Kurenai has managed to climb its way towards the top of my must-watch anime list for this season faster than an eight-limbed mountain climber on steroids, beautifully blending some fantastic dialogue and exchanges, particularly between Shinkurou and Murasaki which veers between the poignant and the downright hilarious.
The opening section of episode four manages to pull this particular trick off with aplomb once again, as Murasaki gets caught up in the dark side of Shinkurou's job as a dispute mediator. This whole section is played excellently, from the amusement of witnessing Murasaki's argumentative streak against Shinkurou regardless of those surrounding them to the more disturbing and uncomfortable scenes that follow. The two main characters disparate naiveties are played off against one another superbly, and it's this which gives Kurenai its real sheen.
Away from that, we find out a while load more about the history and childhood of Shinkurou, while also learning the exact historical nature of his relationship with both Benika and some of the other major characters in the series. This all seems to be poured into the mix rather quickly and 'cheaply', rather than opting for the more usual slow exposure of this kind of information, but I don't think it'll detract from the series as a whole as it moves forward (indeed, it might even help in some ways) so I'm willing to let it go.
In a sense, Kurenai is becoming this season's Spice and Wolf for me - A show where I'm not too worried about the main plot and storylines, I'm happy to simply sit back and enjoy the sparkling dialogue and on-screen relationship of the two main characters. If it can keep its blend of humour and poignancy going, this is certainly going to be a notable show.