"Why do female teachers in anime always seem to think they're one of their students?"A common Japanese media character type, the female high school teacher who is fairly young, attractive, even cute, and on friendly terms with her students. On the other hand, she is still unmarried, and very conscious about it, as well as about the lack of respect she gets. She is usually extremely childish, such that even her own students appear more mature than her. If the story's emphasis is on the female students, she will act like one of the girls, a teenager in spirit. If the protagonist is male, she's more likely to be a bit Hot for Student, as a comical side-character in a Harem Series. A common character flaw Played for Laughs is drinking enthusiastically. Their frequent complaints about being unable to settle down in a proper relationship, are probably based on the traditional Japanese culture's conflicting expectations, that a married woman shouldn't work, and a woman over 25 should be married, and for the intended audience of Anime, schoolteachers provided the first, childhood exposure to women with this dilemma, enforcing the stereotype that teachers are the sort of women who can never get married. The trope's name is a combination of two honorifics, "-sensei" is used for teachers, like "Miss", and "-chan" is an informal affectionate diminutive. While the combined usage is grammatically correct, and it reflects the characters in spirit, it's unlikely that anyone would use it for a Real Life teacher either in this form, or as "-chan-sensei", since it would be about as conflicting and disrespectful as "Miss-baby", or "Teacher chick" in English. On the other end, they tend to be on a First-Name Basis by their students, which is incredibly rare in real life. "-sensei", like its western equivalents, is normally associated to the last name, but these characters may as well not have one. This trope can also overlap with Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher, Hippie Teacher or Cool Teacher. May preside over a Wacky Homeroom.
— Sawyer Wallace
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Anime & Manga
- Minamo "Nyamo" Kurosawa and Yukari Tanizaki from Azumanga Daioh are probably the Trope Codifiers.
- Tomita "Tonchan/Tom-Tom" Mari, from Air Gear, is so young that one of her colleagues, who's in his mid-40s at the most, was her teacher when she previously attended the school. And she's incredibly childish and naive. By the way, she's definitely of the Hot for Student kind.
- Sawa-chan from K-On!, who actually is addressed on occasion as "Sawachan-sensei".
- Kuroi-sensei from Lucky Star. Like some of her students, she spends a lot of her free time on MMORPGs. Unlike them, she's at least mature enough to not sacrifice sleep for gaming time. This is lampshaded in the manga.
- Koigakubo Yuri-sensei from Toradora!. Frequently referred to by her students as "Yuri-chan", she often laments about her lack of success in love and her age. Her students even go so far as to write a play in which her Red String of Fate was to be cut, causing her to go berserk.
- Played with by Hinako Ninomiya from Ranma ½. She's got a weird condition (caused by Happōsai doing something odd to her when she was a sickly child to help alleviate her illness) where she oscillates between a sweet-cute child form and a voluptuous adult form depending on how much battle aura/ki she's drained from her students recently. The interesting part is that she undergoes a personality change with the size change — she's mentally a child when in child form, and far more sophisticated as an adult. If she stays in her adult form for too long, though, she starts acting like her child form.
- Yokoshima-sensei from Seitokai Yakuindomo, also from the perverted Hot for Student kind.
- Yukari in Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu. Acts very immature, constantly hits on the male students — particularly the main character, who's the younger brother of her best friend and drinking-buddy — and they all completely ignore her.
- Mika-sensei from Doki Doki School Hours (whose original manga version predated Azumanga Daioh by a few years) is probably one of the more extreme examples: Despite being 27, she looks and (for all intents and purposes) acts like a twelve-year-old, and as such her students have a hard time taking her seriously.
- There is Hibiki-chan from I My Me! Strawberry Eggs. Of course, she is a Wholesome Crossdresser.
- Komoe-sensei from A Certain Magical Index definitely seems like this, since she looks like a ten-year old girl who sleeps in cute pajamas, is friendly with her students, and is implied to be a bit hot for her "Kamijou-chan". However, she also smokes heavily, drinks beer heavily, is implied to be at least in her 30s (and possibly much older), and most importantly of all, is an actually smart and competent teacher who acts as a mentor for Touma.
- Negi Springfield from Mahou Sensei Negima! is a gender-inverted exaggeration of this, being a ten-year-old male teaching a class of 31 fourteen-year-old girls. In some areas the trope is inverted entirely as he's far more mature than them, while in others he acts his age (he has the work ethic and emotional maturity of an adult, but still avoids taking baths and is easily flustered). The "-chan" suffix is actually never used for him, but the masculine "-kun" and "-bouzu" are often used by some of his students, even when addressing him directly.
- Becky from Pani Poni Dash! is another exaggeration / parody, she's eleven years old, has graduated from MIT, and teaches high school.
