Thursday, March 15, 2012

Short Review: Sayonara, Zetsubo-Sensei, vol. 21

Looks like mediafire is down again. Sorry about that.

(All rights belong to their owners. Images used here for review purposes only.)

Sayonara, Zetsubo Sensei, vol 21. By Kouji Kumeta.
I wrote about Zetsubo a few weeks ago, at the time mentioning the scans on Manga Fox. As I was going through those chapters, I found a couple scanned pages of papercraft projects. Since I like building things, I specifically printed out the ones I could locate, and immediately put them together. The drawback, though, was that one of the pages was just one part of a larger collection, and Manga Fox didn't have the rest of the pages for it. So I went over to Book-Off, and checked the Omake (extras) pages of every volume they had. Starting around vol. 19, the papercraft stuff began showing up, including Urapen and Komori-chan. Next was a DVD case to make for the anime series, followed up a pop-up Christmas card. I'm holding off on buying these latter two for later. Then, in volume 21, I located the first part of the big project - the funeral display for Nozomu. It continues up to volume 27 (the latest book to come out), with one piece at a time. This must have been frustrating for those readers buying the books in real-time.

One of the things about Zetsubo (lit. "despair"), is that there's a lot of "reader service", in both senses of the words. First, there are pictures of scantily clad characters (both for the male and female fans), making it kind of difficult to find artwork that I can comfortably include here for the reviews. Second, though, is that there are games and the papercraft to play with. A couple of pages I may run later are of a "despair K1 contest" (where the characters swing in directions away from their opponents), and a "build-it-yourself" face of one of the students. These games are included as part of the regular chapters, rather than as Omake at the back of the books.

Of the volumes I picked up (21 to 27), there are some consistencies, and some variations. Each book has one character on the cover, and on the back a different character is thoughtfully posed examining something (for this volume, it's a magazine titled "norimono" (vehicles)). Vol. 21 is different in that it has this really well-designed color plate page.

Each book also has jokes printed on the undercovers. The front undercover is usually a play on "do not open". The above back under cover has one of the students being unduly influenced by the outside world into bowing to people. As for the rest of the book - well, each chapter consists of some kind of parody of Japanese modern life, with lots of pop culture references. Most of them are on Manga Fox, so there's not much point in summarizing them here. Let's just say that it's really hard for me to catch all of the jokes in Japanese, and that it's becoming something of a learning experience for me. You can see the quality of the art here, which I consider to be very clean and highly polished. Fun stuff. Recommended if you're not easily offended, and of the appropriate age of maturity for your country

(Part 1 of the funeral project.)

1 comment:

Michael Martin said...

Penny plain, tuppence coloured! XD