ORESUKI: Are you the only one who loves me?
by Lynzee Loveridge,
How would you rate episode 7 of
ORESUKI: Are you the only one who loves me? ?
It's the tried and true beach episode this week, but ORESUKI isn't content with just fanservice. Sure, there's plenty of thigh gap and buttocks to be had, but before we get into all the pool shenanigans, I have to shine a spotlight on the new contender for best girl: Jōro's mom. Ms. Kisaragi and her impossible bun are brought to life by Yukari Tamura but she seems more than a little inspired by "eternally 17-years-old" voice actress and mom Kikuko Inoue. It seems that while running her daily errands, Ms. Kisaragi has become acquainted with Pansy and given her access to parts of the house...including Jōro's own room.
The revelation is put aside as Jōro and the gang all head to the pool and our somewhat reformed protagonist takes in the sights while also getting roped into a typical harem-style "competition" for his attention. The series could have played it by the books and filled the episode with 22 minutes of cleavage shots and sexually suggestive shenanigans, and sure, it does that, but it also decides to have way more fun lampooning our expectations. Each time Jōro sets off for a one-on-one with Himawari, Cosmos, or Pansy, he finds himself as the butt of the joke. A trip down a waterslide sees Himawari's bikini top intact while Jōro is...not as fortunate. An escalating conversation with Cosmos gets her flustered and sends Jōro down the current alone on a pink dolphin. Finally, a hot tub session with Pansy only reveals that she's personally perused his porn stash.
Jōro's expectations are repeatedly dashed except when it comes to his stalwart friend and shipping-bait buddy, Sun-chan. I snickered a little too loud as the boys rode off into the sunset aboard their pink inflatable dolphin, leaving the girls behind in the dust.
Of course, this wouldn't be ORESUKI without the machinations of drama turning in the background. Jōro encounters our twin-tailed tsundere "A-ko" (still technically nameless) at the pool. Neither seems to really recognize the other outside of their uniforms and A-ko decides to drill poor Jōro on how she should properly apologize after mischaracterizing him. She also asks him for specific advice about her appearance leading to reverse make-over from her usual spunky look to a much more...demure appearance. Honestly, I liked her original design more. The choice to have her go "natural" is much less distinctive, and the girl group already features two other dark-haired characters. The first is Pansy, and the second is introduced in the episode's stinger, Yoki.
Yoki might just be the previously mentioned middle school girl that Sun-chan liked but chose Jōro instead. She makes a striking impression by taking on a knightly demeanor and kissing Jōro's hand. This, of course, boosts her up the rankings into easily the top three spot. It looks like Jōro's going to have to deal with some remnants of his past in the coming episodes. This leaves me of two minds: 1. Yoki seems like a promising character but 2. It sidelines of A-ko's developments. The characters seem completely unrelated to one another, although A-ko does bare a resemblance to Yoki now that her hair is black. I'm just not sure how both can transpire naturally.
This episode managed to work some original jokes and keep the "beach episode" from being too by-the-numbers. That said, there were quite a few still shots used overall and the characters went off model (but not egregiously so) in a few select scenes. Jōro's abs were the biggest victim.
(Note: Lynzee's List of ORESUKI Beauties is only the reflection of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Anime News Network. Also, it's correct.)
Odds and Ends
This episode broke the fourth wall so many times, I'm not even sure it exists anymore. Are we sure we aren't watching a sitcom where all the characters know they're in front of a live audience?
A-ko gives Jōro an acerola cherry drink, a fruit that is very high in Vitamin C but isn't popularly consumed outside of its native Central and South America. It's really sour.
- Keiki "Laurier" Kisaragi: Jōro's mom's nickname has multiple levels to it, but we'll start with the flower part. Keiki's name is written with the kanji "桂", or the Japanese Judas tree or katsura. The tree smells of caramel during the fall. The second kanji "樹" just denotes a tree or shrub. Like most the characters, her nickname is taken from moving the kanji in her name around to make Gekkeiju (月桂樹), the Japanese name for the laurel tree. That's then translated to French to get "laurier." As far as her catchphrase...I found a few recipes for Bay Leaf cake so...maybe?
In flower language, the laurel means glory, victory while the bay leaf specifically means "unchanging until death." We could maybe loosely extrapolate the last one to represent a mother's love?
- Asaka "Sasanqua" Mayama: Technically, we haven't learned A-ko's full name, but her friends refer to her as Sasanqua at the end of the episode. The anime's official website also has her profile up, now revealing her full name. The Sansanqua is a specific breed of camellia flower that blooms in the winter. It comes in a variety of shades from white to red, but Asaka's hair accessories closely resemble the pink "shishigare" variety. In flower language, camellias mean "admiration, perfection" while pink mean "longing." The perfection part seems to fit Asaka, as Jōro specifically tells her in this episode that she doesn't have to be "perfect". The "saka" part of her given name is written with the kanji "茶花" which can also be read as "chabana", the ornamental flowers shown during a tea ceremony. Her family name is the combination of the kanji for "truth" and "mountain."
- Rapura no Takkyūbin: Jōro's mom mentions that she met Pansy at the bookstore and they started talking after she saw her reading a novel that was adapted into one of her favorite movies. It's hard to make out the title in the anime, but thanks to some assistance from Micchy, I can now say that Keiki's favorite book is Laplace no Takkyūbin, the in-universe mash-up of Kiki's Delivery Service and Laplace's Witch. It looks like they switched Kiki with "Laplace" but given that the character's name is KEIKI, you might be able to guess why she likes Eiko Kadono's story so much. The author's name on the book isn't Kadono or Laplace's Witch's Keigo Higashino. There's probably yet another level to joke, because holy crap ORESUKI staff.
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