The Best Episodes of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei

When I Came Out Of The Tunnel It Was White

#1 - When I Came Out Of The Tunnel It Was White 8.14

Season 1 - Episode 2

After confiding in his latest despairs to Ms. Arai, she asks Nozomu to visit one of his students who hasn't shown up to school — Kiri Komori, a hikikomori. In the end Kiri goes to school but decides to be a hikimori there. The next day, Nozomu notes that another of his students, Matoi Tsunetsuki, didn't show up that day. Ms. Arai brings Nozomu to the counseling room, where she explains Matoi's obsessive-stalker tendencies to Nozomu. That night, he attempts to dissuade her from bothering her last boyfriend; however, his strategy backfires on him. This turns him into Matoi's latest object of affection.

Directors: Akiyuki Shinbo
Removing Toxins and Stains

#2 - Removing Toxins and Stains 7.33

Season 1 - Episode 5

On physical examination day, many of the girls are feeling stress about their weight, measurements and fitness. Nozumu distracts them by deciding to judge the "social worth" of students so that they will know whether they are living "above their station." Kitsu seizes on this idea, scolding everyone who possesses any luxuries, appalling Nozumu to the point where he decides to go on a hedonistic binge before killing himself. In the second half he encounters some of his students at a hot spring and is frightened to learn the spring has the power to remove their "toxicity" giving them well-adjusted personalities.

Directors: Akiyuki Shinbo
Go Fly Over That Country

#3 - Go Fly Over That Country 7.29

Season 1 - Episode 3

This episode is a pastiche of parodies about foreigners and Japanese attitudes concerning them. A foreign student named Kaere Kimura transfers into the class. Kimura is a blonde girl with multiple personality disorder stemming from cultural identity confusion. Nozumu prevents her from committing suicide but sees her underwear and is sued. While Nozomu is absent from school Chiri investigates his students and discovers that Maria is an illegal immigrant.

Directors: Akiyuki Shinbo
Goodbye, Zetsubo Sensei

#4 - Goodbye, Zetsubo Sensei 7.22

Season 1 - Episode 1

Kafuka Fuura is cheerily walking to school one April morning when she suddenly spots a man trying to hang himself in a fit of despair. Kafuka manages to use her weight to snap the rope, thus saving his life. Nozomu Itoshiki, the man, eventually cannot take anymore of the girl's ridiculous ramblings, and runs off to school to start homeroom at the beginning of a new school year. When Nozomu walks in the door, he finds Kafuka is one of his students.

Directors: Akiyuki Shinbo
From Elbow to knee

#5 - From Elbow to knee 7.14

Season 1 - Episode 4

Chie dispatches Nozomu to investigate rumors that the invariably injured Abiru Kobushi is suffering from domestic violence. He pursues Abiru's father while he shops, causing him a great deal of inconvenience, before discovering Abiru's obsession with pulling the tails of dangerous animals. The latter half of the episode concerns Meru Otonashi, who is silent and shy in person, but remarkably abusive via text-messaging, her only means of communication.

Directors: Akiyuki Shinbo
Leap Before You Look

#6 - Leap Before You Look 6.67

Season 1 - Episode 6

Kafuka comes down with a cold during the summer and has to go see the doctor, Mikoto Itoshiki, who happens to be Nozomu's brother. Later, Chiri and Kafuka find out from Mikoto that Nozomu has gone back to his hometown in Kuraizawa for an arranged marriage. One way or another, the girls somehow all end up arriving at Kuraizawa, where they are taken to the Itoshiki residence by Tokita. Here they find out that the Itoshiki tradition for arranged marriages simply involves both parties exchanging eye contact. The rest of the episode involves Nozomu and his attempts to avoid eye contact with the girls and various other people/objects.

