Few Japanese words dominate otaku lingo as the word senpai. Senpai, also spelled as sempai, sometimes appears more as punctuation to speech than a proper honorific. It also has a distinctive submissive flavor. Senpai (せんぱい or ) is an honorific used to address someone who is superior to you in status. Honorifics are parts of speech used to denote relationship and social status relative to the speaker. English's closest equivalents include Mr., Ms., Mrs., and Sir/Ma'am. Honorifics attach to the end of the person's surname (kincaid-sensei). Please notice me, senpai. The phrase comes in a few variations such as "I hope senpai will notice me." It refers to the speaker's desire for a mentor or someone from a higher grade level to admire them or fall in love with them. I can't point to a specific anime/manga and claim it started the phrase. Rather, the phrase encapsulates a common storyline in romantic anime/manga. In such stories, a character pines after someone in a higher grade (a senpai) who doesn't show any signs of knowing who the character is or tries to ignore the character.
The awkwardness of awakening sexuality.
This ranges from romance to seeking friendship. For many teen otaku, the phrase captures their struggles with relationships and their social awkwardness. The stereotype of the socially backward recluse holds true for some members of the community-unless you count their online socialness. Many of these stereotypical otaku possess great online social abilities and run successful blogs. In any case, the "I hope senpai will notice me" phrase appeals to many who struggle and worry about their social lives. Many of the struggles found in anime and manga, and the ubiquity of the high school setting, mirror the same struggles of fans. The awkwardness of awakening sexuality. The struggle of growing into adult responsibilities. The struggle with learning the dos and don'ts of socialness. Many introverts identify with the fading-into-the-background aspect of the phrase. I think back to my own high school years and see how my own struggles fall into the scope of the phrase.
As you can see, interest in the phrase spikes as the otaku community latches onto it.
I wasn't much of a socialite, but then I'm still not. Social ability differs from social proclivity. While I like to fade into the background (and can't as a library manager), back in high school it was frustrating to be looked over in everything but my grades. My intelligence became my plea of "Please notice me, senpai." Looking back, I cringe. I value my privacy and solitude now, but back then it is often frustrated me that I couldn't break out of my shell and be noticed. I didn't have a particular senpai. I succumbed to the extrovert bias that infects American society. In some ways, introverts in American society struggle. Social America-senpai ignores the need of introverts for recognition and respect for our different nature. "Notice me, senpai" well captures the struggle of many people. Although honorifics are ancient, the phrase is recent. As you can see, interest in the phrase spikes as the otaku community latches onto it. Phrases like this became part of a community's defining language. Language within a subculture separates those who are in and truly get it from the wannabes. Jargon also expresses sentiments and common experiences efficiently. "Please notice me, senpai." can be read as a painful plea or as a comedic meme or both, depending on circumstances. But for those not initiated in the otaku culture (I make no claims to being an initiate), the phrase appears alien. The phrase makes fun of popular culture and lets mainstream culture-senpai notice otaku culture.
Perhaps not in a positive way, but mainstream culture still notices. The phrase also has a sexual component. In some cases, the person seeking to be noticed will flaunt themselves using the tired tropes of fan-service: "accidental" peeks being among the most common. While I doubt this happens often within otaku life, the Internet shows this as a part of the phrase. If you search for senpai you'll see sexualized fan-service poses. This means people have made the connection between the honorific and sexuality. Within anime, a female character will sometimes use her looks as a means to be noticed, so the association is built into its popular foundation. This sexuality is neutral. You'll see it in heterosexual and gay and lesbian contexts. Anyone of higher social status relative to you can be a senpai. Some stories play on the idea that a senpai has more experience (read:sexual experience) than the protagonist who is sexually innocent. As for the honorific itself, senpai is half of a male social relationship. Kohai forms the other half. Strangely, Japanese women are not as aware of this social relationship as men are (Sugihara & Katsurada, 2002). The senpai-kohai relationship is a give and relationship. The senpai dominates the kohai who must follow his orders. The senpai's opinions are absolute, and the senpai's social standing improves as he gains more followers. As you can tell, the structure originated in feudal Japan, but to a certain degree this continues in the corporate world as well. As for the kohai, he benefits from his senpai's mentorship, experience, and social standing.
Kohai receive jobs, social positions, and emotional support from his senpai. Anime glosses over this relationship because of its fixation on high school. Parts of the relationship remain in anime, however. Upper classmates are expected to mentor lower classmates, and lower classmates follow the orders of their senpai as if the orders came from a teacher. Sometimes the lower classmate, the kohei, benefit by associating with a certain popular senpai. Some of the popularity rubs off on them, so to speak. But anime likes to show the senpai-kohei relationship as mostly one-directional. The lower classes serve the upper. It makes for a convenient source for tension within a story as unfair senpai stir resentment that needs to be tamped down, lest social norms be violated. "I hope senpai notices me" acts on many levels within otaku culture but has little to do with the origins of senpai in feudal Japanese society. Like with most online cultures, the word senpai develops its own set of meanings independent from its purpose as an honorific. While some may view this as a negative, it is how the language works. Sugihara, Y. & Katsurada, E. (2000). Gender-role Personality Traits in Japanese Culture. Psychology of Women Quarterly. Sugihara, Y. & Katsurada, E. (2002). Gender Role Development in Japanese Culture: Diminishing Gender Role Differences in a Contemporary Society.
This list describes characters from the anime and manga series Doraemon. Also listed are their original NTV voice actors (1973), followed by their TV Asahi voice actors (1979-2005; 2005-present). Part of the 22nd century characters are listed in The Doraemons. Each main character represents a primary school student archetype. Nobita appears in every episode of the anime, while Doraemon appears in most episodes, sometimes being substituted (for medical checkup or on leave) by his sister, Dorami. Note: In some translations of Doraemon, the names of these characters are different from the original names. 2.9 Nobisuke Nobi Jr. Albert in the Cinar dub of the series, is the title character and co-protagonist of the series. He is a cat-like robot from the future. He was yellow-skinned and had ears originally. However, his ears were accidentally eaten by a robot mouse. It left him heartbroken and caused his skin to turn blue. People often mistake him for a raccoon dog. He is sent back in time by Sewashi (Nobita's Great-great-grandson) to aid Nobita. Doraemon possesses a 4-dimensional pocket from which he can acquire various kinds of futuristic tools, gadgets, and playthings from a future department store.
He also has the tendency to panic during emergencies, characterized by him frantically trying to pull out a very much-needed tool from his pocket, only to produce a huge assortment of household items and unwanted gadgets. Still, Doraemon is very friendly and intelligent, not to mention long-suffering because of Nobita's antics. Since Sewashi sent Doraemon to the past, Doraemon has been living as the unofficial fourth member of Nobita's family and acts like a second son to Nobita's parents, since despite being a robot, he requires basic needs for a person, such as eating, and also sleeps in the closet of Nobita's bedroom. He also fears mice greatly (due to a robot mouse having eaten his ears), even go crazy about it and pull out devastating gadgets, and most of the times, Nobita saves Doraemon in such situations. Although he has no fingers in most media, he can hold things because of the suction cups in his hands. His favorite food is Dorayaki. He has also been shown to date with normal female cat. He is the elder brother of Dorami.
Nobita Nobi (野比, Nobi Nobita, English dub: Sidney in the Cinar dub, Specky in the Speedy dub, and Noby Nobi in the Bang Zoom! dub) is the co-protagonist of the series. He wears glasses, a red or yellow polo shirt with a white collar, and blue or black shorts and white socks and light blue shoes. Although he's not good at sports, he's good at shooting. He is usually accompanied by Doraemon, who functions as his caretaker. Although he's not good at sports, he's good at shooting and has been reflected in the movies many time. He's also good at string figure which sometime considered a girls' game. Son of Tamako and Nobisuke Nobi. Future father of Nobisuke (his son). Future husband or boyfriend of Shizuka and great-great-grandfather of Sewashi. Taurus), nicknamed Shizuka-chan (しずかちゃん) is a smart, kind and pretty girl. She is often represented by the color pink, and is seen wearing a pink shirt and skirt.
39;s gadgets like the Anywhere Door (Doko Demo Doa in Japanese).
The word 'Shizuka (しずか)' means 'Quiet'. She is Nobita's best friend. She does not shun Nobita due to his failing grades, lazy disposition or constant failures. In fact, she often tries to encourage him to do better, though she usually fails to convince him. Shizuka likes to take a bath several times a day; however, a running gag in the series is that she is sometimes interrupted by a sudden appearance of Nobita (sometimes Doraemon, Gian, or Suneo) usually due to misuse of Doraemon's gadgets like the Anywhere Door (Doko Demo Doa in Japanese). Shizuka's skirt is also frequently seen getting flipped, either by Nobita misusing Doraemon's gadgets, or by the wind. Scenes in which her underwear is seen, or she is seen bathing, have been removed from the dubbed versions, especially in India, Europe, the United States and the United Kingdom. Her true passions are sweet potatoes, which she would rather keep to herself out of the knowledge of others, and the violin, in which her playing is just as horrendous as Gian's singing. She is also known for taking piano lessons unwillingly due to her mother's wishes (as she loves violin more), which is sometimes a reason for declining to hang out with friends (but she plays piano better than violin). Shizuka is an animal lover and keeps two pets at home: a dog, who is saved from succumbing to illness by Nobita and Doraemon in one story; and a canary which runs away on multiple occasions and causing Shizuka and Nobita to run around the city chasing her down.
She sometimes fansies some handsome idols on TV. Besides Nobita, Shizuka is also close to her classmate and popular student Dekisugi. Though they consider each other only as friends. Gemini), named Buster in the Cinar dub and Bob in the Speedy dub, usually known by the nickname "Gian" (「ジャイアン」, "Jaian", English: Big G) is a strong and quick-tempered local bully. He also frequently steals other children's stuff (especially Nobita's and Suneo's) under the pretext of "borrowing" them, unless the toy is damaged. He is known for his awful singing voice, though he considers himself a great singer. To prove this, Gian sometimes "invites" others to attend his concerts, under the threat of beatings. His singing is so horrible that, once, Nobita and Doraemon try to mute it in a silent world, his writings of the song lyrics in a board end up having the same effect as when they hear them.Though his voice is terrible in one of the episodes it was shown that a girl liked his singing. In some films, his singing is enhanced to become an effective weapon (as in 'Nobita's Great Adventure in the South Seas'). In some episodes when his voice is recorded and he hears it, he instantly denies it being his voice and threatens to beat up the person who his songs in a very bad way (which is an irony).