And he's a classical depressive (DSM-IV: look it up) played up to twenty, just as all other other characters have a single defining trait played up to insane levels. See above.
The girls, one way or another, always have a way to in/directly harm him. Plus he's based off of a character from Osamu Dazai's "No Longer Human". The protagonist has power, money and women and still isn't satisfied about his life.
Plus it has been revealed he doesn't want to kill himself. He trains his neck, and only his neck, at the gym to avoid being hanged, his tape to cover his mouth and nose has air holes, and so forth.
Itoshiki definitely also has good reasons to be depressed, although he never voices them out: practically no social life not related either to work, or to a control-freak family that wants him to marry anyone, but have no power over the person or the place, not to mention that the only people of the opposite sex he attracts are underage lunatics and psychos. That would depress anyone.
Strictly speaking, they aren't underage. The age of consent in Japan is 13 (!) years old, 16 for marriage except where parental consent is obtained. Which Itoshiki-sensei has in-advance from at least one of his psychotic teen admirers. Considering his family's wealth and social/political power, parental consent is practically a given anyways. Part of his (substantial) anxiety in relating to his female students is issues of propriety and expectation (he is under pressure from all quarters to take a wife, something he can't escape from even in a position of hierarchical authority aka as a teacher). The legality of such a liaison is probably one of the few things Itoshiki isn't in despair over... then again, maybe he could despair over not having the issue of legality to hide behind?
Regardless, a teacher involving himself with his students is heavily frowned upon in Japan. And they are still insane, to say the least.
Granted, the world of SZS is pretty much insane minus Nami. This is a show where incidental and one-off characters are more insane than some of the main cast.
If Rin was so adamant about marrying into another family to change her surname, then why the hell did she object when Ikkyu wanted to marry her? They both get what they want — he gets an "old" name, she gets a new name, it's win-win!
No, she'd have kept her own name. Hence her objections.
Ikkyu doesn't have a last name so that means Ikkyu has to adopt the Itoshiki name. Rin will still have "Zetsurin" which she's trying to get rid of.
Ikkyu probably has a last name we aren't told of, but in Japan it's traditional for a man to take his wife's last name, if his family is less prestigious than hers. In practice Rin has to marry someone above her social status to get rid of her name, and that's not an easy feat, considering how high in the social ladder her family seems to be.
Why is Itoshiki afraid of the school counselor's evil eye when he's already attempting to kill himself in her office. What more could she do to him?
Is it just me (I suspect you'll probably say it is) but does anyone think this show could become much better if it stopped being a Gag Series? I'm not saying it has to stop being a comedy, certainly not, and I'm not saying they have to toss in a bunch of Tear Jerker moments, but if they stopped keeping the cast one-dimensional for parody's sake and fleshed them out a bit and perhaps took things seriously once in a while, well maybe we'd have something here. Around when it first started South Park was a total Gag Series, but then its creators moved on and deepened the show, and it improved a lot because of this, and I, personally, I'm not asking anyone to agree with me, think Studio Shaft in general should follow their example. Well, that's my rant done with.
This troper thinks exactly the same thing! The humor is great, but there could possibley be something else.
I normally wouldn't agree where gag shows are concerned, but this one could work. The first episode's opening sequence (where Nozomu and Fuuka first meet) is so gorgeous that I wish they'd do more semi-serious material like it.
I wouldn't mind SZS doing more social commentary, although I don't want it to fall into the trap of dropping anvils on the jokes and crushing them like more recent episodes of South Park have.
Er, nobody's asking SZS to do more social commentary, in fact we're asking the series to be more like it's very first episode.
Anyway, I suppose that non-Japanese viewers don't understand at least half of the social commentary. And for me, as a non-Japanese viewer, it already is plenty.
Well, you could say that Shaft has given the people what they want. It's called Bakemonogatari and if the Bangaichi sendoff cards are any indication, worked pretty damn well. SZS actually being serious and sensible would ruin the charm, as messing with the funny too much might just make it depressing if you think about it. Because nothing says SHAFT comedy anime like crippling mental illnesses and neuroses!
