ORESUKI: Are you the only one who loves me?
Episode 9

by Lynzee Loveridge,

How would you rate episode 9 of
ORESUKI: Are you the only one who loves me? ?

We continue following Jōro at his part-time job as he attempts to earn the exorbitant amount needed to replace Pansy's copy of Kokoro by Natsume Souseki. The episode is a classic mixed bag: it excels by confronting Jōro's status as a milquetoast love interest but also moves through a bunch of other set-up so quickly it'll make your head spin.

Episode nine has decided to call back to Jōro's insecurities, something we haven't seen him really refer to or exhibit since the first episode. Jōro has always thought of himself as a "background character" in his own life and much of his deception early on in the series was to help him move above that status and into the arms of a cute girl. He carefully manipulated those around him because he didn't feel he had any worthwhile parts of his personality or skills to win them over otherwise. This is meta for harem anime itself where the most common criticism is how did a guy like that manage to impress all these beautiful girls? The response of "he's a fraud" is a unique one and taking it further to where Jōro has an actual personal crisis over how bland he is added emotional depth to what are usually cardboard cut-out stand-ins for viewer wish-fulfillment.

Jōro knows that Himawari is athletic, Cosmos is capable, Sasanqua is popular, Pansy is intelligent, and Tsubaki is reliable. Each of the girls has their own special skills and futures ahead of them whereas Jōro's most remarkable quality is being nice. Frankly, this opens a very real door that is hard to face for many non-fictional people and that's that we're raised on the hopes of being this unique, special being that will achieve amazing things if we only try hard enough. Life is really far more mediocre; most of us will not becoming excessively wealthy, become nationally recognized, or earn accolades. Jōro can't accept that yet and his motivation to purchase Pansy's book isn't for her, but for himself and his need to be acknowledged as a worthy person. He's still learning to care for others and even his actions that appear considerate can still have a selfish motivation.

Pansy tells him this during their confrontation outside of the katsu shop. While being frank, she essentially says that she finds benevolent acts done for personal gain as the worst. Jōro lashes out and has to grapple with really, really looking inward. He runs into a guy who could have been a slightly taller body double at the local park who is able to frame the problem in a way Jōro can understand: that's he good enough and needs to think about what is most important to him. I'm going to go out on a limb here but signs are pointing strongly that the person most important to him is in fact Pansy and he tells her he's still going to buy the book but it's because he wants to give her a gift.

This is about the point in the episode where the focus gets clouded by Himawari, and I'm growing more suspicious of her by the minute. Earlier in the episode, both characters are shown being aware of one another's nervous tics. Himawari diverts her eyes a certain way and Jōro coils his finger inward. Neither seems to know that the other person is aware of it but given that they're old friends, it makes sense. Himawari knows Jōro is lying about the importance of beat-up book and Jōro knows Himawari is lying about her after school activities when she's supposed to be practicing for a tennis tournament. I just about screamed when this culminated in Himawari BUYING THE BOOK INSTEAD OF JŌRO.

This led to an extremely awkward confrontation where Himawari is chastised for her (good?) intentions by Jōro because he thinks she should have been focusing on herself (the tennis tournament) instead of his problems. This felt like another manifestation of his own low self-esteem which felt out of place after all strides he was making up to that point in the episode. Or it was a battle of his ego because he no longer put his hard work towards the specific gift he had in mind. Also, this isn't even touched on, but it doesn't seem like Himawari knows it was Pansy's book he wanted to replace so how would she feel if he turned around regifted it to her? How would Pansy feel if she found out it came from Himawari? Also, what kind of question is that to put on a bookmark, Pansy?

The episode ends with Himawari making her feelings known to everyone (not really a surprise here) and a teaser that she asks Jōro to get Pansy and Taiyō together (this again??). This is probably just a set-up to get Jōro to finally admit that he favors Pansy the most. His feelings have been evident for the last few episodes but it was really cemented in this episode what with him deciding he wanted to do something for Pansy after all and even turning down the opportunity to meet Himawari where, just a few episodes ago, Jōro would have tried to make both happy.

I don't think we've seen all the characters utilized yet. I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop on the Pansy-Cherry-Tsukimi connection. It's real, I know it!

Rating:

Flowers

  • Garland Chrysanthemum: Apparently this is a menu item at the restaurant. In Japanese, it's known as shungiku and its greens are commonly used in stirfry, soup, and hotpot dishes. It's technically not a variety of chrysanthemum at all; it's a daisy.

  • Yasuo "Hose" Hazuki: The guy Jōro meets at the park goes to the same school as Cherry and Tsukimi. The anime's official website says his nickname is "Hose" which is hilarious and incredibly unfortunate. The nickname goes along the same scheme as the other two guys where "Jōro" means "watering can" and Sun-chan is literally the sun. That said, I suggest we introduce a late-term drinking game where whenever Yasuo appears on screen we yell "YOU GOT HOSED" and take a shot. His name is written "葉月保雄" where "葉月" is literally "August" (recall that Jōro's last name is 'February'). His first name is "保雄" uses the kanji for "protect" and "manly."

    His nickname "Hose" likely comes from the more common reading of the 保 kanji (ho/guarantee or protection) and 雄 (osu/male) = "Hoosu." I think the odds that Yasuo is supposed to be a mirrored version of Jorō is probably intentional.

ORESUKI: Are you the only one who loves me? is currently streaming on Crunchyroll, FUNimation, and HIDIVE.


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