ORESUKI: Are you the only one who loves me?
by Lynzee Loveridge,
How would you rate episode 8 of
ORESUKI: Are you the only one who loves me? ?
I'm starting to think the "girl from middle school" is just a red herring because, as it turns out, that's not where Yōki first encountered Jōro at all. Once again, during that fateful baseball match, Jōro would leave a lasting impression on yet another girl. This time it was cook at a fried chicken stall. She was so touched by Jōro's dedication to cheer up his friend and grateful that he bought out her stock for the day that she never forgot his name.
Honestly, Yōki doesn't develop much in the way of a unique personality during this episode and it looks like Sasanqua has been quickly sidelined after her "transformation" moment at the end of the last episode. With the introduction of the (final?) two girls at the midway point, it finally feels like ORESUKI's cast has outgrown its scope. Pansy and Cosmos remain the most fleshed out of the female friend group but it's safe to say none of the characters have motivations outside of liking Jōro for one reason or another. At this point in the series, I'd prefer a smaller, more fully realized cast. For instance, Jōro and Himawari probably have a bunch of history together but we really don't know much about it. What about Cosmos' family life and does it have anything to do with why she defaults into Ye Olde Samurai talk when she's nervous?
This episode's underlying theme is a new lesson for Jōro to learn in the hopes of upping his emotional intelligence, but he's yet to catch on why Pansy is disgruntled with him. Jōro has been playing it safe and feigning ignorance to avoid confronting the individual girls' feelings. Pansy and Cosmos have both made it quite clear that they're romantically interested in Jōro but he's comfortable acquiescing to their individual requests so that both are just happy enough to stick around but he doesn't have actually commit to anyone and possibly hurt their feelings. Jōro has shown his ability to grow and care about his friends, but in his dedication to make all of them happy he's really just stalling. Pansy points this out when he accepts Yōki's lunch and then Cosmos' lunch after she ribs him for "being mean."
I guess to put it succinctly, Pansy isn't content being strung along and is calling Jōro out as a coward. When a book Pansy lent him is damaged, he feels compelled to earn the money to replace it. This seems like a noble act and our first hint that Jōro might care about Pansy's feelings above others since he begins ignoring the other girls while hunting for a job. When Yōki offers him work at the stall, though, he again misses the point. I was happy to see him be straightforward in telling Pansy about the book and why he'll have to skip their after school library sessions (most romcoms would use this as yet another tension moment where lack of communication screws things up further) but he still doesn't quite get what Pansy actually is saying. She values her time with him MORE than an expensive edition of a book and losing that time to Yōki (even if it's for Pansy) hurts more than the book's damage.
Jōro is going to have to quit shuffling his feet around and make a decision about where his heart lies. At least, that's what is being said textually, but I'm wary that a romcom harem will actually pull the trigger and set-up a definitive couple. Usually this is avoided 100% or if two characters are paired together there's a last minute "well I'll never give up!" from the secondary girls or some magical reason why they're a-ok with multiple wives or something of that nature.
Finally, while my last prediction was wrong, I'm banking that the pink and blue-haired girls ("Cherry" and "Tsukkimichi") are former friends of Pansy and maybe we'll finally get to open that whole can of worms about her previous social life and what caused to her to adopt her more inconspicuous look?
Odds and Ends
I'm with Jōro's initial instinct here. I don't believe for a second that ORESUKI would legit introduce a 100% agreeable, doting girl to the cast line-up. Maybe Yōki 's yandere and will put his hand in a deep-fryer until he confesses his love to her and Bench-kun.
Also...do you think Tanpopo is ever going to come back?
Oh, and last trivia note: the part-time work magazine Jōro is looking through is for a real temp service agency. Yeah, its name is just "En."
- Chiharu "Tsubaki" Yōki: Yōki tells the class that her friends at her old school referred to her as Tsubaki (木春) by taking the last kanji in her family name and the last kanji in her given name. "Tsubaki" is the name for Camellia japonica. That's a little disappointing in that we already have a camellia variety (Sasanqua). Camellia japonica is the more common camellia of the two and is very popular. Like I wrote in Sasanqua's entry, in flower language, camellias mean "admiration, perfection." Red camellia's specifically mean "you're a flame in my heart." The first kanji is Chiharu's name can be read as "Chigaya," a specific variety of grass (Imperata cylindrica; Japanese bloodgrass) followed by the second kanji "haru/spring." The grass has been cultivated to grow in gardens in decorative red hues and was traditionally used in roofing; but it's also prone to fire which actually helps it propagate. I wonder if the creator chose this reference because Yōki works in cooking? Anyway, there's a fire theme going on here with the red camellia and the grass references. Her family name is written with the kanji "洋木" where alone "洋" means "ocean" but as a prefix means "Western" and "木" means "tree.
- Momo "Cherry" Sakurabara: Cherry's name is just full of flower references. Her first name is a reference to a peach, and her last name references both sakura trees and roses. Then there's her school uniform that includes an iris brooch. Looking closer at the kanji used in her name, she does indeed have the kanji for "peach" as her first name and her last name is "cherry blossom" and "field". The "bara" is a homonym for "rose" but it isn't written the same way. You'll remember that Cosmos' given name is actually Sakura too, and the flower means "graceful woman" and "beautiful spirit;" it is a classically Japanese motif. The peach blossom means "I am your captive" (?!?), "invincible," and "good-natured." The flower is also tied closely to the legend of Momotarō.
- Luna "Tsukimi" Kusami: The reading on Luna's name follows the same pattern as a certain Light Yagami. It's written with the kanji for "moon" and would normally be read as "Tsuki" or "Gekki" but her parents must have decided to be a little "out there" and have it read as "Luna." Kusami is written "草見" where "kusa" means grass or weed and "mi" is "to look at." If you wanted to get poetic with it, her name could refer to "grass looking at the moon." Her nickname "Tsukimi" means looking at the moon which...leaves me without a particular flower to reference...but then I got clever. "月見草" is read "tsukimisō" and is the same kanji as her name with just two inverted and guess what it is? The evening primrose (Oenothera tetraptera). The evening primrose means "quiet devotion" and "fickle love." From what limited glimpses we got of her personality, this seems to fit.
- "Kokoro" by Natsume Souseki: Souseki is easily Pansy's favorite author and this is the third time one of his books has appeared in the series. Before I get into what the book is about, the overall meaning is right on the cover. "Kokoro" means "heart" and Pansy literally lends her most important (and valuable) book, her "heart" to Jōro. He then misplaces it when he's glomped by Himawari (again referring back to the episode's theme of Jōro not rejecting anyone and hurting Pansy in the process). Like Souseki's other works, "Kokoro" deals with the changes in Japanese culture in the Meiji era. Pansy was previously reading this same book in episode 4.
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