Why I don’t like Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei


…what is going on with my neck?

I usually don’t write about shows I downright dislike because I stay far, far away from them in the first place. This probably means that I’ve overlooked some shows I would’ve loved, but I don’t even have enough time to watch what I do now (Hello, backlog.), so it works out just fine.

The reason I’m writing about Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei is that it was supposed to be a series I’d love. It features the most pessimistic teacher on earth and kanji jokes. I was excited about it. Maybe I expected too much. Maybe I expected something completely different from what I should have known was coming. The point is that I looked forward to it only to find out that I kind of don’t like it much at all. I don’t hate it, and it’s certainly better than watching Speed Grapher, but I can think of many better things to do with my time.

As I continued watching due to some sick compulsion to finish what I start (unless the show is a complete abomination, like Cluster Edge), the reason became clear: the humor. The same kind that was in PaniPoni Dash. I don’t know where it comes from, but it seems to originate from the mix of Shinbo and SHAFT.

Whatever its source, I’m really sick and tired of it. There are a thousand things in the background you’re somehow supposed to keep track of and, worst of all, an everpresent attempt to be witty and random and off the wall. The little commercials, the appearances of the director’s head (Oh, how I loathe that stupid face by now!), the sporadic parodies, the inability to stop sneaking fanservice in the frame at least once an episode… I hate them.

I hate them because they’re not funny unless you’re the type that thinks making up ill-fiting and illogical combinations is hilarious. (Hint: The last time it was appropriate to be “the type” was in high school.) It’s on the same level as stating “_______(insert some normal item) OF DOOM” and then laughing hysterically because it’s just the funniest thing in the whole entire world. Again, fine in high school, but not when you’re an adult.

Compared to PaniPoni, the annoyance level is about the same. Whereas the former sported the most annoying yet sexualized brat ever, this has oh-so-nerve-grinding student-teacher innuendo that makes me want to turn off my laptop and never watch anime again.
(Yes, I know it’s a joke, but it’s still annoying.)

Note that this isn’t true for all of the show. The kanji jokes are funny. Some other jokes are funny. But a lot just isn’t, and I can’t stand it enough to enjoy the enjoyable parts. Sorry. I still have an entire episode to watch, too.

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2 Responses to Why I don’t like Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei

  1. dingsan says:

    “There are a thousand things in the background you’re somehow supposed to keep track of…”
    That’s what annoyed me about SZS as well. Especially with subtitles, the screen was just too cluttered. Also, a lot of the jokes were quite literally lost in translation.
    The artword was a first for me as well. It just wasn’t my style. However, I did sit through the entire first season.

  2. Susie Q says:

    Hmm I see where you’re coming from. I agree that it takes more concentration to watch, and occasional pausing to read/think, so I don’t watch SZS like I watch other shows (I usually like marathon watching). But I still like SZS b/c it’s interesting and the art is good (and funny- the stalker episode- a chain of stalkers! and the email girl), it’s just different than most other shows that are more “entertaining” with plot/suspense/romance.