What is it?
The story of a pessimistic teacher with unusual viewpoints regarding society, politics, the economy, technology, art & entertainment, history and the human condition. Together with his equally unusual and unique students, Sensei debates a wide range of topics.
What's good about it?
The more you watch it, the more you realize Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei is a creative work of genius. The topics and opinions discussed are truly insightful and are provided a productive twist of humor for our entertainment. These are driven by an almost entirely female cast of cleverly-named characters. The animation style is unique and the character designs are very endearing.
What's bad about it?
References. SZS bombards you with a non-stop array of references, some so obscure as to baffle the most well-read of Japanese pop-culture connaisseurs. Since I consider myself as knowledgeable as the most astute non-japanese anime-watcher and that most references flew over my head, I'm amazed at how exclusive the content was. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that some of these references are inside-jokes between the creative staff of SZS that only they could fully understand.
Even when I don't get the references, I can feel that the joke was a funny one, adding to my frustration at not understanding it. Despite my limited comprehension, I was able to appreciate the creative way topics were broached and handled. Nevertheless, there were too many missed references for me to be able to consider SZS the pinnacle of greatness I would no doubt qualify it as if it were more accessible.