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Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei – 01

OP Sequence

OP: 「人として軸がぶれている」 (Hito Toshite Jiku ga Bureteiru) by 大槻ケンヂと絶望少女達 (Ootsuki Kenji and Zetsubou Shoujotachi)
Watch the OP!: Mirror 1, Mirror 2

Summary:

It is springtime, and a girl named Fuura Kafuka whose heart is full of hope comes across a man attempting to hang himself from a tree. She reacts to this by forcefully pulling him on him and eventually snapping the noose. To the man’s surprise, Kafuka doesn’t think that he was trying to die because no one would want to do so on such a wonderful spring day. What’s more, she starts calling him momoiro kakarichou (peach-colored chief clerk) based on the tree he was hanging from that she had also named. This causes the man to start ranting about how you have to have money these days to get naming rights for things like sports stadiums or concert halls, which in turn makes Kafuka offer him 50 yen so that she can call him by that name. The man then starts talking about how everything is about money and yells that he’s been driven to despair over this.

In stark contrast, Kafuka says that the world is filled with hope, and she decides that he wasn’t trying to hang himself, but rather was trying to become taller. Her father had tried to become taller too on several occasions, and Kafuka doesn’t listen when the man tries to tell her otherwise. This is how the man who interpreted everything negatively and the girl who interpreted everything positively met. The man doesn’t end up taking Kafuka’s 50 yen and runs away instead declaring that he won’t accept being called that. However, as it turns out, he is none other than the teacher in charge of her class at school. After he writes his name on the board and introduces himself as Itoshiki Nozomu, Kafuka is the first to realize that his name, when written horizontally instead of vertically, spells out zetsubou (despair), so she starts calling him zetsubou-sensei.

Several days later, Kafuka tells her idea of making school into an onsen to her classmate Chiri, but Chiri is horrified by the idea. Chiri then notices how Kafuka’s being sloppy with one of her socks pulled up and the other sagging down, so she takes the time to straighten Kafuka’s socks for her. Meanwhile, Nozomu is in the school counselor’s office talking about how he can’t look at sports straight anymore. It seems that he’s been watching baseball, but he can’t get over how the symbol of one team’s cap looks like the Japanese character for hair. Talking about it with her eventually makes him feel better, so he heads to class to hand out a form to his student about their hopes for future paths. However, he tells his students that there is no hope in the world – only despair – so instead of filling out their hopes, he wants them to fill out their despairs for future paths – paths that are hopeless.

After everyone turns in their forms, Nozomu reads aloud, on Kafuka’s suggestion, what some people wrote. One of the students who appears to study the most out of the class wrote three top universities for his choices, and Nozomu declares it hopeless. He goes through several of the students’ forms this way, saying the same thing each time, but in the end, it’s Kafuka who speaks out about how there’s nothing hopeless in the world. Kafuka feels that if you make an effort, you can definitely achieve your hopes, whether it’s getting into Toudai or becoming the Prime Minister. Hearing this, Nozomu questions if Kafuka has nothing hopeless in the future, so she admits that she does. In the aftermath, one of the other teachers expresses how impressed he is with how high Nozomu’s student’s ambitions are. However, he is also worried about one particular student – Kafuka – who wrote for her three choices: God, time traveler, and Pororoca alien.

ED Sequence

ED: 「絶世美人」 (Zessei Bijin) by 絶望少女達 (Zetsubou Shoujotachi: Nonaka Ai, Inoue Marina, Kobayashi Yuu, Shintani Ryouko)
Watch the ED!: Mirror 1, Mirror 2
The OP was rather plain in style – mostly cards with credits listed – but had a surprisingly good rock song by Ootsuki Kenji. The ED meanwhile had a lot more animation (dunno if any of it has anything to do with the story), and it takes advantage of the voice talent available in the cast.

As expected this, was done in the distinctive SHAFT and Shinbou Akiyuki style, meaning there were lots of jokes (most from the manga) and plenty of writing on the blackboard. The first episode had very high production quality, which reminded me a lot of how great Negima!? started out, though this didn’t wow nearly as much as that first episode of Negima!? did. The animation and music were still very good, and it managed to be quite funny, especially since the theme of despair isn’t presented like this in any other series I can think of. Actually, with all the Suzumiya Haruhi stuff going on right now, that final part with the three things Kafuka wrote reminded me of how Haruhi wanted to meet aliens, time travelers, espers, etc. In any case, I’m not ready to follow another show where it’s mostly comedy and light on the plot since I’ve grown to favor serial-type series (as opposed to more episodic ones like I suspect this will become), so it’s unlikely that I’ll blog any more of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei.

July 7, 2007 at 2:14 pm
51 comments »
  • July 7, 2007 at 2:19 pmmagmaburning

    Looks interesting. I’ll have to check it out when it comes out with subs.

  • July 7, 2007 at 2:24 pmshh227

    That guy looks like Wataniki from xxxholic but have to wait for the subs. I see plenty of fan service too.

  • July 7, 2007 at 2:32 pmDrakron

    CENSORED fan service does not count.

  • July 7, 2007 at 2:35 pmshh227

    But I have to say I have seen a lot of anime openings in my life and I would have to say that was the worst! (song was okay though reminds me of Welcome to the NHK.

  • July 7, 2007 at 2:53 pmGrimaH

    ….That guy. What’s his address?
    *Prepares face peeler*

  • July 7, 2007 at 3:15 pmBoomstick

    Really like the manga. High hopes.

  • July 7, 2007 at 3:25 pmgrunty

    *As expected this, was done in classic SHAFT and Shinbou Akiyuki style.*

    I’m pondering, have you seen anything from Shinbo other than ‘Negima!?’?

  • July 7, 2007 at 3:37 pmGStrike-

    whos that guy’s with the head =.=

  • July 7, 2007 at 3:49 pmKamion

    That’s a hard one to get without subs actually :(
    MSN conversations while watching it don’t help xD… Well it looks interesting and I like the girl =D

  • July 7, 2007 at 4:11 pmJudge

    Definitely an … interesting series. Just finished watching it, yeah, the OP was very plain, will have to wait for subs to get a lot of the jokes, but I get the general gist. Was funny the sequence where he passed out the “Zetsubou” worksheets, rather than the standard “Kibou” ones, and him then reading some of them aloud was pretty amusing as well. Interesting concept, definitely not your ordinary fare, but then again, Shaft ones usually aren’t.

    Judge

  • July 7, 2007 at 4:25 pmNisutora

    Weird show…
    I’ll take a look.

  • July 7, 2007 at 5:27 pmOmni

    grunty: I’ve seen some Hidamari Sketch, Tsukiyomi MOON PHASE, and Pani Poni Dash! too. Of course, Negima!? is the one that’s freshest on my mind, but if nothing else, this continues the PPD! tradition of blackboard writing.

  • July 7, 2007 at 5:37 pmXellos-_^

    “God, time traveler, and Pororoca alien”

    is someone trying to make a joke?

  • July 7, 2007 at 5:57 pmTENSAI OTAKU

    TOO MANY SHOWS AND I LOVE THEM ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!
    Thanks GOD all the crap animes are gone and replaced by REALLY NICE ONES!!
    Expect my PROFESSIONAL review for this animes here after E3 because watashi no tanoshi no jikan comes first!! :P

  • July 7, 2007 at 7:03 pmomo

    best show of the season if shaft can keep this up.

  • July 7, 2007 at 8:25 pmWeeFace

    it looks like the anime nicely follows along with the manga. cool. ^^!!

  • July 7, 2007 at 10:15 pmAurelia

    Reminds me of Ouran for some reason…

  • July 7, 2007 at 10:51 pmrashoova

    wasn’t it because the main chara (nozomu?) looks like Kyouya in Ouran? ^_^;

  • July 8, 2007 at 12:29 amLike MJ-chan

    I wanna see this so badly. w00t for Watanuki-sensei [xP, Jk]

  • July 8, 2007 at 3:29 amkeith

    Looks so good! i wish you could blog this

  • July 8, 2007 at 3:37 amkeith

    the ending…seems so much like suzumiya….too much

  • July 8, 2007 at 3:40 amkeith

    I keep listening to the opening and thinking…you know, this is probably going to be a great show!..i can tell rigtht away

  • July 8, 2007 at 10:12 amSailor Enlil

    Pororoca alien? What’s Pororoca in the first place? Never heard of a planet named as such that’s for sure. Wikipedia defines Pororoca as a kind of tidal wave that occurs at the Amazon River, though its original meaning (in an extinct ancient language) is something like “great destructive noise”.

  • July 8, 2007 at 1:13 pmHudson

  • July 8, 2007 at 5:56 pmkeith

    im waiting till the sub comes out..cant wait, it really looks like it will be good…i want u to blog itttt!..well, if its good.

  • July 9, 2007 at 12:53 amfoosh

    whats with the guys head for censoring? black dots arent good enough anymore? thats just weird~ i’m looking forward to the subs

  • July 12, 2007 at 1:44 amkeith

    uuuugh!! still waiting for subs..and i want to know what happends in epi. 2..mabye it gets way better..telling by the way ep. 1 ends

  • July 13, 2007 at 2:30 amRosen

    Just watched sub and its really funny.

  • July 13, 2007 at 5:33 amadenread

    loooks good. worth blogging

  • July 13, 2007 at 6:32 amYuri Rocks

    I couldn’t stop laughing, despite the morbidity of this show. I never thought a show that begins with an attempted suicide could possibly have comedic value. Oh well, the sub for afk is excellent. Hopefully more people will watch this one. Coincidentally, didn’t afk do Haruhi Suzumya?

