More crazy antics abound as Nozomu Itoshiki (a.k.a Zetsubou-sensei), who is the worlds most negative person, tries to teach class 2-F about how life is filled with despair and darkness. A harder task than it first may seem, with his students being far from ordinary themselves, including the likes of the most positive girl he has ever met, his very own stalker, a foreign exchange student with split personalities and a perfectionist acting class president, due to the fact the real class president can't be seen by anyone, among others.
This is a comedy/satire anime and the jokes are generally based on the problems and absurdities of society and humanity as a whole. It's full of references to the anime industry: both to series, producers, voice actors, character stereotypes etc. To understand many of the jokes, you have to have watched a lot of different animes and know your terminology, otherwise you will instead of laughing end up with a question mark on your face. A lot of jabs are also aimed at recent and old happenings in Japan and are thusly hard to understand for viewers without a profound knowledge of Japanese culture and
history. This is not that big of an issue, and of course not a flaw of the show, but it deserves to be mentioned as it might affect your viewing experience. It should also be noted that the the comedy in Zoku often ventures into the completely absurd, even more so than in the first season.
The "story" revolves around a high-school class full of different, crazy students and their mentally unstable techer: Itoshiki Nozomu, Zetsubou Sensei. He sees everything in a negative light and always falls into despair when he thinks about all the everyday trials one has to face and endure. Together with his students and many other wacky characters, he drives all the issues to their extreme and the end result is often hilarious. Some reoccuring jokes, like panty shots, become annoying after a while, but the diversity is still very good.
Often, there are so many things on-screen that you have to pause to see them all, since the pacing is very high. This is one of the few actual flaws this anime has. There are very few new characters introduced, but there isn't a really a pressing need for any, because the cast is already big enough. This also prevents Zoku from taking up too much time with character introductions, which was the major problem of the first season.
Zoku sports the same innovative aestethics as the first season and the quality of art and animation hasn't improved noticably. It's hard to describe the visual style accurately, but it's generally simple and 2D-ish, with some interesting special effects. Throughout the series, there are however many different art styles utilized, enhancing the relative "drama" and sheer randomness of particular scenes.
The BGM is used nicely, and while not being particularily memorable, it does a great job of helping the jokes hit home. As for the OPs and EDs, they're all great and suit the series perfectly. Kuusou Runba is undoubtedly one of the best OPs I've ever had the pleasure to hear and it fits the intro flawlessly.
To summarize, Zoku is an excellent second season that surpasses the first season in all ways possible. While the episodes differ in terms of qualitative - and understandable - jokes, they're generally ingeniously executed and highly entertaining. However, this series does demand that you as a spectator has a decent knowledge of the anime industry and Japanese culture; if you don't, you will miss out on a lot of the fun. So if you for this - or some other - reason didn't like the first season, there's no reason for you to bother trying this. And vice versa, of course.
Were you ever caught off guard by an anime reference - big or small - in another series? There are actually more anime easter eggs to uncover than you may have imagined. Here are 50 anime references your may have missed.