Naw. You can go to a bunch of other shows for high school Character Development. But this show has found an enjoyable formula and tampering with it would take away what makes this show special.
I support this complaint if only because such a development would mean the series would eventually end. While I do enjoy the series, there's only so much of the gags one can take before it gets repetitive. So, I don't know, some Character Development that DOESN'T sacrifice the Black Comedy?
I would propose heavier focus on those one-shot settings, where the characters take on various roles while retaining their personality, like those murder drama sequences or HAMASHO arcs or whatever. It would allow to break off the monotony of the school setting and flesh out the characters, while still maintaining the insanity. Basically, I'm putting forward the notion of Zetsubou Animaniacs.
You know what I love to see? A Zetsubou spinoff where's it's a lot more plot based and is done mockumentary style a la Arrested Development or The Office. And a live-action movie starring Stephen Chow as Nozomu Itoshiki.
Speaking of which, why exactly do all the class, save maybe one or two, have to be, how does the main article put it, 'maniacs, psychos and misfits'? Don't say Rule of Funny, because think about it, you could actually get a decent amount of humor, development and mileage out of a bunch of typical, everyday students reacting to a suicidally depressed teacher, or inverting things a completely normal, well-adjusted teacher having to deal with a class of 'maniacs, psychos and misfits'.
Because doing both is funnier.
No it isn't, you're missing the point. Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei is a character-driven comedy. A lot more development, and a lot more potential for humor, could occur if a typical teacher/ students had to deal with an insane teacher/ students, to provide comedic foil, which you don't have if neither side is the Straight Man.
No (s)he isn't. Rather than having a single straight man, the role switches from character to character based on the situation, and therefore allowing for a wider variety of humor. So yes, it is funnier.
The point of the series does not lie on its maniacs, psychos and misfits. It certainly is not about Itoshiki wanting to kill himself or a bunch of crazy students. The show relies more on parody and criticism to patterns in modern-day society. Bear in mind that other than the few introductions to characters and their eccentricities, the show discusses more about real-life cases like "how media would glorify everything" and "mob mentality", etc. Ergo, it's more of "how these characters would react to these real life tropes" rather than "how would they interact with each other".
We finally get the answer. Said misfits are drawn to the class because they shared their posthumous graduation goal. Nozomu seems to have something to do with them in the same class too.
Why does everybody on this site think that Kafuka is some kind of insane psycho maniac? Chiri may be (is), and even Abiru acts like one. And sure, Kafuka may be THE TINIEST BIT delusional. But Kafuka has shown no signs of being dangerous. It's like, "Oh my goodness, the girl's an optimist! She'll snap and kill us all!"
Have you not seen the cell phone episode? Or the ending to the spa episode? or her creepy lyrics at the beginning of season 2? It's not pronounced, but her insanity is there.
That. There is ALL evidence that she's an insane psycho maniac. She also looks happy and relaxed at the school burning down at one point. Besides, if she was all of this without the optimism, it would just signal a psychopath. With the optimism, she's creepier and even more insane.
Don't forget how she dresses up as a college student to stalk Itoshiki, and that scene with a knife in her hand. Chiri can only hope to look that psycho, some day.
Okay, so maybe Kafuka has four or five obvious "psycho" moments in the entire series (none of which I actually remember). ALL of the characters have those EXCEPT FOR NAMI, and actually a lot of them are like this by default (which was played to the extreme when the entire class all teamed up and beat down the guards to bust Itoshiki-sensei out of prison), and Kafuka probably doesn't have any more than anyone else. It's like a meme that Kafuka gets pinned as the one, out of all the messed-up students in the class, who will kill everyone else just because she's also a Pollyanna. CHIRI, however, has homicidal-moments in EVERY EPISODE. Also, what highschool student WOULDN'T be happy to see her school burn down? That's normal!
The thing about Kafuka is that she acts almost, but not quite like a sane, balanced human being. She sits in a psycological Uncanny Valley of sorts, that makes her creepier than the obviously insane Chiri.
