Tag Archives: Suicide

Does “Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei” Promote Suicide?

Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei (さよなら絶望先生) is a manga series by Kumeta Kouji (久米田 康治).  It spawned 3 anime seasons with a number of OVA’s.

Today’s post is not a topic that I’m enthusiastic in discussing.  But as a fan of SZS, I feel the need to at least defend it from those “critics”—more like ignorant weasels who haven’t even watched the anime, but just saw pictures of Nozomu hanging himself under a tree—who think that it promotes suicide.

I can understand why some may think this way.  After all, the main protagonist, Itoshiki Nozomu, is always attempting to kill himself but ends up failing every single time (Well, he died in an episode but that was like a side-story in an alternate universe).  This happens so often that it is one of the series’ iconic running gags, and of course one of its main themes, as well.

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Discover Aokigahara (Japan’s Suicide Forest)

Aokigahara (青木ヶ原), also known as the Suicide Forest or Sea of Trees (樹海 Jukai), is a 35-square-kilometre (14 sq mi) forest that lies at the northwest base of Mount Fuji in Japan. (Source:  wikipedia.org)

The documentary features geologist Asuza Hayano as the guide inside the beautiful but creepy Aokigahara Forest.  It is the most popular suicide spot in Japan.  Warning signs posted outside the forest try to dissuade people against taking their lives.  I had goosebumps while watching this video.  At the same time, it made me realize all over again that Japan is not just about anime, manga, and J-pop; they also have these serious societal issues that drive people to suicide.

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