I’m so in DESPAIR!

Nomadotto here. In an earlier post, BigN told me to write about why Zetsubou Sensei (hereafter, ZS, because I’m a lazy sack of crap) is pretty much the best thing that will never, ever be translated. First, why it’s awesome, then, why it will never be translated. Afterwards, reflect, pupils, and ponder the wonder that is ZS.

Alright, so, I must admit I have a fondness for language jokes. For example, I find puns (well, good puns) to be a source of intense humor, rather than a cause for groan. Also, I’ve got a vendetta against the moe boom, which, in my opinion, has tended towards everything looking the same, and starring similar characters (characters that I like less than the old stock characters) with slight variations. Also, sunrises are less pretty nowadays, and food doesn’t have the same flavour. Children frequently gambol with abandon through my petunias, and I’m not fast enough with the rock-salt shotgun to keep the little bastards off my lawn. Well, ZS isn’t the answer to everything, but it is damn funny, and the art, featuring strong, broad, simple lines with very little shading and heavy use of screen tone, very much unlike modern moe style and much more like old-timey painting. This is awesome.

Look upon him, mortals, and DESPAIR!

Edit: Whoops, forgot my spacer!…
Also awesome is the fact that every chapter is pretty much a very long pun. Basically, some concept, saying, or even recent news development is brought to the attention of our hero, ZS. Then is brought to either insane lengths, or punned upon for the next 5-10 pages. Another important point, all of the characters are named using kanji that can also be read amusingly. An explaination follows: let’s take some random schlub named Tanaka, written field 田 middle 中 = 田中.This is a boring name, and has more or less the same meaning that middlefield would have in english. Now take one of the characters from ZS: Dr. Despair himself, Itoshiki Nozomu: 糸色 望, written together and ignoring the fact that Itoshiki is made up of two characters, gives you 絶望 - despair. This is a pretty accurate description of the character’s personality.

This is also why it will never, ever be translated. Because it’s a gag manga in which the primary gags require vast amounts of liner notes, or else are complete nonsense. Fansubbers are a lazy lot, and it’s probably far too much work to trouble themselves over, especially considering what other worthy projects have been dropped because they weren’t “mainstream” enough, and took a lot of translation. This saddens me, but, like a true blogger, I will grin and bear it. In conclusion, watch and wait, as the raws will start showing on the 7th of July, and it’s up to people like you to get the fansubbers pointed in the right direction (the direction of subbing ZS, because it’s too much work for me to watch the raws.)

On a final note, I’ll be attending Otakon (and, if I have anything to say about it, so will the BigN) so, if you want to meet your favorite c-list anime bloggers, look no further.

2 Responses to “I’m so in DESPAIR!”


  1. 1 Sasa June 29, 2007 at 3:54 am

    You know, there are already two fansub groups that want to do the series ^^ (Yoroshiku and Ayu, that is) Since both of them are doing rather fine, I’m quite positive about Sayonara Sad Sensei (much unlike Tetsuko no Tabi).

  2. 2 nomadotto July 2, 2007 at 5:38 pm

    Fansubbers are a lazy lot, they say they want to do the series, but, when push comes to shove, fansubbers tend to drop shows that are hard to sub in favor of… life stuff, especially if the humor is a little dry (see mahora and Negima!). As for Tetsuko, it’ll probably get passed over, which is a shame. In general, there’s oversubbing of the popular stuff, causing drama, and undersubbing of the second (or even third) tier stuff. I guess that’s the way things work, since fansubbing has little to no payoff, while being a huge pain. In fact, I think the only sub/scan groups that don’t have to deal with endless complaints are those that are mostly anonymous, like anonymous, for example.


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