First: I really hope that when you said, "That's normal!", you actually meant: "It's normal to fantasize about your school burning!" and not actually that it's normal for a student to be happy when their school ACTUALLY burns down. I mean, dude. Second: as the above anon said, a hidden yet still very present case of psychopathy is creepier than the obvious psychopathy the other students exhibit. The destruction caused by the other girls is known to everyone because they react instinctively to perceived slights. Kafuka, on the other hand, has her college-student role, for example, which is a clear case of precise planning and manipulation. She's the psychopath you learn/read/hear about, the one no one can distinguish from any other civilian because they're too smart to be found. This is why she's creepier.
I'd agree with the above, with the caveat that Chiri's flanderization kind of bugs me in that at the start of the show, Kafuka was clearly the really dangerous one, but Chiri is just so insane by the end that it's hard to be as worried about Kafuka snapping (maybe she'll kill everyone one day, but Chiri can and has now).
That's just it. By the end of the series, Chiri has plummeted over the edge, while Kafuka sinks somewhat into the background, showing up to turn whatever the characters are complaining about around into a good thing. Proving that Chiri is by far the more maniacal of the two. I dunno. I'm probably a horrible judge of character.
This probably proves that Kafuka is much more dangerous than Chiri.
It might be Chiri; she seems to show up a lot more compared to the other girls, barring Kafuka, who's more of a main character to begin with.
Mayo fits the bill from a trope worthy POV, for a character who was only featured in one part of one episode, only to revert to a mere voiceless background charater afterwards, she sure shows up as an example in a lot of tropes.
How does Kiri move from school to Itoshiki's house, being such a hikikomori?
There are hints that she's not so much a hikikomori as she is extremely agoraphobic; she quite happily interacts with other people (unlike a typical hikikomori), but always carries that blanket around so she always has a small, closed-in space to retreat to. Plus she's always hiding in a small space here or there, quite content. Plus, in Season 1 Episode 7: "I don't like it outside!" She probably worked up the nerve to go between Nozomu's home and the school just to follow Nozomu around (and, later on, to be with Chie (school) and Majiru (home)).
According to an episode in season 3, Nozomu actually lives on school property (he mentions that he can't legally do that which is why he's listed as living with his sister), so Kiri would technically not have to leave the school to get to his house.
My personal theory is that she got the number of the moving company who brought her to Nozomu's family home in the first season and uses them whenever she wants to move about. Also, in the episode where Chiri tries being a ditz, there's an Easter Egg where Kiri is shown walking outside in a "blink-and-you-miss-it" moment.
Why does Kenji Ohtsuki sing all the (primary) openings? Hiroshi Kamiya is actually a fairly good singer, and the male singer is meant to be Nozomu, supposedly.
Kamiya finally gets to with the new Zan ending. Pity the song itself is mediocre...
To me it just seems that Ohtsuki can capture the insanity going on really well. And considering the insanity levels, that's pretty hard.
In what way does Itoshiki resemble Yozo from No Longer Human? From what I've read and watched, apart from depression and coming from a rich family, they barely have anything in common.
That's pretty much it really. You know what the ironic thing is? Yozo only contemplated hanging and never got around to doing it.
I've only read a few chapters, but is Kiri Komori an orphan or something? She seems to be the only one who was driven out of the house when they boarded it up and filled it with creepy dolls...
No she's not, her father appears in the anime. Also they only boarded up her room. If anyone's the orphan it's Kafuka.
I heard her father's home burned down eventually, after she left. I suspect Kafuka.
I just thought of something, what would it be like if Itoshiki found the Headscratchers page?
If he is reading this, I'll have this message for him: Shut the hell up already!
* dramatic black & white take from 4 different angles* "I am in despair! People complaining about my show have left me in despair!"
The English title is Goodbye, Mr Despair, due to it being a Shout Out to Goodbye, Mr Chips. So why do people keep calling it So Long, Mr Despair or Farewell, Mr Despair?
Likely because they don't know about the title it's based off.
