June 6, 2008
Despair. I’m in it.
STORY – Story? What story? This is a slice-of-life series and it is based entirely around hilarious character shenanigans, though if you ever see characters like this in your life, I’d be a little worried. Still, there are a few reoccurring themes revolving around anime and otaku snark and satire of Japanese lifestyle, culture, politics, media, literature, etc. They also frequently make fun of themselves, which is incredibly amusing. It’s all amazingly well done and highly entertaining, I assure you. A bit of warning through, if you try and pause to read every single thing written in the background for scenes, you will turn 20 minute episodes into 40 minute episodes. <_<
CHARACTER – The real charm of SZS lies with its characters… and the characters are amazing. Really. They’re original, refreshing, very quirky, and very fun. I don’t think there’s a single character I didn’t like in this series. All of the students are nuts (except, debatably, “normal girl”), and all the adult characters are nuts (except maybe Chie-sensei). The obsessions and disorders they have all serve as satire and most are pretty over the top, which naturally multiples the amusement factor. There is very little depth or development beyond the hilarity, but this isn’t really that kind of series.
ARTWORK & ANIMATION – This stuff is top notch. The artstyle is original, aesthetically pleasing, and just fun to watch. The opening and ending themes employ a number of traditional Japanese themes, alluding to the various historical and literary references made and satirized throughout the series. At the same time, the themes are very modern and make it very clear just what kind of series SZS is. In retrospect, they remind me a bit of Samurai Champloo’s themes in that respect. The series also employs a quirky habit of interrupting itself a lot with remarks and comments, as well as some amusing self-censorship with the photo of a man’s face (presumably a staff member) as the censor mark.
MUSIC – All of the OP/ED themes for Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei are amazing. They are incredibly appropriate and fitting to the series and are highly entertaining as a result. Highly recommend!
VOICE ACTING – This series hasn’t been licensed yet as far as know, thus, only the sub is available. And the voices are all great. Each character’s voice is as distinctive and recognizable as they are, so it all works out!
OVERALL – This is probably the shortest review ever, but there really isn’t much to say about this series I don’t think. It’s short anyway (not counting the sequel, Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei). But yeah, it’s fun, amusing, highly entertaining, and definitely worth a watch. :D