Anime Archetypes: What Is a Himedere?
Entitled by Royalty
Himederes spend their lives convincing themselves and everyone around them that they are royalty and they are entitled to an extreme amount of attention. Although these characters seem like spoiled brats, their “dere” side is there. The "dere" is hidden behind their childish attitude revealing that there’s more to their desires than just empty praise. Not to be confused with the Kamidere, the Himedere seeks attention and will do anything to remain in the center of it, whereas the Kamidere seeks power. Below will be the Himedere’s personality and a breakdown of the elements that make the Himedere a believable and complex character.
"World is Mine" from Project DIVA is a popular "Himedere" theme.
Every Himedere has a good amount of Histronic Personality Disorder: a long-standing pattern of attention seeking behavior and extreme emotionality (Source: PsychCentral). “Hime” means princess, but the title of royalty can comply with any gender the character may be. In fact, the character may not even have a royal status, but assumed the title through manipulative means in their community (think of Mean Girls). The “dere” side, meaning “lovey-dovey” or “sweet”, is the most genuine part of the character and usually the hardest for others to acknowledge. Himederes present a strong, demanding presence combined with an innocent charm. Their haughty demeanor can overshadow their “purity” when they are challenged by others. They want to win people over while hiding their insecurities and desire for true friendship.
Common Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Strengths: Persusasive, Keen, Socially Intelligent, Driven,
Weaknesses: Irreverent, Manipulative, Childish, Ill-Tempered
The Five Key Elements to a Himedere
Backstory - How Did They Get So Spoiled?
- Himedere may have a history that shows the root of their insecurities. Specific moments of abandonment, neglect, and betrayal have commonly been the cause for the Himedere’s present behavior. Additionally, they may have a close friend or two that know the Himedere’s history and see past the facade they put up daily. The purpose of a Himedere’s backstory is to explain what triggered their attention-seeking behavior and who in their life is sympathetic to their past. Keep in Mind: Himederes can range from sociopathic monsters to needy socialites, so make sure the backstory is in line with their current state.
Companions - Who Would Love Them?
- A Himedere can be truly befriended by the few who can see past their ego. Sometimes the Himedere takes their companions for granted and choose to treat them unfairly. Those who tolerate them either let the Himedere walk all over them or retaliate eventually, but there is usually a sense of loyalty or strong bond that is difficult to break. The power shift between the Himedere and their companion(s) reflect their relationship and internal conflicts. Keep in Mind: Companions can be submissive because the Himedere is overbearing or tolerant because the Himedere has something the companion wants/needs. It’s up to the author to establish a believable dynamic.
Artificial Atmosphere - How Deluded Are They?
- Himedere tend to create a world where they are the center of attention. They pick the right people to be in their circle of praise and proclaim a presence that demands for everyone to stop what they’re doing and worship them. Depending on how many good/evil traits they have, they may seek that attention for the love of being admired or enjoy the feeling of putting others under their thumb. Himedere can be as strategic as the Kamidere when it comes to making sure they get what the want when they want it. Sometimes the environment they create can cause them to be ignorant of how hated they are or they may know and relish in the negative attention. Keep in Mind: Himederes believe the world revolves around them, but realistically, they are delusional and self-righteous. It's the author's responsibility to show that the Himedere is denying reality.
Challengers - They Can't Get Everything They Want
- There are always a few characters that don’t bow down to the Himedere's every whim. The resilient characters that refuse to be pushed around find ways the challenge the Himedere’s pride and leadership by revealing their flaws and convincing the Himedere’s followers there is imperfection in everyone. If a Himedere built their leadership off of lies and unfair treatment, their followers will be quick to betray them. An immature Himedere would be quick to blame others for their flaws, but a mature and strategic Himedere will persistently plan to conquer their challenges and stay on top. There are three different types of challengers the Himedere will come across:
- True Challenger: A character that is consistently resistant of the Himedere’s power and strives to tear them down.
- At First Challenger, Then Friend: A character that confronts the Himedere’s ego and actions, but pushes more for a truce or a friendship rather than destroying them.
- At First Friend, Then Traitor: A character that gave the Himedere what they wanted until finding the most opportune time to betray them and rob them of their power.
Keep in Mind: The character that challenges the Himedere will be someone that discovers and reveals the Himedere’s greatest fears and insecurities. Their purpose is to shine light on the truth.
- The greatest internal conflict a Himdere experiences is an identity crisis. The Himedere may know who their real friends are and maybe have been pushed enough by the challengers to see the truth in their ways. Constantly, they should be haunted by one big question: Who am I? Himedere have such a horrible habit of projecting a facade rather than showing themselves. This causes them to face the challenge of trying to understand who they are and what they want, that is if they want to. Their true identity is the “dere” side and it is the most vulnerable part of themselves. Keep in Mind: During the Himedere’s journey of self-discovery, whether they choose to take it or not, they will either blossom into someone new or crack under the pressure.
Time to mix it up a bit and throw some writing prompts your way. Let's see if these will help you not make your Himedere so stereotypical.
…A Himedere had multiple personalities? - A plethora of selves can lead to a good psychological thriller. How could the “royal” part of them keep themselves together? Is there a Tsundere or Kuudere hidden in there?
…The Himedere already seems “DereDere”? - Himedere are drama queens, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be good actors. What if an extremely sweet figure of royalty turned out to be a tyrant in disguise?
…The Himedere is a puppet? - Sometimes Himedere get so lost in their own world, they don’t even realize they’ve lost control of it, which means someone else has that control. How do you think a Himedere would respond to that?