I've thought about this, and, even knowing the reference, So Long, Mr. Despair feels funnier to me. (I haven't seen much of Farewell, Mr. Despair, which doesn't work at all.) Goodbye, Mr. Despair keeps the reference, but sounds like a failed pun - the two-syllable "Despair" doesn't sound enough like "Chips" to work. On the other hand, "So Long, Mr. Despair!" strengthens a comic double meaning, since it makes this sound like a show about getting over depression. "Goodbye, Old Man Trouble! So long, Mr. Despair!"
Regarding farewell, it's because that't the correct translation of sayonara.
Indeed. 'Sayonara' is a long-term valediction- you don't expect to see the person again, or not for a long time, much like 'so long' or 'farewell'. 'Goodbye' can be short-term or long-term.
Is Kafuka suicidal? Because in one episode she had bandage on her right wrist.
I'm no psychologist, but from what I've read most people who self-injure aren't suicidal, so the bandage would actually be evidence that she isn't suicidal.
A bandage doesn't prove anything but that she hurt her arm: Kafuka might have tried to slit her wrists, be masochistic or have a particularly nasty mosquito bite. (And that logic is a bit flawed, most people aren't suicidal in general, but some still do it...)
She has taken the form of Abiru in this episode.
I'm relatively new to the series and am only at episode 1 of the second season, but this has always really confused me about the show. What, exactly, is the continuity of the show? I mean, the first episode of the second season introduces him as Kafuka's class' new teacher? Wait...what? Didn't they already know him from the first season? Also, how is it that he had a [massive surgery in episode 11 and then by episode 12 he suddenly got better? I don't get it at all.
There is no continuity. Each episode.. actually about every 5 minutes is an entirely self contained story.
At the beginning, at least, there's a sort of continuity as Nozomu gets to know the students. Season 2 episode 1 is actually near the beginning of the timeline. They just used that episode in the second season for whatever reason.
What's with Kafuka so Out of Focus lately? The stories now seem to consist of Nozomu and Chiri, with Kafuka appearing near the end to make the story seem less cruel and more positive. Chiri is essentially taking her place in the story.
In the anime there are lots of texts that are on screen for less than one second and I compulsively want to read them, but they disappear so quickly even pausing is difficult, not to mention some of them are either unsubbed or the subs are so tiny I can't read them anyway and am left in dispair.
In episode 6 Nozomu is avoiding eye contact with everyone due to the nature of the marriage ritual(eye contact means the two have to get married). why doesn't he just close his eyes?
Its just that it goes against the rules and probably Tokito will find a way to open his eyes anyway.
What kind of musical styles are the opening and ending themes? Because I would love to find similar music.
The endings sound more like Cabaret music (Zetsubou Restaurant, Omamori and Koiji Romanesque) but its not a particular genre as far I know.
If Kafuka is a ghost and all the main girls are her host, why does she get jealous of them when it involves the teacher? I mean she can possess them at any time and pretty much "wins" as far as his affections goes. Which is why this Troper finds her jealousy confusing.
Kafuka its not a ghost that posses people, but instead its a shared conscience that takes over one girl in particular. Thus, if one girl is jealous about another girl having the attention of sensei, the Kafuka she plays will be so.
Who was Kafuka in control of when she first met Nozomu? How did he even recognize her as Kafuka? He had never met Kafuka or any other of the girls that day because it was his first day teaching. And for that matter, how does he recognize Kafuka AT ALL? He doesn't have any of her organs, and again, he'd never seen her before, but it becomes evident by the end that he can definitely see Kafuka as herself whenever she's controlling someone.
Nozomu met Kafuka when he was in high school and she was in kindergarten. The still idealistic Nozomu found Kafuka got lost in her school trip and tried to help her, but Kafuka being Kafuka, she proceed to make his life hell and turned her into the despairing Nozomu we knew. And once again not long before the start of the series, with Nozomu chasing after her flying hat, just before she got hit by a car. While the "Nozomu recognized Kafuka without having her organ" part, it was implied that he stalked her remains and gathered her host into the class 2-He.
The first appearance of Rin Itoshiki in any given episode is always her looking over her shoulder. Why does she do that? Sure it's not because we should be reminded of her petite buttocks... Is it a cultural thing or reference?