By Leroy Douresseaux
Dec 22, 2010 - 14:38
|Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei Volume 8 cover image is courtesy of barnesandnoble.com.|
Rating “OT” for “Ages 16+”
Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei: The Power of Negative Thinking is a shonen manga that satirizes Japanese media, culture, and society. It has as its protagonist a depressed and suicidal high school teacher named Nozomu Itoshiki. He takes everything in the most negative light possible. Although he is constantly trying to kill himself, Itoshiki has something for which to live – a class room full of unique students who all adore him.
In Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei: The Power of Negative Thinking, Vol. 8, Nozomu takes on several aspects of Japanese life, and each chapter is an adventure into another subject. Duty, tradition, and people who don’t act their age, among other things, are examined in detail with humorous results. And what about a country where there is zero competition?
THE LOWDOWN: Yes, every chapter of Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei: The Power of Negative Thinking is about a new topic, subject, or aspect of Japanese life, culture, and pop culture. Readers who are interested in all things Japanese may like reading this, although this doesn’t really work as a narrative. It is more like an episodic eccentric comedy. I prefer the lavish page design and the graphic design of the art and compositions, which are art deco-like. It is black and white art as ornamental eye candy.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Readers looking for odd manga will want to try the peculiar comedy, Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei.