28 Apr 2021 11:26 AM +00:00

Otaku Dictionary: What Does Senpai Mean?

In anime, it is normal to hear Japanese terms from the characters. Some terms become catchphrases that once fans hear it, they know exactly where it came from. One best example is Naruto's Dattebayo, which means "believe it".

Other words that anime fans are familiar with are kawaii (which means cute), sugoi (which means amazing), and senpai. The word senpai is common in anime and in Don't Toy with Me, Miss Nagatoro, one of the lead characters is called senpai. Some people who read manga or watch anime do not even know his real name and just refer to him as senpai.

What does this word really mean? Continue reading to find out.


Otaku Dictionary: What Does Senpai Mean?

Otaku Dictionary: What Does Senpai Mean? 1
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According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word senpai means upperclassman, someone who is older than you, or someone you look up to. An informal use of the term is to refer to someone you admire or someone you're interested in.

It is an honorific that determines a reflection of the social hierarchy in a professional or educational setup. It can be termed to someone who has been in a sports team for a long time, or someone who has been in a specific organization or business longer than you.

In some edited English text (in manga or anime), senpai is used to call an upperclassman who mentors an underclassman. Some believe that it can join the word, sensei, which means a teacher or instructor. Anime fans may hear it as a title or it can be added to someone's name.

Since we're already on the topic, we listed the top 3 senpai characters that fans surely love.

  1. Levi Ackerman (Attack on Titan)–He is the ultimate senpai that fans love. He has leadership abilities and an intellectual mind that will make anime and manga fans adore him.
  2. Hatake Kakashi (Naruto)–He excels in combat and life experience that makes him a great teacher. He is the go-to senpai whenever someone needs a piece of advice.
  3. Kunimitsu Tezuka (Prince of Tennis)–He is the captain of the team who is very intelligent. He is fair and is not afraid to teach his teammates.

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