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Oreimo, Ep. 7 - "My Little Sister Can't Be A Novelist!"
Kyousuke arrives home one day to discover Kuroneko sitting alone in the living room--with the lights out, per her style. She was there to watch Kirino's favorite show with her after the two were debating its merits earlier, but Saori had last-minute matters to tend to and couldn't come along. With the "mediator" of the trio gone, she and Kirino got into a big fight over a story the latter had written, which featured a vaguely familiar character that meets a none-too-flattering end.
Kyousuke, taking up Saori's role, confronts his sister about this, who herself is upset at Kureneko over a particular character that appears in her own novel that is portrayed in a rather-embarrassing light. Even though both have griped about each other's work, Kyousuke can see that they must be good friends if they were able to go out of their way to read through the other's interminable scribes. That out of the way, the three of them, including Saori, who is on speakerphone and watching the show at the same time, play the Meruru anime. While Kirino is in absolutely ecstasy singing along, Kuroneko is in absolute torment and Kyousuke in absolute bewilderment over the show's content.
One day, Kyousuke is confronted by Kirino as he comes home from school, not very pleased with the fact that he is using the laptop she lent him to look up porn. To make it up to her, he must tag along with Kirino as she does "data collection" on the new little-sister-centric novel she is working on (and she has already caught the eye of a publisher after submitting a manuscript for a different one for a contest). This run of tasks and scene reenactments, including making him buy a pair of earrings (since the male lead does that in the story), seems quite ridiculous to Kyousuke, who doesn't think much of her "research" and believes she's doing it to please herself--something she accused Kuroneko of earlier. Kyousuke continues walking, until he hears a large splash behind him. Looking back, he sees that Kirino has drenched herself with a nearby pail of water, reciting a lonely, rain-soaked scene from her story, challenging the words he just uttered.
The duo stop by a love hotel (since part of the story also takes place there) so Kirino can wash up and dry her clothes. Once back out, an idea pops into Kirino's head for her tale as she prances away happily, and as Kyousuke recalls that odd Christmas Eve they spent together, he remarks that at the time, it never crossed his mind what would happen later on…
A decent to pretty good episode of Oreimo this time around. The first half of it was amusing in seeing Kirino and Kuroneko imitating each other while voicing their displeasure (though Kuroneko's was funnier, since it was so counter to her personality). In fact, it was nice to see bit more humor and joviality from the latter, aside from her normally acerbic, caustic self. Also providing amusement was seeing everyone's particular reaction to Meruru, with the fangirl (Kirino), the super-critical otaku (Kuroneko), and the outsider who has no idea what is going on, much less that something like it could ever have been on television (Kyousuke).
As for the second half, I'm conflicted about it. Kirino's "data collecting" was certainly a quaint experience, if not bizarrely intriguing, despite its outlandishness (specifically with her "method researching" with the water). However, it was still stretching its believability, and I didn't like seeing another round of hints of Kirino possibly taking interest in Kyousuke, either, which detracted from the episode of a degree. At the same time, it's hard for me to completely sour on their trip, despite of how little sense it made. It was that lightly sublime factor that accentuated it, for better or worse, though not enough to overshadow its issues. We'll see where this will all lead, as well as with Kirino's novel…