Following on directly from the last episode of Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and its discussion of what makes a surprise... well, surprising... episode eight continues along the same track (after the funniest "story so far" snippet yet) with the concept of the reverse surprise.
In other words, isn't it more surprising when you're expecting something to happen but it doesn't actually occur? From not getting an encore at a gig to the PlayStation 3 actually working as advertised without a huge failure rate, we get treated to a big old list of (occasionally amusing) reverse surprises.
Next up, Nozomu decides that the world needs training... confession training, to be precise. Generally speaking, people simply aren't used to admitting that they've done something wrong or made a mistake, and so our intrepid teacher sets out to create a world of free and easy confession. The trouble is that such confessions can deal out a shock to the recipient, meaning that they need training too. Zetsubou shita! As we roll on invariably to the logical conclusion of this point of view, so we see everything from Detective Conan to Death Note ruined by premature confessions in what is easily the most hilarious part of this episode. Oh, and apparently K-ON! CDs is worthy of confession too, which is something to note...
For the final segment of this episode the show takes one of those occasional detours of which it is fond by completely changing its animation style, which makes for an "interesting" aesthetic I suppose you could say. The subject of this final chunk of discourse however is one close to my heart; that of asking questions when you already have the answer decided in your head. Of course, the media is one of the worst examples of this, from push polls that all but force you to vote a certain way through to news reports with a clear agenda, but we also consider people who ask whether they should break up with their partner when they've already made a decision and so on. Not particularly funny in itself to be honest, more the kind of general point I found myself nodding in agreement with as one of the absurdities of modern media.
In general then, I wouldn't put this down as one of the more hilarious episodes of Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei - Last week's instalment had more laughs overall, but then again when this episode did hit the mark it did so in spectacular fashion. I think I'm going to be giggling about Light's immediate confession to being Kira for the rest of the week, quite frankly.