With the news that PCP is unlikely to get an anime adaptation ringing in his ears, Mashiro seems to have figured out the best possible way to work towards that goal... only to see it go up in smoke right before his eyes.
Thanks to Shiratori's impressive artwork coupled with a well-written story by Takagi, Hattori is now more than keen for this new pairing to submit Rabuta & Peace into a contest, before finding that Takagi's place in the work means that would be impossible. Instead, so impressive is the opening gambit for the series that it makes its way straight into Jack with a view towards a future serialisation if it does well. While Takagi easily gets to grips with writing for two different stories at once, Moritaka feels a need to improve his own abilities, working on speeding up his drawing so that he two can work on two concurrent series when the time comes... a time which looks likely to come a lot faster than he might have expected.
While all of this is going on however, Shiratori's family problems reach a head as they attempt to push him away from his career in manga to either work for his father's company or study abroad. Thanks to a mixture of his recent success and some strong words from Mashiro, Shiratori finally finds the strength to say no to his over-bearing mother - the trouble is that it effectively leaves him out on the streets. Although this is spotted and rectified by his friends and co-workers soon enough, he still has some more fighting to do before he's given the freedom to control his career.
Having gotten so used to moderately paced episodes of Bakuman over its three series, this episode felt like it had a huge amount to throw into its proverbial blender - although it never felt rushed outright, it suddenly had to move along at a brisk pace to over everything surrounding Ahiroi Muto, Shiratori and other goings-on. Thankfully, all of these elements were simple but effective in their execution to keep this series ticking along very nicely indeed with its claws dug deep into the world of manga creation. The longer it does this and keeps its central romance element at arms length, the better.