Abiru is not polychrome.Her pale, bandage covered eye is blind, and her brown eye may be from Kafuka.. Abiru is known for playing with tigers and dangerous animals like this, so she could be scratched.
After 'The House Of The Girl With Glasses', Itoshiki-sensei can cheer up.His despair-inducing squeezing glasses were stolen by ghosts when he forgot to write sutras on them; he should be able to think positive thoughts now.
Kafuka writes the series.To wit: Mostof the more normal stories — Itoshiki-sensei's trips into town with the girls to find things to despair about; most of the classroom stuff — actually happened, while the more surrealistic episodes are stories that Kafuka makes up to poke fun at and to entertain her class, Itoshiki-sensei and herself. It explains why she's always around, and it even help explain the single-trait characterization and Flanderization of the girls and Itoshiki-sensei — it'd be damn hard to display your friends' full range of emotional depth in a verbal story, so Kafuka simplifies them. The connection with her name, particularly that it's explicitly called a "pen name", also makes sense.
Itoshiki is in Hell.The world portrayed in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei is very similar to Hell as shown in Johnny the Homicidal Maniac - just like Earth, but a bit weirder, and everybody is constantly driven to despair by minor annoyances. This means that Itoshiki died by suicide in the first episode for a crime which made him a target of Light Yagami. Light set Itoshiki's death to some time after the end of his natural lifespan, which is why he was able to survive a death note-induced heart attack - the reason he didn't die is that he was already dead.
World only exists in the mind of one characterIn this tropers opinion, the world in SZS only exist in the mind of one of the characters, mainly Itoshiki's. He has been driven mad by so much despairing he thinks he is a teacher in a class of misfits when really he is in a psychiatric ward and he is locked in a strange delusion in his own mind. Alternatively, it could be all in the mind of Kafuka and she is the one in the ward...
Kafuka is schizophrenicThis troper believes that "Kafuka Fuura" is juts a personality created by the girl to be able to cope with her tragic past. It is actually mentioned in the series that Kafuka is not her real name. In response to Kimura having developed split personalities from trying to adapt to Japanese and whatever-the-country-she-lived-in culture, she mentions having done a similar thing in order to fit in after moving to another part of the country, but she mentions creating two personalities in addition to her own. Maybe one of those is her true self, and she created the eternally cheerful Kafuka so she wouldn't have to deal with her father and mother trying to kill themselves and all the other nasty stuff that happened to her. Her traumatised real persona occasionally surfaces, explaining her yandere-moments and the fact she's seemingly unaware that she's thinking about killing he other students in one episode(as that was her true persona thinking).
The high school is actually a juvenile insane asylum.Almost every student in the school suffers from some kind of certifiable psychosis. They were all deemed too dangerous to have around regular students and teachers, so they've been sent to an institution for mentally ill teenagers. The only exception is Nami, who commited herself to the asylum to prove that she isn't normal.
Kafuka is actually Nozomu's daughterThink about it. She claims her father kept trying to "make himself taller". Nozomu keeps trying to do that as well. They may say he is only 23 but people lie about their age all the time (And for that matter how can someone become a teach at that age given his level of expertise. In the few times he is teaching he seems awfully knowledgeable...) It could be he has, from a previous suicide attempt, damaged his memory enough that he no longer recalls his original identity, age or family and has made up this new identity out of trauma and possibly to avoid the debt collectors? Also it would explain his aversion to Kafuka and Kafuka's constant attraction to him. She is also such a polar opposite to Nozomu there is no way it can be conincidental...or is this just me rambling on now?
How the series will endThe story will end in a simple way. Kafuka will finally snap and just kill everyone and then kill herself. The only survivor will be Itoshiki who will promptly try to kill himself, and fail again.
Mayo is related to(possibly the sister of) Ryuji from ToradoraBoth have "evil" eyes. Both of them know people who don't see them as evil. Both of them are never seen together with their father. When you also add in the fact that SZS is referenced in Toradora...
Itoshiki doesn't actually want to die.While circumstanial evidence that Despair-sensei has shown up from time to time it wasn't until Episode 1 of Goku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei when his sister Rin outed him by revealing that he trains his neck at the gym so his neck wouldn't break when he hung himself.