Directors: Akiyuki Shinbo
I'm a Social Outcast by Fate

#7 - I'm a Social Outcast by Fate 6.60

Season 1 - Episode 8

This episode begins with Usui Kagerou lamenting about how he never gets noticed by anyone, when he nearly gets run over by a truck who does not notice him. He runs into Nozomu in the shadows, who begins to talk about how some people are destined to be overshadowed by others, no matter how hard they work. The second part of the episode has the class undergo criticism training. Usui continues to be ignored until a divine wind blows away his hair, revealing his bald head and allowing everyone in the class to see him. He fears that people in the class will begin mocking him, but Kafuka suggests that Chie insults him instead, which he seems to enjoy.

Directors: Akiyuki Shinbo
One Morning, When Gregor Samsa Awoke, He was Carrying a Portable Shrine

#8 - One Morning, When Gregor Samsa Awoke, He was Carrying a Portable Shrine 6.40

Season 1 - Episode 7

This episode begins with Fujiyoshi bumping into Nozomu while she is on her way to make copies of her doujinshi. Through a misunderstanding, Nozomu ends up going to Comiket to sell his doujin literature with mixed results. At Comiket, Chiri reads Fujiyoshi's yaoi doujinshi. On the way back from Comiket, they meet Kafuka, who talks Chiri and Fujiyoshi into drawing more manga that strictly adheres to the above mentioned format. The second half of the episode involves the girls at a matsuri, where overzealous festival-goers begin piling random objects and people on portable shrines and dancing and parading around with them.

Directors: Akiyuki Shinbo
The Evening Primroses on Fuji are Wrong

#9 - The Evening Primroses on Fuji are Wrong 6.00

Season 1 - Episode 9

Nozomu notices a few members of the class playing a "spot the differences" game. Nozomu tells them that it is important to spot mistakes, and he instructs the class in how life is filled with mistakes. He asks the class to identify mistakes in their lives, after pointing out several of his own. After Nozomu contradicts himself, saying that a mistake was the correct action, Kafuka reasons that if a mistake comes to light, it is correct, resulting in many people approaching her, confessing their mistakes, making them correct. In the end of the first part, a boy approaches Nozomu, calling him "Dad." The second part of the episode reveals that he is actually Nozomu's brother's child, Majiru Itoshiki. Nozomu asks him to prove that he is indeed his nephew, and then asks all of his students to prove that they are the real one. When Majiru asks Nozomu to prove he is genuine, Nozomu is unable to come up with a response, and runs off. The episode ends with a sequence that deals with Majiru's apparent hair fetish.

Directors: Akiyuki Shinbo
Look, the Baron's Reckless Remark / There Are a Lot of Problems in This Class So Please Be Aware of That

#10 - Look, the Baron's Reckless Remark / There Are a Lot of Problems in This Class So Please Be Aware of That 0.00

Season 2 - Episode 1

Nozomu Itoshiki, a direct marketing businessman, is chased by a mysterious religious group called Hamasho. At one point, he is caught and his body is modified like a mole cricket. After his long adventure, he is discovered by Kafuka and he then becomes a high school teacher. Students in the class start calling him "Left-wing Guerrilla" (apparently in lieu of "Pink Supervisor"), making him want to die again. Right before he jumps off a cliff, Kafuka suggests he "mock marry" a girl of the Holy Nosebleed Empire. A card reveals that the entire segment is a gag based on a summary from the jacket of the manga's first volume. In the second segment, Nami Hitō, who has been missing classes, finally decides to attend her school as no one really seems to notice her absence. Unfortunately, she does not get much attention from her classmates as the high school is full of extraordinary characters. At the end of the episode, most of the major characters are introduced and Nami is labeled as the 'ordinary girl' in the school.

