Before I go on, this is ONLY a review to the first season. When I watch the other seasons, I’ll most likely discuss it rather than review it.
This anime is different to any other slice-of-life comedy. I have never seen or heard of an anime like Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei. I discovered this anime from a Youtube reviewer, Glass Reflection, who I’ve mentioned in the past. He has recommended his viewers to some pretty fantastic anime. After checking out this anime’s fourth opening (I think), I was immediately hooked and shortly afterwards decided to check out the anime, leading us to my review.
Story & Characters
Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei is a slice-of-life anime so obviously it has no real plot but basically, our main character is a teacher named Nozomu Itoshiki who’s incredibly negative and suicidal. In the first scene we see Itoshiki trying to hang himself only to be saved by his student Kafuka Fuura who is overly positive and cheerful. At that point we follow the adventures of Itoshiki, Kafuka and the rest of his unusual students.
Zetsubou-Sensei (That’s what I call the anime for short) has a very dark sense of humor and often discusses the concept of death making this anime stand-out but also limiting its audience considering it relies on a different type of comedy compared to most animes in the same genre. Needless to say, I really did enjoy the humor, for the most part at least. The flaw this anime had was at some points in the anime it felt a little boring, not to mention the jokes did go on for a bit too long. When it came down to the characters, I loved each and every one of them. Each character gets an episode (or half an episode) dedicated to them allowing us to get to know them and fall in love with them. I especially really like the characters of both Itoshiki-sensei and Kafuka, Itoshiki-sensei’s pessimistic personality perfectly complimented Kafuka’s overly optimistic personality, providing some amazing humor to the anime that involve their interactions. Also I adore Chiri… there’s no reason to it, I just love her.
Grade (Story): B-
Grade (Characters): B+
Animations & Sound
The animations by Shaft is all very well done. The anime is always so dark and it’s tone is usually quite dull which is a good thing because it matches the anime perfectly. When it comes to character designs, my biggest problem was distinguishing the girls, considering most of them had similar hair styles, hair colors and looks, with the exception of a few like Komori, Maria and Kaere. Despite that, I do like the character designs, especially for Itoshiki-sensei, Chiri and Komori. I also need to discuss the anime’s art which is also incredibly weird, somewhat symbolic but overall fantastic. This anime has some of the best art I’ve seen in any anime.
The music is mostly great, the anime has some good OST, the ending is creepy but catchy and fitting to the anime and the first opening is really good though honestly it took some time for me to like it. Keep in mind this is limited to Season One, I will talk about Season Four’s opening (I think it’s Season 4). The anime is only in Japanese and the voice acting is great, Hiroshi Kamiya did an amazing job as Itoshiki and I also adore Ai Nonaka who performed the voice of Kafuka. Everyone else also did a great job so the voice acting is overall fantastic.
Grade (Animations): B-
Grade (Music): B
Grade (Voice Acting): B
I’m kind of looking back at this review and regretting not adding this to my previous top 10 list. Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei is not for everyone. The anime is quite dark with it’s comedy and once again discusses death very often. Also it is a slice-of-life series so it clearly has no plot whatsoever. However I personally enjoyed it, the anime’s funny, entertaining and memorable. From a personal perspective though I would give it a B- but from my critical perspective, this anime is B for anybody who loves dark comedy and slice-of-life anime.
What are your thoughts of Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei, as always, let me know? If you want me to review any anime, I’ll gladly do so. Hope you liked this review, I’ll be making another one or two for tomorrow. Till next time 🙂