I normally don’t discuss just individual episodes here, but there’s enough content in this episode for about two or three posts, so I think this is totally warranted.
Zetsubou Sensei is probably the finest SHAFT/Shinbo show to date on every level and episode 5 goes a long way in showing why exactly they’ve stepped up their game.
You want to know how to make a reference-based joke funny? Zetsubou Sensei shows you how to do it. The timing of each joke is superb. The references are explicit without being overt, and don’t dominate the joke itself. The references, be they the above screenshot, the above title of the post, or Goku and Vegeta sillhouettes fighting each other as Zetsubou Sensei refers to the harsh physical requirements of athletic events are used to support the humor rather than act as the entire joke itself (something certain otaku comedians, especially ones who refer to themselves as such, need to learn).
More importantly, Zetsubou Sensei doesn’t even rely on reference-based jokes the way, say, Pani Poni Dash does. The absurdity of a cultural athletic festival is topped by the even more absurd athletic culture festival. Prior notions of tsundere are twisted and shattered. This is anime! This is Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei! The land of wild fantasies and desires! (In the theme of Zetsubou Sensei, this is actually a reference that most of you will not get).
As always, the show is visually rich and a plain joy to watch with its strong use of color and composition, reinforced by delightfully comedic characters with strong personalities to keep it all grounded. I don’t care who your favorite Zetsubou Sensei girl is, this episode just presented all of them so well I’m sure you’re pleased.
I know I am.
I would eat her curry anytime.