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Senpai's appearance is based on an anime-esque stereotypical handsome high school student. He is a young, light-skinned man with a constant blush, strawberry blonde hair, and wide blue eyes. He wears a partially tucked-in periwinkle blue button-up shirt, a loose pink tie, grayish-purple jeans held up by a black belt with a silver buckle, and grayish-purple shoes. He carries a brown backpack in his right hand over his right shoulder and holds a pink microphone loosely in his left with his thumb and index finger. His head sparkles whenever he is not singing. Fitting his dating sim origins, he stands and stares forward in the player's direction instead of towards his opponent. Additionally, he is portrayed in a pixel art style.
His previously happy expression changes to a more discomforted and menacing glare in his second track, with the upper part of his face appearing bluish-purple, shadowing his eyes. His tie appears bent. He now clutches his microphone fully in his left hand. The sparkles around his head are now gone. His forward-facing stance remains the same, but his eyes are now focused squarely in Boyfriend's direction, even while singing.
Senpai is normally a very kind, polite and calm individual who typically speaks in a formal way, especially towards people he likes. However, he has a short temper, and is a sore loser, becoming rude and speaking more vulgarly after losing. This sudden behavior change is explained as a result of Senpai's programming being unable to handle a loss since he was only ever meant to be perfect.
A long time ago, someone was forcefully trapped within the confines of a dating simulator game by Daddy Dearest under unknown circumstances. Now stuck in the game without any hope of escaping, he would possess its programming and lay dormant until someone arrived so he could finally escape and substitute whoever arrived.
The dating sim video game belonged to Girlfriend, and she used to play it a lot. While hanging out with Boyfriend, she finds it and decides to play it with him. However, they both ended up being pushed into the game by Daddy Dearest, likely as another attempt on Boyfriend's life. Soon after, they meet Senpai, and he chivalrously challenges Boyfriend. After being bested, he suddenly breaks character, quickly becoming angry and vulgar.
Having lost twice, Senpai is seen writhing before something violently bursts out of his face and destroys him. Spirit, the one trapped in the game, finally emerges in Senpai's place, causing the once bright location of the school grounds to become desolate, deserted and dark. He reveals that he has been trapped in the game without contact from other humans for so long. Despite this, he reveals that he recognizes Girlfriend and remembers how her father was responsible for his imprisonment. He also states that he is not the only person who has met this cruel fate by her father's hands.
With the last song, Spirit plans to win against Boyfriend in a rap battle so he can take over both his and Girlfriend's bodies (and leaving them to take his place inside the game in return) to finally escape and enact revenge against Daddy Dearest for his and everyone else's suffering. Despite his hostility, he may not be entirely ill-willed at either Boyfriend and Girlfriend but simply wants out by any means possible, even if his freedom would result in others suffering the same way he did.
- According to PhantomArcade in a Tweet, one of the core inspirations of Friday Night Funkin' is the anime Urusei Yatsura. Senpai was possibly based on the character Shūtarō Mendō, whom every girl is in love with in the series, similar to how the Background Freaks are in love with Senpai.
- Senpai is:
- The first character to not follow the main art style of the game, instead being portrayed in an anime-esque pixel art style.
- One of the first characters to provide an extra layer of lore to the game.
- The first antagonist to die.
- The first antagonist to have dialogue boxes.
- The first antagonist to change appearances on each song.
- The third character to have a song named after him, the first being Monster and the second being Pico.
- The third character to not have a "danger" icon, the first being Girlfriend, the second being Daddy Dearest and the fourth being Spirit.
- In Story Mode's week selection menu, Senpai appears in a CRT gaming TV hooked up to a video game console with a controller and an open game case. This makes him the first character to include extra art on his Story Mode character render.
- There are schoolgirls in the background of Senpai and Roses with different facial expressions depending on the song. They are named "bgFreaks" in the game's files.
- On a Twitch live stream, it was clarified that Senpai isn't controlled by Spirit and the two are entirely different characters.
- The original idea for Senpai's week was a Dragon Quest-esque game. Later, it was decided to be a dating simulator instead, to fit the romance theme fully.
- Senpai was confirmed to be 18 and a senior in high school by Moawling on Twitter.
- Senpai being a senior is hinted at by his name, which means "upperclassman" in Japanese. Senpai (先輩) is also an honorific for a senior or superior.
- As shown in a piece of concept art, Senpai was originally going to have heterochromia iridum, as confirmed by PhantomArcade in a Tweet. His left eye would have been green, while his right eye would have been blue.
- As shown in a Tweet by PhantomArcade, one of the references used for the aesthetic of Senpai's week and his first song, Senpai, is from the 1994 Japanese dating simulator, Tokimeki Memorial.
- It was heavily rumored that Senpai's design was inspired by Jacob Couch, a man who appeared in Judge Judy and has been seen as almost the exact same as Senpai in terms of appearance, with the only notable difference aside from the lack of backpack being the color of their ties. People pointed out the similarities between Jacob and Senpai, like how they're emotional wrecks, 18 years old and looked like womanizers. Unsurprisingly, ninjamuffin99 has denied this on a Reddit AMA, stating that it was nothing more than an amusing coincidence.
- Additionally, ninjamuffin99 denied Senpai's relations to Doki Doki Literature Club's Monika in that same AMA. Despite fan perception of them being siblings, they're both separate A.I.'s from different games that have nothing to do with each other.
- Senpai is also noted, specifically by the Virtual YouTuber community (including Japanese VTubers who have played Friday Night Funkin' before), to bear a heavy resemblance to the VTuber, Yukoku Roberu, whose appearance, like the previously mentioned Jacob Couch, bears a heavy resemblance to Senpai. Like Senpai in-game, Roberu has a talent for singing, as he has four songs in his discography. However, much like the Jacob Couch example, the resemblance is likely just a coincidence.
- Although Senpai was the first antagonist to die, he was the second character to die in general, the first being Mall Santa in Week 5 when the player gets a Game Over.
- Senpai is of Japanese descent.
- PhantomArcade has confirmed that Senpai is the type of guy to have all sorts of prejudices, including being homophobic.
View Senpai's full gallery here.
|Main Characters||Boyfriend - Girlfriend|
|Antagonists||Daddy Dearest - Skid and Pump - Monster - Pico - Mommy Mearest - Senpai - Spirit - Tankman|
|Upcoming||Cassette Girl - Hank J. Wimbleton - Ritz The Rat - Cassandra|
|Scrapped or Unused||Lucky Boy|
|Background Characters||Henchmen - Mall Santa - Background Freaks - Tankmen|