Directors: Akiyuki Shinbo
An Artist By the Roadside / I Have Mostly Read Shameful Books / The Inconspicuous Summer

#11 - An Artist By the Roadside / I Have Mostly Read Shameful Books / The Inconspicuous Summer 0.00

Season 2 - Episode 4

Nozomu Itoshiki and his students enjoy the festival of Tanabata and talk about instances where people pay more attention to the trivial details of many objects rather than the main subjects. In the middle of their conversation, which Ikkyū-san later joins, the alien race El Niño suddenly invades Japan with their mecha army. Fortunately, Chiri digs up an ancient mask and activates its hidden power to defeat the alien force. The aliens admits their mistake of paying attention to trivial aspects of Nozomu's students rather than the progress of their invasion. At the end, Nozomu and Ikkyū-san do not remember how Japan was saved from the alien invasion, as they were paying attention to trivial details of the battle scene. In the second part of the episode, Jun Kudō is reading books in the school library, while Nozumu is worried about Jun's desire to read everything in the world, which could eventually include Nozomu's own embarrassing mind. When Nozomu's other students visit the school library, Jun tells heart-warming stories that move every one of them to tears. Nozomu feels even more certain of Jun's ability to read people's minds, so he puts himself in a freezing room full of penguins to prevent Jun from reading the conclusion of the episode. The third part of the episode shows what happened between Nozomu's nephew, Majiru Itoshiki, and Kiri Komori while the alien invasion of the 'A Painter by the Roadside' episode was undergoing outside the house.

Directors: Akiyuki Shinbo
The Tragedy of X / I will not Return to Japan. I Was Unable to Be That Resolute / Doctor Kahogo

#12 - The Tragedy of X / I will not Return to Japan. I Was Unable to Be That Resolute / Doctor Kahogo 0.00

Season 3 - Episode 3

As Nozomu and Kafuka attempt to find the switch to the town christmas lights, Nami finds she keep switching on other people's switches. Next, Nozomu contemplates on how people making a decision between two things subconsciously end up picking a third. He and the girls end up in a third-choice city. Whilst arguing about excessive care, Nozumu is taken by Rin to a Guardian's Club, where people take excessive care measures.

She Who Has / Russian Time Song / Withering Heights Part 2

#13 - She Who Has / Russian Time Song / Withering Heights Part 2 0.00

Season 3 - Episode 2

While watching a baseball match, Nozomu wonders about the sad fate of the multi-talented people. If a famous baseball player is as handsome as a model, is he missing a more successful career? Later on, as Kiri is taking some medicine to treat her cold, Nozomu explain to Majiru why did it took a moment for the medicine to take effect : the dreaded time lag, which can be observed in a lot of phenomenon. As the journey to find themselves continues, more of Nozomu's students embarks on the bus and procede to reveal some parts of their personality. In the end, Kafuka leads the group to expose themselves to reality and at the same time the acceptance of their true self as they are, after which she concludes by singing a heartwarming song.

Forelocks Yet To Be Opened / Adornment At Tiffany's / Rouse Up, O Old Men of the Old Age

#14 - Forelocks Yet To Be Opened / Adornment At Tiffany's / Rouse Up, O Old Men of the Old Age 0.00

Season 2 - Episode 2

The first part of this episode is supposed to follow this storyline from a chapter of the Zetsubō Sensei manga. Perry has come to the school on the anniversary of the school's founding. He is an American Commodore who known for opening up Japanese ports to foreign trade (in Japanese, the phrase "opening the school" (開校?) is pronounced the same as "opening the ports" (開港?)). After he opens up various things in the school, he tries to open up Nozomu Itoshiki's mind. Suddenly, Nozomu releases a mysterious wave that reveals the dark side of the world, which is full of despair. Finally, Perry learns the lesson that he shouldn't try to open up everything in the world. However, all the characters speak unintelligible gibberish, and the subtitles suggest that Perry is Son Goku looking for the Dragon Balls and that Nozomu is an alien bent on stopping him. In the next part of the episode, Nozomu is complaining about the over-decoration of various things in Japanese society. However, Kafuka Fūra denies it, saying that it is just a trend among stylish elites. In the next part, Nozomu meets his old time friend Ikkyū-san, who likes old things. They discuss together how old things are often ignored in modern Japan. Ultimately, he wants to obtain a former-surname by marrying Nozomu's sister Rin. Rin tries to escape from Ikkyū by calling her butler, but he ends up persuading Ikkyū-san to marry her. However, Kafuka manages to find out at the end that Nozomu and Ikkyū are not old friends, but rather one-day friends during the first day of school.

