Just as one trial or tribulation ends, so another begins as Kirino found herself face to face with Ayase just as she was leaving Comiket. Just how is she going to talk her way out of this one?
Again, it's left to brother Kyousuke to do his bit to help her out of a hole, although for once his quick-thinking appears to be decidedly lacking as Ayase quickly picks up on her best friend's uncomfortable behaviour, and to be frank she starts to behave in a rather unhinged way herself leading up to Kirino (or rather her Comiket haul) eventually revealing her secret hobby. Perhaps unsurprisingly Ayase takes one look at this and calls and end to their friendship before storming off.
While Kirino outwardly carries on as usual by the next day it's pretty obvious that things between herself and Ayase haven't been resolved, and when Kyousuke confronts her about this he gets his head bitten off, leading to a row between the two that gets painfully violent on Kirino's part before she finally breaks down and admits that she still needs her brother's help again. Thus it's Kyousuke who finds himself tasked with persuading Ayase that her friend's hobby really isn't as bad as she's heard from media reports, before Kirino eventually weighs in herself with a stirring monologue on who she really is and why she wants to remain friends with Ayase (a fact which remains lost to me after her earlier behaviour, but never mind).
It's at this point that things take rather a weird turn, with Ayase tearfully agreeing that she wants to make up with Kirino, but refusing to do so while she pursues her otaku hobby. Enter Kyousuke to save the day, by telling Ayase about his forbidden love for his sister and how he realised this via manga and eroge - yes, the finale to this episode is that utterly moronic, but regardless it somehow resolves the spat between Kirino and Ayase and they become best friends once again while Kyousuke can add another name to his "people who hate me because of stupid stuff I had to do to help out my little sister" list.
It's rather a shame that the episode's climax was brought about in this way to be honest - Kirino's monologue was pretty good, as was Kyousuke's explanation of how manga and eroge have bizarrely brought these siblings closer together and allowed them to communicate in a way they wouldn't otherwise have managed... so why throw all the "forbidden love" crap into it? Okay, it was a means to an end to this particular segment of the story, but it's a clunky and uncomfortable one at best, not helped by the fact that Ayase proved herself unworthy of anyone's "best friend" status in this episode - if I had a best friend who was that unhinged, self-centred and downright bitchy towards me, they wouldn't be my friend for long that's for sure.
That aside, there were enough good portions to this episode to keep things afloat - Saori and Kuroneko's reactions when faced with Kirino's friend were spot-on (proving them far more worthy of the "friend" banner, although perhaps that's one of the points of the series as a whole), while the argument between Kirino and Kyousuke was as believable as it was well-realised as petty bickering turned into saying and doing hurtful things before the truth outed itself. It's these stronger moments that really show Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai's best side, and I really hope we can keep moving onward with more such moments rather than shifting towards the odder aspects of the show that have reared its head over the last couple of episodes.