Sayonara Zetsubou-sensei

If I learned something from watching Sayonara Zetsubou-sensei (hereby referred to as SZS), then it’s the fact that SZS is not a great show to marathon.

While this picture has something to do with the content,
it is clearly a shameless attempt to attract readers.

Because it’s so repetitive.

Here’s how the show works. Nozomu tells the class that he’s in despair because of something. Then he gives a list of examples he found in the Japanese soceity of those things. Next, Fuura-chan denies Nozomu’s negative idea by saying that the thing is another positive thing. And she also gives examples of how her principle applies. Things go like this two times almost every episode.

Almost like I’m watching Doraemon again.

Not that Doraemon is bad. It has some great moments. SZS has some great moments too. But it’s just repetitive.

One more thing I’d like to complain: the show started strong with a lot of dark humors: suicide, stalking, and illegal immigrant issues. I hoped to see more of these as the series go, but the humor become more absurd and harder to understand instead.

For example, I didn’t like any one bit of Episode 10 in which Nozomu blabbered about “minimum culture.” I didn’t understand any examples he cited. Episode 6, the one with the if-your-eyes-meet-you-shall-get-married, is just a big pointless pun on the word “miai.” The “criticism drill” (Episode 8 ) and the “mistakes of life” (Episode 9) felt really stretched to me: the guy from the fire department’s insults were too random or obvious, and Nozomu said pretty much the same thing over and over again.

Fuura-chan is win though. Her ironically positive remark introduces unexpected turns into the narratives. My favourite Fuura-chan’s exploit would be claiming that Kiri is a zashiki warashi and luring her out by shutting her in. Also, if you notice the episodes in the last paragraph, most of them are episodes where Nozomu solos. Yep. I think Nozomu alone sucks. Fuura-chan is much needed to break his monotonicity.

All in all, I’m not impressed with SZS. This may largely due to the fact that I marathoned it and became bored with its repetitive format. I might have had too much expectation because it was Akiyuki Shinbo. Or maybe because I’m just a gaijin who doesn’t understand Japanese humor.

Lastly, although I find Kiri cute, random fanservice featuring her was annoying.

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  1. Zetsubou-kiira
    Posted May 29, 2008 at 3:38 am | Permalink

    ay, dont be silly. something like szs and espeially nozumu sucking could not exist so close to me. XD
    besides, if it sucks to you that much, why did you kept watching it? agreed, there is absurd scenes in anime, demmo hora…

  2. henchi
    Posted August 16, 2008 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    i was drawn here by the shameless attempt to attract readers… orz

  3. cardcaptor
    Posted August 17, 2008 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    It worked!

  4. laplanche
    Posted January 19, 2009 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    yeah, I watched it one ep at a time and really enjoyed it. When I went back to rewatch it with some friends though, we marathoned it, and it did make it much less interesting (to me, at least).

  5. Dii
    Posted May 12, 2009 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    im watching this one right now, cant say ive marathoned it, but itoshiki’s line “im in despare! xyz has left me in dispare” is quite anoying,

    i love it when sombody else does it and he complains, makes me very satisfied.

    im sure there was another anime with a ‘Normal’ girl, i think it was Pani Poni Dash, sort of made me a bit “ugh” i have to say Meru is my favourite, i dont know why but she is XD, thats what attracted me here, LOL \(^.^)/

  6. Kafka-spirit
    Posted June 22, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Well, well… it’s true that the mechanics of many eps of SZS are repetitive… no, I better say reiterative, but there are a lot of points of originality in this serie… even there are things that japanese people may not catch at all, like all the references (and have really a several references) to the work of the Czchec writter Franz Kafka. A pair of examples? The name of Fuuura Kafuka is like a japanese would spell the name of Franz Kafka, some names of chapters are direct quotes of tales of Kafka and (this is my favourite without doubt) the first part of the first episode of the second season is a fully mix of various tales of Kafka, getting Nozomu the roles of two of the most famous Kafka’s characters as Gregory Samsa (from “The transformation”) and Joseph K. (from “The process”).
    Almost, this serie have a lot of other positive things. Although the visual aspect would be apparently simple or even bad, really are great, very worked and smooth. The bso are perfect and the openings and endings (specially the openings) are incredible. By the last, the secondaries of the serie are too one of the great good decisions, not only Fuura. Are too Kitsu-san (in the rest of the seasons have more participation and it’s awesome), and the many other characters, like Kimura, Matoi, Abiru or Maria.
    In short, I think that SZS is a great serie that should not be comparated with Doraemon (No, God! No!), and you can find much more things than a repetitive serie of episodes.

    P.S: I apologize for my bad english. I’m spaniard, and although I can defend myself more or less good in english, I’m not used to use it frecuently.

  7. reimu
    Posted July 5, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    it’s not like Doraemon….


    The “In Despair!” thing is kinda what makes me laugh….maybe i’m just messed up….
    i wouldn’t say it’s THAT bad tho….

    i agree Kiri-chan fanservice is weird.

  8. Ms Paint
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    There are actually a lot of references that I’m pretty sure only the author understands XD
    For example, in one episode they mention 90210, which I will NEVER watch, but in another the incident of the Japanese Ex-Prime Minister reading Rozen Maiden is also referenced.
    The Kiri x Chie arc never panned out, which I’m still rather confused about.

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