ORESUKI: Are you the only one who loves me?
by Lynzee Loveridge,
How would you rate episode 5 of
ORESUKI: Are you the only one who loves me? ?
Just when Jōro has hit his stride again, a new situation threatens to upheave his delicately balanced social life. He's selected (surprise) to be the male dancer in the upcoming Flower Festival and Cosmos, Himawari, and a first year girl are set to be his partners. He's also being shadowed by intrepid gossip reporter Asunaro because she suspects he's living a playboy lifestyle and dating three girls at once. She threatens to expose his wily ways but Jōro insists its all a misunderstanding. Asunaro has some semblance of ethics so she agrees to shadow him until the festival and, if she finds her accusations without merit, she won't print the scandalous article. If she believes it's true, the article will be handed out to everyone on campus at the festival.
In most romantic comedies this set-up would just introduce more misunderstandings but I was surprised to see ORESUKI diverge off the usual path and instead have Jōro be upfront with Cosmos, Himwari, Pansy, and Sun-chan about Asunaro's scheme. He must be growing to trust his friend group now, having decided to turn to them for advice and assistance instead of trying to juggle everything and keep them out of the loop. He even tells them that he'll avoid being around them as much as usual so Asunaro doesn't get any weird ideas instead of just cutting off contact with them with no notice. But Jōro can't stay away for too long; he has to practice the festival dance with Cosmos and Himwari and Cosmos also wants him to come with her to meet the new first year.
The introduction doesn't go well; Jōro still has plenty of rumors lingering about him around campus and the first year decides to drop out of the festival dance. Cosmos gets permission for Sun-chan to be added instead of a third girl and, if you'll remember, this dance is supposed to lead to a potential romantic partner for Jōro. This one is for the JoroxSun shippers in the audience.
The writing in this episode, which mostly serves as a character spotlight for Cosmos and Asunaro, casts doubt on our reporter's motives here. It becomes apparent while she's shadowing Jōro that she's jealous of all the fun the group is having practicing for the festival and hanging out. Suddenly, her article is "accidentally leaked" causing a chain reaction where Cosmos, Pansy, and Himwari decide to avoid Jōro for his own benefit since the misunderstanding almost immediately becomes social suicide for him.
Now isolated from the group, Asunaro moves in to help him practice dancing. Of course, she was very apologetic the whole time, seemed emotional about being the cause of the split, and also showed dedication to righting the wrong but...I ain't buying it. I think it was strategic and Cosmos does, too. Speaking of which, seems to have completely come around to liking Jōro based on her actions in this episode. I uh, don't know why in particular, but that seems to be where the relationship is. Jōro, to his credit was more sincere in this episode about displaying his abrasive side instead of his fake side and showed more consideration for both Cosmos and Himawari.
This episode saw the return of multiple gags, starting with the Bench of Foreboding set to the Imperial March. Asunaro appears to want to confess Jōro at the start of the episode, even going so far as bringing up that cursed baseball game, only to accuse him of being a playboy. The fourth wall is broken for the second time too as Jōro reiterates the point of the Flower Festival for the audience. Finally, there's two animation style switches as Jōro briefly turns into Kaiji from Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji and later he and Sun-chan adopt the simplistic Flash-animation style of Eagle Talon. Jōro's faces in this episode are also incredibly good. After what felt like a set-up episode last week, this week returns to the back-stabbing ridiculousness I love.
Odds and Ends
We meet two new girls briefly, the first-year Kimie Kamata who drops out of the Flower Festival dance and "Charisma Group A-ko" who threatens Jōro when the article is released. We'll find out more about both (including the latter girl's name) later.
When Kamata accuses Sun-chan of being a slipper licker the translation of his response is that it's "fake news." The Trumpism buzzword made its way over to Japan in 2017, however it's rendered phonetically (フェイクニュース) which is not what Jōro literally says. He makes a reference to demagogy, which imo is closer to a criticism in the opposite direction than invoking that particular phrase.
- Kimie "Tanpopo" Kamata: Her flower nickname isn't revealed in the episode but it is up on the anime's official website (which is updating after each episode premieres in Japan). Tanpopo is the dandelion, which is thought of as a weed over in the West but it didn't used to be. Her family name is written with the kanji for "bulrush" and "rice field" while her given name doesn't include any plant references. The dandelion is considered "cute;" it used to be called tsuzumigusa during the Edo period but it's current name is a pun of sorts. The onomatopoeia of the Japanese hand drum (tsuzumi; as you can see it resembles the original name of the flower) is "tan" and "popo." So, the flower's name has musical origins of sorts. The dandelion is considered a "fortuneteller of love" since making a wish and blowing away the seeds is a playful tradition.
The bulrush doesn't appear to have any flower language meanings (it's not technically a flower, anyway). Maybe worth noting that both the dandelion and the bulrush have uses outside of just appearance and have been utilized in food, medicine, and crafting supplies.
- Asunaro drops a reference to Svengali, a character in the novel Trilby. Svengali is an untrustworthy man that seduces women, specifically the titular Trilby. His name is considered a catch-all term for a manipulative man taking advantage of a protege (in the same way Machiavelli has extended beyond his story). Asunaro accuses Jōro of being like Svengali when she sees how much Cosmos has fallen for him.
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