If episode four of Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei was ever so slightly off the show's usual comic pacing, then thank goodness for episode five, which once again had me struggling to breathe with laughter at times.
First up on the agenda is the issue of "back-scratching" as Nozomu calls it, or otherwise the issue of things which are over-hyped, particularly by the media, and thus only end up leaving everybody disappointed. Of course, this means that The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya gets a not-so-subtle mention amongst other things, before we end up with some kind of bizarre back-scratching card game created by Rin, which sees the rebirth of Mr. Despair as Mr. Big Bang. Definitely some big laughs to be had here.
The we see a rather upset and blue Chiri, whose entire year has been ruined by the introduction of a leap second at the start of it. But never mind those pesky leap seconds and leap years, what about the leap people?! David Beckham is one, and so are all the people who buy those crappy pop CDs that somehow manage to top the charts. Hell, we even have leap organs. Zetsubou shita! Thank goodness then for the Leap Man Group who come along to collect all these leap "things" in a single place.
Finally, Nozomu and company use the "Houjoue" festival as inspiration to follow the Japanese (although it might as well apply to any country) concept of living a "through life" - In other words, moving through life entirely oblivious to anything negative going on around you, from the guy passed out in the street to the woman with an unseemly amount of stubble.
Top it off with the funniest Zetsubou sensei drawing song yet (although I say that every week), and you have another great episode - Some very sharp cultural references and generally outright random hilarity combines to make another brilliant episode of Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. As per usual, I simply can't get enough of this franchise.