Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei is a twisted, funny, anime about a class full of weird students with a matching teacher, the titular Mr. Despair. Interestingly, every single character has a Punny Name referring to the character's personalities. And there are a lot of characters.
The Itoshiki FamilyThe Itoshiki family is a powerful clan dominating over their native Kuraizawa, Shinshuu Prefecture (a No Communities Were Harmed version of Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture), whose name (糸色) can be compressed to read as 絶 — "zetsu" ("beyond") — which often serves to undo the specific meaning of each member's names... thus one can re-interpret "Itoshiki Household" (糸色家) as 絶家 — "zekke" ("extinct family").
Itoshiki Nozomu (糸色 望)
Voiced by: Hiroshi Kamiya
- Apathetic Teacher: The only time he's not apathetic towards his students is when he rants at length about his latest excuses to commit suicide.
- Attention Whore: Apparently the motivation for every outrageous action he does.
- Better to Die than Be Killed: Nonfatal comedic version. Although he often attempts to commit suicide very often, the times he actually gets closest to death are when someone else gets involved, mainly Kafuka, to stop his attempt and thus the second catchphrase makes sense with this in mind.
- Catchphrase: Most common is..."I'm in despair! (Subject of Nozomu's rant) has left me in despair!!!"
"What if I had died?!"
- Chewing the Scenery: Nozomu's rants. Most tend to ignore it.Nozomu: I'm going to hang myself.Chiri: Go ahead, see if I care.*Chiri sees Matoi also about to hang herself*Chiri: You need not do as he does.
- Christmas Cake: A male example. His family is constantly trying to marry him off before his 25th birthday.
- Clueless Chick Magnet: All he does is rant about whatever is currently bothering him, somehow attracting the attention of almost all of his female students in the process. Even after he's earned their attention, he almost never seems to realize their feelings for him.
- Death Seeker: Averted - for all his suicidal ravings, he's not that serious about his suicide threats, especially if someone else (mostly Kafuka) almost gets him Killed Off for Real.
- Despair Event Horizon: He passes it at the drop of a hat, to the point where announcing he has is his Catchphrase.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Several male characters show an interest in him, primarily Jun.
- Eyes Always Averted: At one point, he believes he can escape arranged marriage by eye contact, as he is a master of avoiding eye contact. Probably counts as the neurological or psychological disorder variant.
- Flat "What": His standard reaction to Kafuka's improbable explanations.
- Hot-Blooded: Of the negative variant.
- Hot Teacher: Which may explain the legion of female (and one male) students falling for him.
- Hot for Student: Only for Kafuka, although it turns out that he married everyone of his students instead and that Kafuka was Dead All Along.
- Ironic Name: "Nozomu" means "to hope", which is exactly what he is not doing.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: A snarky, apathetic teacher he may be, who is also prone to breakdowns and occasionally dying (and coming back to life), but nevertheless he shows genuine concern for his students — well, some of them, anyways.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: On the other hand, he couldn't care less about his "secondary students", which is played for laughs.
- Large Ham: A family trait, though he probably tops his siblings.
- Limited Wardrobe: Always wears a kimono and hakama: even when not in his usual clothing it is generally something retro and Japanese. Sometimes subverted, however — as his students found out, he wears casual western clothing in his native Kuraizawa.
- Motive Rant: Ruthlessly parodied, as he rants every episode about his latest reason to commit suicide.
- Mr. Fanservice: A parody. He's a Reluctant Fanservice Guy, and apparently, every character attracted to him (there are a few) sees him as a different stereotype or archetype, mostly because the class's ideas of what is generally considered attractive are cobbled together from shoujo anime and badly written manga. It is occasionally played straight, though.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: Survived every threat on his life, self-inflicted or otherwise — he was hanged, stabbed, bludgeoned, exposed to carbon-monoxide poisoning, got ran over by a runaway streetcar, attempted to drown himself (or drink himself to death) in a bowl of Dom Perignon, overdosed on OTC medications, and even had his name written on the Death Note. Even when he does die, it doesn't ever stick, much to his consternation. Incidentally, popping out of his coffin at his own funeral to tell everybody to stop blaming themselves for his death inadvertently spared him (and Matoi) the inconvenience of having to survive cremation.
- Not Distracted by the Sexy: In one chapter of the manga, Nami does a very deliberate Panty Shot in order to get his attention. He doesn't care.
- Oblivious to Love: Despite all of his female students having massive crushes on him, he's barely aware of their feelings at all. It seems to be more of a case of him just not caring rather than actually not understanding it.
- Only Sane Man: At the end of the day, and in stark contrast to most of his students, Nozomu is actually a sane, rational man whose pessimistic streak stems mostly from his high school days as an accidental member of the "Negative Club".
- Plague of Good Fortune: His legion of admirers from both sexes.
- Punny Name: His name, written horizontally and compressed, can be read as 絶望 — "zetsubou" ("despair"), befitting his nature. Meanwhile, "itoshiki-sensei" (his title as a teacher) can be read as 愛しき先生, meaning "beloved teacher", which seems to allude to all the girls in his class who are attracted to him.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Kafuka's red.
- Stockholm Syndrome: How he got his negative streak, by accidentally signing up for the "Negative Club" back in his high school days.
- Unwanted Harem: The few times he recognizes his harem, he's clearly more annoyed by it than anything.
Itoshiki Rin (糸色 倫)
Voiced by: Akiko Yajima
Youngest of the five Itoshiki siblings (and the only female), an ikebana master with a major complex towards the Alternate Character Reading of her own name. She eventually becomes a student in 2-He, under the tutelage of her immediate older brother Nozomu.
- Berserk Button: Spell out "zetsurin" and she will scream for a katana in no time.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Rin will often do generous things for the purpose of laughing at people, such as giving golden tickets to virgin nerds with no girlfriends to give them chocolate.
- Hime Cut: With a slightly wavy hair from below the shoulders onward.
- Large Ham: A family trait.
- The Maiden Name Debate: She badly wants to get married in order to lose her maiden surname and consequentially her sexually-suggestive nickname. Unfortunately there's a Japanese custom that if the bride is of a wealthy clan (the Itoshiki family is one such clan) the groom can opt to adopt his wife's surname instead, and one of her suitors, Nozomu's "old friend" Ikkyu, is all too happy to be part of the centuries-old clan.Nozomu: You'd better give up, Rin. Father will find this far too entertaining. He won't wanna put a stop to it.
- Ojou: She fits both the traditional (style of dress, an ikebana master) and snobby (enters Nozomu's school just to feel what it's like being a commoner, buys off all surrounding property and evicting their residents) variants.
- Outnumbered Sibling: The youngest of the Itoshiki siblings, and the only girl.
- Punny Name: Her name, written horizontally and compressed, can be read as 絶倫 — "zetsurin" ("peerless"), which at first glance refers to her expertise at many skills (which involves her getting random odd jobs out of nowhere), but is also (much to her ire) a slang for sexual prowess.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: One segment has her buying the entire neighborhood she lives in, so she can move around without fear of Chiri checking on her every hour.
Itoshiki Majiru (糸色 交)
Voiced by: Akiko Yajima
Only son of Enishi, (missing) eldest brother of the Itoshiki siblings, who lives with his youngest uncle, Nozomu.
- Adorably Precocious Child
- Break the Cutie: Played for Laughs as a Running Gag — he is very easily (and frequently) traumatized by Nozomu's students' antics.
- Free-Range Children: Is pretty much this thanks to Parental Abandonment. There's references in the manga to the girls in the class taking turns raising him, but other than that, he's pretty much on his own, as Nozomu isn't really parent material.
- Innocent Prodigy: Comes across as more mature and down-to-earth than his uncle, but can also act in a way fitting his age. There's also some situations that might be either this or Ping-Pong Naïveté, like having a crush on a net idol and commenting on her breasts, while also thinking that storks deliver babies.
- Limited Wardrobe: Just like his uncle, he frequently wears a kimono and hakama.
- Meet Cute: With Meru, while she's running away from a pedophile who just kidnapped her.
