Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei series

All posts tagged Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei series

Our main protagonist, now biting puppy ears.

Today when I want to write the review for this anime, only then I realized that my previous review for Needless is missing because of the server migration that happened nearly two weeks ago. Therefore it may seem that there are two reviews for today but actually there is only one of them. And that one would be for the third season of the Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei series, which follows the first and second season already reviewed in this blog before. Titled Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, this 2009 anime will then compete with Wolf and Spice S2 for the ‘Anime of the Year 2009’ title. Compared to the first two seasons, this newest installment in this series will throw a nice surprise to you.

Still the best character in this anime, even if her airtime was cut even further.

In the third season, our main  male protagonist has completely stopped being suicidal (he is afraid to die even), therefore his (mostly) female students doesn’t have to restrain him from finding the hangman noose anymore. Nowadays all he does is complaining and despairing over many things, and his (mostly) female students followed suit. I somewhat miss the more flexible main protagonist that you can see in the first season.

What you can see in the second season was carried into the third season (each episodes are divided into several chunks), but with some notable changes in presentation. In the third season, there are more long story arcs that are shown to the viewers in non-consecutive chunks (usually in different episodes). This approach was pioneered in the second season but are used far more extensively in this season. But what defines the third season over its two predecessors is that there are more good plots over bad ones. If the first season has 50:50 good:bad plots ratio and with second season may have a 40:60 ratio,  the third season has vastly improved with 80:20 ratio. The third season is definitely the best installment in this series so far.

Epson/HP/Canon/Lexmark etc. business practices thoroughfully explained and mocked in this anime.

As a consequence of that, the outstanding humor in this series (which helped the first two seasons achieves 8 out of 10 scores) has also been improved. I actually think that would be impossible to do, considering my experience of watching the first two seasons in the past. But the humor in the third season does improve over the already excellent humor in season one and two, and that’s a good thing. Parodies and references to other manga/anime/games/TV shows/political events are still there, with diverse references to AKB48 all the way to Rozen Maiden (with a not-so-veiled reference to a particular politician). This anime will surely become a hit in North Korea…

Taking a swipe at North Korea is this anime favorite pastime.

Another presentation changes that are done in the third season is the pacing of this anime. The director probably have heard my complaints about the terrifying pace this series has and toned it down in this season. It is still fast compared to other anime titles, but between the three seasons, the one here is the slowest. Therefore I do not use the MPC-HC rewind combo button as often as I do in the first two seasons. This anime can still be inaccessible to live TV watchers though, therefore time-shifting is a must.

One of the best humor scenes in the entire series.

Character developments was stalled in the second season, and little has happened in the third season that indicates that anything has changed. The only things I have seen is that the main protagonist now fears death (so far apart from the suicidal him in the first season) and the so-called class monitor has permanently become a murderous person. Our mobilephone-toting non-talking best character is still there, her airtime being cut even further. There are no actual ending I have seen in the last episode, just like it does in the second season. Will there be a fully deserved 4th season? Well, we have to just wait and see then.

I hope a new season will come, not necessarily in that timeslot.

Character Design:-
My comment in the first season and second season review still applies. The best design belongs to the main male protagonist. Generally, this series are strong in this section.

One of the many parodies in this anime.

Voice Acting:-
Another traditional stronghold for this series, my comment from first and second season still applies.


The OST is still great as it is in the second season, but only the OP theme is good. Cannot say the same thing for the 2 ED themes.

This show can be 'informative' too!

For animation quality and choreography, my comment from the review of second season still applies. The director has changed some of the presentation aspects in this anime for the better, and staying closer with the original manga probably contributes to the better stories and humor in the third season too.

Say hi to our newest ‘Anime of the Year 2009’ with its 10 out of 10 score. Simply better than Wolf and Spice S2. I never thought a despairing good-looking teacher with a huge harem he doesn’t take advantage of can take the throne from a beer-chugging wolf-girl. I do expect the third season to do well, but not THIS well.

Quoted For Truth.


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.

Quoted For Truth.

Today we will have a mini-review of an anime that I have been hoarding for quite a while, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. Any anime will do, as long as I can delay watching Myself, Yourself as long as possible. Oh, and BTW, this is a 2007 anime, but from the looks of it, Nodame can rest easy.

Our hero Nozomu Itoshiki.

Nozomu “Mr. Despair” Itoshiki, a high school teacher, has a tendency to try and commit suicide everytime he fall into despair for various reasons. His (mainly female) students have to work hard at preventing him from dying. And that’s about it.

The story by itself is a roller-coaster, with some good episodes and others that are meh. Just like Lucky Star and Cromartie Koukou, this anime makes lots of references to other anime/manga/TV shows. Particularly, I really like the parody for the OP of Alias (yeah, the one with Jennifer Gartner).

The second feature that makes this anime “different” despite its ordinary storyline is the unorthodox “presentation”. The first thing I notice about this anime is the pacing. They are almost perpetually in fast-forward mode, even faster than Lucky Star. Kudos to a.f.k. group, because this anime is surely a hellish series to sub. The <space> and CRTL + left/right button combos in Media Player Classic is my greatest friend here. They are needed or else you will miss a lot of things. I wonder how the Japanese who only watched this series on TV can enjoy this without taping it first.

Character development focused more on the students than on the main protagonist, and that’s probably a good thing. Although I may have noticed that his suicidal tendencies seems to peter out towards the end. The second season is now underway and I hope the series can be better, preferably story wise.

She is the best character in the series. She is totally awesome and need more airtime.

Character Design:-
A plus point of the anime, this is the first time for quite some time where I can see black hair (the default hair color for real Japanese) on many (if not majority) of the characters. Plus, the characters are beautifully designed too.

Voice acting:-
Another plus point of the anime, the voice acting in this series is excellent all-around. The main protagonist is good, but his female students are even better. The only “drawback” is that the best character in this series rarely uses her voice.

One of the things that can cause our hero to hang himself.

This anime has good character design and voice acting, but the music is a letdown. There is virtually nothing I can say about the OST or the OP/ED themes.

Another big letdown of this series, the animation quality in this series is not up to par with other 2007 anime I have reviewed here in the past. This is despite the text-heavy presentation that should not complicate matters even if it was faster. Meanwhile the directing is great, mainly because of the unique presentation. That for sure is hard to do.

8 out of 10.
Has a lot of room to do better in the second season.

You may not allow your child(ren) to watch this series.