Senbei Norimaki (則巻千兵衛 Norimaki Senbē, also spelled as 則巻センベエ) is Penguin Village's goofy and lecherous genius inventor. He is capable of creating wacky inventions that defy logic with his greatest accomplishment being the creation of a powerful robot in the guise of a little girl who he claims to be his younger sister named Arale Norimaki. He isn't very well known outside of the village but is actually one of Earth's greatest scientific minds as he was secretly the first to successfully create a perfect Android and has won the "World Invention Award" for his creation the Reality Machine 2.
He can also transform into a more handsome, taller version of himself (for a very brief period of three minutes). Senbei Norimaki's name is from Senbei Norimaki (a kind of Japanese rice cracker), whereas Arale Norimaki's name is from Arale, a different kind of rice cracker. Norimaki means "wrapped", and it refers to a specific type of each respective kind of rice cracker.
Though Akira Toriyama often draws most of the characters short and chubby, especially Senbei Norimaki, there are times Senbei Norimaki becomes more "realistic", becoming quite tall and rugged-looking. Usually this is when he puts on the best face he can for a pretty girl such as Yamabuki.
Sometime when Senbei was young, his parents passed away. Also when he was young, Senbei began hating dogs when one told him that he was stupid.
Senbei's life changed when he created an android who he passes off as his younger sister named Arale. In many episodes, he invents something and Arale Norimaki calls him Doraemon.
Senbei developed a huge crush on the Junior High School teacher Midori Yamabuki, who he dreams about a lot. In one episode, he actually gets a date with Midori and goes into space. On the way back, Arale Norimaki's friends play a prank on them for leaving them behind. They dress up like old people, and say that the time is 2030 (the year in the Manga being 1981). Senbei finally marries Midori Yamabuki after he proposed to her while she was on the toilet. A year later, they have a son named Turbo Norimaki.
Red Ribbon Army Saga
Main article: General Blue Saga
When Goku was chasing General Blue in the skies of Penguin Village, Senbei constantly made peace signs in front of the screen since it has been awhile since he had been been in Shonen Jump (or on TV, in the anime). Akane Kimidori yells at him for being stupid. Goku and Arale later show up at his house and ask if he could fix the Dragon Radar so he can find General Blue.
Senbei was confused by its really advanced technology and was even more put down when Goku said a girl made it. Turbo secretly saved him from looking like an idiot by fixing it behind Senbei's back using his telekinetic abilities. General Blue shows up at his house and attempts to kill Goku and steal Senbei's plane, but Arale defeated him. While General Blue got away with the Radar, Senbei let Turbo take his airplane apart to make Goku a new radar.
Dragon Ball Super
"Future" Trunks Saga
Main article: "Future" Trunks Saga
Senbei is invited to attend a ceremony for the "World Invention Award" in West City and enters his latest invention the Reality Machine 2. Before leaving, he tells Arale and the Gatchans that they can't come and tells them to watch the house. At the ceremony he ends up winning the award even against Bulma who was expected to win. Dr. Mashirito who escapes Hell as a ghost confronts Senbei at the ceremony and tries to get revenge for not being invited.
When Arale and the Gatchans crash the party and under control by Mashirito, Senbei helps Bulma summon Beerus by having everyone use the Reality Machine 2 to create a pill containing all of the world's delicious food. After Beerus stops the fight between Arale and Goku and erase Mashirito from existence, Senbei says farewell and drives away with Arale and the Gatchans.
- Arale Norimaki – The first known perfect Android created by Senbei, although a flaw is that she is nearsighted and needs to wear glasses.
- See-Thru Glasses – Pair of glasses that can see through anything non-organic. Senbei tries to use it to see girls naked but they are destroyed when Midori accidentally hits him with her scooter.
- Cyborg Bear – He converted a bear that was shot by a hunter into a cyborg to save its life.
- Big-Small Gun – A gun that can shrink or enlarge anything.
- Future Camera – A camera that takes a picture and shows what whatever is in the picture will look like in the future. A dial changes how far in the future this picture is shown.
- Time Slipper – A flat board that travels through time when Mr. Time, a talking clock slips on it. If the board is missing, any flat, smooth surface can substitute it.
- Numb Ray Gun – A ray gun that freezes anything in place. It failed when Senbei used it against a Dinosaur.
- Robot Dog – Built to quickly track Arale when she was lost, it has an extremely acute sense of smell. It's apparently rather realistic, as it thinks freely and urinates at some points.
- Cola Plane – A round airplane powered by the fizz from a giant can of cola. It runs out of fuel rather quickly.
- Reality Machine – A talking rice cooker that generates a real copy of whatever was on a picture that was put inside of it.
- Reality Machine 2 - A newer version which can create anything just by imagining it.
- Barberman – A robotic hairdresser. It has an odd style of humor, a love for singing, and a self-destruct mechanism. It actually can not cut hair very well.
- Ponpoko Morph Gun – a transformation ray modeled after tanuki of Japanese mythology. The user points at whatever or whoever they wish to transform, says what they want it/he/she to become using a microphone at the back, and a ray transforms the object/person. For them to return to normal, the user must say "turn back!". Senbei says this invention is "Sold in manga only!"
- A Car – He built a car for King Nikochan and his servant to get them back home because Senbei did not know they were aliens.
- Arale & Obotchaman's child - A robot child for both Arale and Obotchaman after they got married.
Appearances in other media
Dr. Slump remake
In the 1997 remake, Senbei's face and hair was changed a bit. His intentions for creating Arale were changed as well. He originally intended to make an attractive maid for him but it went wrong with Arale ending up being an accident. When Goku shows up in the remake Senbei is forced to spend days trying to fix the radar (Turbo was not born yet in the remake to fix it for him).
Video Game Appearances
- Dragon Ball: Daimaō Fukkatsu
- Famicom Jump: Hero Retsuden
- Jump Super Stars
- Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 (voice)
- Jump Ultimate Stars
- Dr. Slump: Arale-Chan
- Dragon Ball: Origins 2
- Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
- Japanese: Kenji Utsumi (1980's series), Yūsaku Yara (1997 remake & DBS)
- Brazilian Portuguese dub: Fábio Moura (DB), Rogério Cesar (DBS)
- Portuguese dub: João Loy (DBS)
- Polish dub: Sebastian Skoczeń (DBS)
- German dub:Olaf Reichmann (New Dr.Slump)
- Senbei can hold his "serious face" for only 3 minutes.
- It seems people can see Senbei's "serious face" since Goku asks how he did it.
- Senbei can be seen wearing a shirt in Dragon Ball.
- A recurring joke in the Dr. Slump series revolves around Senbei's inability to keep his story straight pertaining to his relation to Arale. Initially, he stated that she was his younger sister, however, once it was pointed out Senbei's parents died before Arale would have been born, he claimed she was actually his daughter instead. However, upon meeting Midori Yamabuki, he immediately claimed she was his sister again, passing off his previous comment as a joke.
- Later on in the series, Senbei's grandfather, who had never met Arale, comes to visit. After being told that Arale is Senbei's fifteen-year-old sister, Senbei's grandfather points out that this is impossible, as Senbei's parents died twenty years prior. This leads to Senbei inventing a new backstory stating that Arale was actually a baby that he recieved as a prize from a box of caramels, and that Gatchan was a prize that came with chewing gum.
- In Dragon Ball: Origins 2, Senbei is the one responsible the removal of Android 8's Android Bomb instead of Dr. Flappe.
- A farmer using the same design as Senbei's Dr. Slump remake is seen in Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods Where he is near West City when Goku calls for Shenron, and states that the wealthy sure do put on a different show.