- Vera Collins from Heroman.
- Naru-chan from Girl Friends. Actually referred to AS "Naru-chan-sensei," though not to her face.
- The nameless Teacher ("Komon-sensei", or "Ms. Advisor") from Eiken.
- Uzuki Shitenno of Happy Lesson.
- Yoshinoya-sensei from Hidamari Sketch.
- Kyouko "Boin-sensei" Houin from Kodomo no Jikan fits most of the characteristics. She's definitely the most popular teacher (especially among the boys), but the students don't respect her much. She has more success on the net, though. From here, she also learns the dichotomy between "What parents/society expect from children" and "What is the best for children".
- Haruna Sakurada from both Sailor Moon and The Cherry Project is a good and early example. The DiC English dub of the anime turned her into another cranky teacher, so this aspect of her personality was gone.
- Usami-sensei in GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class, like, more afraid of blood donations than her students. This is kind of justified in-universe as she's just in the second year of teaching.
- Subverted in Code:Breaker. The homeroom teacher is a ditzy Hot Teacher who seems to be one of these. Then it's revealed that she's actually The Handler, and the ditziness is an act.
- In Sket Dance, there Remi, who is a cute, cheerful and ditzy teacher, formerly a children TV show host, who insists that the students call her "oneesan".
- The teacher from FLCL is trying to be this... not especially doing that well, though. She best exemplifies the trope when she's teaching her students how to use chopsticks. And failing. Horribly. A grown Japanese woman who can't use chopsticks. To underline the ridiculousness, every single member of her class of elementary-school students has zero difficulty using chopsticks.
- Kazuko Saotome in Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Her Establishing Character Moment is complaining about her love life to her class before introducing the New Transfer Student... Too bad the poor "girl" lives in a Crapsaccharine World. Which costs her her life in the Alternate Universe Puella Magi Oriko Magica, as she's eaten alive by a witch's minion.
- The alternate universe scenario in the final episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion put Misato into this role, rather appropriately. This is later carried over into both Neon Genesis Evangelion: Angelic Days and Shinji Ikari Raising Project.
- Sakurai-sensei from Nichijou, who seems far too timid to be in a teaching job. She's also the school guidance counselor so she can improve herself, but that doesn't seem to work out for her most of the time.
- Marie Mjolnir from Soul Eater fits the bill in most respects. She's such a Christmas Cake that she tries to marry a toilet! She does have a dose of Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass, though, and makes an effective Team Mom.
- Ritsuko Takahashi from Hell Teacher Nube.
- Hitomi Shimonome from Loveless. It's not pretty, though.
- Kyouko Ono from Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple. She's very young and rather inexperienced, looks very cute when she cries, and she really doesn't know how to handle her rowdier students, but she's very caring and is able to help Boris come out of his shell.
- Yukiji Katsura from Hayate the Combat Butler.
- Mayuko Shiraki in Fruits Basket, teacher of Tohru's class. Invoked when some of her female students address her as "Mayu-chan-sensei", and she demands (jokingly) that they call her "Mayuko-daisensei-sama" ("Great Teacher Mayuko"). She isn't particularly friendly toward the main (student) characters, though, and gets on Kyo's case quite a bit (mainly about his orange hair).
- Ayane "Ayanecchi" Tezuka from Rouge Noir is the very rare protagonist example. She's also quite more tragic than the standard example.
- Yomiko Readman of Read or Die occasionally becomes this, given her cover identity as a substitute schoolteacher. This doesn't turn up in the OVAs or anime, though she had been one to Nenene.
- Machiko-sensei from Rinne no Lagrange.
- Kisaragi-sensei of Umi no Misaki, another teacher who looks and acts like a twelve year-old and constantly hits on the main character. She is rather brighter than she acts.
- Tsubame-sensei from Ai Kora mostly fills this trope. Young, unmarried, and hangs out with the girls in the dorm as well as part of the main characters harem. Can be considered partially subverted because she does not want to get married, in fact her character development has her letting go of her deceased boyfriend and admitting interest in a new man.
- Mitsuka-sensei from DearS wants to be this. However, while she has the "young, attractive and immature" part down, she completely overdoes the Hot for Student part and the whole thing just leaves her students disgusted.
- Namie Sasaki from Smile Pretty Cure!.
- Chihiro-sensei from The Pet Girl of Sakurasou, who decides that making one of her tenents to look after her Idiot Savant cousin is a good idea...
