Arakawa Under the Bridge 4 has a strange but touching date scene and then returns to Recruit being freaked out by new people.
The date is a continuation from last week’s episode, enough of a surprise. I didn’t expect much in the way of continuity in this series, but apparently Nino and Recruit’s budding relationship is going to be an exception. I’m fine with that. You can only have so many scenes of Recruit freaking out before it gets boring. The date itself is, naturally, strange, but this time it’s Recruit making it so. Nino asks what dates are all about, and he pulls things out of his ass. It’s about the distance, then two hearts connecting through distance, and then there’s the bit in the picture above about carrying the princess. Why Recruit of all people is babbling all this I don’t understand. Maybe he’s getting into the spirit of things. What makes it funnier is that Nino accepts every stupid thing he tells her. And there’s a sweet end to it where he rescues Nino’s straw boat so it can continue its journey. Ever-deadpan Nino is clearly touched by this. Nice job, Recruit! You’re beginning to fit in!
Or is he? I guess since they gave us fifteen minutes of Recruit being more or less in control, the creators decided it’s time to shake him up some more. Meet Stella, the cute little girl whom Sister took care of once. Aww, isn’t she adorable? Sadly, for Recruit, who reluctantly decides to be a big brother to her, Sister’s trained her to fight. He immediately descends to the low end of her pecking order. It gets worse for him when she meets Maria, a farmer who likes to insult people. He ends up lower than grass. Both these scenes are mildly amusing, but as I’ve said, the show becomes less fun when Recruit is given nothing to do besides freak out. It’s when he interacts with them and manages to work on their terms that makes the show interesting.