Despite being snubbed by Kirino during the "Ayase situation" a couple of weeks ago, it seems that her decidedly odd friendship with Kuroneko is still going strong, with the two debating the virtues of their particular anime-related industries as vehemently as ever.
Indeed, these same old arguments have become so frequent that Saori has suggested that the two of them have an anime "screening" session, where they can watch one another's favourite shows and voice their opinions more fully and easily. The trouble is, by the time Kyousuke walks in on what is supposedly the start of this screening session at his home, the two of them are already not on speaking terms before so much as firing up the DVD player (what, no Blu-Ray Kirino?) having each upset the other with their critical thoughts on a novel that the other has written. Of course, it's up to Kyousuke to play piggy in the middle, eventually coaxing the screening back to life (which Saori attends via phone - sounds like the kind of thing I'd do) for a few minutes at least before another heated argument interrupts proceedings again. Aren't friendships great, huh?
For the second half of the episode, we move forward to find that Kuroneko's criticism of her writing hasn't dampened Kirino's interest in penning a novel - indeed, she's been at it again, with her second effort amazingly praised by the editor of a mobile phone-based novel publication company. However, because she doesn't want to revisit her magnum opus about a planet full of little sisters (which is fair enough, I mean how could you improve that concept, right?!), Kirino decides to embark upon a new project, about a post-apocalyptic city full of little sisters instead. Oh, and Kyousuke has to help with "research", as punishment for looking at porn on her laptop. Cue big brother being dragged around town, asked to buy Kirino stuff or be hit by a car to help her research, all in the name of being a good sibling.
I have to say, the first half of this episode showed off this series at its best - it was funny, its depiction of the three characters it revolved around and their interactions was nailed on perfect, and its sideways look at anime and its fandom via both Meruru and the two girl's novels was superb. Really, if this entire series were just Kirino and Kuroneko watching anime and arguing about it (with the occasional impression of one another thrown in for good measure) I think they'd have a huge hit on their hands.
After such wonders, I have to admit that the second half of the episode fell off a cliff somewhat - Kirino's transformation from novel writing idiot to finely honed story-teller, to the point of getting a novel published, was a little too much of a stretch for me not to raise my eyebrow at it, and Kirino's "research" on her next novel again took us dangerously close to stretching the boundary of her relationship to Kyousuke on one occasion via a throw-away comment even if we ignore the whole "love hotel" bit. Still, I suppose this episode did sum up Kirino's personality quite nicely - an animated, bouncing girl when it comes to things she likes and getting her own way, but really quite a bitch when things don't go to plan for her. That combination certainly offers up plenty of comedy and drama which this series grasps with both hands, and it is mostly highly entertaining and amusing - I just hope it doesn't go off at the deep end too far with its story-telling now that we've reached into the second half of the series.