Hein (fub) wrote,

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Finished series: Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei

We've finished watching Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei. My first episode review is here.

There's not much to say about it that hasn't been said in my review of the first episode. The main character is Nozomu the despairing teacher, and he get a very mixed cast of all-female students in his class. (There are males in his class too, but aside from a guy with a comb-over, they just don't register. Which is kinda weird.)
There's the always-positive girl who 'saves' him when he tries to hang him. There's the hikikomori. There's the shy girl who only mails with her cellphone. And so on.

Nozomu tries to make his students feel his despair too, but often he despairs about very minor things that would only elicit a shrug from others. But towards the end, it's not about Nozomu anymore -- it's more about the number of visual in-jokes the creators could cram into a single episode. Stuff written on the blackboard and things like that, that only appear for a fraction of a second. We weren't enthousiastic enough to frame-step through everything to see if we could spot the reference, but the fact that ANN has 122 trivia-entries on this series should tell you something.
Some of the things are pretty funny though, like the girl who has mean eyes, so everyone doesn't want to jump to conclusions and accuse her of being mean -- but she is mean and goes around kicking little puppies. But that, too, gets short-ended because the writers wanted to cram in another visual joke or reference that we didn't get.

Visually, the series is pretty lush, with lots of textures. There's not much action going on, so there's not much animation to look at -- though there are some mixed-media sequences that are pretty cool visually. The voice acting is where most of the work went into: very fast exchanges with snippy dialogue -- which probably referenced something else that you didn't know and so the whole joke kinda falls flat...

Good points:
- A set-up with lots of potential;
- Some really great comedic finds.
Bad points:
- Falls into the trap of joke-by-reference -- that only a huge nerd could catch.

It was fun enough, but by the end I was thoroughly done with it. You just stop paying attention to all the notes and references, and wonder where all the plot went. I'll give it a barely-passing grade of 5.5. Could have been much more.
Tags: anime, full review

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