The final two episodes of Sayonara Zetsubuo sensei have finally been subbed. Sometimes I literally thought I wouldn’t be able to see the last episode till next summer, well after the second season. Both episodes were great and funny in that dark SZS way. Episode 11 was hilarious in how it focused on the “original way,” or how directors can justify making crappy work by saying it followed the original. You can almost hear Shinbo creating his own excuse with this episode, though I have no idea how close SZS followed the manga.
In natural SZS fashion the segment jumped wildly from “original way” to all the different excuses people come up with: “recipe’s way,” the excuse of housewives, “queen’s way,” the excuse of sadomasochists, and the ultimate being “God’s way,” the excuse for everyone else. Chiri demanding Itoshiki to marry her or ignore her after he accidentally touched her breast was the comedic highpoint of the episode. So fitting for Chiri’s character to immediately think of marriage. The dramatic ending of Itoshiki being hit by a runaway streetcar was very unexpected and surprisingly serious.
The next episode, however, took a complete 180, ignoring the end of episode 11 and focusing on two other students in the class. It’s almost like the staff got the word on the second season after 11 and had to wrap things up without killing Itoshiki. The first new character is Kaga Ai, a girl who thinks she is a bother to everyone and has an “imagined wrongdoings” complex. To me this segment was a scathing attack on the Japanese culture of over-politeness, but it was still pretty funny, especially when Ai and Itoshiki go to Okinawa.
The second girl is Mitama Mayo, an evil girl who no one thinks is evil because she looks too obviously evil. As outlandish as the idea of an “excess of evidence” is, the show did make it seem true. And of course Mayo had to blow up Itoshiki’s house at the end just to show how evil she is.
Sayonara Zetsubuo sensei has been a great show so far. It has the quirkiest characters ever made and the most unique art style of the year. It wasn’t always funny and sometimes could be downright incomprehensible, but its brand of dark humor and social criticism is rarely seen in anime and has an amazing freshness to it after watching some of the bland shows made these days. SZS also had the best OP of the year done by Ootsuki Kenji. Ah, I remember the many months spent waiting for that single. Hopefully he’ll be doing the OP for season two also. Of course, this isn’t actually the end of SZS with Zoku starting in a couple weeks. Let’s just hope the sub situation will be better with this one. Probably not.