinion and orders her to leave. The most ironic moment of the Mamoru arc? Mizuki acts the role of Adabella from Remake in the school play.
Can you hear Minnie laughing in glee? I can.
I mean, come on. Really? Adabella Shizuria? The same woman who drags Lucas out of bed whether he likes it or not? Example below:
“Captain Lucas Yeung, if you continue to ignore my warnings and refuse to wake up within the next five minutes, I shall dump your precious romance novels into the sea! I swear I will! I read them all already!”
Doesn’t Adabella sound more like… Sera?
“Tsukishita Sera has bothered me a lot during naptime recently because I’ve been skipping
classes again.” Mamoru’s thoughts from Mamoru’s chapter.
Don’t kill me. Kill Minnie instead. It’s not my fault that Mizuki is nothing like Adabella.
To be fair again, AdaLu is nothing like MaMizu. Adabella and Lucas are like two powerhungry badasses fighting for supremacy in an arena. Mamoru and Mizuki are like a pair of comrades supporting one another to survive a storm. Totally different.
From Spirits Remake One-shot:
“All of you have been spoiled by Flaine’s top-notch culinary skills for years,” said Lucas. “How can you go backwards and eat food made by a complete amateur? Especially after only honing her skills for a mere month and for a charity event nonetheless? We’re pirates, not hobos.” Lucas kicked the cart over. “Go back to your cabins before I come up with extra labor for the lot of you.”
The boys moaned and groaned the entire way out until Adabella was the only one left with Lucas. Imagine the Captain’s surprise when instead of bickering with him as usual, Adabella lowered her head and went pass him. Lucas shrugged it off though. Chances were the lady was tired from working all day. With everyone gone, Lucas threw himself into his chair and divided all the leftover among his cats except for a bowl he saved for himself. He poured himself a glass of wine as well.
“I thought the Captain said my cooking is only worthy of the homeless,” said Adabella, catching him in the act with a spoon still in his mouth. She returned in a yellow night gown. “My mother taught me not to waste food at a young age and after learning so much from Flaine this past month, I treasure the meals he made for us more than ever. I wanted to finish the leftovers on my own…”
“Don’t misunderstand,” Lucas said, paying attention to his Owner. “I was curious, that’s all.”
From the Warau Tame Ni Finale Arc:
“Then,” Mamoru says firmly, lowering his body on her desk and looking up at her. “In exchange, make me a bento like you used. I’m kind of sick of buying food all the goddamn time. How about it?”
Mizuki gapes at him. “I… can I really make you a bento like I used to?”
“Why the hell not?”
“Hey,” says one of the boys. “You can’t just go up and ask Princess Hoshino to cook for you when you’re not even her boyfriend.”
Mamoru shoots the guy a piercing glare. “Don’t call her by that nickname either. That’s Naokkun’s thing.”
“Whatever. You can’t boss Hoshino-san around like that.”
“She’s everyone’s Hoshino-san now.”
“That’s right. So leave her alone.”
Mizuki stands up, much to everyone’s surprise. With a smile on her face, Mizuki says, “I want to. I really want to cook for Ma-kun again.” There is a genuine twinkle in her eyes.
You would never hear the proud Pirate Captain admit to eating Adabella’s cooking. He would rather die than ask her to cook for him. Meanwhile, Mamoru was very direct and asked Mizuki to cook for him.
So, let me ask you. Who is the tsundere? Captain Lucas Yeung or Student Naito Mamoru?
I’ll answer that by directing them to their respective love interests. Two girls who I can’t help but repeat once again being complete opposites of each other.
Mizuki is passive. Even when she’s in trouble, she doesn’t call Mamoru for help. Have you noticed that it is always Mamoru who uses his “Mizuki sixth sense” to tell that she’s in trouble and rushes to her rescue? Everyone pushes her around and makes decisions for her because she can’t make them herself. Sure, it changes as the story goes on, but it’s actually quite frustrating how logical and inactive she is.
Adabella is the opposite; she is anything but passive. Minnie has a talent for writing aggressive women without making them annoying because it’s her forte. Adabella is the best of the bunch thus far. For example, her knight Lancaster is passive like Mizuki and chooses to die to atone for his “sins”. Adabella comes in and is like fuck no, I’m getting you the hell out of here even if it means I am disqualified to become the next Queen because you’re my friend and I’m not going to let my friend die. If anyone should die, it should be me. On top of that, she’s willing to risk her life to be with the most dangerous pirate of their generation if it means she can save her best friend. She’s so pro-active and simple-minded in her approach. It’s no wonder she’s been nicknamed “Badass Princess” by the readers.
I’m not taking anything from Mizuki. She’s a great female character. She’s refreshing because she’s so incredibly different from Minnie’s usual female leads. Also, I’m pretty sure she’ll do anything for her best friend, too, but she’s also Mizuki. She’ll probably rationalize first and by then, it’s already too late. Lancaster is already dead.
This is exactly why Mamoru feels the need to be so aggressive for Mizuki. He confesses his feelings first. He changes himself for Mizuki. He’s willing to do everything for Mizuki. I can’t say the same for Lucas and Lucas loves Adabella as much as Mamoru loves Mizuki. Why? Because Adabella can do everything for herself. Adabella is so aggressive and headstrong that if Lucas treats Adabella like how Mamoru treats Mizuki, I believe Adabella will feel offended rather than treasured. This is another reason why AdaLu is always fighting while MaMizuki rarely fight.