Directors: Akiyuki Shinbo
Highway to Hell / The Spring Postman Always Rings Twice / Withering Heights

#15 - Highway to Hell / The Spring Postman Always Rings Twice / Withering Heights 0.00

Season 3 - Episode 1

As the school exams approach, Nozomu sniffs at the idea of good luck charms. Just then, he is arrested by mysterious people for being a potential bad luck charm for the students and locks him up in solitary, which he is quite pleased about. However, the girls break in and rescue him, and it comes to light that the students actually see Nozomu as a good luck charm. Next, everyone has different opinions of what tells them spring has come, which for some people involve strange dancing people. Later, Nami tells Nozomu she is going on a trip to find herself, whereas Nozomu says it is really a journey that exposes a person's true nature.

Team Play / I Always Called That Person A Leftover / The Other Side of an Act of Kindness

#16 - Team Play / I Always Called That Person A Leftover / The Other Side of an Act of Kindness 0.00

Season 2 - Episode 5

Nozomu Itoshiki and his students enjoy the festival of Tanabata and talk about instances where people pay more attention to the trivial details of many objects rather than the main subjects. In the middle of their conversation, which Ikkyū-san later joins, the alien race El Niño suddenly invades Japan with their mecha army. Fortunately, Chiri digs up an ancient mask and activates its hidden power to defeat the alien force. The aliens admits their mistake of paying attention to trivial aspects of Nozomu's students rather than the progress of their invasion. At the end, Nozomu and Ikkyū-san do not remember how Japan was saved from the alien invasion, as they were paying attention to trivial details of the battle scene. In the second part of the episode, Jun Kudō is reading books in the school library, while Nozumu is worried about Jun's desire to read everything in the world, which could eventually include Nozomu's own embarrassing mind. When Nozomu's other students visit the school library, Jun tells heart-warming stories that move every one of them to tears. Nozomu feels even more certain of Jun's ability to read people's minds, so he puts himself in a freezing room full of penguins to prevent Jun from reading the conclusion of the episode. The third part of the episode shows what happened between Nozomu's nephew, Majiru Itoshiki, and Kiri Komori while the alien invasion of the 'A Painter by the Roadside' episode was undergoing outside the house.

Directors: Akiyuki Shinbo
Thou Shalt Not Know / The Story of Hoichi the Dreamless / Private Stealth

#17 - Thou Shalt Not Know / The Story of Hoichi the Dreamless / Private Stealth 0.00

Season 2 - Episode 6

It's time to hand out grades, but Nozomu Itoshiki hands out completely censored report cards to his students, because he understands that majority of students do not want to be notified of their grades. He argues that people should have right to choose to be 'uninformed' of undesirable information, since they have right to be informed of desirable information. Ultimately, he tries to escape civilization to become 'free' of all the notifications in the world, but he is still in despair as nature are also trying to communicate with him. Meanwhile, Kafuka Fūra is admiring the all-knowing housewife in the neighborhood. In the second part of the episode, Nozomu Itoshiki and his nephew, Majiru, fall asleep together and have a dream where everyone's personality is reversed. The students in his dream realize that they will disappear when Nozomu wakes up, so they try to put him in an eternal sleep by murdering him in his dream. In the third part of the episode, Nozomu and his students discuss various things that are kept secret or unknown from their parents. During this section, the characters are voiced by numerous random voice actors (with most of them from the show itself), and are changed frequently.

