Synonyms: Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei, Goodbye Teacher Despair, SZS
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 8, 2007 to Sep 23, 2007
24 min. per episode
R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.141 (scored by 54821 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
comedy despair parody school slice of life
SynopsisItoshiki Nozomu is always in despair! Even simple things like paying for the toll on the subway can send him to a despair so deep only attempted suicide is the answer. How Strange is it then, that he should be the teacher of a High School Class filled with students with even more emotional problems than his. This great Comedy will leave you in anything but 'Despair' as you meet each of his students and watch their wacky adventures.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
Sequel: Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
Summary: Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei Jo: Zetsubou Shoujo Senshuu
Other: Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei Special
Characters & Voice Actors
We all have times when we wish we were dead, although we don’t always mean it.
Well, I present you Itoshiki Nozomu. He’s the world’s most pessimistic person and always carries around a rope when things turn badly (by the way, when you write his name horizontally, you will get Zetsubou – despair). Right in the first episode we see Itoshiki hanging himself in some cherry trees and his imminent death is only stopped by Fuura Kafuka, his unequal: the world’s most optimistic person. This is what sets things off and from here on in we will make a journey through current Japan’s society, through the eccentric students of this eccentric teacher.
Usually when we talk about smart comedy what comes to mind is a Cambridge PhD that tells jokes that only Stephen Hawking and company can grasp. This series is really something because it is a smart comedy… that allows laughing. Zetsubou has a lot of serious subjects but you never see these treated like a soap opera. The problem is developed with a dark comedy that allows much more reflection about it.
Each character is a takeoff of modern Japan’s problematic citizens: a hikikomori, a perfectionist, a gaijin that suffers prejudice, an addict of cell phones, a stalker, a fan of yaoi and cat ears, an illegal immigrant, a girl that enjoys putting a stick in a dog’s ass (not sure if the last one is a general problem). The development of these characters may become compromised after the first half, conceding space to nonsense episodes, but this is natural coming from a comedy.
Usually when we see an anime we already know what to expect from the funny parts, they’re virtually the same every time. Again, that’s not the case here. Expect the unexpected. A really unique, cynical, nonsensical comedy. The color and the lighting is top quality. Also, get prepared to see a lot of cuts, abrupt changes of images, jokes been told on the blackboard or written on the screen. The dialogue is original and the animation is pretty creative and of high quality; moreover, there are a lot of alternative things.
For example, all the time you’ll see the picture of bald guy around, a Japanese Lex Luthor, that is funny exactly because there’s no purpose for that. There is an episode in which the characters are presented as paper dolls. The first opening doesn’t even have any image, except that damn bald guy. The second one can mix up Buddhism with bondage (don’t ask me how). The ending is like a surrealistic thriller. It’s a pretty cult comedy by this point of view, because uses a lot of art and animation techniques that you thought you would only find in a more serious anime or in a museum.
We can call it a harem series when we think that every girl somehow ends up falling in love with the teacher and that the only male characters that have the minimum relevance are a bald guy (another one) and a boy that only read books the entire time. There’s a lot of fanservice as well, but, one more time, the anime does that in a unique way. It’s almost like it is dissing the fanservice itself.
There are references to other anime like Lucky Star and Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (and Zetsubou is incredibly similar to Watanuki from XXX Holic). Furthermore, the otaku world is shown in the traditional Comiket Market.
The first opening song, Hitotoshite Jiku ga Bureteiru, is performed by Kenji Ohtsuki, who some may remember from the ending of Welcome to NHK. Now, instead of the galactic crazy baby, there is a song that keeps repeating bure, bure, bure (warped, warped, warped)… whatever. What’s cool is that there is the participation of some of the voice actors like Nonaka Ai (here, Fuura Kafuka, but also known as Ibuki Fuko in Clannad After Story) and Inoue Marina (here she’s Kitsu Chiri; also made Eve Genoard in Baccano).
It may be a funny rock – you can’t hear Kenji sing without laughing - but is also a pretty good one, at least the song doesn’t get out of your head. Most of the OST is performed by Hasegawa Tomoki on the piano, and the majority of the songs are somewhat dramatic, melancholic, romantic, what fits with the dark comedy of the series pretty well.