- Mouthy Kid: Has some shades of this.
- Parental Abandonment: Which explains why he has to live with Nozomu.
- Precocious Crush: Hinted at, with his relationship to Kiri.
- Pretty Freeloader: A rare male variant, to his uncle Nozomu.
- Punny Name: His name, written horizontally and compressed, can be read as 絶交 — "zekkou" ("breach in a relationship"), hinting to his broken family and having to stay with his youngest uncle.
- Tsurime Eyes
- Uncanny Family Resemblance: He looks like a young Nozomu.
Itoshiki Mikoto(糸色 命)
Voiced by: Hiroshi Kamiya
Third of the Itoshiki siblings, Nozomu's immediate older brother, and a doctor running his own private clinic.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette
- Headdesk: His head repeatedly meets the wall every time his nickname "Dr. Death" gets mentioned.
- Hospital Hottie
- Large Ham: A family trait, though less so than his siblings.
- Mr. Exposition: Share this status with Chie-sensei in the last chapters, explaining the circumstance of Kafuka's Hive Mind in class 2-He and Nozomu's reason for persisting in his efforts to teach the misfits. Doubles as Secret Keeper.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: According to him, the embarrassing Alternate Character Reading of his own name — "death" — is what's keeping most prospective patients away from his clinic.
- Only Sane Man: He's probably the most composed and rational of his siblings... apart from his hatred of his nickname.
- Punny Name: His name, written horizontally and compressed, can be read as 絶命 — "zetsumei" ("death") — not a good name for someone of his profession, especially if nicknamed "Zetsumei-sensei" ("Dr. Death").
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome
- Uncanny Family Resemblance: With Nozomu — no wonder Kafuka was confused when she saw him for the first time. Sharing the same voice actor also reinforces this.
Itoshiki Kei (糸色 景)
Voiced by: Takehito Koyasu
Second of the Itoshiki siblings (older brother to Mikoto, Nozomu and Rin) and a surrealist artist.
- Cloudcuckoolander: He is even married to the stain on the wall of his house.
- Large Ham: A family trait.
- Mad Artist: Sort of.
- Punny Name: His name, written horizontally and compressed, can be read as 絶景 — "zekkei" ("superb scenery"), although his works are not so much superb as they are utterly weird.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Give him a hair cut and a shave and he's a slightly older Nozomu.
Itoshiki Enishi(糸色 縁)The unseen older brother of Kei, Mikoto, Nozomu and Rin, as well as Majiru's father.
- Disappeared Dad
- The Ghost: He's mentioned several times, and actually left a note in one chapter, which read "I searched everywhere, and couldn't find you guys." He finally appears and meets up with his family in the last volume.Majiru: Dad was here?!
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: Yet, he appears in the final volume.
- Hidden in Plain Sight: He was actually Nozomus own devil-masked body-double all along.
- Irony: He was previously a divorce lawyer, but is now a marriage counsellor... albeit for posthumous couples.
- Noodle Incident: His name means "Disinherited", after all, and we never got to see what caused that. Even after he appears in the final volume.
- Papa Wolf: He once beat up every other contestant to be Santa Claus of the Year, so that he caould deliver a gift to Majiru.
- Punny Name: His name, written horizontally and compressed, becomes 絶縁 — "zetsuen" ("disinherited") — which may hint at his whereabouts.
- Uncanny Family Resemblance: It's stated that he resembles Nozomu. His appearance in the last volume finally lets us see this.
Voiced by: Youji Ueda
The Itoshikis' family butler, although he is mostly seen in Rin's presence.
- Happiness in Slavery: Due to some crazy mix up, it turns out that Tokita is the true heir of the Itoshiki family and the family are actually his servants. He uses his new prestige to order the servants to revert back to the status quo because he likes being a butler.
- High-Class Glass
- It Amused Me: Admitted to this when asked if the insane Arranged Marriage proceedings he put Nozomu through are just for his pleasure.
- The Jeeves
Itoshiki Hiroshi (糸色 大)The Itoshiki siblings' father and a member of the Diet, the Japanese Congress.
- Genre Savvy: Implied when Nozomu tried to talk Rin out of her desperate attempts to get married away from the family and from her maiden name with an embarrassing Alternate Character Reading, saying their father won't stop having fun with making Punny Names.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen
- It Amused Me: The reason why he named his children with all those Punny Name.
- Posthumous Character: Implied. Unless they're talking about another Hiroshi.
- Punny Name: His name, compressed and read horizontally, can be read as 絶大 — "zetsudai" ("immense").
- The Patriarch
Itoshiki Tae (糸色 妙)The Itoshiki siblings' mother and a cookbook author.
Class 2-HeNozomu's high school homeroom class. The "He" (へ in Hiragana) signifies that it is the sixth second-year section based on the iroha order (in modern nomenclatures this would be called Class 2-6 or 2-F). The class is said to have 32 students, though so far only 23 have been named.
All students in this folder are in Nozomu's class unless otherwise noted. Nozomu's younger sister Rin is also a student in this class.
Fuura Kafuka (風浦 可符香) [Pen Name] An Akagi
Voiced by: Ai Nonaka
The creepily optimistic main female lead, who often gives an extremely implausible positive side to anything Nozomu is currently ranting on.
- A God Am I: Subtle, but it exists. Her goal in life is to be a God (her other goal is to be an alien). There's also an instance where she practically psychologically tortures and brainwashesnote Nozomu, Nami (who turns out to have a quite large ego herself), and several others into thinking that she's a Goddess. In the end of the manga, she's succeeded. In a way...
- Ambiguously Evil: Is she fully aware of her... "actions" and her status as a Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant, or is she just an innocent girl? The ending doesn't really shed any light on this. On the one hand, she saved the entire main cast from death and continues to prevent them from committing suicide while at the same time brainwashing them into a hive mind.
- Ax-Crazy: More than Chiri. Yes, more than Chiri.
- Bare Your Midriff: While all of the girls (and a few male characters) get this because of the costume designs, this happens to Kafuka a lot.
- Beware the Nice Ones:*Meru stares through Kafuka's eyes*
Meru (monologue): This girl's scary!
- Beware the Silly Ones
- Body Surf: Her spirit has been alternately possessing different students from the class since the beginning of the series. Only the recipients of Kafuka's organs or blood can see her; the rest will only see her host acting out of character.
- Catchphrase:"How could (subject of Nozomu's rant) be possible? It's just (highly implausible theory)!"
- Cloudcuckoolander: Believes that, one day, the Pororocoaians will descent upon the Earth, among many other things.
- The Cloudcuckoolander Was Right: When she and Itoshiki are trying to lure Komori Kiri out of her home, Kafuka remarks that she must be a ghost that lives in buildings and brings it and its inhabitants good luck. When she is eventually coaxed out of the house, it's later revealed that it collapsed and killed her father in the process. Later, the very same thing happened to the school after Komori left it.
- Corrupt the Cutie: As the series went on, her psychotic tendencies and violent outbursts became more frequent and extreme.
- Cute and Psycho: While she's fairly stable right now, her classmates and friends fear the day she snaps and murders the entire class, which they predict isn't too long away.
- Dead All Along: In the second to last chapter it's revealed that she died long ago and donated her organs which made their way to all the other girls in the class. This means that she was able to possess each girl and every time we saw her it was just one of the other girls and the other girls saw her as Kafuka. In the episode that introduces Meru it was Abiru hence why she had a bandage on her arm. And in the last chapter of the manga, when she is seen on a wedding dress it was actually Kudou hence why she had green eyes and a cross necklace. Yes, it's been foreshadowed from the beginning—including in the anime OPs.
- Dark and Troubled Past: For starters, she was forced to kill her mother when she became possessed.
- Deadly Euphemism: Champion of it.You're not trying to hang yourself — you're just trying to grow taller!
- Disappeared Dad: Her father, who took out life insurance on her and threw her in front of a moving car, is nowhere to be found, and is implied to have fled the country.
