I rather fell in love with Nabari no Ou after its action-packed third episode, which really got the superlatives flowing. Following on from that, it's perhaps only natural that episode four brought me back down to earth with a bump.
With Fuuma village's Kinjutsu scroll lost and casualties aplenty (including Rokujo and company), this episode is one of recuperation and setting the scene for what could prove to be some epic battles ahead, as we learn about why the scroll was stolen in the first place and the dangerous mission that will need to be undertaken to counter it.
While Rokujo has the potential to be a great character, and we again see a classic moment with regard to his ability to cunningly manipulate people to his will with just a smile or a frown, he does suffer a little from a case of the Shinji Ikari's here at times, getting a little too moody and depressed to be anything other than borderline annoying. I'm probably being a little harsh here, but I think that's simply borne out of frustration that this episode really wasn't much to write home about.
So, there really isn't a lot to say at this point with so much scene setting and so little actual movement in episode four - It felt rather like a homework assignment, to be handed in during a future episode to check that we understand every aspect of the plot. Still, if nothing else the grand plan to help Rokujo and his plight as carrier of the Shinrabanshou looks like a mouth-watering prospect that promises to being more action-oriented goodness to the series, so let's hope they go forth and start kicking some ass next time around. After all, why else would you watch a ninja-based show if it wasn't for the fighting?