Ellen Baker (New Horizon)
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Ellen Baker (Japanese: エレン・ベーカー) is a fictional tutor character featured in the 2016-2019 edition of New Horizon, a Japanese textbook that is widely used for English-language education in middle schools. After being mentioned by Japanese students on Twitter in April 2016, she instantly became a subject of moe character art on the Japanese web.
In the fictional setting of the book, Ellen Baker is an English language tutor at Midori Junior High School. She is one of the characters featured in the 2016-2019 edition of New Horizon, a long running Japanese English textbook series published by Tokyo Shoseki and used in junior high schools across the country. On April 5th 2016, Twitter user @haiyore_audio uploaded several pictures of the characters taken from the textbook of his younger brother; who began his first year as a junior high school student earlier that month. Within the first 24 hours, the tweet garnered over 50,000 retweets and 45,000 likes, with many expressing affection for the charming character unexpectedly found in an educational textbook.
"Huh? Is this my brother's new English textbook? Why are they so cute??? And this is Ellen Baker. I love her."
This edition's illustrations were drawn by Japanese illustrator Denchubou (電柱棒), who also worked on a NEW HORIZON version for adults; which was released in 2011 (shown below, left). The illustrations came as a surprise to many due to the fact that they imagined typical illustrations for English textbooks would be similar to the ones from the previous edition of NEW HORIZON (shown below, right).
The textbook subsequently managed to gather online attention due to the moe illustrations and an adult story normally present in doujins. Shortly after the images of Ellen Baker went viral on Twitter, articles for Ellen Baker were submitted to Nico Nico Pedia and the Pixiv Encyclopedia, inspiring more than 200 instances of fan illustrations within the next day. Meanwhile, Twitter users held a crappy collage grand prix for her, followed by a creation of a novelty Twitter account of the character: @ellenbaker. A common reaction to these discoveries, and many of those user-created contents were also reblogged via Tumblr. The sudden and explosive popularity of Ellen Baker was subsequently picked up by online news media as well as English otaku communities, including Crunchyroll and 4chan's /a/ (anime) board.
On April 7th, 2016, Buzzfeed Japan published an interview with Denchubou. He said he appreciated the online popularity and mentioned that he hopes students will gain an interest in the characters and the English language they speak as well. On the other hand, he also expressed concern, fearing the popularity could influence its educational purposes.
Of course, I do welcome the situation. But… this is a textbook. I'm worried if parents will start to grow a bad impression, or if people start to forget its educational purpose.
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 Wikipedia – Tokyo Shoseki
 Twitter via Wayback Machine – そーちんは難聴予備軍 : "はぁ？新しく中学校に入学した弟が持って帰ってきた英語の教科書。 登場人物可愛すぎない？？？特にエレン・ベーカー先生。惚れた。 https://t.co/5EUzNWoWDi" / Posted on 04-05-2016 (Japanese)
 Nico Nico Pedia – エレン・ベーカー先生 (Japanese)
 Pixiv Encyclopedia – エレン・ベーカー (Japanese)
 Nico Nico Seiga – Search results for エレン・ベーカー先生 (Japanese)
 Pixiv – Search results for エレン・ベーカー
 Twitter – Search results for the hashtag #エレン先生クソコラグランプリ
 Tumblr – Search results for エレン ベーカー
 BIGLOBE news – 登場人物が可愛く進化 英語の教科書「NEW HORIZON」のエレン・ベーカー先生が話題に / 04-06-2016 (Japanese)
 RocketNews24 (now SoraNews21) – English textbook characters get anime-style makeover to appeal to linguists and otaku alike / 2016-04-06
 Crunchyroll – Twitter Falls In Love With Japanese Text Book's Super-Kawaii English Teacher / 04-05-2016
 DesuStorage – /a/ – This is a Japanese Junior-high English textbook. / Posted on 04-05-2016 [NSFW!!]
 DesuStorage – /a/ – So /a/, do you find Ellen Baker cute? / Posted on 04-06-2016 [NSFW!!]
 Buzzfeed Japan – 話題沸騰中の英語教科書「エレン先生」 イラスト担当者に話を聞いた / 2016-04-07 (Japanese)
 Twitter – Ellen Baker
Apr 07, 2016 at 09:05AM EDT
Apr 06, 2016 at 11:50PM EDT
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