Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (Goodbye, Mr. Despair) is a story about a young teacher disenchanted with life. In trying to understand why life is worth living in the current corrupt world, he discovers that the children he teaches all can view the world in a positive light in their own ways. The teacher soon finds out that he is learning much more than he is teaching.
Itoshiki Nozomu is the world's most negative person. To his way of thinking, there is no hope or meaning in this existence. Even the three kanji of his name become the two-kanji word zetsubou, "despair", when compressed. What an ironic twist of fate, then, that he becomes teacher to a class containing his precise opposite, the invincibly positive-minded Fuura Kafuka.