Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei

Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei is an manga series in the Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei franchise
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The series follows Nozomu Itoshiki and his eccentric class. Itoshiki-sensei is a pessimistic man who constantly tries to commit suicide yet often gets stopped by his students. Each of his students have their own quirks such as a hikikomori to a perfectionist.


Nozomu Itoshiki is not very happy with his life. More accurately, he is depressed, and wants to end it as soon as possible. However, no matter what he does his suicide attempts never seem to work out. So, he's stuck with his ragtag class of crazies. No, they don't band together and learn life lessons. Yes, they get into all sorts of trouble and just become progressively weirder and weirder. And it goes on... and on... AND ON...
Sayonara, Zetsubou Sensei  (さよなら 絶望先生 , Sayonara Zetsubō Sensei , literally Goodbye, Mr. Despair) is written by Koji Kumeta, most well known for his satiric work. The series was first published in 2005, in Weekly Shonen Magazine.


  • Kodansha (Japan)
  • Del Rey (North America)
  • Pika Edition (France)
  • Tong Li Publishing Co.,Ltd. (China, Taiwan)

Publication History

In Japan, Sayonara, Zetsubou Sensei  is printed by Kodansha. It was first serialized in Kodansha's Weekly Shonen Magazine in 2005, and has currently published 23 volumes.

Del Rey is the North American distributor of Sayonara, Zetsubou Sensei. As of November 2010, eight volumes of the series have been released by Del Rey.


Certain jokes had to be changed from the original Japanese.


Nozomu Itoshiki 
The titular Mr. Despair. Nozomu hates his life, and wants to end it as soon as possible. However, any attempt he makes is eventually thwarted or unsuccessful. As such, he is very pessimistic, and his catchphrase is "I'm in despair!" He usually wears formal Japanese clothing, unless he's in his hometown.
Kafuka Fuura
An extremely positive student. Kafuka is happy and cheerful, although she regards all "unusual" or downbeat activity as something entirely different altogether. There are also signs that Kafuka is not as cheery as it seems, the main one being her namesake, Kafka, the author of Metamorphosis. 
Chiri Kitsu
The head of Itoshiki's class, Chiri is precise and accurate in all things. She can't stand it if anything is out of order or misplaced, and will go to great lengths to correct anything she deems inaccurate.
Abiru Kobushi
A girl who is always seen with extensive bandages and wounds. Although many people in the class think that she's a victim of abuse, in reality the injuries are caused by her hobby, puling the tails of animals. She is usually quiet, although she can be very sardonic at times.
Kiri Komori
Initially a hikkikomori who didn't attend school, Kiri decided to become a hikkikomori at school instead, not leaving even after it closes. She is very shy, and has a tendency to show up in random locations.
Matoi Tsunetsuki
Itoshiki's stalker. Matoi has a tendency to fall in love with people, copying their mannerisms and the way they dress. She then follows them around endlessly. Her current target is her teacher.
Nami Hito
The ordinary person. Her only outstanding feature is how... ordinary she is compared to the rest of the class. She constantly tries to be seen as extraordinary, but ultimately fails.
Harumi Fujiyoshi
A budding mangaka with a fetish for cat ears. She often draws yaoi and sells it. However, she doesn't accept boy's love in real life.
Meru Otonashi

The quiet girl with a poisonous phone. Although seemingly shy, Meru reveals her true colors through text, messaging back nasty and spiteful comments with atrocious grammar.
Taro Maria Sekiutsu
An illegal immigrant in the country. Maria is very cheerful, but poor. However, she bought her spot in school from a vagrant on the street. She has some difficult with the Japanese language, as expressed through her inarticulate speech.
Kaere/Kaede Kimura
A student returning to Japan from abroad, she has two personalities: one ingrained with foreign culture, and one that is quintessentially Japanese. It's an odd combination, but Itoshiki's class has learned to live with it.
Book # Name Rating Release Date
Volume 5
Sept. 15, 2006
Volume 4
June 16, 2006
Volume 3
March 17, 2006
Volume 2
Dec. 16, 2005
Volume 1
Sept. 16, 2005
General Information Edit
English Name Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei
Japanese Name: さよなら 絶望先生
Romaji: Sayonara Zetsubō Sensei
Publisher Del Rey Manga
Start Year 2005
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Aliases Goodbye, Mr. Despair
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