- Dissonant Serenity
- First Girl Wins: Well, sort of. She's the ONLY one that Nozomu loves (at least in the manga, which is expressly stated to be just one of many possible endings) after all. From his perspective, he's always been married to her.
- Foil: To Nozomu, who is outwardly suicidal and depressed about everything, but is actually pretty normal underneath it all. Meanwhile, Kafuka is all smiles all the time, when actually...
- Foreshadowing: To her death. Rewatching the series with the fact that Kafuka has been dead for a long time makes it very evident that Kumeta was planning the ending for a long time.
- Hair Decorations
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Her schizophrenic father tried to commit suicide and/or kill her several times before, and her mother was once possessed by an evil spirit. Whom she had to kill by beating her to death with a cross. Among other horrible things, she has a fiance - and it's implied it was a forced marriage arranged by her one dead parent and other schizophrenic parent. It's implied that her father took out a huge insurance on her, and then threw her directly in front of a moving car.
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: Played with; it's implied she's doing it intentionally, just because she can, or to get Nozomu's attention.
- Insane Troll Logic: All the time. It's both pants-wettingly disturbing and freaking adorable. Like how if she fed herself to a lion, she'd become God, even though Buddhism has no God, and Shintoism has multiple Gods, meaning there is no "God". Or how one day, when all is beautiful and peaceful on a summer's day, the Pororocoians shall descent upon the Earth.
- Ironic Nickname: Played straight and subverted. Her pen name, "Kafuka Fuura", comes from Franz Kafka, the author of Metamorphosis, her favorite story. One morning, when Kafuka Fuura woke up, she had become Kobushi Abiru, Kitsu Chiri, Matoi Tsunetsuki...
- Kill the Cutie: She's actually been dead for a very long time. The problem is that nobody's noticed.
- The Lost Lenore: To Nozomu since despite being the only one he was romantically in love with, she died before the series even begins. Thankfully all of his children resembles her via her possessing all the students he actually married.
- Meaningful Rename: There's a reason for Kafuka's pen name. The girls who received her organs, and thus were possessed by her because of this, only knew that their donor was "a teen from the Tokyo area". This is why their collective consciousness, being unable to accept the impersonality of this, gave her a name after the author of Kafuka's favorite story: The Metamorphosis.One morning, when Kafuka Fuura woke up, she had become...
- Miko: Is one when volunteering at her local Shinto shrine. She herself is a syncretic Buddhist/Shintoist, like many Japanese people.
- Ms. Fanservice: An energetic, adorable young woman in a skirt that's only mostly magic? You don't say.
- Named After Somebody Famous: Her (pen) name sounds similar to Franz Kafka. Also, speculation has it that her real name, based on several hints throughout the series, is "An Akagi", referring to Anne of Green Gables, whose Japanese name is "Akage no An".
- The Nicknamer: Once called Nozomu "Momoiro Kakaricho" ("Pink Superintendent"), after she caught him trying to hang himself on a sakura tree.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Once drew a very detailed picture of a very detailed car accident and often says highly disturbing things - usually accidentally - that frightens her classmates. In several scenes, it becomes glaringly apparent that all of her classmates - including the musclebound illegal immigrant, Knife Nut Control Freak and The Big Girl - are all incredibly afraid of her, and they all fear the day she loses her mind and kills each and every single one of them.
- Nice Girl: Despite the madness that happens around her, a world that has lost its mind, and her one true love offing himself every other weekend, she is still optimistic, and is good at gathering people for a cause. After she died and being able now to possess her classmates, she activated some sort of genetic code in the blood and organs she left, stopping them from killing themselves. As Chie puts it, "She's like a mother to the entire class."
- Obfuscating Stupidity: At first, she looks like The Ditz with a few Cloudcuckoolander qualities mixed in. In reality, she uses this to cover up her Dark and Troubled Past.
- Panty Shot: She's normally got a Magic Skirt, but this is used in a few gags.
- Paper Talisman: Is also a syncretic Buddhist/Shintoist, and believes that if she feeds herself to a lion, she'll become Buddha. Or that's the mental disturbance talking.
- The Pollyanna: Taken Up to Eleven. She's still cheerful and optimistic even after death.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Nozomu's blue.
- She's Got Legs: Does she ever.
- Shipper on Deck: Kafuka actually ships virtually the entire female half of the class (or at least the 12 main girls) with Nozomu, even though she also wants him too. Makes sense considering all of them are actually her host bodies as revealed in the final three chapters.
- The only time she ever got jealous ("MILF's in schoolgirl uniforms are lame!") at all was when Nozomu was smitten by the twenty-something (and extremely curvaceous) Chie wearing a high school uniform which was apparently a tight fit for her. Makes sense in that Chie, being clearly older, is probably not one of the donee-recipients of Kafuka's blood and/or organs, and thus not one of Kafuka's host bodies.
- Someone To Remember Her By: A female example. While her friends eventually forget that she ever existed, she has numerous children who look exactly like her, and are just as optimistic and friendly.
- Stepford Smiler: This gets bigger and bigger every episode, to the point where it seems like Kafuka is always on the verge of a complete and utter breakdown. She is. By the end, she's basically a walking smile hiding an all-consuming void of agony, and it's hilarious.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Ridiculously so. She even provides the page image.
- Word Salad Lyrics: Every song she sings has random and nonsensical lyrics. Her image song is not an exception, although it's probably meant to reflect her personality.
Kitsu Chiri (木津 千里)
Voiced by: Marina Inoue
The utterly obsessive-compulsive de facto Class Representative of Class 2-He, who believes in doing things properly, to the point of murder.
- The Ace
- A-Cup Angst
- Ax-Crazy Serial Killer: Whenever her Berserk Button gets pushed.
- Berserk Button: Anything extremely out of order and/or beyond her control.
- Class Representative: Acting, in lieu of (the frequently-invisible) Kagero Usui.
- Do Wrong, Right: Almost a personal philosophy. Chiri often seems annoyed by something, if only because it's not being done "properly".
- Control Freak: Now cranked up to murderous heights! In one incident, Kafuka challenged her and other girls to a "Schrodinger's Wife" dilemma, to see who Nozomu would pick. Chiri tries to force herself onto Nozomu, much to the guy's distress. Later that day, she starts having paranoid thoughts that people may be badmouthing her behind her back, and decides to turn Class 2-He into a "class in potentia".
- Cross-Popping Veins: Usually at the very center of her forehead.
- Cute Clumsy Girl: She tries to be one at one point. It ended with the school on fire and Itoshiki in the hospital from a Crash-Into Hello stabbing.
- Expy: She basically inherited parts of Umi's deranged behavior.
- The Friend Nobody Likes
- Game Face: She's usually pretty cute, but when she turns into a gonk, people die !
- Knife Nut
- Neat Freak
- Panty Shot: Still not as frequent as Kaere, but recent strips show her in a slight upskirt with striped panties.
- Punny Name: Four alternate readings, to be exact. Her full name (in Japanese order) can be read as きっちり — "kicchiri" ("precise"), referring to her Super OCD. Her given name can be compressed to form the first kanji of 埋める — "umeru" ("to bury"), which explains her spade, or used as the first two kanji for 千里眼 — "senrigan" ("clairvoyance"), explaining her Third Eye. Finally, her given name can be an onomatopeia, "chirichiri" ("frizzy"), as her hair is actually frizzy, and she has to frequently iron it out to give it a perfectly straight look.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: In the last few chapters of the manga, she's inexplicably in a gorgeous dress and looks like she just gained two cup sizes, and she's got a cute smile planted on her face.
- Shotgun Wedding: Insists on this to Nozomu after accidentally sleeping together in a clinic bed (though it is Chiri herself who rolls through the curtains into Nozomu's side).
- Sibling Yin-Yang: With the extremely messy Tane.
- Spring Cleaning Fever: She even goes to other people's houses to clean and throw out questionable items, even if the owner of the house wanted to keep them.
- Sociopathic Hero
- Straight Edge Evil
- Super OCD: And how!
- Supporting Leader: But expect everything she leads quickly turns violent one way or another.
- Terrible Artist: One segment shows her with bad drawing skills. Ironically, her voice actress is a good artist who even has her own Pixiv page.