Ishitoki has Mytho's 'despair' heart shardAnd once it's removed, the series will become very boring.
Itoshiki is L in the afterlife.Based on the scene where Itoshiki collapses and sees Light's face exactly as L did. Ryuk said there's no heaven or hell in the Death Note world, so this is probably some strange place with no clear evil/good alignment, just a person's self delusions and fantasies coming to life.
Itoshiki is a distant relative/alternate universe version of Bernard Black from Black Books.Just look at them.
Itoshiki is Pandora's Box in human form.Most versions of the myth say that Hope was trapped in the box. But if you think about it, if unleashing the evils from the box is what allows them to be experienced, wouldn't you want Hope to escape? This Troper once read a version saying that what was trapped in the box was, in fact, "Despair." Were Despair to escape, humanity would be deprived of hope. Thus we come to my Wild Mass Guess, which suggests that, through some form of magic or another, Itoshiki is, in fact, the human form of Pandora's Box, which holds back the bulk of the world's Despair.
Kafuka is an alien come to destroy humanity.This might not count since the writers seem to be pushing this half the time, but really - the rather obvious "change of landing destination" from the "soft landing" episode, her blatantly fake name, her communciation with the planet Pororokka at the end of episode 4, her latent desire to kill... hey, if Ford Prefect could mistake a car name for a perfectly inconspicuous human name, who's to say Kafuka couldn't mistake a fictional horror movie for a perfectly believable and not in any way abnormal story about what could happen to anyone's family member?
Itoshiki is immortal.That's why he doesn't die when he hangs himself. It also explains that scene where they're about to bury him and he just comes back to life.
Kafka is observing either Itoshiki or the class as a whole.We know Kafka is a pen name. She has a college student alternative persona. Either she skipped ahead or is older than she looks, but the college student is her real self. She is observing everyone for a book.
Kafuka and Nozomu are meant to balance each other outThink about it. Nozomu seems like a depressive teacher who wants to die, but really is just an eccentric and harmless death fetishist. Kafuka on the other hand seems very optimistic and harmless, but may very well be a yandere that will kill everyone. The two balance each other and creates a dynamic that keeps each other in check and actually gets things done. Of course, this is not necessarily a good thing.
Nami's quirk is being obsessive about not having a quirk.Or she's a Time Lord. Having two hearts isn't very normal.
In a future chapter:
Kafuka's parents really did think that trying to make themselves taller would make everything better.But their unsuccessful attempts at making themselves taller left them in despair, which made them suicidal.
Mr. Despair is a Waste-Lock/Flusher
Taro Maria Sekiutsu is only about 10-13 years old.
Kafuka is another Suzumiya Haruhi-person.Think about it. Her list of
Itoshiki is actually Straight GayWhich is why he is completely impervious to the various girls' advances. And his deep despair actually has only one cause — Gayngst.
Itoshiki is the author of the book of EcclesiastesSeriously, go read it, there is no other explanation; This Troper, for one, cannot read it without imagining it in his voice.
Maria is the Great-Great-Great-Great Grandmother of Ed from Cowboy Bebop.Speaks for itself, really.
Itoshiki is a grown up Shinji after he halucinated the events of Neon Genesis Evangelion
This entire show is because Despair of the Endless got bored.Hey, if Dream and Death can make a guy immortal based on a whim...
NozomuxDespair.He's in love with despair. He's with one of his students because, besides the fact that, you know, he's not allowed, but because...he's in a committed relationship with Despair!
Kafuka will grow up to be Asami from AuditionBecause they are so much alike. You could consider Kafuka's "college student persona" as the first draft of the Asami identity. Presumably, Kafuka picked up some tricks from Chiri.
