ORESUKI: Are you the only one who loves me?
by Lynzee Loveridge,
How would you rate episode 10 of
ORESUKI: Are you the only one who loves me? ?
After a week hiatus (although the recap episode is kinda silly if you wanna seek it out) we're back with more underhanded shenanigans, a triumphant return for Darth Bench, and a blink-and-you'll-miss-it arc for Tanpopo. I'd complained a few reviews back about the strange decision to include Tanpopo among the other main girls in the opening credits when she had maybe, maybe five minutes of screen time. Also her character design shares enough similarities with Himawari that I totally didn't catch her appearance in the last episode preview. Whoops.
Anyway, while the episode features a few silly gags, its central conceit is pretty...pointless. I won't go on yet another whinefest about ORESUKI's too large and underdeveloped female cast but given that characters like Sasanqua and Tsubaki are reduced to cameos at this point where they do their "one thing" (act tsundere; cook food) do we really need Tanpopo? I'd say yes but with the caveat that she should of been introduced sooner. Tanpopo has something the other tertiary girls don't: a really big personality and a connection to the central mystery of the show.
Tanpopo is entirely self-infatuated. She fancies herself an adorable idol-in-the-making with her eyes set on stardom. Much of her plotting in this episode is presented as a convoluted way to increase her popularity and promote herself. Of course, she's got her head in the clouds about it all; none of her wishful thinking is likely to happen but she still manages to rope Jōro in on the whole idea for...a sexy photo. Honestly, I was surprised Jōro just didn't outright pass on the "plot" to get Sun-chan and Pansy together but like you can expect from ORESUKI, no one was really being honest with one another to start.
Tanpopo wants the two to hook up because as the baseball team's manager she thinks Sun-chan's happiness will improve his game and she can just ride his coattails into high school stardom. She explained to Jōro that she knows the two want to be together after witnessing their interaction at the infamous baseball game. Essentially, Tanpopo "ships it" and her fanfiction fantasy requires Jōro to play the "rival." Asunaro (yeah, she's back for a bit here) agrees to help with the promise to write a feature on Tanpopo and the hope that Pansy's absence will give her better odds with Jōro. Honestly, this whole scheme barely makes sense. It's not clear why Tanpopo thought Jōro making moves on Pansy would in any way drive her to go out with Sun-chan, but it doesn't really matter.
Jōro plays along just long enough before confronting Tanpopo on her real motivations. Her story about the baseball game mixed up some key facts that tipped Jōro off leading her to admit that she had went to middle school with Pansy and recognized her during the Flower Dance. It was then that she decided to set her up with Sun-chan based on the interaction she witnessed at the baseball game but she was motivated by...something we still don't know yet. Pansy is still mum about her past except that other classmates had tried to orchestrate a relationship involving her before. Given how far she's gone to alter her appearance, I would guess that there was a cruel angle to it.
The episode ends with what I expect is the final conflict before the show wraps up: they're going to close the library!
I'm trying to think of a scenario where a school would actually vote to shutter one of the major academic resources on campus outside of say, an outbreak of black mold? I mean, it looks like they already have a student running the place part time, I don't see why it couldn't continue that way. I guess we'll find out next week!
The finally third of ORESUKI feels adrift. The cast has never settled long enough to get into better comedy bits like the better ensemble romcoms. Jōro's growth is easily the best part of the show thus far but I'm ready for some emotional payoff for Pansy instead of new, barely present girls.
Odds and Ends
- There were a few references in the show that I wasn't able to decipher this time around. While Tanpopo's take on Sailor Moon was obvious, I'm completely lost on her continual mention of "Wata Guest." There's also a comedic bit between her and Jōro where the seiyū's voices change dramatically that I feel has to be a recreation of a scene from something but I couldn't tell you want it is. Anyone have any ideas?
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