- The B Grade: Subverted; it seems like she's annoyed when she gets four 5s and a 4, but she'd rather get five grade 4s than have them unequal.
- The Determinator: Up to Eleven. Among other things, she once singlehandedly saved Earth from an alien invasion when transformed into a giantess. Lampshaded in that an Alternate Universe version of her is a Magical Girl.
- Third Eye: Occasionally reveals one.
- Tsurime Eyes: Occasionally sports these.◊
- Victoria's Secret Compartment: Her bra (which is a few cups too large for her actual bust size) serves as this, concealing her throwing knives.
- Weapon of Choice: Primarily, a spade; sometimes, a bunch of throwing knives.
Kobushi Abiru (小節 あびる)
Voiced by: Yuko Goto
A student who's frequently wrapped in bandages. Contrary to in-series popular belief, she is not a victim of domestic violence; rather, her injuries are caused by irate animals victimized by her tail fetish.
- Animals Hate Her: She's hated by all animals and is constantly being beaten up by them. Because of the Rule of Funny, she's loved by the animals she cares for at the zoo.
- Attention Whore: Once admitted to wearing her bandages even when not injured, just for the sake of attention.
- Bandage Babe: Lampshaded by Meru in her introduction, the latter saying that "bandage girls are no longer popular".
- Bestiality Is Depraved: The revelation that she pesters animals into abusing her is considered almost as bad as the alleged parental abuse that she suffers.
- The Big Girl: She often has to restrain Chiri during her violent outbursts, has Boobs of Steel, and is much taller than most of her classmates.
- Boobs-and-Butt Pose: Here and there.
- Collector of the Strange: Her collection of mounted animal tails.
- Covert Pervert: Up to Eleven. She turns out to be a massive sadomasochist, so she enrages animals at the zoo to beat her up. In other words, she has zoomasochism. It's played for both laughs and Squick. Mostly laughs.
- Cut Himself Shaving: Subverted — she's frequently thought to be a victim of domestic violence; in reality, her injuries are caused by animals whose tails she pulls.
- Dark and Troubled Past: She attempted to kill herself by launching herself off of a balcony before the series started.
- Deadpan Snarker: Very much so. She always has a bored, nondescript expression on her face, and although she drops in and out of focus - as is expected with a cast this large, even if she usually is in focus - she has many a good snark. Her first - and establishing - is when Kotonon says she's never been called fat before in her life, Abiru's only response is, "Really, never?".
- Duality Motif: Her green left eye (a result of a corneal transplant), which is frequently covered by an eye patch; the other is brown. In one chapter in Volume 8, she indicates that it was transplanted from a victim of a car accident, and even claims she can see the last thing the donor saw — the license plate of the killer car. The eye happens to be from one An Akagi who is better known as Fuura Kafuka. She also sees the other girls as Kafuka through her transplanted eye, foreshadowing the reveal that Kafuka is possessing the girls in Nozomu's class.
- Emotionless Girl: Except whenever talking about animal tails or alone with Nozomu.
- Fetish: Animal tails. She even has a part-time job at the zoo just to indulge her obsession, and frequently gets injured by irate animals whose tails she loves to pull. She even has walls full of mounted animal tails.
- She'll also occasionally use her bandages in bondage-y scenarios, often with Nozomu on the receiving end.
- Inscrutable Oriental
- The Klutz: Somehow. She's poor at athletics.
- Ms. Fanservice: This overlaps with her Bandage Babe status. Out of the entire cast, she is usually the most "shown off". She also shows a very minor example of Hartman Hips. Her bandages do not help.
- Punny Name: Her name is derived from 拳[を]浴びる — "kobushi (wo) abiru" ("to bathe in fists"), referring to her injuries.
- Rei Ayanami Expy: Downplayed. In a deliberate Shout-Out, she has the same bandages Rei does in the first episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion, is an Emotionless Girl, and is supposedly abused by a father figure, but doesn't show the more existential aspects.
- The Stoic: She doesn't have much of an emotional range to her voice, and is more than happy to blend into the background...
- When She Smiles
Komori Kiri (小森 霧)
Voiced by: Asuka Tanii
A hikikomori accidentally scared out of her home by Nozomu and Kafuka; she has since become a resident at school and eventually a caretaker figure for Nozomu and Majiru.
- Bi the Way: Has a rather suggestive relationship with her teacher, Chie. She raises no objections, even if the focus of her affections are then moved to Majiru, it's heavily implied that her and Chie's exploits are still happening.
- The Caretaker: For Nozomu and Majiru.
- Catchphrase: "Don't open it."
- Cool Big Sis: To Majiru.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Tried to kill herself by overdosing on an entire bottle of pills before the series starts.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Due to being inside 99% of the time, she's always barefoot.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette
- Hikikomori: It seems her aversion to the outside world is a conscious choice; when she got cornered by Nozomu and Kafuka to attend school and when she sleepwalks, she can go outside. Though she wants to go to many places, including the sea and the meadow, she will never actually go outside as long as she has a say in it. She seems to have Agoraphobia—fear not of social interaction, but of open space itself.
- Hot for Teacher: Once to Chie, always to Nozomu.
- I Take Offense to That Last One!: Call her a shut-in, call her a house fairy, and she only notes it for a moment before dismisses it. But call her a NEET, and she will protest. After all, she has a job as a freelance computer programmer; never mistake a shut-in to a NEET just because she never goes out.
- Improbable Weapon User: Uses a TV.
- Ms. Fanservice: Sometimes seen semi-clad. The manga volumes even have pictures of her in varying states of undress.
- Punny Name: Her name in Japanese order can be read as 籠もりきり — "komorikiri" ("recluse") and, in Western order, even sounds like "hikikomori".
- The Rival: Since she and Matoi spend the most time around Nozomu, the two have the biggest rivalry for his affections.
- Running Gag: She frequently appears in the least expected of places.
- Security Blanket: She's rarely seen without one.
Tsunetsuki Matoi (常月 まとい)
Voiced by: Asami Sanada
A notorious stalker who fell in love with Nozomu and has since been following him and even emulating his dress code.
- Deadpan Snarker: Not as much as Abiru, but she has a quite dry wit even toward Nozomu, as shown when he brought a lot of TVs that were shoddily made with reasoning that quantity is better than quality.Matoi: No matter how many you make, shitty TVs are still shitty.
- Hot for Teacher: The feeling isn't reciprocated, of course, but still.
- Improbable Weapon User: Uses a 'Utility Pole'.
- Limited Wardrobe: Depending on her current crush; currently she wears a kimono to emulate Nozomu.
- Memetic Molester: Done intentionally.
- No Sense of Personal Space: Follows him into the bathroom, and stands right behind him while he pees. One of many similar situations.
- Phrase CatcherNozomu: You've been here?!
Matoi: Yes. Always.
- Punny Name: Her name is derived from 常[に]付き纏い — "tsune (ni) tsukimatoi" ("always dangling after").
- Stalker Shrine: Her room is surrounded with nothing but Nozomu's pictures.
- Stalker with a Crush
- Stalking Is Funny If It Is Female After Male: And male after female. This is Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei.
- Stalking Is Love
- Stealth Hi/Bye
- Unsound Effect: Audibly gazes at Nozomu at all times."Jii..." ("Stare...")
Hito Nami (日塔 奈美)
Voiced by: Ryoko Shintani
Unlike the other girls, Nami is perfectly plain and normal...other than a long stint of playing truant, but then she showed up to school and lost even that bit of uniqueness.note Ever since, she has been playing the Straight Man whether she likes it or not.
- Butt-Monkey: Due to being the "normal" girl in the group. Treated as this mostly by Chiri or Abiru.
- Catchphrase:"Don't say 'normal'!""Sensei, you've said too much again!" (Whenever Nozomu's rants portend disastrous consequences, such as Chiri going Ax-Crazy again.)
- Demoted to Extra: Before the series even began; according to the character page on The Other Wiki, she was originally intended as the female lead.
