ORESUKI: Are you the only one who loves me?
by Lynzee Loveridge,
How would you rate episode 12 of
ORESUKI: Are you the only one who loves me? ?
Where were you when ORESUKI's staff announced that there would be no real finale and fans of the show found out that the only way to get the real ending is to wait for an OAV release slated for early summer? I think I had just finished eating Christmas brunch and was on my second mimosa. So before we get into the highs and lows of this pseudo-finale, I might as well get it out of the way that this is not the ending to ORESUKI and hopefully one of the three streaming services gets a hold of the OAV rights so we can view it. Otherwise this is a sour note to leave the series on.
We last left Jōro and co. as they teamed up with Hose, Cherry, and Tsukimi to revitalize the school library. The plan was a smashing success, mostly because Hose attracts plenty of female attention and (for reasons unexplained) the trio can just hang around another high school's library during school hours. Are they skipping their classes to be here and hover around Pansy? Who knows but the girl is at her wits end trying to remain polite around a guy she really wishes would just get lost. I thought this aspect of Pansy and Hose's relationship more after some of the viewers in the comments seemed confused about what the big deal was with Pansy and her aversion to Hose. This episode makes it more clear that issue is decorum.
Pansy doesn't want to date Hose. There's nothing wrong with him as a person, personality or looks wise. She just isn't interested in this perfect dude and feels pressured by Cherry and Tsukimi to consider him even though she also knows that they like him romantically. Pansy feels obligated to tolerate Hose even though she has no intention of returning his feelings simply because it would be rude to tell him to take a hike. Now, I still think there exists a very viable option of outright telling him she won't date him but it seems like it's not just that, Pansy doesn't even want to be friends with him. Yet, she feels like she'd have to be an asshole to both crush a nice guy like Hose's heart and tell him to just, like, go away? Fortunately, such an asshole does exist in the world of ORESUKI and he's willing to take it on the chin if it means that Hose goes back to whatever school he came from and quits putting Pansy in an awkward social situation.
ORESUKI being ORESUKI, Jōro doesn't know that he's the right man for the job yet. First he has to be goaded by Sun-chan and Pansy. While Jōro was treading water for a week while Hose hung around the library, Pansy and Sun-chan decided to create their own scenario that might get Hose to take off. Pansy agrees to date Sun-chan in the event that his baseball team goes to Nationals and wins (thus recreating the infamous match that brought the characters together). At first Jōro thinks this is absolutely serious and it doesn't seem like it's outside Sun-chan's nature to play the long con in order to be with Pansy. Pansy even plays along to get Jōro to leave the library for an extended period so he can go sulk. It takes a summer vacation of brooding and a few key conversations with Sasanqua and Tsubaki before he realizes Sun-chan and Pansy were talking in code, more or less.
They wanted to divert Hose's attention off of Jōro since Hose will "never give up" on Pansy. Pansy had previously indicated to Jōro that she was going to come up with something to get rid of Hose herself and Sun-chan's conversations with Jōro were mostly to get him to realize his own romantic feelings for Pansy. Jōro "confesses" to Sun-chan in one of the more emotional moments in the show and decides that he'll fully embrace his true nature, thorns and all, to get rid of Hose. His idea is a popularity challenge that Jōro believes is 100% in his favor. Cosmos, Himawari, and Asunaro just have to vote for him over Hose and he'll be long gone. But this is ORESUKI and a long-running theme has been pursuing one's own happiness versus doing the "honorable" thing and simply supporting who you love. Well, Cosmos, Himawari, and Asunaro all have their own romantic feelings for Jōro that they make known, then and there, and decide to vote for Hose since Jōro would no longer be able to interact with Pansy, thus increasing their own odds of being with him. This will probably be divisive but it's totally in line with ORESUKI's approach to romance and at odds with the typical romcom anime approach. So on one hand, I applaud the girls choosing not to suffer in silence and instead be forthright. On the other hand, can't we ban Hose from the library, too? Cosmos, Himawari, and Asunaro don't like how he makes Pansy feel.
That's where the show closes out though. In the midst of this vote. I can make what I think are some reasonable assumptions based on where the pieces are but we won't have a proper conclusion until roughly July. Here are my reasonable predictions:
- Jōro will somehow get through to Cherry and Tsukimi that their unwavering support and proactive approach to getting Pansy and Hose together is wrong for a variety of reasons since it is denying their feelings and honestly ignoring Pansy's. This revelation will lead Cherry and Tsukimi to vote for Jōro. (Vote count Jōro: 2, Hose: 3)
- Sun-chan and Tanpopo will manage to bring the baseball team to victory at Nationals, automatically giving Jōro an additional vote and thus tying up the popularity vote.
- Pansy will, of course, vote for Jōro and give him the win.
Then again, this is ORESUKI and there could be more twists thrown in there. Looking back, the series' dedication to twists and turns was a double-edged sword. It kept the overall series engaging, separating it from its more by-the-books brethren but it often got caught up in its fast pace and for a time, its larger than necessary cast. Sun-chan's double-cross barely had room to breathe before the quota was reset again and his and Pansy's plot revealed. I wouldn't have minded a more involved episode as Jōro came to terms with his feelings for Pansy and what that meant about his friendship with Sun-chan. ORESUKI did its reveals best in the earlier arcs; by the end problems, motivations, and resolutions were squeezed into singular episodes and they lost a lot of "shock" that you want with major character revelation.
Overall, I really enjoyed the show for the reason I least expected: Jōro grows on you like a fungus. He started out the series as a classic PoS who spent too much time reading pick-up artist playbooks. By the series' end he's wrestled with his own feelings of inadequacy and what it means to be true to himself while also being considerate of his friends. He is by no means a perfect protagonist, but that's the point. Guys like Hose don't really exist and if they did, they'd be impossible to be around for us average people.
I can't believe we have to wait until July though, I'm so mad.
Odds and Ends
- One joke toward the end of the episode has Jōro incredulously exclaim that he was even betrayed by Shuka Saitō. Saito is the voice actress of Sasanqua and sings the anime's opening song. Jōro is breaking the fourth wall to call out the staff's fake out for running the opening theme during his plot, indicating to viewers that the episode was wrapping up just to pull the rug out from under him and play it again during the girls' betrayal.
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