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Kuroyuki-Hime Senpai (Accel World)
Whether you're a student, salaryman, or lazy bum, you've probably had a senpai at least once in your life. A senpai is basically someone who is above you in the field or been at a job longer than you. In Japan, you use the term "senpai" as a way of showing respect, and "kouhai" is a way of reciprocating.
There are so many anime senpai characters out there, but not everyone is called a "senpai", which means most of the western audience probably doesn't notice these anime senpai characters. Now, with the "Notice me, Senpai" meme blowing up on the internet, westerners want to know about these senpai! Well, check out this list for the top 10 anime senpai characters.
10. Morita Shinobu (Hachimitsu to Clover [Honey and Clover])
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: April 2005 - September 2005
Yuuta, Takumi, and Shinobu are poor college students all living in the same small, apartment. They may not have a lot of money, but they live together happily finding small pleasures in life. Then they meet Hagumi, a gifted little girl.
Shinobu is probably not the senpai you first think of. He's unreliable, noisy, and has a habit of disappearing for long periods of time.
Shinobu is basically a senpai by default since his habit of disappearing gets in the way of his university attendance, but there's no denying how talented he is even amongst other university attendees. Shinobu, also, does his part by watching over his kouhai and tries to help them through their troubles. He may not be the most reliable senpai, but he's a senpai that you can trust.
9. Kunimitsu Tezuka (Prince of Tennis)
- Episodes: 178
- Aired: October 2001 - March 2005
Ryouma lives in the shadow of his father, a famous tennis pro, despite all of his own achievements. He has joined Seigaku a school with one of the best tennis teams in the nation, where he plans on honing his skills as a tennis player with his new teammates in an effort to surpass his father.
Tezuka is the captain of the tennis team as well as a third year in high school making him the senpai of a good number of the members of the Seigaku tennis team. As far as anime senpai characters go, Tezuka is probably what most people think of when they hear "senpai" because Tezuka is serious, stoic, and very intelligent. As a senpai and team captain, he must execute punishments for any rules broken, but Tezuka is always fair and does not play favorites. Tezuka is just the type of senpai most of us need.
8. Ayase Chihaya (Chihayafuru)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: October 2011 - March 2012
The world of Karuta was introduced to Chihaya by Arata in elementary school. Together with Arata and Taichi, Chihaya discovered the joys of playing competitive karuta as a team until Arata had to move away, so she continued to play until high school in the hopes of meeting Arata one day. However many years have passed and time changes people, but Chihaya still forges onward in the hopes of playing karuta with Arata.
Honestly, most people would say that Taichi would make a better senpai because he's a better role model, but Chihaya is not a senpai that you should dismiss! Chihaya wants nothing more for her kouhai to grow and develop in karuta so she does not hold back, even if they feel they are too weak, because she has faith in her kouhai. Chihaya treats everyone equally and strives to nurture their inner karuta player. Chihaya is the type of senpai who doesn't wield the senpai card, instead she wants to be able to work as a team as any good senpai should strive for.
7. Haninozuka Mitsukuni (Ouran High School Host Club)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 2006 - September 2006
Ouran High School is a prestigious school where most of the students are rich teenagers with a lot of time, money, and influence. The scholarship student Fujioka Haruhi has none of these, but attends the school in hopes of becoming a lawyer. One day, Haruhi stumbles upon the Ouran High School Host Club in a pursuit to find a quiet to place to study, where she then breaks an expensive vase worth 8 million yen in an effort to flee from the host club.
Haruhi starts off as the club's dog to pay off the debt, but is then promoted to host once the "king" Tamaki discovers her beauty. By the way, Tamaki thinks she's a boy! Now, Haruhi must hide her identity as a girl to pay off her debt or forever be the host club's dog!
Hani is the ultra adorable, rabbit wielding shota of Ouran High School Host Club, but you'd never guess he's a third year student, nor that he's a martial artist. Due to his lineage and skill, he's someone to be respected! Just try to respect him while he rides on Mori's shoulders. Hani is the type of anime senpai that you can talk to and relax with. Just don't take away his cake.
6. Sadao Maou (Hataraku Maou-sama!)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: April 2013 - June 2013
Maou is the devil king, but he is defeated by Hero so he ends up drifting into another world. Our world! However his passion for power has not diminished so Maou is in search of power, but before anything, he has to work at the local fast food joint to pay for his living expenses.