Kou from Arakawa Under The Bridge and Izaya from Durarara are members of the Itoshiki family.That they have different names can be explained by the Itoshiki family's power- they were able to ensure that the characters were given pseudonyms. Kou could easily be the Itoshiki who is Majiru's father and was disinherited and abandoned him. Presumably, he had a falling out with his father and decided to live under the bridge permanently. As for Izaya, his parents go for weird naming, which is in line with the Itoshiki's- I figure he's either an illegitimate relation or perhaps the child of Nozomu and Kafuka- he sounds like Nozomu and has Kafuka's love of mischief. Finally, while both characters look different than Nozomu, this is a product of the art style; they actually probably look a lot like him.
Kafuka actually has a normal family life.Think about it. Maybe not "normal," but not as dark as we think. Her parents might be as optimistic as her and may be teaching her to be the same. Maybe she's just making the bad stuff up. Maybe she's exaggerating. This could be an instance of the "Abiru's abusive dad" rumour.
Kafuka is actually a Magnificent Bitch who has been secretely trying to kill everyone since the show began.It's mostly suggested that she's a Stepford Smiler who will eventually snap and kill everyone, but if you look at her track record, she's done a pretty good job of trying to kill people anyway. Every time she tries to "help" it ends up getting worse; Season 1 alone has several moments were she either nearly kills someone or scares them shitless. In truth, she actually delights in seeing suffering and death, and hides behind a sunny disposition to keep anyone from noticing. This is also why she's taken such an interest in Nozomu. Every time she counters one of his class discussions, it tends to go badly for him and leaves him in despair. The first ending focuses a lot on her as well, and particularly her relationship with Nozomu, but these aren't images of her snapping; they're of her mind in the moment, and her various plots of maim and torture using the best weapon she has; love and happiness. She's a psychopath who literally knows how to "kill 'em with kindness".
Matoi is actually an Empty Shell.Her defining personality trait is supposedly Stalker with a Crush, but seriously, since when is that a unique trait in this series? She's actually a "personality leech" who drains away the outlook of her latest victim to compensate for not having a worldview of her own.
Kafuka is a Reality Warper.Her overly optimistic and/or bizarre takes on reality have been shown to come true. For instance, Kiri (somehow) ultimately did turn out to be a zashki-warashi. Also, Kafuka's refusal to believe Nozomu was trying to kill himself has been borne out. It's ultimately revealed that he deliberately sabotages his suicide attempts so that he won't die (i.e. training his neck muscles), and is really more of an Attention Whore. Moreover, since Kafuka met him that day, it seems that nothing can kill him. Battle Royale. While Nozomu and the class are unaware of this, they were actually selected as part of a Government Conspiracy to train agents that will help free Japan from its "peacetime boke" (see that episode with Maria) and allow it to Take Over the World. The project is funded by Nozomu's father, who is both one of the wealthiest people in Japan and a member of Parliament. The cast's skills are as follows:
Nozomu Itoshiki is The Very Hungry CaterpillarHe already ate his way through a red apple. Now, he's in this pear.
Kafuka is a Kira(tl;dr warning) Sometime before the show started,Kafuka received a Death Note in a manner similar to Light and also decided to rid the world of 'undesirables'. She killed her parents first(Have we actually seen her parents,other than in flashbacks?) and came up with the college student persona so she'd have a someone to place the blame on if she ever got caught. A couple months in,she met Itoshiki, whom she fell in love with. She writes in her Death Note that he'll kill himself after she dies to make sure that he wouldn't leave her(which explains why he doesn't die in situations that would kill a normal man,why she's never worried about him committing suicide and why he's chasing after her in the first ED). She enrolls in his class to be close to him,only to find that the entire class is filled with 'undesirables'(with five exceptions,but I'll get to that). Realizing that she can't kill them all or risk being caught,she comes up with outlandish excuses for their psychosis,so that she doesn't feel like she's failing herself(hence her declaration of 'How could a ____ like that exist so close to me?!' a.k.a. There's no way I'd allow something like that to go unpunished!). She never gives out her real name and tries her best to creep the other students out,hoping that they'll move away so their deaths will be harder to trace back to her. Every mention of 'pororoca' is a reference to Shinigami so that her five subordinates will know what she's talking about and when she wrote 'God' on her career hopes survey she was admitting that she's trying to become 'God of the New World'. Her five subordinates are the only other people she feels she can trust in her school: Chiri Kitsu:The Second Kira. They have similar goals,Chiri will do anything to see that the world is in perfect order and she was born with a shinigami eye.