- Miho Amakata from Free!. She is referred to as "Ama-chan-sensei" by her students (or simply Ama-chan by Nagisa) and is usually upbeat and quirky but tends to get quite mad when suggested to wear a swimsuit. She uses old and confusing literature phrases to make a point to her pupils and fellow teachers. It was implied that she was once a swimsuit model called Marin Nishikujo in her youth, but she became a teacher instead, which is why the boys initially asked her to be the swim club's advisor (though they don't know what she did exactly).
- Nekonome from Rosario + Vampire.
- Karasuma in Kiniro Mosaic, which gets lampshaded in Alice's "cast as a family" dream in Episode 11. In the dream, Karasuma was Shinobu's sister, while Aya is the mother and Youko is the grandfather. Aya and Youko are her students.
- The self-proclaimed Great Teacher Onizuka is a Rare Male Example.
- Yui Kanakura in Nisekoi. To list just some tropes concerning her: Childhood Friends, Teen Genius (she is one year older than her students), The Don (not really), part of a Balanced Harem and one has to wonder if she isn’t a Mary Sue, but luckily, she can only make gyouza. And she can't sing. She keeps a teacherly attitude during class, but only because she believes that's the proper thing to do.
- Megumi Sakura from School-Live!. The protagonists even call her "Megu-nee", instead of "Sakura-sensei" like she wants. She's a cute, young teacher with giant Idiot Hair. However, Megumi is less of an immature Manchild than other examples, as she sacrificed herself protecting the three main characters from zombies and generally acts as a responsible adult figure. Almost all of her Butt-Monkey and more childish moments are due to Yuki's delusions.
- Downplayed with Detective Conan's Sumiko Kobayashi. She does show some traits of the trope when she tries to be the manager of the Detective Kids whether they want it or not, but otherwise she's pretty competent in her job and the kids from the 1-B class think she's rather cool. And after she gets a boyfriend (or better said, a young man she met years ago "returns" to her life), there's nothing to worry in regards to the Christmas Cake part.
- Sumiko's assistant Rumi Wakasa seems to fit in more in the stereotype, as she's very gentle and sweet but also quite clumsy. She's actually a subversion, as she has a Badass Teacher side that only comes out when it's needed and implied to have had a Dark and Troubled Past linked to the murder of a chess and shogi player that took place 17 years ago.
- Shokugeki no Soma: Jun Shiomi is this in spades. Is 34, looks like 16, acts like 12. In spite of being Tootsuki's resident spice expert and a leading authority on the chemistry of aromatic compounds, as well as the Shiomi Seminar's leader, she is excitable, scatter-brained, tends to ramble and holds a grudge against the main character for things his dad did when they were at school together. In fact, her 16-year-old adopted son Akira takes care of her as much as she takes care of him (if not more), something she is deeply emotionally conflicted about.
- Oka-chan of Kumo Desu Ga, Nani Ka? wanted to become the kind of teacher that her students could relate to, so she got involved in hobbies such as manga and video games. Students found her easy to befriend but deep down she worried that she'd built a fake persona and was failing as a teacher.
- Assassination Classroom:
- Aguri Yukimura, who was Class 3-E's teacher before Koro-sensei arrived. She was an adorable and energetic young teacher, with an endearingly bad fashion sense and a great eagerness to teach and help her students.
- Irina Jelavic (a.k.a. Bitch-sensei) is a more volatile example due to her temper, but she qualifies nonetheless; she's young, seductive, beautiful, and slowly becomes close to her students.
- My Monster Secret has Akari Koumoto, who gets caught up in her students' wacky hijinks fairly often; when she's not sharing protagonist Asahi's role as the Only Sane Man, she's calling on her past as a Delinquent to be utterly badass and intimidating. Her primary sources of humor are the clashes between her and her Trollish great-grandmother Akane (who's also the principal and, oh yeah, a demon), and her inability to get a boyfriend, which mostly comes from her unrealistic fantasies about being swept off her feet by a prince on a white horse. Once Asahi's friend Sakurada admits he's got feelings for Akari, the entire cast (minus Akane) becomes Shippers on Deck and does everything they can to help get the two together. They ultimately succeed — complete with Sakurada confessing while on a white pegasus.
- Played with in And You Thought There is Never a Girl Online? with Yui Saitou. While she is fairly good at her job, her mannerisms as "Nekohime" (her Online Alias at playing MMORPG's) would occasionally seep in, such as her unconscious habit of sometimes ending her sentences with "~nyaa~".
- High School Inari Tamamo-chan is about a kitsune who poses as a high school girl. While the student body can see right through her magical disguise, most of the adults at school don't notice anything out of the ordinary except Reiko-sensei, who's described as "a kid at heart".
- Manabu from Wandering Son is a friendly, somewhat immature (but not in a Manchild way) young teacher. He's also a male Christmas Cake who can't get a date (though one student likes him, much to his dismay).
