Tag Archives: Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei

Bakemonogatari 11 – I’m in Despair!

Doom! Doom! Doom! Doom! I’m in despair! I’m in despair that this show is finally admitting of being a harem show!

Oh boy, Segoku’s the appearance in this episode really doesn’t serve any purpose at all. I mean, if you think it does then please tell me, but the way I see it, Sengoku Nadeko shows up to be a loli moe service blob and Araragi just acts out (almost) the desire that all Japanese school girl lovers need to express. Oh and don’t forget, Shinobu or whatever her real name is, stares at Senjogahara and Sengoku with jealous eyes but gazes at Araragi and Oshino with loving eyes!

Like a good young, innocent harem girl, Nadeko simply doesn’t seem to understand how close she is to be raeped by him.

Doom! Doom! Doom! Doom! I’m in despair! I’m in despair because the most interesting character isn’t showing up again!

Um…Senjogahara has to be the most interesting character in this show with her charming wit, whether you’re FASCINATED with her or not (I’m OK), but she isn’t here again. I think her seiyuu, Saito Chiwa, is sick and can perform. Unless the story calls SJgR to be absent and then come back to question all Araragi’s acts shared with all the other girls or calls her to act like Akari from To Heart one anime, I think something smells like cat’s poo here.

So. I was wrong about Tsubasa’s vast knowledge has something to do with a monster. We see a more serious problem – a problem that doesn’t seem to make sense at all to me – that her mom’s new husband and her dad’s new wife are her parents now. If that isn’t bad enough, they’re Japanese people in the harsh society they’re in. Or to put it precisely, the weight falls squarely on Tsubasa’s shoulders. She’s a child with potentially “problematic” family and God knows how many jeers and snickers she has heard from others? But she was inspired to be an excellent student and she probably worked her ass off while enduring stress from all directions.

However, the issue lies deep within her family. One smack on the face may be the indication that there has been many more abuses; or it may not. It is anime so take everything with a grain of salt. FYI, parents in Asia used to exert more physical punishments on their kids, at least in Taiwan, and most kids grew up OK. But in any case…

Hanekawa Tsubasa’s story happened before Senjogahara’s story, and you know, not too much unlike a certain murderous anime romance story, Tsubasa has been doing all she can to help Araragi and Senjogahara to be together and stay together. But as this is a harem show at the core – serious themes or not (harem shows can have very serious themes), you know that she likes Ararararagi’s too.

Her stressed had already exploded during Golden Week. But her headaches haven’t gone away.

Enjoy Hoc-chan’s performance, please.

Because there are so many cats, is it possible that the Cat monster hasn’t gone away for good?

Is this a real disease in her head?

Additional notes: imitating Gainax, this episode has some parts that purposely avoided having to animate character’s lips and other delicate parts. And because it’s imitating Gainax, some of those shots seem to be make sense but for any Evatard out there, as soon as you see those shots/scenes, you’ll begin to wonder.

Play your own version of the music when the hero getting the important item in a game like Zelda, Final Fantasy, etc during the scene where Araragi Koyomi gets the bloomer and Japanese school girl swimsuit for maximum fun~oh and if you have some girls’ intimate wear, please sniff and play with them for maximum humor!

Also, why explain in large texts that a flashback is a flashback? Are we stupid? No. As they say in writing, Show, don’t tell. Flashing texts and all just gets really annoying after a while. What the hell is the point? Because of the last episode, I have been in despair and I can’t trust them at all!

This is what I would love to see – all the bakemono fights over Arararararanenenenennyanyanyanyanonononononunununununyonyonyonyonyonenenenenegi Koyomi in a bakemono-death match in oil and jello! AWESOME! Get sumu get sumu get sumu!

Michael’s Official Winter 2008 Preview

So…what am I going to be watching next season? I’ve now done this exercise enough that I know the shows I often find interesting from the plot summaries are not necessarily the things I will actually blog about. But here’s what I find eye-catching for the moment. (Information taken primarily from hashihime’s brilliant and useful list. He serves the fan community very well.)

