Goku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (獄・さよなら絶望先生)

All posts tagged Goku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (獄・さよなら絶望先生)

Our main male protagonist.

The first review this month (my ISP connectivity still suffer from APCN2 troubles, cannot play Left 4 Dead reliably) will be the sequel of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei that I have reviewed previously. They are titled Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (a fully-featured TV series) and Goku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (a straight-to-DVD feature short), both released in 2008. This means that they will combine their forces to challenge Wolf and Spice’s position as the best anime in 2008. Now let’s see whether they can do it or not.

Surely this isn't true. Only stories in episode 5 can be considered to have all their plots in order.

Our main male protagonist is now thinking less about taking his own life before being stopped by his own students, and has resorted to wallowing in despair over many issues instead (and not doing anything about it); many of them trivial, but some of them are brilliant.

Actually, there are no difference in the stories between the first season and the 2 sequels reviewed here today. The only change visible is in presentation where the stories are shorter, therefore there are more of them in a single episode. Frankly speaking though, I feel that the plots in the second season and the DVD feature short (OAD as they call it) is inferior to what you can watch in the first season. In the first season, the ratio of good:bad plots are basically even, but in the second season and OAD, the bad ones outnumber the good ones. Nevertheless, there are some factors that will help mitigate this problem, and they will be discussed further down.

As usual, the newest installments in this series also has the terrifying pacing that makes this series very unique. I have noticed that in one of the episodes in Zoku deals with how this anime can be inaccessible to new viewers. My counterpoint to the writer/director of this anime (if they somehow can read English and read this blog’s entry) is that they can and should slow down the pacing considerably, because in its current form, this anime is unwatchable live. Even if you know Japanese, and understands all the subtle (or many of the blatant ones) references or parodies of  anime/games/people/issues etc. this anime has to be time-shifted so that the viewer won’t miss anything. Even then, I think I paused any given episode and rewinding it as often as I do for an entire anime series with 26 episodes at least.

Character development is one aspect of the sequels that has regressed really badly compared to the first season. Basically, there is none of them in the second season and the OAD, with too few exceptions. The second season/OAD actually just takes the state of the characters that they are in at the end of the first season and kept them that way all the way throughout the sequels. In other words, the characters in this anime has become stale, but at least none of them has reverted backwards.

One of the better jokes in this anime. Too many of them requires understanding about issues/anime/manga/person/corporation/movies etc. though.

The humor is one of the major positive point in this anime. This is the factor that really helps to make the stories with bad plots more palatable. Lightning-quick one-liners, many of those ‘tsukkomi’  banters plus some more slapstick humor. They are not as good as the ones in the excellent Jungle wa Itsumo Hale Nochi Guu, but should still elicits some good laugh, if you understand it. And then there is another signature feature of this series, which is the parodies/references of other anime/games/manga/people/corporation etc. From the rock band group Spitz to the space soap opera Legend of Galactic Heroes, I think there are more than 100 of them in total (this anime is the only second title that has references to Evangelion, first being Hayate no Gotoku). Unlike the first season though, those references and parodies are more integrated to the plots of this series, making them (the plot) less crappier than it should have been.

The often-referenced Higurashi no Naku Koro ni and also the North Korea 6-party talks issue are the two parodies I like the most in this series.

There are no apparent ending to this anime, because the second season and the OAD ends up just like that. There are no warning whatsoever. It is kinda like Hayate no Gotoku’s ending, but without the fanfare. Did the director already know that a third season is coming?

Still the best character in the series, and still has ridiculously low airtime. For god sake, cut down the airtime for Sonozaki Shion that uptight girl a.k.a. the supplementary class monitor and give them to her. She would have agreed too with my proposal.

Character Design:-
My comment in the first season review still applies. The best design belongs to the main  male protagonist.

Conversations in this anime can flow very fast, and may have inane contents, which will lead you to have the same questions like the one our main male protagonist has. Therefore, excellent voice acting are needed. And this anime does deliver in this aspect.

Voice acting:-
My comment in the first season review still applies. This anime has great voice acting gigs throughout the character roster.

The Precure-esque OP theme at the start of episode 7 is actually very good.

Unlike the first season, the OST has improved quite a bit and I actually like the OP theme (and also the Precure-esque one in episode 7). The 1st ED theme is also good but not the second one.

The only one time where our best character actually use her voice actress.

This section has also improved compared to the first season. The animation  now sucks less badly and are decent even in worst-case scenario. Choreography doesn’t apply here because this anime is a dialogue-heavy title with nearly zero violence. The directing is still as good as ever, but I think the pacing should be slowed down.

Initial D parody is a must in a series that makes its living parodying other anime/manga.

8 out of 10
, just like the first season. Regressions in storyline, the ending and character developments has been mitigated by improvements in music, animation and of course, the humor. Wolf and Spice is still the holder of Anime of the Year 2008 title.

I actually only get to know the name of the best character in this series in this season.