Directors: Akiyuki Shinbo
The Cat That Was Told a Million Times / Little Red Riding Hood Sleeps. Be Careful / The Tsugaru Correspondence Education

#18 - The Cat That Was Told a Million Times / Little Red Riding Hood Sleeps. Be Careful / The Tsugaru Correspondence Education 0.00

Season 2 - Episode 7

Nozomu Itoshiki hands out an application for his pension in a government office, but an employee makes fun of Nozomu's name. Nozomu is sick of hearing the same thing about himself over a million times and he sympathizes with other people, who have experienced a similar situation for countless times in their life. Meanwhile, Harumi Fujiyoshi realizes that she is an extreme minority as no one seems to agree with her view. The second part of the episode shows a Zetsubō channel featuring a number of television programs such as audience survey, music show, magical girl anime, cooking show, etc. In the third part of the episode, Nozomu is kicked out of a café, because a Jyuken student is constantly irritated by him. The café manager kindly asks Nozomu to forgive him, because it is generally believed that exam-preparing students should be treated with the utmost care. Though Nozomu can't quite understand this kind of expectation in the Japanese society, he nevertheless tries to take advantage of this trend by becoming an exam-preparing student himself. Eventually, he happens to pass every certificate exams in the world except for one: an exam that tests whether a person is ready enough to commit suicide. However, he fails the exam and thus becomes not worthy enough to live nor worthy enough to die. The third part of the episode is shown using various animation techniques.

Directors: Akiyuki Shinbo
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? / Failure as a General / Yeah, It's a Surprise, I Muttered Hollowly

#19 - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? / Failure as a General / Yeah, It's a Surprise, I Muttered Hollowly 0.00

Season 3 - Episode 7

During a walk, Nozomu gets deceived by Maruuchi Shoko and Nedu Miko, who sell him maguro and a block of ice for 15.500 ¥. Nozomu complains that many dealers make up money only after the customers buy the goods, using tricks. The too mild winder is caused by Shogun Frost who refuses to do his work anymore. The class helps him to find a new job. The class prepares a surprise party for Nozomu, even if his birthday is not on that day, but on 4th of November.

The Measles of Madison County / Polygon in the Evening / The Dropper in the Rye Part 2

#20 - The Measles of Madison County / Polygon in the Evening / The Dropper in the Rye Part 2 0.00

Season 3 - Episode 6

Since there's an outbreak of measles in town, Abiru suggests to Majiru that he should get infected right now, for it is quite worse to get them as an adult. Nozomu then proceeds to unveils many more types of "measles" you're better off to have as a kid, since their effects can be disastrous later on in your life. As Nozomu and Kafuka walks in the street, they stumble on Kanako Ōra, a laid back and careless girl from Nozomu's class, who doesn't seem to mind that a myriads of political parties uses her property's wall for their posters. As Kafuka and Nozomu continues to explore the concept of "through life", Chiri decide to label object and people so as to know who's the creator.

Spynapple Pudding / When The Fruit of Exposure is Ripened / A Half of the Criminal Investigation Report

#21 - Spynapple Pudding / When The Fruit of Exposure is Ripened / A Half of the Criminal Investigation Report 0.00

Season 2 - Episode 8

When Nozomu Itoshiki tries take photograph of his nephew and Kafuka Fūra in the public swimming pool, he is accused of being a spy by another woman. Nozomu blames the society, where everyone, including those who do not have any malicious intent, is suspected of being spy. Suddenly, Kafuka gives him a secret mission and Nozomu has to escapes from the greater suspicion by finding a good place to isolate himself. At the end, Kafuka devises a plan of 'positive counter intelligence' to help him out by leaking unreliable rumors such as urban legends to confuse everyone in the society. In the second part of the episode, Nozomu claims that pretentious side of everyone is ultimately exposed in May. At the end, many of Nozomu's students' hidden secrets are exposed, though some of them are merely his imagination. In the third part of the episode, many things in the world are not divided exactly half and half despite their claim. To correct such mistakes in the world, Chiri Kitsu enforce the ratio of everything into exactly 50/50 ratio, which produces various results at the end.

