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Japanese Butlers Named Sebastian?

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Jordan Azor Ahai from Westeros
Azor Ahai
Feb 5th 2010 at 6:36:05 PM

Based on an episode of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, I was wondering if there was some kind of Shout Out / stereotypical naming involved for butlers named Sebastian. To explain, a character insists on calling the Itoshiki-family butler Sebastian, even though that's not his name. He makes a comment to the effect that she got that impression from watching too much tv.

Well, I know that the title character of Black Butler is named Sebastian, which makes me think there must be some association Japanese people have with the name that I'm not getting.

Hodor
Feb 5th 2010 at 6:39:43 PM

I've seen that a couple other places, as well. I really have no idea what's going on there.

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Feb 5th 2010 at 7:09:36 PM

I think I've seen it in non-Japanese media, too.

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Taelor Don't Forget To Smile from The Paths of Spite
Don't Forget To Smile
Feb 5th 2010 at 7:10:54 PM

In Lucky Star, Konata treats Minoru like a butler, and insists on calling him "Sebasian." I have no idea what this is in reference to, but you might try looking at the Lucky Star Reference Thread.

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vandro Shop Owner from The little shop that wasn't there before
Shop Owner
Feb 5th 2010 at 7:16:24 PM

Oh well, sebastian, at least to me, sounds butlery.

TheEvilDr.Bolty The Evil Dr Bolty
The Evil Dr Bolty
Feb 5th 2010 at 7:19:49 PM

It's probably along the lines of "Jeeves" being the accepted name for a butler in America...I don't know for the life of me where that comes from, either.

Taelor Don't Forget To Smile from The Paths of Spite
FurikoMaru Reverse the Curse from The Arrogant Wasteland Relationship Status: He makes me feel like I have a heart
Reverse the Curse
Feb 5th 2010 at 7:32:08 PM

And the weird part is, Jeeves isn't even a butler; he's a valet, a gentleman's personal gentleman.

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Mapi "keionbu ni yokusou, nyan?" from Sakurakou Keionbu
"keionbu ni yokusou, nyan?"
Feb 5th 2010 at 11:50:42 PM

Daisuke Ono's character in Kuroshitsuji is named Sebastian. This is also referenced in Maria Sama Ga Miteru.

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Nika-senpai The Golden Girl from Mitakihara
The Golden Girl
Feb 6th 2010 at 8:43:55 AM

When I heard Konata call Minoru Sebastian in Lucky Star, I always thought it was Kuroshitsuji reference. XD

Shine
Mapi "keionbu ni yokusou, nyan?" from Sakurakou Keionbu
"keionbu ni yokusou, nyan?"
Feb 6th 2010 at 8:46:14 AM

Naw, it's from Mari Mite, as Konata was parodying Sachiko in that episode.

My FF.net account
Feb 6th 2010 at 8:53:56 AM

Ohhh I see, so it was a Shout Out.

I found it absolutely hilarious thinking she called him by stereotypical "butler name".

May 10th 2010 at 3:53:21 AM

Quite possibly these butlers owe their names to Sebastian Beach from P. G. Wodehouse's Blandings Castle stories. I would need to read them before I can make a serious speculation as to why he's seen as more butlery than Jeeves, but I can't help thinking that his name is more endearing. As in, "-chan" the honorific for girls and cute things, is part of his name. セバスちゃん

Ah, here's another for the pile: I've come across a drama CD called "Tatakau! Sebastian," featuring Ookawa Touru as the titular butler.

FurikoMaru Reverse the Curse from The Arrogant Wasteland Relationship Status: He makes me feel like I have a heart
Reverse the Curse
May 10th 2010 at 1:55:24 PM

Possibly because Jeeves is not a butler. He's a gentleman's personal gentleman - a valet.

A True Lady's Quest - A Jojo is You!
lebrel Tsundere pet. from Basement, Ivory Tower
Tsundere pet.
May 14th 2010 at 6:24:26 PM

I've seen a couple of sources claim that it's due to an influential Japanese adaptation of Heidi (an 1960's anime version, I think?); one of the characters in Heidi has a butler called Sebastian, and apparently he was very popular.

Also, who thinks we need a trope for butlers called Sebastian?

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JethroQWalrustitty Uncle George from Finland
Uncle George
May 15th 2010 at 12:09:56 PM

The Usami family butler in Junjou Romantica is referred to as Sebastian by one or two characters as well.

This love so bold goes undeclared/a joy unseen, a world unknown/a love that dare not speak its name/hidden treasure, precious stone
May 17th 2010 at 4:00:49 AM

Another example: In the fifth chapter of the Mayoi Neko Overrun manga, Chise calls her butler "Sebastian," and he remarks, "My name is Tanaka."

Moving a trifle off-topic, in one of the original Get Smart episodes, there was a character named Sebastian who was never seen until his corpse fell out from behind a door — murdered by, as it turned out, the butler. "I hated [Name]. I hated [Another name]. And as you can see, I wasn't too fond of Sebastian, either."

lebrel Tsundere pet. from Basement, Ivory Tower
Tsundere pet.
May 17th 2010 at 9:56:03 AM Calling someone a pedant is an automatic Insult Backfire. Real pedants will be flattered.
Oct 22nd 2010 at 3:42:09 PM

There's also a Sebastian in the Square Enix game Nier.

Demongodofchaos2 Best Dad from Eldritch Nightmareland Relationship Status: 700 wives and 300 concubines
Best Dad
Oct 22nd 2010 at 7:59:45 PM

Yu Gi Oh 5 Ds had one also named Sebastian for a little while.

Watch Symphogear
Dec 28th 2011 at 12:30:07 PM

Suikoden 3 Thomas's butlers name is Sebastian. Also in Episode 4 of Phi Brain, the old mistresses butler has this name.

A non-Japanese source is in the new Nickolodean TV show "Big Time Rush" ep.19-20 where Jake when breaking away from the band gets his own personal butler with the name... you guessed it... Sebastian. I think this has enough references where it can be a trope.

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