When I finished the last episode I was so gloomy about it that I thought about doing bungee jumping from a two floors house with the rope around my neck cutting my wrists while falling after drinking caustic soda… but then I discovered that there was a second season and a third coming up this July… there’s still hope… ;)
"Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei" is as insane and addictive as it is deeply unorthodox. The usage of: silhouetted characters, extremely polar opposites in terms of the two main characters, constant cuts to text, and a bald, glasses-wearing man for censorship are definitive proof of this. As soon as it starts it already flaunts its relentless and ridiculously funny sense of humor. A strange premise along with a non-traditional visual approach not only make it intriguing but refreshing as well.
The premise is blatantly and pleasurably off-kilter like everything else in this anime. An incredibly negative and pessimistic person, Itoshiki Nozomu, and an incredibly positive and optimistic person, Fuura Kafuka, are the two main characters, and they meet each other as he attempts to commit suicide. They are outstandingly different but they must cope it because they are both part of the same school. Itoshiki is the homeroom teacher of Fuura's class and there he encounters a sea of strange students. Each of the students has a unique personality trait or activity that they heavily utilize; all are parodic and stereotypical in their basis and are solely used for the anime's grand satirical goal. Every episode focuses on Itoshiki's (aka Zetsubou Sensei which translates to Mr. Despair) crazy interactions with his students. These interactions hilariously result in either him trying to teach them his bleak lessons, or him being convinced that he is living in complete and utter despair due to one of their remarks or actions.
"Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei" uses satire in much of its comedy. Much of this derives from it darkly satirizing Japan and all the common people, groups, and events that it has in it. Characters that possess or partake in: suicidal thoughts, extreme isolation, domestic abuse, disturbing perfectionism, stalking, illegal immigration, non-conformist mentality, material worship, and severe identity disorder may be taboo topics for other anime but it's just a wonderful comedy playground for "Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei". Much of this said humor consists of social commentary, parody, or just outright references regarding Japanese culture, so the anime can be alienating. Viewers might want to do some light research, seriously read the TL notes, and at least get a basic understanding on how Japan works or who usually inhabits it. However, being very knowledgeable isn't necessarily a requirement to enjoy or be entertained by this anime. Even the viewers who aren't too knowledgeable can still witness the insanity and high energy that makes it feel so high-octane and exciting.
The art is colorful and flamboyantly atypical. Akiyuki Shinbo, the director, along with the anime's main production studio, Shaft, definitely show off their usual eclectic style here. Intriguing color changes and silhouettes run rampant in each episode. There is not much actual animation in "Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei", but it compensates with its interesting art style. There are different textures flying in and out in just about every frame. The fast and unusual fashion that it uses completely fits the insane antics and gags that constantly ensue throughout the anime.
The opening themes and ending themes used are great and are definitely adequate for the anime. "Hito Toshite Jiku ga Bureteiru" by Kenji Ohtsuki, featuring five of the female voice actresses, is the best particular song and is a delightfully catchy and maddening rock song; passionately pumping the crazy mood that the anime creates. The rest of the soundtrack that accompanies the anime is competent and conjures each of its desired emotions well.
The entire run of this anime is an entertaining frenzy that deserves much appreciation for both its art and excellent ability to create laughter. Enthusiasts of absurd and black humor, as well as successful satire, should definitely give this anime a try. "Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei" is a deranged, neurotic, and enjoyable absurdist and satirical comedy that nonchalantly criticizes everything in its broad Japanese path without ever taking a single break.
Eight Durable, Stout, and 'Height-Helping' Pink Gabriel Trees out of Ten. read more
Both Includes a lot of references of greats animes..So Funny
The way they use other anime reference hidden or revealed in each episode.
Both are School, Satire, Comedy making fun of Japanese culture. Lucky Star makes fun of the gaming and anime culture whilst Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei ridicules other psychological and social issues. ^_^
Although the humor is much darker in SZS, prepare for cute girls and EXTREME RANDOMNESS in both :]
Both share the genres of parody, school, and slice of life. There is no real story in either and filled with randomness. There is an evidence of uniqueness in both.
Both refer to otaku's culture.
Both anime feature strange and funny school girls, and both have a lot of cameo from other anime.
Great humour which, unfortunately, is brought only to the chosen ones, who have watched either Lucky Star, or Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. Both shows take place mainly in the school grounds and have many similarities in the use of jokes. Also, the characters in both anime are strange and are not the typical ones you can expect from the average school related series. While Konata in Lucky Star is presented as a hardcore otaku with questionable morals, Itoshiki Nozomu from Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei has somehow weird understanding of very much ordinary things. Well, one's for sure - you won't get bored while watching either os these series!
totally random with plenty of references and parodies
Anime/manga references hidden (or popping out in your face) in each episode, but SZS has a more darker art style. Most of their characters are females, and they're both funny. Both series also center their plot around high school students, including teachers and other side characters. Oh, and Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei sometimes add a little dark comedy in the mix.