  • July 13, 2007 at 7:22 amDee Jay

    The Boy who tries to commit sucide sounds alot like a “Misao Fujimura” who was a was a Japanese philosophy student who wrote a beautiful poem about industrialization at the age of 18, when taking his own life by jumping down the Kegon Falls, year 1903.

    The Same way the boy charachter in this anime talks about how everything is no industrialied and that the mountains are gonna be names after products and stuff….also when he mentions the word “despair” …both of which implicate that he a depiction of “Misao Fujimura” since he was also young before he commited suicide….look him up on wiki if u like …. not that anyone will take a interset in this but its pretty interesting

  • July 13, 2007 at 8:48 pmAshura

    Anyone who watched the raw should also watch the afk version; “Don’t worry, be happy …”

  • July 13, 2007 at 10:01 pmmer

    i just watched the sub..out of all shows, really..i cant belive you wont blog this one. This one really seems like it will be another suzumiya haruhi..the plot is something not seen in anime before, and seems like it will only be getting better!..

  • July 14, 2007 at 2:28 amIpsod

    I honestly don’t know if this show is worth blogging. I’m loving all of it so far, but.. if one blogs about it, there’s going to be some anal retentive anonymous people who will continue to rag on the art direction choices by Shinbo. I believe it is that kind of anime; the one you’re supposed to leave underground for others to discover. Not shove into other’s faces and say, “WATCH THIS NOW.”, despite one feeling like they’d do exactly that.

    I know I am trying to do that right now to my other friends.. but I don’t know if that kind of shoving is helpful for a series like this.

  • July 14, 2007 at 3:43 amXaero

    looks interesting… the torrent is out and subbed.. gonna leech now…
    http://www.mininova.org/search/?search=Sayonara+Zetsubou+Sensei

  • July 16, 2007 at 3:10 pmkyou

    I want you to take up after 2 episodes.
    I am very interesting

  • July 17, 2007 at 5:55 amLifeCarrier

    I really liked the first episode, great humor filled with sarcasm and irony, this kind of comedy feels somewhat refreshing I’d really like for this series to be blogged…

  • July 17, 2007 at 2:02 pmkyou

    A stupid animated cartoon and the slightly different artistry that a woman goes for in large quantities are high.
    I am very good.

  • July 17, 2007 at 10:36 pmeskEMO

    if you ask an emo like me i think mister despair is cool

  • July 19, 2007 at 1:56 amTakoon

    This is definitely going to be one of my favorite anime when more episodes come out. Right now I’m completely enthralled with it, but it needs to stand the test of time. ^ ~

  • July 22, 2007 at 7:52 pmYes

    Why is this show being compared to Haruhi Suzumiya? It’s nothing like it, at all.

  • July 28, 2007 at 1:31 amIEC

    Great first impression!! =D
    i have high hopes for this anime >

  • July 30, 2007 at 3:35 pmkeith

    this is turning out like the best show ever!! ashame ur not doing it…really

  • July 30, 2007 at 6:03 pmNeara

    @keith
    Agreed. This show has such an refreshing and entertaining style. Drawings, music and animation are all top-notch. And I must say, I never laughed harder at twentyfive minutes of japanese animation. Can’t understand why you won’t blog this either =(.

  • August 5, 2007 at 8:11 pmambiguous-joe-jane

    :D :D :D

    This show is SO funny. Sure, it may have some ecchi moments, but the humor is so so funny.

    it reminds me of ouran h.s. because he gets involved with the girls in his class one way or another and ouran….well haruhi basically snags most of the guys there.

    I’m watching it and it is loads of weird and random fun.
    Plus, the graphic style looks really really cool.

    :D :D :D

  • August 31, 2007 at 9:35 pmKevin

    I like this show, it was described as one that “takes all your typical character templates , messes it up, and throws it all in your face.” Or something like that, I dunno. The ending makes me think that there’ll be more of a plot later.

    If I were you I would at least read spoilers when it all ends. ;^^

    But I can see why you’re not following it though.

  • October 18, 2007 at 12:06 pmkittyfo

    give it another chance! i liked the second epidsode!

  • April 24, 2008 at 1:43 pmfran-sama

    well.. the OP of ep.1 has a diffrent video compared to the other episodes.. try watching the OP of ep.2 it has a diffrent video, and I must say “I really liked it”… try watching it on crunchyroll…

  • August 14, 2008 at 1:49 pmPaki

    Zetsuboushita! The fact that you have refused to blog this series has left me in despair!

    :(

  • September 23, 2008 at 2:50 pmKataxu

    I downloaded the first episode and it had that guy’s face censoring everything. I can’t even stand to watch the show with this butchery. Is there an uncensored version somewhere please? This show looks so fantastic, but I just can’t STAND censorship.

    ~Kataxu

  • June 5, 2009 at 11:15 amKami~sama

    DASUKI DESU WA!!!!! SUGOI SUGOI!!! Kyuuuu~! \(^o^)/ The best parody I have seen in months!!!!!!