- Everyone Owns A Mac: She's a patron of Apple electronics; during the series' run they were a bit of a niche product, meaning she's probably just making another ultimately futile attempt at looking special.
- The Generic Girl: Much to her distress. So generic that in Bangaichi even real-life movie subtitle writer Todana Tsuko, (in)famous for her absurdly liberal translations of foreign films, had nothing special at all to say about Nami.Tsuko: 'Normal' is good enough for normal!
Nami: Don't say 'normal'!
- Hollywood Pudgy: In-universe, as the result of Characterization Marches On. A bit gluttonous (especially if it's ramen) and having a complex over her weight with those diet plans and pills she often mentions. Of course, since she's one of the show's main girls, she ends up as skinny as the other girls. This being Zetsubou Sensei, this trait is properly mocked and lampshaded.
- I Just Want to Be Special
- Not So Above It All: Is shown to cut herself, has many weight issues, and much like her teacher, repeatedly tries to off herself to gain attention. She's definitely a mentally disturbed person; it just so happens she's in a class of even more mentally disturbed people.
- Obsessed with Food: Her later characterisation renders everything she says and does into a joke about how she's fat, and all of it has to do with fatty foods, like donuts, cakes, and sweat bread.
- Only Sane Man: And does not want to be one.
- Phrase Catcher: Nozomu always replies "How normal," whenever Nami explains her behavior and/or preferences.
- Punny Name: Her name (in Japanese order) can be read as 人並み — "hitonami" ("run-of-the-mill").
- Straight Man: According to Kafuka, she is "more normal than most people". Of course, this is subverted and Played for Laughs during her proper introduction in the first episode of Zoku, where she claimed to have various problems no normal person would have just to garner attention and sympathy, only to be outdone by her classmates, so she threatens suicide. Of course that is the moment Itoshiki makes his appearance by attempting to hang himself from the school roof. Only Nami reacts to it though.
- Trademark Favorite Food: She loves ramen.
Fujiyoshi Harumi (藤吉 晴美)
Voiced by: Miyu Matsuki
The resident doujin artist and yaoi fangirl with a taste for slash pairings (usually involving famous anime characters, her own teacher and some of her male classmates, but especially "Pine x Napple"), as well as a hidden athletic talent.
- The Ace: Not to the extend of Chiri, but still she's a star student and athletic genius without peer. The only thing that holds her back is her love for her doujin.
- Author Avatar: Unashamedly. She mostly exists for Kumeta to talk about pop culture and manga.
- Badass Bookworm: Sort of — she's a manga-loving nerd with incredible athletic prowess.
- Boobs of Steel: Harumi appears to be amongst the bustiest (though not the very most) in a class full of some very curvy women (the fact that the animation seems to regularly focus on her breasts helps quite a bit), and is also phenomenally strong.
- Childhood Friends: With Chiri. She knows many things about Chiri's past (such as the circumstance of her sister's extreme hygiene problem) while Chiri trusts her to do many things perfectly when Chiri herself can't do them; Harumi she does just that.
- Fetish: Cat ears
- Power Limiter: Her glasses parody the weighted clothing in fighting manga like Dragon Ball—they're actually extremely heavy, and prevent her from showing off her incredible athletic skill so she can make doujin instead of being pestered to join a sports club.
- Sequential Artist
- Punny Name: Her given name is an Alternate Character Reading of Harumi district (晴海) in Chuo, Tokyo, previous site of the Comiket before it went big and moved to the larger Tokyo Big Sight; her surname is a corruption of 腐女子 — "fujoshi", a derogatory term for Yaoi Fangirls like herself.
- Super Strength: Harumi's "athletic talent" surpasses all reason, being more along the line of super strength.
- Yaoi Fangirl: Often doubles as a Shout-Out, given some of the pairings she likes to read about. Bonus for points for being a homophobe, effectively turning her into a Deconstruction of the hypocrisies of yaoi fangirls.
Taro Maria Sekiutsu (関内・マリア・太郎)
Voiced by: Miyuki Sawashiro
A brown-skinned illegal immigrant who bought her name and identity from a male bum.
- Ambiguously Brown: Generally implied to be a Filipina (a Hispanicized real name, her home nation's close proximity to Japan and its poverty-ridden, war-torn history), although she claims her previous school was "Mesopotamia Academy".
- Barefoot Poverty: Is portrayed like this with socks and shoes. Even after the others in the class try and get her into an Instant Cosplay Surprise or other normal outfits actually wearing socks and/or shoes, it gives her vertigo because she has never worn them before.
- Boomerang Bigot: One episode (where she got obsessed with the Boke and Tsukkomi Routine) has her making a privileged speech before the Diet to stem the influx of illegal immigrants.
- Cloudcuckoolander: She even thinks that pedophiles are being nice toward little children.
- Cute Little Fang
- Cuteness Equals Forgiveness: She can cause an international incident and get away with it because she's cute.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Wearing socks and/or shoes gives her vertigo.
- Fan Disservice: Everything she does.
- Going Commando: She doesn't wear panties for the same reason she doesn't wear shoes.
- The Illegal
- Mama Bear: Evokes this instinct from anyone who sees her, including lawsuit-happy Kaere.
- Naked People Are Funny: As the manga went on, her skirt became less magic, and she developed a tendency to flash unsuspecting, poor individuals. Her nudity tends to get played for humour.
- Phrase Catcher: "I want to take care of her!"
- Punny Name: "Taro Sekiutsu" ("Maria" is her given name), a name she bought from a guy willing to sell everything connected to him, can be read as 籍売ったろう — "seki-uttaro" ("I'll sell my name").
- The Woobie: In-Universe. Her impoverished lifestyle frequently elicits pity and support from anyone who sees her, even lawsuit-happy Kaere.Kaere: Would dollars do?
Otonashi Meru (音無 芽留)
Voiced by: Chiwa Saito (Zoku Episode 6)
A silent girl who only communicates with text messages — most of which are intensely scathing.
- A-Cup Angst
- Black Speech: Whenever she's caught in a spot with no signal.Kafuka: Oh, this is the same language my mother used that time. (Kafuka then tells a story about an incident where her mother was possessed and how they cured her using a cross)
- The Chew Toy: Fits perfectly.
- Cute Mute: Except one can only witness her fouler side through text messages. Also subverted in the Freaky Thursday segment of Episode 6 of Zoku, where she's a Motor Mouth voiced by Studio Shaft mainstay Chiwa Saito. She finally manages to mutter out a "Thank you," in the last chapters of the manga, though Kafuka is the only one to hear her.
- Damsel out of Distress: Gets kidnapped by a pedophile on more than one occasion and always frees herself due to nobody wanting to rescue her.
- Fatal Attractor: The only people who fall for the little brat are pedophiles, weirdos, and pathetic losers who can't attract real women. In fact, she gets kidnapped by said pedophiles, weirdos and losers. A lot.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Nobody in the class likes her, and it shows when no one comes to her aid whenever she gets kidnapped or abused.
- G.I.F.T.: An odd subversion. She's a seemingly plain old Shrinking Violet unable to communicate verbally. However, with the power of texting she can (and does) unleash torrents of verbal abuse on the undeserving people around her. However, she does this while only standing a few feet away from them and personally giving them her e-mail address, thus making anonymity irrelevant.
- Girlish Pigtails
- Little Miss Snarker
- Lonely Rich Kid: Coupled with an Overprotective Dad.
- Older Than She Looks: She's the same age as the other girls in the class, but she looks like a preteen.
- Punny Name: Her given name is a loan word for "e-mail" ("メール"), and her surname means "soundless". In addition, her email address "hazukashigariyasan" means 恥ずかしがり屋さん — "full of shyness".
- Situational Sociability: Hardly ever speaks aloud, but put a cell phone in her hand and she will text message people into oblivion.
- Token Mini-Moe: The youngest-looking girl in the class. Deconstructed since her childish looks only manage to get her kidnapped by pedophiles.
- Unsound EffectMeru Meru. Meru Meru.
