4. Love Puny

Ilpalazzo has found a new hobby to occupy the long hours spent sitting in the chair at the Across base- a handheld dating game. Unfortunately, his initial attempts at the game don’t go too well; killing his in-game sister Excel for tricking him out of bed only earns him a game over.

Meanwhile, the real-life Excel has just reported back from her adventure in the jungle, although Ilpalazzo is less interested in hearing her story than he is in praising Hyatt for the successful completion of her mission. As Excel and Hyatt properly introduce themselves to each other for the first time, Ilpalazzo turns away to continue his game, whilst elsewhere, other stories are continuing. For while the Great Will mourns the fact that her new lover Pedro seems to have run out on her, poor Nabeshin finds himself at the mercy of Kumi-Kumi, a mountain girl who wants nothing more than to force her soup on him.

Back in F City, Watanabe is running low on money as usual; having spent the last of his savings on doughnuts, he plans to enjoy them all by himself, but naturally Iwata and Sumiyoshi have other ideas. As they drag Watanabe and his doughnuts away, down at the Across base, Ilpalazzo is still playing the dating game, only now his choices seem to be influencing Watanabe’s actions. For when Ilpalazzo decides to stalk the in-game Hyatt after she refuses to walk home with him, Watanabe ends up stumbling across the real Hyatt, collapsed in an alleyway. Still under the influence of the dating game, Watanabe tries to kiss her, before a getting a hold of himself and helping the now revived Hyatt to her feet.

Whilst Watanabe takes Hyatt to sit under a tree and drink a refreshing can of juice, Menchi and Excel are having a far worse time. As poor Menchi sorrowfully recalls the happy time she spent with the soldiers in the jungle, Excel has resorted to eating bread crusts, all the while wondering just why Hyatt has been out for so long. Letting her imagination run wild, Excel imagines a worst case scenario in which Ilpalazzo promotes Hyatt to senior officer and takes her away for a night of seduction, only acknowledging Excel for long enough to assign her the role of toilet cleaner. Worried that Hyatt will steal her place and her screen time, Excel decides to console herself by dressing a wooden puppet as Ilpalazzo and energetically confessing her love for him.

Directed by Ilpalazzo’s continued efforts with the dating game, Watanabe takes Hyatt to a local department store, where they stop off at the coffee shop. Introducing herself as Miss Ayasugi, Hyatt tells Watanabe that she has just started a new job, causing Watanabe to panic as he wonders whether to admit that he is unemployed. Under Ilpalazzo’s unwitting direction, he decides to lie, claiming to be a civil servant. Unfortunately, this causes the game to freeze, and an annoyed Ilpalazzo tosses his handheld aside, leaving Watanabe and Hyatt stuck in the café for ages.

Eventually, Ilpalazzo returns to his game, allowing Watanabe and Hyatt’s story to continue, albeit now with Iwata and Sumiyoshi in tow. Despite Ilpalazzo’s best attempts to get rid of them, the duo accompany Watanabe and Hyatt to the top floor of the department store, where Hyatt decides that she would like to have a go on a children’s teddy bear ride. Ignoring the ‘no adults’ sign, Watanabe and Hyatt take a ride on the moving bear, and although Watanabe insists to his friends that Hyatt is only getting an innocent enjoyment from the ride, Hyatt herself seems to be having a far more adult thrill- at least until she suddenly collapses again.

Whilst Watanabe and the others carry Hyatt downstairs, other plots seem to be afoot in the department store. Meeting in a locker, a pair of mysterious men swap information and organise the delivery of a ‘special’ package to a golden-haired woman. The woman in question turns out to be Excel, who, having eaten too much free food, has come into the store in search of a bathroom. Happily accepting the strange gift, Excel makes her way to the ladies’ room, where she meets up with the newly revived Hyatt. As she proudly shows off her gift, Excel finally realises what it is- a gift wrapped bomb set to go off within the next few minutes.

A bomb has also appeared in the dating game, and as Excel prepares to cut one of the three wires, her only hope is to be guided by Ilpalazzo’s choice into cutting the right one. With time running out, Ilpalazzo picks the red wire, but even as he congratulates himself, the bomb explodes, ending the game, and the lives of those caught in the blast at the department store.

Elsewhere, poor Pedro can only look on as his family and Gomez celebrate Sandora’s birthday. Gomez has given Sandora everything he wanted- and, form the looks of it, that even includes a little brother. But given the dates, that can only mean one thing- Gomez was already sleeping with Pedro’s wife even before Pedro himself died.

It is game over for a frustrated Ilpalazzo, but despite his annoyance, he cannot help himself- he just has to try again. And, as he resets his game, the Great Will comes to reset the real-life effects of his earlier efforts. As it turns out, however, the day is not quite a total loss- Watanabe still has the beautiful ‘Miss Ayasugi’ for a next neighbour, and, inspired by his lie to her, he resolves that he really will go out and get a job as a civil servant. But just what will be the consequences of that decision?