(It's also why the two of them hang out so much,even though they seem to have nothing in common and why Kafuka never makes excuses for Chiri's behavior.) Jun Kudo:His love of stories led him to help Kafuka and Chiri complete their goal(He wants to be able to tell their story once they create the new world). He reads the news paper to find out about other 'undesirables' that Kafuka may have missed and as far as we know he doesn't have any psychosis. Chie Arai:The Third Kira. She has shinigami eyes(hence everyone's fear of her stare) and seems to have a superiority complex(she and Kafuka also hang out a lot). Nami Hito:In one of Nami's flash backs,there's a girl named An who calls her normal or ordinary,if the theory that Kafuka's real name is 'An Akagi; is correct then that girl is most likely Kafuka(The girl even looks like her). Perhaps Kafuka started the whole 'normal' teasing(the way she goes on about it,it seems like something that's followed her around) and has roped her into helping by promising that there will be no 'ordinary or normal' people in the new world. Because she's so normal,people probably don't look twice when she starts snooping around and digging up dirt about them... Maria:Even though she's an illegal immigrant,Kafuka can't bring herself to kill her and much like Nami,she's being used for recon.(She seems to have the same creepy thing going on that Kafuka does) Abiru Kobushi and Kagero Usui are the only ones who notice something is up,the former will soon die in an animal 'accident' and no one even sees the latter(and he'll probably kill himself after Abiru dies anyway),leaving Kafuka undefeated.
Nozomu Sensei isn't trying to hang himself to die, he's just experimenting with auto-erotic asphyxiation.
Nozomu is a ghost who is the embodiement of all of the despair in the world.
Some of the characters are inspired by PeanutsThe series has made some direct references to Peanuts, and this makes a surprisingly large amount of sense:
Kafuka is related to Ayumu Kasuga.
Itoshiki is Erebus sealed into a human form.The reason that he's constantly in despair and trying to die is because he's host to humanity's collective death urge. However, his own human will wants to live, so he constantly resists Erebus' desire to reach for death.
If Studio Shaft does decide to animate the last few volumes now that the manga is coming to an end...There will be at least one Puella Magi Madoka Magica reference / plug per episode, just like Haruhi in Lucky Star (especially with Kafuka and Kyoko sharing a VA).
Kanako Oura is The Stoner.Maybe she should convince Chiri to try some of her stash.
Nozomu wrote Puella Magi Madoka Magica, at least in the Zetsu-verse.Leave it to him to come up with such a nihilistic, depressing series. However, the fact that the title character never gave up hope despite the torture she goes through shows that even he still has some spark of idealism left in him...hence why he's always unsuccessful at suicide, and why he hasn't been attempting it much lately.
Kumeta, SHAFT and Kenji Ohtsuki were in on the ending togetherSo much of the nonsense in the intros and outros foreshadow the ending. The lyrics make way too much sense in context. If Kumeta told them the entire plot twist and they kept mum about it for that many years, they might qualify for God-tier trolls.
Kafuka was deliberately killed. With all her talk about how her father always been chased by debt collector, then that one passing mention about the life insurance her father got for her suddenly takes a darker turn. Kafuka might also knew this and let herself to be run over by her father, but not before filling out as donor so even after death, she still can be useful.
Kafuka is the reincarnation of Madoka Kaname. She reemerged in another universe/dimension/whatever as a girl possessed by pure optimism. Wanting to contribute to a more positive society, when she eventually came of age as Akagi An, she signed up as an organ donor. Her inevitable reciprocal curse was to be hit by that car.
Conversely, Madoka Kaname was Kafuka'sreincarnation.
Gen Urobuchi and Kouji Kumeta know each other, and Madoka Magica was meant as sort of a spoiler to the ending of SZS.Let's see, there's a superoptimistic girl who is basically now removed from existence. She posthumously managed to save a bunch of suicidally depressed girls and their suicidally depressed teacher. And now, "as long as you remember her, you are not alone..."
I'm in despair! The revelation that trees suffer from epilepsy has left me in despair!