Continue reading Michael’s Official Winter 2008 Preview

Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (Goodbye, Mr. Despair)–First Impressions

The entire premise of the show in a nutshell.

I hope to be a teacher one day. I went to my present school because of my experiences teaching Sunday School to both kids and adults, and there are few things I find more satisfying in this life than seeing students engaged, asking questions, and watching insight, knowledge, and wisdom grow. I’m a sucker for good inspirational teacher stories, like Stand and Deliver, Dead Poets Society, and more relevantly for this forum, Gokusen. They all reflect the fantasy I have in my head about teaching.

So what happens when it is the teacher who needs teaching, especially about life and finding hope and meaning–even a reason to live? That’s what this new show, a very strong contender for this year’s Originality Award, is all about.

That’s one opinion.

Like the show this most resembles (though only slightly), Welcome to the NHK!, we are immediately introduced to a set of extreme characters. Dotty, Pollyannaish Kafuka (Kafka? an odd choice if it’s meant to suggest that author of paranoia) and the title character, the despairing and genuinely paranoid Nozomu Itoshiki, are paired off from the start as the show’s twin engines. The show continues the increasing trend in modern anime toward 4th wall breaking, postmodern aesthetics: virtually all the characters’ names are puns that reflect their personalities. Snide comments about the action appear on the blackboard. Different animation styles, apparent references to silent film, and seemingly random occurrences abound. In many ways this is far more deconstructive than parody-oriented shows like Hayate no Gotoku and even the shuffled-ordering of Haruhi Suzumiya, though in the end it’s in the service of a fairly standard plot (so far): teacher manages to inspire students to be better. Even if, so far, it is almost entirely by accident.

There is no more fundmental desire in life except this: I will to live. –Albert Schweitzer

And that’s the most notable thing I see about how the action plays out in the show: how entirely dependent it is on accident and unintentional consequences. Kafuka’s denial-based optimism, for instance, usually ends up having exactly the opposite effect of what she intends (trying to save Nozomu’s life usually ends up almost killing him instead)–and every time Nozomu intends to send gloom and despair to his students, he ends up inspiring them instead. This is, of course, all very funny. It’s the very definition of irony, which this shows has in spades. NHK seems tremendously earnest by comparison.

My guess is that this is one of those “the main characters save each other” kind of show, like NHK. Kafuka’s optimism is clearly based on outright wishful thinking and denial, not true hope. It will collapse soon, I think. Nozomu’s depression is based (so far) on paranoia. The other girls who are beginning to flock to Nozomu–the hikkikokmori, the obsessive stalker, the OCD neat freak–are like a sampler dish of psychological problems. Oddly enough, someone like Nozomu may be in the best position to help them. (Henri Nouwen, in his book The Wounded Healer, wrote about how a minister’s own wounds and hurts can be used to increase our identification with others who suffer, and that this is one of the most powerful means we have at our disposal.)

It’s like that scene in “The Seventh Seal” at the end…

That is, if he doesn’t kill himself first. Or they all end up killing each other. The final scene of episode 2 is a hilarious summation of how all kinds of troubled freaks and stalkers end up following Nozomu like a Pied Piper, and as Kafuka and the school counselor look on in bemusement I wonder if it’s a sign of things to come. Like it or not, Nozomu is stuck with all these troubled people who follow him, and for the time being, they are keeping him alive.

85% recommended for your anime diet. A high dosage of irony, postmodern comedy, and originality! It also has an unusually tasty soundtrack.

Note: I know the title literally translates as “Goodbye Despair Teacher,” but I prefer “Goodbye, Mr. Despair.” In American English, we address our teachers as “Mr.” or “Ms. So-and-so” in the same way students add “-sensei” in Japan, and moreover, “Goodbye Mr. Despair” echoes another great teacher story from the past, “Goodbye, Mr. Chips.” Plus it rings much nicer in English.

Question: who is this fellow? Whose face is blocking all the fan service?

Is this a trend that started with Hayate?