Kimura Kaere/Kaede (木村 カエレ)
Voiced by: Yuu Kobayashi
A foreign transfer student recently returning to Japan as a student of Class 2-He with a personality split between Kaere, a lawsuit-happy Jerkass and the in-series Ur-Example of the "obnoxious foreigner" stereotype, and Kaede, a Shrinking Violet parody of the Yamato Nadeshiko.
- Attention Whore: It's pretty clear that she seeks attention by flaunting herself and then loudly threatening to sue onlookers.
- But Not Too Foreign: She's half-Caucasian (of indeterminate nationality).
- Catchphrase"I'll sue!"
- Also, this little exchange between her and Nozomu.Kaere: The (custom in question) in this country [i.e., Japan] is/are weird! In the country where I came from we (perform an extremely bizarre custom).
Nozomu: I gotta ask... which country did you come from, anyway?
- Also, this little exchange between her and Nozomu.
- Catholic School Girls Rule: Wears a more westernized school uniform with a plaid skirt, jacket, and long socks.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: For hundreds of chapters at a time, she'll get no dialogue. After Chapter 170, when Itoshiki became less present, Kafuka became more constantly present, and the art gradually began to shift to its old style: she still appears once every 30 or so chapters. After a certain chapter early in the manga's run, she didn't even appear in the background to moon unlucky pedestrians. And this is just Kaere—references to Kaede turn up only a scant handful of times out of those few appearances.
- Everyone Loves Blondes
- Fauxreigner: A map of Britain appears when Nozomu is discussing her return, but she comes off like a Jerkass American... until she starts bringing up animal sacrifices and other pleasantries. She probably just represents the outside world that is blonde and not Japan. Eventually, it's revealed that the "country" she returned from is the island that Nozomu and the others move to at the end of the manga.
- Frivolous Lawsuit: As Kaere. The manga volumes even include transcripts of lawsuit documents filed against anyone who offends her throughout the span of said volume.
- Hair Colors: Justified; she's a blonde half-Caucasian in a class full of typically black-haired Japanese students.
- Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Her Running Gag. Ironically, her voice actress is a singer with a good vocal range.
- Jerkass: As Kaere.
- Magic Skirt: Averted, in comparison to most of her classmates. In fact, they even have a tendency to fly upwards at the slightest provocation.
- Ms. Fanservice: Designated, even.
- Non-Uniform Uniform: Except during the finale, probably due to a split personality being active at the time.
- Panty Shot: Undisputed champion of it within the series.
- Phenotype Stereotype: She's half-Japanese, half-Caucasian (of indeterminate nationality), and all crazy.
- Punny Name: "Kaere" ("帰れ") is an imperative form of 帰る — "kaeru" ("go away") — which is also her Split Personality Trigger Phrase; she is also named after idol Kaela Kimura.
- Reluctant Fanservice Girl: Keade, who the universe seems to have it in for.
- Shameless Fanservice Girl: Keare, who flashes everyone, deliberately goes without a bra, and generally makes everyone miserable.
- Split Personality: Kaere, the insufferable, and Kaede, the shy, although the former is apparently the more dominant side.
- One chapter has her splitting into even more personalities from different countries. And then they hold a conference.
- Statuesque Stunner
- Trigger Phrase: The word "kaeru" ("go away"). When used at Kaere, it turns her into Kaede; used at Kaede, it turns her into Kaere.
- Yamato Nadeshiko: Kaede is a parody of the 'demure and polite Japanese lady'.
Kaga Ai (加賀 愛)
Voiced by: Saori Goto
An incredibly shy girl with a severe case of guilt complex and the tendency to apologize for even the most trivial of things.
- Apologizes a Lot
- Catchphrase:"I'm so sorry!"
- Elegant Classical Musician: Plays the violin.
- Expressive Hair: Her ponytail will wag nervously when she's distressed.
- The Fool: She even accidentally headbutts her assailants while bowing in apology during the first episode of Zan.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Inverted, she often covers her face or goes into hiding when the camera is on her.
- Guilt Complex
- It's All My Fault
- Named After Somebody Famous: Her name is a pun on that of Morning Musume Idol Singer Ai Kago.
- Ninja: Implied to be one, and has the skills surprisingly.
- Parasol of Pain: Obtained a cursed umbrella in one chapter that moves on its own. It even knocked a shovel out of Chiri's hands.
- Punny Name: In Japanese order her name can be read as 加害 — "kagai" ("perpetrator"). Her given name is written in kanji of "Love", as she's being lusted over by Kino in a love triangle.
- Tsundere: So her many admirers think of her, with her Guilt Complex-driven tendency to explain that she doesn't want anything in return for helping others, fearing she'll be a burden in the long run.
Okusa Manami (大草 麻菜実)
Voiced by: Kikuko Inoue
The only married student in Nozomu's class who frequently complains in class about her unhappy marriage.
- Cool Big Sis: Mature, motherly, and always has hugs for everyone. Other than her extremely morbid realistic view of the world and multiple part-time jobs that she often brings to the class, she's one of the sanest characters of the show. Marriage does have its own quirk, in a way.
- Housewife: And with an unhappy marriage, at that.
- Knight In Sour Armor
- Love Hurts
- Love Martyr
- Punny Name: Her name can be read as 奥様な身 — "okusama-nami" ("she is a housewife").
- Shout-Out: Kikuko Inoue herself appears in one segment of Zoku, complete with her trademark "I'm eternally 17!" Catchphrase.
- Your Cheating Heart: Her husband frequently cheats on her, but also has the gall to mooch off her.
Mitama Mayo (三珠 真夜)
Voiced by: Asuka Tanii
An intimidating girl who frequently does malicious things.
- Black Comedy Rape: She anally violates dogs with pencils, branches, barbecue sticks — anything small, sharp and pointy.
- And her teacher. With car batteries. And bike pumps. And dynamite.
- Boyish Short Hair
- Comedic Sociopathy
- Cute Mute: In an evil way.
- Devil in Plain Sight
- Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Subverted, in that Black Comedy Rape, whether happening to a male or female character is fairly common in the manga, her repeated sexual abuse of Nozomu makes her an even bigger Karma Houdini.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: An evil looking girl who does evil things, and whose name roughly means "Exactly what she seems".
- Face of a Thug: With a personality to match.
- For the Evulz
- Karma Houdini: Played for Laughs as her Running Gag — she can commit any atrocity (beat up people, torch houses and stick pointy objects up dogs' asses) and still get away with it because nobody would want to judge her based on her looks (even when caught red-handed).(Nozomu, inside his burning house with an unconscious Majiru, looks out the window to see Mayo with a can of gasoline and a metal bat bent out-of-shape)
Nozomu: She couldn't possibly be at fault!
- In a sense, she does all those evil things because she wants to get called out.
- Manly Tears: When Nozomu leaves to teach at a tiny island, she sheds a single, small tear.
- Punny Name: Her name can be read as 見たままよ — "mita mama yo" ("exactly as she looks").
- Tsundere: As Maria pointed out.
- Tsurime Eyes
- Weapon of Choice: A baseball bat, which she uses more often in Zan.
- When She Smiles: When she and the other girls want to marry Nozomu in the end of the manga, she has a small smile.
Ohra Kanako (大浦 可奈子)
Voiced by: Ayahi Takagaki
A frequently spaced-out girl who wears dresses too big for her, leaves the zipper on the side of her skirt open, and always wears a vacant smile.
- Bystander Syndrome: She is "accepting and understanding" of anything—i.e., she'll just sit there in a daze while horrible things happen in front of her.
- Dissonant Serenity: Sits calmly with a vacant smile on her face amidst the carnage from one of Chiri's rampages.
- Erudite Stoner: For someone who always looks high (and probably is), she's oddly wise.
- Phrase Catcher: Everyone refers to her as a big-hearted girl.
- Punny Name: Her name can be read as 大らかな子 — "ooraka na ko" ("big-hearted girl").
Maruichi Shouko (丸内 翔子)
Voiced by: Yui Horie
One of the two girls performing business scams.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Don't let her Tareme Eyes eyes fool you — she's in collusion with Miko in their business scams.
