I'm sure I've made it pretty clear in the past that you can never have too much Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, and thankfully it seems that I'm not the only one to think this, as the release of the show on Blu-Ray in Japan has brought with it an additional bonus episode.
Broadly speaking, this special instalment is split in two, with the first half seeing everyone's favourite despairing teacher taking on a role as a much-vaunted detective, who just happens to be visiting an old friend at the exact moment that he's murdered. How on Earth is he going to find the culprit when everyone has a motive for murder, and what's more everyone has a sound alibi? Is it some kind of reverse closed-room murder? Or is it just down to some mackerel? Perhaps the killer is closer at hand than anyone can imagine...
Compared to this, the second half takes on a musical flavour for no particular reason, as the crew ponder what small changes could make the world a much better place. How about changing the word for rice, for example? Or (and I'm amazed nobody has actually done this) creating a smartphone app that adds a slew of happy emoticons to otherwise violent or offensive messages? Conversely, Chiri envisages a world where more changes makes the world a more dreadful place - just imagine if we all had buttons for nipples, for example? Whatever you do though, don't make fun of a rubbish cat mascot character, or it'll be "No more Mr. Rice Guy" for you.
Although this episode isn't Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei at its absolute peak, it still produced plenty of laughs out of me, whether it's name-checking Lucky Star and Rick Perry or just generally being a bit silly in the name of detective fiction. Thanks to its relatively quick-fire observational comedy, and SHAFT's ever-quirky animation style, it's hard to ever get bored of this series - the trouble is, every time I see a new episode it just makes me pine for even more.