Because the relationships are fundamentally different, the dynamic is different as well. Logically, Mamoru has no room to be tsun to Mizuki because Mizuki will misunderstand. If anything, Mamoru ALWAYS has to be direct about his feelings or else dense Mizuki will never get it. I’ll go as far as to say that out of all Minnie’s male characters with the exception of Jin, Mamoru is the most direct with his feelings toward the girl he likes. The only reason I put Jin higher is because the loveable boy pretty much willingly lets Jezebelle use him and abuse him because he loves her so much. She pretty much climbs to the top of the social pyramid at his expense and he doesn’t give a damn because he’s a better man than that. God, I love Jin.
I should stop before I fanboy too much over Jin. Everyone needs to read GG. Back on track, I can’t imagine Mamoru in that position. Mamoru is too alpha male for that. If Mizuki treats him like how Jezebelle treats Jin, Mamoru definitely won’t be harboring such strong feelings toward her. Still, can anyone be any more direct about his feelings than Mamoru in the his arc?
In conclusion, Lucas is a tsundere; Mamoru is not. They are similar; I’ll give the readers that much. However, because the environments/worlds they originate from and the girls they are destined to be with are opposites, it is impossible for them to be similar in their respective relationships. And lastly, this is coming from the God that is Minnie- the hardest obstacle Mamoru has to overcome in Warau Tame Ni is to accept himself and find a place in the world for him. Loving Mizuki is easy for him. For Lucas from Spirits Remake though, his hardest obstacle is to accept the fact that he loves Adabella, a member of the opposite sex he hates so much. Accepting himself and finding a place in the world is simple for him. Even fundamentally, deep down to the roles they play in their respective stories, they are different. Yes, Lucas is a tsun. But there is a lot more to him than that. He’s also selfless, dramatic, egotistic, daring, cunning, etc. Same with Mamoru. Sure, he’s not a tsun, but he can act like one depending on circumstances (usually revolving Sera). Who cares though? It’s such a small part of his overall personality as well. How can we forget that Mamoru is also perceptive, honest, loyal, spontaneous, moody, etc.? At the end of the day, we should stop labeling these characters as “tsundere”, “kuudere”, etc and enjoy them for what they are- well-written characters.
Steve’s Personal List of M.P. Vo Tsunderes
Lucas Yeung (Remake)
Adabella Shizuria (Remake)
Kindra Roupeez (Remake)
Rin Hamada (GG)
KT Shiratori (SH)
Hien Tran (SH)
Brice Worth (Eulalia)
Simone West (FVTD)
Kimi Inokuma (WTN)
Roseanna Roupeez (New Era)
Melantha Dian (New Era)
Jai Chan (New Era)
An extra thank from Minnie for reading this post. I’ll write AdaLu and MaMizu side by side with the same scenario in mind to compare the differences :3
Warau Tame Ni Return Scenario:
Mizuki pops her head out from the kitchen. “Where have you been?”
“I know, I know,” says Mamoru, waving her off. He takes off his shoes. “I’ve been gone for a week. I should have at least called or mailed you.”
After carefully removing her apron, Mizuki runs over and attaches herself to Mamoru’s side. “I was so worried.”
“I hope you don’t mind too much,” says Mamoru, kissing her forehead. “I wanted to focus on my audition no matter what.”
“You should have mailed me after you were done.”
“No, sorry,” Mamoru says with a sigh. “If I distracted myself even once by contacting you, I would have lost all willpower to stick through with my decision and return to you after I was done. I needed to stay until the very end.”
Mizuki nods in understanding. “That makes sense… I’m glad I didn’t bother you, then. I thought about calling you, but at the same time, I trusted you to be on your own and to come back eventually.”
Mamoru picks her up with a smile. “Thanks, Mizu-chan.”
Spirits Remake Return Scenario:
“Guess who’s back!”
Upon hearing their Captain’s voice, all the crew members of the Black Puma stopped whatever task they were up to and rushed up to him. Lucas was glad to return after a week’s absence and told them all about his solo adventure. However, it became apparent to him that Adabella was not going to willingly greet him. Since they were connected by the bonds of Owner and Branded, he found her easily leaning against the railing on the opposite side of the ship.
The other members of the pirate crew witnessed a rare moment where their Captain got punched in the face by the noble lady. Adabella held nothing back as she stuck up her nose in satisfaction and tried to walk away. Unfortunately, it took Lucas about five seconds to burn off her clothes with a snap of his fingers.
“You started it.”
Adabella stomped back over to him and grabbed a hold of his shirt. “Have you any idea the hardships the rest of the boys and I have been through without you? How can you abandon us like that when you were fully aware the Palanese government were right on our tail? All because of your obnoxious taunts in the first place?”
Lucas shrugged and laughed in usual booming manner. “Everyone’s alive as far as I can tell! What’s the big deal, woman?”
“The big deal? I already told you what it is!”
Everyone else on the ship backed away with knowing looks on their faces. There was a pretty good chance Adabella and Lucas might blow the ship up and they needed to at least grab a couple of life boats for their own safety.
“Shouldn’t we just reveal to Lady Ada that the Captain abandoned us so our pursuers would chase after him instead? That he actually risked his life so she would escape with us okay?” Cal asked Alvin, who was usually the one in charge if anything happened to both Adabella and Lucas.
“Or that Lady Ada has been so worried sick about the Captain that she hasn’t been sleeping or eating? And this is the only way she knows how to express her suppressed emotions and stress?” Dirge joined in on asking Alvin.
The devious second-in-command shook his head at them. “This is their way of making up after not seeing each other for a week. Leave them be. They’ll probably kill us instead if we get in the way of their passion.”
The others decided Alvin was right and went on their merry way.
Love you all and the last chapter of Warau Tame Ni is on the way~