- High School Hustler: She sells premium products at a cheap price.
- Punny Name: Her name is a pun on マルチ商法 — "maruchi-shouho" ("multi-level marketing").
- Those Two Girls: With Miko.
- Tareme Eyes
Nezu Miko (根津 美子)
Voiced by: Michiko Neya
One of the two girls performing business scams.
Voiced by: Miyuki Sawashiro
An internet idol who, in reality, is an obese girl who heavily edits her pictures.
- Cosplay Otaku Girl
- Elegant Gothic Lolita
- Fat Girl: In reality — her "net idol" pictures are actually heavily edited.
- Girlish Pigtails
- Gonk: Shares the distinct features of one-shot characters — beady eyes, a rectangular mouth, and a flat nose.
- Self-Fanservice: Invoked. Her online persona is a cute cosplay girl. Her actual appearance is ugly, stout, and hammy.
- Shout-Out Theme Naming: Deliberately named after Kotono Mitsuishi, and her pigtails-buns even emulate Sailor Moon, her breakout role.
Voiced by: Saori Goto
A minor student with an unrequited crush on Kuniya.
Kagero Usui (臼井 影郎)
Voiced by: Youji Ueda
The actual Class Representative of Class 2-He. He's one of the few known males in the class, and is so nondescript that his classmates can't even see him, which is why Chiri is treated as the representative.
- Class Representative: The real one. He just never gets to call the shots thanks to his invisibility.
- Covert Pervert: Hinted to be one — that, and his invisibility.
- Becomes less covert as time goes on, to the point that he's just proclaimed "Boobs" without context a few times. At one point, Nami remarks how certain things sound a lot dirtier when Usui says them.
- Invisibility: And he's not happy about it.
- Out of Focus: Played with. While he is Nozomu's most recurring male student, he is often ignored whenever he attempts to tell his personal experiences and/or examples related to Nozomu's rant of the moment, meant to be even worse than previous examples presented.(Random character): Did you hear someone?
- Power Perversion Potential: Despite frequently complaining about his situation, however, Usui has, every now and then, used his invisibility for... less than worthy causes.
- Prematurely Bald: To add insult to injury, he only becomes visible whenever his balding head gets exposed.*Kagero looks at an overembellished avatar Kiri made of him that is still balding*
Kagero: Um, isn't there a part that could use some more embellishment?
Kiri: It's already over-embellished as it is.
- Punny Name: His name is a pun on 影が薄い — "kage ga usui" ("overshadowed"), while his surname also means "balding".
- Something Else Also Rises: Whenever aroused, some of Usui's remaining hair flies off.
- Stalker with a Crush: A minor case, towards Abiru.
Kudou Jun (久藤 准)
Voiced by: Takahiro Mizushima
One of Nozomu's few known male students. He is a master storyteller and can move anyone to tears.
- Ambiguously Gay: Towards his teacher. Very obvious by the end.
- Dark and Troubled Past: An illness forced him to get a blood transfusion, causing his incredibly religious family to disown him. He then attempted suicide, but failed.
- Dissonant Serenity: Unless he's narrating a story, in which case he's a Large Ham, Jun remains calm and smiling in the face of most of the cast's insanity.
- Eyes Always Shut: A variant, he almost always has one of his eyes closed, making him appear to constantly be giving a sly wink.
- Gay Option: The end implies that Jun was also in love with Itoshiki because he had a blood transfusion from Kafuka, meaning that he's also in the harem.
- Japanese Christian: To be precise, he was from a family of Christians of an undisclosed sect (although signs point to Jehovah's Witnesses). In a Halloween manga special, he is seen wearing a cross necklace, claiming that it's for his costume as a priest. The manga ending shows that he is Christian after all and the cross is genuine. Also the bride Kafuka that Nozomu sees in the church is actually Kudou, hence the green eyes and cross necklace.
- Large Ham: When story telling. When not, he's a pretty laid-back guy, especially in comparison to basically everyone else.
- Legally Dead: He was disowned by his very traditional family because he had a blood transfusion (and presumably tried to commit suicide as the cause) and his name is written as 'deceased', effectively cleaning their hands of him. On a side note, that blood transfusion is hinted to be... let's just say 'from a friend'.
- The fact that he seems to be attracted to his teacher, which is outright confirmed in the ending, makes this a lot more of a Tear Jerker.
- Named After Somebody Famous: Junkudo-Shoten (ジュンク堂書店), one of the largest bookstores in Kyoto.
- Nerds Are Sexy: For a relatively minor character, he's got his share of fangirls. Probably because of all the Ho Yay he has with Itoshiki.
- Nice Guy: The only person in Itoshiki's class who doesn't or hasn't killed someone, stabbed a stranger in the street, convinced others that they're God, done anything sexually immoral... in fact, he's the only real nice person in Itoshiki's class, the exception being Kafuka. Sort of.
- The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: He is the only male student who is suffering from Kafuka's possessions. Also, in the manga ending, despite now being part of Nozomu's harem, Kudou is not shown living with the rest of the girls, but implied to live in the church.
- The One Guy: Pretty much the only male student who ever does anything of particular note on a regular basis, other than Usui, who the rest of the cast almost never acknowledge. Takes on a whole new meaning when you realize he's the only guy in the class also suffering from Kafuka's possessions.
- Only Sane Man: He doesn't seem to have any major quirks or defects like the rest of his classmates do, despite getting it pretty bad.
- Driven home during the "Zetsubou Sensei Drawing Song" segment, where he's pretty much the only character out of dozens to actually follow the instructions properly and draw something that looks like Nozomu, apart from Abiru, who draws it with hilariously professional quality.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue oni to fellow story teller Kino's red.
- The Smart Guy: Compared to his classmates, he's level-headed and intelligent. Not that there's much competition, though, but he still manages to appear more competent than many adults.
- Stepford Smiler: His past reveals him to have attempted suicide after his family disowned him, and is most likely as depressed as the rest of the cast. Presumably it's a mix of Kafuka's positive energy and him being an all around Nice Guy that it never shows outwardly.
- The Storyteller: His stories, which he makes up on the spot, are apparently so great and heartrending that he's able to make a living off of them.
- Tear Jerker: In-Universe — any story he tells can make his listeners cry, including the cynical Nozomu.
Kuniya Kino (木野 国也)
Voiced by: Takuma Terashima
One of Nozomu's few known male students and Jin's self-proclaimed rival in storytelling. This is largely an Informed Ability — as the series went on his main gimmick became his awful, awful fashion sense.
- Hot-Blooded: Though in comparison to most of the rest of the cast this is hardly that weird.
- Large Ham: Unlike Jun he remains one even when not narrating a story.
- Literal-Minded: Revealed to be this during one of the "Zetsubou Sensei Drawing Song" segments, where he follows the song's instructions so literally that his drawing looks nothing like Nozomu.
- Named After Somebody Famous: Books Kinokuniya (紀伊國屋書店), Japan's largest bookstore chain, with 56 domestic and 28 overseas branches.
- Triang Relations: Type 5. Marui likes him, but he likes Kaga, while Kaga is either too shy or too oblivious with the affection even though there are several times Kino actively shows it.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red oni to fellow story teller Jun's blue.
- Rummage Sale Reject: Outside school, much to Marui's neverending despair. Mostly played for laugh, but there's a Freudian Excuse for it. Kino's mother was a fallen-from-grace stylist whose fashion sense deteriorated with her depression. Kino keeps wearing her ugly designs, but has actually come to like them.
- The Storyteller
- Those Two Guys: With Aoyama and Haga.
- Unknown Rival: He has a one-sided rivalry with Jun, and it all began when he became the target of one of Jun's tear-inducing stories.
Voiced by: Tomokazu Sugita
A friend of Kino and Haga, as well as one of Nozomu's few known male students.
- Cool Shades: Wears red-tinted glasses.
- The Eeyore: He once even stood in for Nozomu. Chapter 301 implies that he and the other stand-ins will continue to be a stand-in for Nozomu if something should happen to him.
- Emo Teen: Fits this perfectly, even more so than Nozomu.