Both are slice of life comedies that parody a lot of other animes, and there are even a few Lucky Star parodies in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei.
Both seem to point out the small things in life that tend to become our habits without even noticing. Also, both have a cast of mostly girls who are quite stereotypical.
Both anime share the same style but sayonara zetsubou sensei uses a darker style of humor, both are extremely random and dosent follow a specific storyline, and both uses various parody about japanese culture.
while lucky star maybe less crazy than sayonara zetsubou sensei, they are still both very funny and revolve around school
Both are made by SHAFT and have the similar air and feeling about them.
Both are comedy and the pacing is also similar. Akiyuki Shinbou directs them both.
The voice actors are the same, too.
Maria†Holic follows a main plot while Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei is strong in parody slice-of-life comedy.
If you watched and liked Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei you should watch Maria†Holic.
similar style and humor. and both main characters are in "despair".
Only 2 episodes into this, I noticed it was HIGHLY similar to Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. The art styles are pretty much the same, the comedy is dark, and hysterical. Even the pictures at the very end (All drawn by different artists) are alike! If you liked Maria Holic, you will definitely LOVE Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei!
Both series are comedies done by SHAFT in similar styles. While Maria Holic has a more structured plot, it can be just as wacky as SZS. Maria Holic also parodies Nozomu's despair sequence from time to time, which SZS fans will love. I suspect that Dorm Mistress and Kafuka are related. They are eerily similar.
Along with Bakemonogatari both are a quintessence of SHAFT's craziness and their great ideas.
Both anime are awesomly done by SHAFT, and also share some voice actors.
Both are comedies with the parody element and a black sense of humour.
Both main characters are in despair.
Both are set at school and have a good, interesting cast of characters.
Both have shoujo-ai, even if in SZS they're only hints.
Both are worth watching, but Zetsubou Sensei is better.
same studio, same style both very funny
Both are Studio SHAFT productions under the helm of Akiyuki Shinbo, which rely on fast paced gags, puns, and innuendos.
The style of comedy is similar, and some of the jokes cross over from Zetsubou-Sensei
Both contain the insane craziness of SHAFT.
They are made by studio SHAFT and have a great art style.
Both are parodies.
Similar sense of humor.
Both are hilarious.
Both series have the same producers so there are elements which are similar between the two. The comedy and the art style are basically similar.
It's been said and exhausted before, but both are fun, crack, series to watch when you're in the mood for a great comedy. Both Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and Maria Holic do not have much continuity (Maria Holic has a slight bit more, but that's not saying much), great opening themes, and a great sense of humour.
Same producer (SHAFT). Both of them are comedy, parody and school. Art is similar. The only difference is that Maria†Holic is romance and has plot.
Same style animation both very funny
Beyond the obviousness of their both being Shaft productions, each has a single theme that gets beaten senseless. These one-trick ponies get lost in the wilderness and well before they actually finish, each runs out of things to say. Many episodes would have benefitted from losing 5-10 minutes since much of the repetition would have been cut. Losing a few episodes would have helped the series as there were a few too many in which nothing happened -- the season finales offending most egregiously.
Typical for Shaft shows, the music is mostly interesting. The artwork is good and the characters are visually attractive.
To sum the experience up... I feel like I've watched two comedy skits that were turned into feature films.
The artwork and the animation is pretty much the same. Maria Holic might be a little lighter than Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, but there's numerous characters and lots of high school girls absurdities in both of them.
Opening Theme#1: "Hito toshite Jiku ga Bureteiru (人として軸がぶれている)" by Kenji Ohtsuki feat. Ai Nonaka, Marina Inoue, Yu Kobayashi, Miyuki Sawashiro & Ryoko Shintani (eps 1-9, 12)
#2: "Gouin ni Mai Yeah~" by Ai Nonaka, Marina Inoue, Yu Kobayashi, Miyuki Sawashiro & Ryoko Shintani (eps 10-11)
Ending Theme"Zessei Bijin (絶世美人)" by Ai Nonaka, Marina Inoue, Yu Kobayashi & Ryoko Shintani
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