Directors: Akiyuki Shinbo
A Couple is Better than a Single / The Byway to Oku

#22 - A Couple is Better than a Single / The Byway to Oku 0.00

Season 2 - Episode 9

When everyone's mind isn't functioning well after the New Year, Maria decides to tackle them in a manzai fashion. Nozumu Itoshiki explains that there are things other than the New Year that causes people to feel groggy such as jet lag. Ultimately, Maria decides to tackle the government of Japan arguing that Japan isn't paying enough attention on its national security matter during the peace time while the neighborhood countries are posing as threat. In the second part of the episode, Nozomu Itoshiki suddenly decides to inspect students by surprise. In order to help Nozomu to achieve his goal, Maria and Chiri starts taking photographs of vulnerable private moments of students. Nozomu's colleague, Jinroku, is the only one able to withstand the inspection 24 hours a day. Suddenly, Kafuka Fūra argues back that being a careless person can be a great appeal as it can draw sympathetic feeling from everyone. Chiri suddenly decides to take advantage of this trend by becoming a careless person on purpose, but it consequently puts many characters in grave danger.

Directors: Akiyuki Shinbo
Yeah, It's a Surprise, I Muttered Hollowly / Confession Crepe Team / The Last, and the First Enoden

#23 - Yeah, It's a Surprise, I Muttered Hollowly / Confession Crepe Team / The Last, and the First Enoden 0.00

Season 3 - Episode 8

Nozomu shows how, in a suspicious society, there is more "reverse-surprise" than surprise itself: people, in fact, are more surprised when they expect things to happen, but they do not, than when they really do. Chiri finds out Nozomu standing in front of a Police box, he tells her that he's training to confess. Modern Japanese people are not able to admit their fault and need this kind of training. Nozomu gets on a train which apparently has no destination. On the contrary everything, even the train, has got a previously decided destination. People, in fact, ask questions about things they have already analyzed and chosen. The 3rd part of the episode has been made with an experimental graphic technique.

Seventeen Years Old Don't You Want To Grab Your Wrinkles? / Duty and Soldiers / Don't Say It So Casually! Melos Stood and Retorted Furiously

#24 - Seventeen Years Old Don't You Want To Grab Your Wrinkles? / Duty and Soldiers / Don't Say It So Casually! Melos Stood and Retorted Furiously 0.00

Season 2 - Episode 3

Harumi Fujiyoshi is listening to a Zetsubō Sensei radio show at home while working on her yaoi dōjinshi. The radio show is actually derived from a chapter of the Zetsubō Sensei manga, which portrays Japanese people's indifference to their ages and introduces a new character, Manami Ōkusa, who is a married high school student. In the second part of the episode, Nozomu criticizes the society where individuals are compelled to serve their 'duties' to meet other people's expectations. These 'duties' are often very superfluous and trivial. However, Kafuka points out the irony that Nozomu himself is a part of such a society, as the girls around him are expected to serve their various 'duties' to take care of their teacher. In the third part of the episode, Nozomu is in despair about society, where serious matters are often taken too lightly. Several of Nozumu's students provide their experiences of such a trend. After Rin Itoshiki makes an appearance as one of Nozomu's new students, Nozomu and his students decide to reverse the trend by treating various trivial matters with serious attitudes, which eventually becomes an addicting habit for everyone.

Directors: Akiyuki Shinbo
The Emergency Which Became a Nun / The Right Answer, 30 Years Late / Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher

#25 - The Emergency Which Became a Nun / The Right Answer, 30 Years Late / Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher 0.00

Season 3 - Episode 9

Whilst waiting for the bus, Nozomu and Chiri talks about how important are emergency measures in one's life. Later, at school, the class finds out Nami's birthday, but, because nobody knew about it, everyone makes her a sudden emergency present. Nozoumu, correcting some tests, shows the class how, in the adults' world, there are correct but not right answers. While the class is playing golf, Nozomu's sister tells them that a new course has been created in town. In this new kind of game the balls are represented by people and the tees are disguised as objects or places they have to keep away from as long and as far as they can.