It's time to head backstage (and a little further afield) this week for another dose of hanging out with the rakugo girls of Joshiraku.
Despite Marii's continued insistence on there not being any stupid questions asked amongst the gang, this week's episode has no shortage of, well, stupid questions. First and foremost is that age-old classic of what you'd do if you won the lottery - a question which brings about some surprisingly dark answers before thoughts turn elsewhere, namely the assumption that one of the quintet (ignoring the sixth individual who only turns up later in the episode without mention) must be a secret lottery winner who hasn't told anybody about their winnings.
We had out for part of the second half of this week's episode courtesy of a trip to Tokyo Tower - a trip which itself brings such important questions as which is better out of north and south, or left and right, before moving on to discuss knife and forks in some detail. Finally for this week's episode, a return backstage finds the girls worrying about a 'flu epidemic and bemoaning that they are so far down the priority list for a vaccine. If only they were a doctor, like Dr. No... or maybe they could just get pregnant to move up the list? It's amazing what the power of thought can do to a girl, be it imaginary dating (and a painful imaginary break-up) all the way through to a full-blown phantom pregnancy.
Having only somewhat enjoyed Joshiraku's opening gambit last week, I have to confess that I absolutely loved this second instalment - it certainly isn't wall to wall funny, but it managed to make me laugh long and hard multiple times with some beautifully timed and placed jokes that worked utterly brilliantly. Of course, this is offset to some degree with cultural gags that passed me by to some degree or other, but there was still more than enough here to make this a great slice of animated comedy - if it manages to keep up this kind of record in terms of provoking laughter from me, it could prove to be one of my summer favourites.