I just finished Future Boy Conan; I am glad to be done with Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei.
In short, it is a sci-fi post-apocalyptic series. During an event called the Great Disaster (basically WW3), a group of humans try to escape to space using a spaceship. Unfortunately for this group, the ship fails to achieve escape velocity and crashes onto an island on earth. Fast forward a few years and a child, Conan, is born on the island.
The strongest point of the series is the character interactions. They’re realistic, but fun to watch. They aren’t exaggerated stereotypes or glossed over. In this series, relationships happen naturally and the producers are not afraid to spend the adequate time to let them happen. For instance, one of my favorite episodes is when Jimsy is introduced. Miyazaki devotes an entire episode to their meeting. Their relationship starts out as a rivalry, but by the end of the episode they become friends. Then, to cement their friendship further, they are forced into becoming shipmates and have to rely on each other.
As this is Miyazaki, it also features his awesome war machine designs. The Giganto is one of the coolest flying fortresses I have ever seen (in all likelihood, it is based on the actual flying fortresses used by the United States military). It’s actually giant and I think it’s believable that these things destroyed most of human civilization.
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
I do not like this show at all. I never laugh or even chuckle at the jokes. I do not find the art direction interesting or weird. I hate the teacher’s pessimism, which I found unfunny quite quickly.
There are parody scenes. Parodies, to be frank, are among the lowest form of humor. There are also puns. Puns can be funny, but they get old.
Does the art direction save it? Not for me, sadly. The colors are weird and the faces of middle-aged Japanese men are commonplace. There’s also the occasional panty shot. That’s about as far as this show goes. Unsurprisingly, this gets old after a couple episodes.
What do I like about the series? First, the opening and ending songs are good. In fact, the OP is probably the only entertaining part of the show. Second, I have to say that I love the voice work; Marina Inoue is given a lot of dialogue and she is my most favorite voice actress of all time.
I hate this show.