Friday, June 26, 2009
Overall Rating: A
Summary: Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei translates to "Goodbye, Mr. Despair" in English. Created by by Kōji Kumeta, the series is a shōnen slice-of-life series which follows Nozomu Itoshiki, a pessimistic high school teacher. At the beginning of the first volume we find Nozomu trying to hang himself on a sakura tree. He claims he is a worthless human being with no reason to live, and so he might as well die. However, before he dies, he is saved by the exceedingly optimistic Kafuka Fuura (almost killing him in the process). She claims it's impossible for him to die on such a beautiful day and in front of all the trees (who she gives strange names to like Pink Gabriel, Pink CEO, and Pink Devil).
Kafuka decides to name Nozomu Pink Supervisor, and offers him fifty yen to call him by the nickname, which only leads him further into despair. Nozomu flees to the school where he teaches, and begins his homeroom class, but discovers that Kafuka is in one of his students (SHOCK!) On top of that, every one of his students has a personality quirk or obsession, and the depressed teacher has to deal with them all.
I had no idea what to expect when I picked up Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei. I liked the cover art, and so I read the back cover. The premise of the book sounded interesting, so I started reading...and loved it. It's weird and quirky in all the right ways and a fun read. I recommend checking it out.