There's no denying that Maou is passionate about his job. He hasn't even been employed long before he becomes Chiho's senpai. As a senpai, Maou does a good job at consoling Chiho and helping her to do a better job, but his mind is always on getting better at work. Maou is one of those anime senpai that's serious about what he does and you just can't help but respect him for his dedication to his job.
5. Albarn Spirit (Soul Eater)
- Episodes: 51
- Aired: April 2008 - March 2009
The Shinigami Technical School is a school for weapons meisters. Students are paired up: one is a human weapon and the other is a weapon meister. This is the story of 3 pairs of students who are trying to create a Death Scythe so they must collect 99 evil human souls and the soul of 1 witch.
Many could argue that Spirit is a slacker since he spends his days at a local hostess club and constantly laments over his broken family, but there's no denying that he is an amazing anime senpai. As Stein's senpai, Spirit is quite strong and capable amongst many other weapons. You can tell that Spirit is reliable by the faith Death and Stein have in him, even if his other traits are not as commendable. Spirit may not be the type fo husband someone wants, but he is a dependable Death Scythe with the safety of the Shinigami Technical School in his hands.
4. Tomoe Mami (Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica [Puella Magi Madoka Magica])
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2011 - April 2011
Kaname Madoka is just an average eighth grade girl. She laughs, she cries, she loves her family. One day she has a chance encounter which brings magic into her life, but what type of future will this new magic bring?
When it comes down to anime senpai, Mami is a cut above the rest. Mami does her part as a proper senpai to Madoka and Sayaka. She teaches them what it means to be a magical girl while relaying her own stories, but Mami doesn't withhold the truth about a magical girl's fate. Mami constantly works hard to keep the world safe, but she even takes the time to watch out for Madoka and Sayaka.
3. Genos (One Punch Man)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2015 - December 2015
Saitama looks like an ordinary man. There's nothing impressive looking about him, but looks can be deceiving and in reality, he's a superhero in search of a worthy adversary. Unfortunately, no one can stand up since Saitama defeats them with one punch!
It's true that Genos is constantly referring to Saitama as "sensei", however when registering to be a hero, Genos is categorized as an S class hero, which puts him above Saitama who ended up as a C class hero. Although Genos is constantly striving (in vain) to learn Saitama's secrets, Genos provides Saitama with more information on how to be a hero so that he can advance in rank. Genos gives Saitama the guidance he needs to be a real hero. Still, Genos is said to be strong even amongst S class heroes, so his abilities should not be doubted.
2. Hatake Kakashi (Naruto Shippuden)
- Episodes: Unknown
- Aired: February 2007 - Ongoing
2.5 years has passed since Naruto left to train with Jiraiya, but he's back in Konohagakure to keep his promise. It won’t be easy. There's more enemies now and things have changed, but this is what Naruto trained for.
Kakashi is a shinobi with a lot of life and combat experience, which helps him as a teacher, however he's also a revered senpai. Kakashi is constantly giving advice on what to do in combat, but he's also had a lot of worldly experience to give to those who are troubled. Kakashi seems like a slacker at first, however he is not the type to run from trouble and will put himself in harm’s way to save his students and kouhai. You cannot doubt Kakashi as a great senpai!
1. Levi (Shingeki no Kyojin [Attack on Titan])
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: April 2013 - September 2013
Many centuries ago, humans were nearly hunted to extinction by giant human-like beings that feasted on humans for sport. Humans fled behind walls in an effort to survive and worked on creating a thriving community behind the walls while also strengthening their own defenses. Life is calm when a century passes without any more issues until one day, a colossus titan breaks through the wall letting in the other titans.
Levi is an anime senpai like no other. He's the cool, quiet type with leadership capabilities that are unmatched in Attack on Titan. Levi's skill with the 4D equipment and intellectual mind are not to be questioned either. Although he's not the type to divulge his plans, Levi's squadron believes in him so they follow without question often times being more successful than not. Levi is a senpai of few words but big success
Makishima Senpai & Toudou Senpai (Yowamushi Pedal)
It may not seem like it, but there are a lot of anime senpai characters out there. Anime senpai characters can be seemingly unreliable to more than capable, but many of them are great in one way or another. Sometimes, you can't help but feel respect for them!
Who is your favorite anime senpai? Let us know in the comments below!