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From Del Rey:
Nozomu Itoshiki is depressed. Very depressed. He’s certifiably suicidal, but he’s also the beloved schoolteacher of a class of unique students, each charming in her own way: The stalker. The shut-in. The obsessive-compulsive. The girl who comes to class every day with strange bruises. And Kafuka, the most optimistic girl in the world, who knows that every cloud has a silver lining. For all of them, it’s a special time, when the right teacher can have a lasting positive effect on their lives. But is that teacher Itoshiki, a.k.a. Zetsubou-sensei, who just wants to find the perfect place to die?
Note: Won the Kodansha Manga Award in the Shounen category in 2007.
さよなら絶望先生 Sayonara Monsieur Désespoir Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei: The Power of Negative Thinking
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Japanese Social and Literary History Through Satire Manga? Sweet!
I adore the stylized 1920s-esque art deco art! There are lots of silhouettes, solid shapes and simple lines, but it ends up being quite swirly, sophisticated, and expressive. So far, I've read the first three volumes put out by Del-Rey and they've done a serious attempt to convey some of the sharp satire that Kumeta-sensei's wicked wit delivers. I especially enjoyed the Japanese literary references explaining each chapter title. It was a challenging title to translate; I'm impressed. I was inspired to go off and researched quite a few of the references separately. It certainly isn't comprehensive, and it's from one man's perspective, but as far as introductions, it's a lot more approachable than a history tome of heavy, serious documentation.
As for the story, it isn't like anything I've read before. It isn't plot driven; it isn't character development driven. So does it appeal to my emotions? My sense of intrigue? Strangely, it is a very compelling read, and the characters, although mostly one-dimensional, all seem to thrive and glow as they make their humorous commentary on social issues.
So, if you love stylized art, Oscar-Wildean humour, and if you are interested in learning a little bit about Japanese social and literary history, pick it up!
... Last updated on June 9th, 2010, 8:53am
I've been in love with Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and Itoshiki-sensei since the scanlations first came out. The terrible hidden side of Japanese culture and mindset had left me feeling frustrated (in despair, one might say), especially how it was depicted in manga. SZS completely indulged my frustration by parodying absolutely everything in the entire country, from xenophobia to pedophilia to the suicide culture to even the panty fetishes. It's dark and inside-jokey and fantastic.
So when I saw the first two volumes for sale at my local giant chain bookstore, I was really excited. I bought them immediately and was almost as immediately disappointed. Del Rey decided not to translate the all-important background-text jokes to, as they say, "respect the artist's integrity." Then they decided to randomly choose a few of these jokes to explain in the end notes, namely the ones that had to do with Ichigo 100% and Death Note (I'm guessing they publish those). It was really a waste of money, knowing that the official translation is lazier than the scanlators that do it for free.
So if you have any taste for well-done satire and dark humor, please, read the scanlations. Buy a copy of the original Japanese if you feel like spending money. Don't buy the Del Rey translation.
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
So so funny! Really nice characters, and he art is likeable. I'm not really into shounen, but this is really good! Sensei's suicide attepmts are so funny to watch XD (ee, that's came out wierd..)
I disagree with the user below, akari_mizunashi, because the Del Rey translation is excellent and it would be too tedious and frustrating for the translator to translate all those meaningless signs. The translator does her best by translating the most meaningful ones, but mentions at the back of the book that most signs are just your average street signs or that the references are too obscure.
I appreciate that the author decided to include so many references, but I am not gonna start criticizing the translator for not including even the most obscure ones I'm not gonna understand anyways (and I certainly do not need the street signs translated, ugh!). At least she keeps the important ones.
After all this, I really do appreciate my Del Rey editions on my shelf because each and every one is a job well done. Picky fans can just bite the dust. The Del Rey print editions are superb.
The art work is very refreshing and simple. Very solid drawings that are beautifully made. The world is solid clear cut black and white because of the drawings and everything becomes seen as clear cut black and white. Each character is solidly themselves without and mixture of character.
:) hilariously twisted
At first I thought that this manga was really emo, (black, death..the depressed and suicidal) but after reading and watching the anime i realised that it was actually hilarious in its dark ways.
A very interesting pychological black comedy that 1. will either make you really depressed, (if you can compare yourself with itoshiki..or agree with his theories in life, and truthfully doesn't want to die while thinking of suicide..then that might mean you're emo ) 2. make you piss yourself laughing thanks to its randomly twisted and psychological jokes.
I'm surprised that itoshiki is a teacher..the way he can make his entire class depressed in just a few seconds is hilarious, except for the one and only fuura ^^. The main, funny circumstances that he gets himslef into is that many of his female students tend to fall for him thanks to his suicidal gestures/actions and his offerings as a suicide buddy lol.
The series depicts a lot about human nature and their twisted personalities haha. Definitely get high marks for its originality and the power to make it unexpected. ^^ If you want to read something new and totally random and unexpected, try this out!
... Last updated on July 21st, 2007, 8:17am
A classic manga of black comedy
Black comedy: A sub-genre which consists of satire and pokes fun at issues like death, suicide, rape, war, etc.
The clashing personalities of the "ultra-positive" student and the "ultra-negative" sensei turn otherwise ordinary situations into a series of extremely twisted jokes.
If you get depressed easily, you might want to give this a miss. However, if you enjoy unique humour and satire, then this manga is a perfect choice.
... Last updated on June 23rd, 2007, 7:02pm
i will kill myself!!
this manga/anime is so good! so good that i laughed till i peed in my pants. i have peedin my pant. *so embarcing thing to say front of public!, THATS IT!, I AM GONNA KILL MYSELF!*
Manga > Anime?
I love the anime, and just can't WAIT to read the manga For whoever hasn't seen the anime yet, it's hilarious. XD Though I'm sure the manga is funnier
well it's pretty funny manga- but it winds up seeming kinda preachy in places- this is one of the few instances where I actually prefer the anime (they anime has an awsome style and is really funny)