- Rummage Sale Reject: Outside school, just like Kino and Haga.
- Those Two Guys: With Kino and Haga.
Voiced by: Takahiro Mizushima
A friend of Kino and Aoyama, as well as one of Nozomu's few known male students.
Arai Chie (新井 智惠)
Voiced by: Akiko Yajima
The school counsellor.
- Covert Pervert: She seems to have a thing for sexual sadism.
- Forehead of Doom: In the manga, she has a very prominent forehead especially with her front lock swept to the side.
- Hot Teacher
- Idol Singer: She wanted to be one in her youth, as an Embarrassing Old Photo which slipped out of her hands and into Nozomu's reveals. According to Kafuka, Chie was rejected because she was "too pretty".
- Meaningful Name: Her given name means "wisdom", appropriately enough.note
- Most Common Superpower: In a swimsuit, they're almost the size of her head; Chiri and Meru are in awe and envious.
- Ms. Fanservice: For the first season.
- She even overshadows Kaere at one point when they both appear in swimsuits.
- Ms. Exposition: Shares this status with Mikoto in the last chapters, explaining the circumstance of Kafuka's Hive Mind in class 2-He and Nozomu's reason for persisting in his efforts to teach the misfits. Doubles as Secret Keeper.
- Named After Somebody Famous: Her name can be read together as "niichie", which sounds a lot like Friedrich Nietzsche... for an unknown reason.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: The instigator of a rant about serious people telling jokes, starting when she joked about going on maternity leave. Because she's a relatively serious character who's never told a joke before in the series and did it with a deadpan delivery, everybody takes it completely seriously.
- Out of Focus: As the school counselor of this bunch of basketcases, she is a fairly important character at the beginning of the series, but has reduced appearances as both the manga and anime progress.
- There Are No Therapists: Ironically enough, since she is a therapist and is surrounded by people who need it, Chie does almost no counselling. The only person she counsels is, from time to time, of all people, Nozomu himself.
Voiced by: Youji Ueda
A quiet, friendly male teacher.
- Beware the Nice Ones
- Cool Old Guy
- Death Glare
- Eyes Always Shut
- Hidden Depths: He is a fan of Real Life Visual Kei band "Nightmare". He also may or may not have been a mercenary and/or a Yakuza at some point.
- Reality Ensues: He was very much badass in his youth, though now that he's older, he gets pushed around and made into an Extreme Doormat by others because of his physical frailty. He ends up bordering a Deconstruction of the retired Yakuza man, wishing that he had the strength and courage he had while he was a young man.
- Retired Badass: He's heavily implied to be one.
- Yakuza: Hinted to have been one — an episode in Zoku (as well as in vol. 9 of the manga) reveals he has a large Yakuza tattoo on his back.
Voiced by: Tomokazu Sugita
Nozomu's "old friend" with a fascination for the antiquated.
- Childhood Friends: With Nozomu... or at least for one day during their grade-school days.
- Drop-In Character
- Fan of the Past
- Fascinating Eyebrow
- Hypocritical Humor: His introduction has him ranting about how much he loves old things. Later chapters have him owning a then-current DS Lite or surfing the internet for porn.
- Large Ham: To some extent.
- Limited Wardrobe: Just like his "old friend", he frequently wears a kimono and hakama.
- Named After Somebody Famous: He's named after a Buddhist sage, or specifically, his incarnation in the manga Ikkyu-san. All three Ikkyus are characterized by a quirky personality and scholarly interests.
- Visual Pun: "One-day friends" ("1日友") and "old-time friends" ("旧友").
Kitsu Tane (木津 多祢)
Voiced by: Ryoko Shiraishi
Chiri's older (and extremely messy) sister.
- Heroic Sacrifice: She sacrificed her sense of hygiene in order to keep Chiri's pathological obsession with cleanliness in check.
- Morality Chain: Volunterily enforced this trope in order to ensure the safety of her and Chiri's pet goldfish (and possibly all of civilization).
- Morality Pet: Had anyone but Chiri's sister attempted to stall her by creating mess after mess, they would've most likely been dealt with in the most inhumane way possible. But despite Chiri's frustrations concerning her sister's uncleanliness, Tane is still alive and is, to all appearances, unharmed.
- That being said, there are hints that her sister does very harmful things to her, albeit unintentionally.
- The Pig Pen: She manages to either create a huge mess of clutter all around her wherever she goes, or attract garbage, literal (e.g. trash) or metaphorical (e.g. drug addicts, hippies, and others at the dregs of society).
- Punny Name: Her name can be read as きったねー — "kittane" ("dirty").
- She Cleans Up Nicely: On the other hand, if she wanted to and had the time, she can groom herself up as perfectly as her sister, such as that time when she dated Nozomu. So far she's the only girl whose affection to Nozomu was reciprocated, upon the latter learning of her predicament.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: With Chiri.
- Trash of the Titans
- Uncleanliness Is Next to Ungodliness: Inverted. She's the good sister, while neat and clean Chiri is the evil one (sort of).
- When It All Began: When they were children, Chiri wanted to clean their pet goldfish by pouring shampoo onto the aquarium. Tane jumped into a pool of mud to distract Chiri and spare the goldfish (and perhaps the rest of humanity) from her murderous obsession with cleanliness.
Koji Kumeta (久米田康治)
Voiced by: Hiroshi Kamiya
The dishevelled, unshaven in-series caricature of the series author.
Voiced by: Maeda-kun
An in-series caricature of Kumeta's assistant.
Voiced by: Kenjirou HataAn in-series caricature of Kumeta's former assistant and author of Hayate the Combat Butler.
Voiced by: Yuuichi Nakamura
- Abusive Dad: Subverted - contrary to the wildest imaginings of both Abiru's teacher, classmates and schoolmates, he turns out to be one of the most mild-mannered, nicest characters in the series.
- Good Parents: Beneath all those allegations of abuse against his daughter, he turns out to be a mild-mannered, loving father who once even bought her a cake for her birthday that her classmates and even teacher forgot.
- Sarcastic Confession: Easily confesses to Abiru that he and his wife had just divorced a month ago.
- Shrouded in Myth: Thanks to a colossal series of misunderstandings (in part caused by Abiru's frequent injuries), he gained notoriety for (allegedly) abusing his daughter. And for being a member of a legendary special ops unit who can wipe out an entire platoon with a single manga paperback. (This one is heavily hinted to actually be true.)
Voiced by: Mugihito
- Knight Templar Parent: He even gives Nozomu a mean hook for (unintentionally) making her cry when he notes how she doesn't have a voice actress.
- Overprotective Dad: Frequently attacks Nozomu over any perceived slights towards Meru, and talking about how people who harassed Meru over the years were "dealt with".
- Your Cheating Heart: Meru's mother once introduced her to his mistress, for God's sake.
Voiced by: Akiko Yajima
A spy from "a certain nation".
- Anime Chinese Girl: Her homeland is euphemistically dubbed as "a certain nation", although clues abound, from a map of China on her HQ to references to both the Cultural Revolution and Tibet.
Crypton Future Media Vocaloids (Hatsune Miku (初音ミク), Kagamine Rin/Len (鏡音りん&レン) KAITO, and MEIKO)
Voiced by: Saki Fujita (Miku)
The famous Vocaloids' first actual appearance in an anime series.
- The Cameo: All 5 of them appear during an audition to choose Meru's voice actress.
- Casting Gag: Rather than use the Vocaloid program itself, the anime uses Saki Fujita, whose voice serves as the basis for Miku's synthesized voice.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Miku is green, MEIKO is red, KAITO is blue, and Len and Rin are yellow.
- Historical-Domain Character: Famous for (ahem) convincing Japan to reopen its ports to the world, he returns with an insatiable desire to (literally) open everything closed that he comes across—lockers, books, gas valves, etc., about 150 years after his death.
- It turns out he's actually a badly-behaved foreigner who happens to look like Perry, opened an unsuccessful shop, and befriended Kafuka. The irony of "Perry" having to close something at the end is not lost on the cast.