- Little Witch Academia: Despite her façade of maturity, young Professor Ursula Calistis often gets wrapped up in the hijinks of main character Akko Kagari, such as covering for Akko when Akko accidentally flushes a teacher down the toilet (said "teacher" being a sentient goldfish). At episode's end, Akko specifically praises Ursula by saying, "You almost acted like you were our teacher!" to which Ursula sternly reminded her that she is their teacher. Further justified because "Ursula" is actually Akko's idol, Shiny Chariot, in disguise, and Akko & Chariot are very similar personality-wise.
Live Action Television
- Kamen Rider Fourze
- Sonada Sarina. Subverted in that her Sensei-chan personality is just an act to hide her true identity as the Scorpion Zodiarts
- Gentaro Kisaragi becomes a teacher five years after the series ends (as seen in the crossover Movie Wars Ultimatum; he's mellowed out a little since his days as a student...but only a little.
- Ohsugi-sensei is halfway between this and a Sadist Teacher: nobody takes him seriously, he's chronically hard-up for dates, and eventually admits that he has no friends. Once, he even tries to force Gentaro to hang out with him because he's lonely.
- Western TV equivalents of this trope would include Miss Blondel, the very popular and sympathetic young French teacher who the schoolboy Danny Baker is strongly drawn to in Cradle To Grave.
- There is also the character of Miss Titley in The Grimleys, who has all the described qualities of sensei-chan about her and who takes a strong (platonic) pastoral concern in young Grimley.
- Shin Megami Tensei
- In Persona 4, Noriko Kashiwagi seems to think she's this. She isn't. And her students think it's pathetic
- Toriumi from Persona 3 hits this trope too, though most of it comes out through her Digital Avatar, Maya.
- Unsurprisingly, it's also true of Sadayo Kawakami in Persona 5, mostly in her part-time job as a maid/callgirl she took so she can repay a massive debt.
- Chloe Genus of Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars is this, mainly because she's super popular with her students, the same age as most of them (she graduated from college at age 14!) and is a very cheerful person. She does get a little miffed about being this trope though.
- Quistis Trepe from Final Fantasy VIII. Justified by the fact that she's the same age as her students, but managed to graduate several years early, and was insane enough to get a job teaching her former classmates soon after.
- Towa Kokonoe from Tokyo Xanadu does her best to avert this, given that she's 23 but looks much younger.
- Misato in Snow Sakura.
- Played with in Muv-Luv:
- Jinguuji's students in the Extra part all call her Marimo-chan, and the usual Christmas Cake jokes get played. In the Unlimited alternate universe, she is not amused by the protagonist addressing her as Marimo-chan and demands to be addressed properly.
- And then there's Alternative, which not only plays with this trope but uses it as part of a horribly soul-crushing plot twist. Twice.
- Wakaouji from Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side 2 is very carefree and playful when it comes to his students, so that many (including the protagonist by default) refer to him simply as 'Waka-chan'. Some take it even further, teasingly calling him 'Waka-chan-sensei'.
- Taiga Fujimura from Fate/stay night plays with this trope; while she's rather immature when off-duty at home, she's generally responsible in her duties as a teacher. She plays it dead straight in the alternate universe spinoff Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA though where she's teaching Illya in primary school rather than Shirou in High School.
- Ringo Tsukimiya from Uta No Prince Sama is a subversion (as well as being a male Wholesome Crossdresser). He's cute, friendly and even tells his students to call him "Rin-chan", but he takes his job as a teacher seriously and he won't easily grant his students special favors.
- Sonou Tsukuyo from Kindred Spirits on the Roof is a 24-year-old classical literature teacher, but has the appearance of a girl half her age. This is what ends up drawing the affections of her 16-year-old student Kiri, who is obsessed with cute things. Surprisingly, she notably averts the childlike mannerisms of similar characters, and other characters note throughout the game just how mature and responsible she is.
- Miss Grotke from Recess has some shades of this trope. She's pretty much loved by all her students (and takes a Cool Big Sis role to Spinelli), young and unmarried (not a Christmas Cake really, but it's hinted that she's in her early 30s).
- Sun Park from American Dragon: Jake Long is on a First-Name Basis with her high school students, is young and pretty, and is a gentle mentor to Haley.
- The Simpsons: When she's not portrayed as an Apathetic Teacher, Mrs. Krabappel comes across like this, particularly when outside of the classroom (though occasionally in it), mostly with her angst about being divorced. Or at least until she married Ned Flanders.
- An odd equine example of this is Cheerilee from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. To illustrate her status further, she's one of the biggest ensemble darkhorses in Japan.