ORESUKI: Are you the only one who loves me?
Episodes 13-15

by Lynzee Loveridge,

How would you rate episode 13 of
ORESUKI: Are you the only one who loves me? ?

How would you rate episode 14 of
ORESUKI: Are you the only one who loves me? ?

How would you rate episode 15 of
ORESUKI: Are you the only one who loves me? ?

Once upon a time, it was the year 2019 and none of this, that is the current world around us, happened yet. My primary work-related annoyance was capping off daily streaming reviews of ORESUKI: Are you the only one who loves me? with no proper ending. If you can remember that far back, the show ended with our embittered protagonist Jōro attempting to get Mr. Perfect Hose to get lost since his existence makes Pansy incredibly uncomfortable. Jōro's perfect scheme was to put it to a popularity vote, unaware that the other girls who like him would vote for Hose just to take Jōro out of the running for Pansy's heart.

Currently Hose is leading Jōro 3 to 0, but there are additional ways for Jōro to pull ahead, namely if Sun-chan takes the baseball team to victory to head to Nationals and there's still Pansy, Cherry, and Tsukimi's vote in the running. So let's talk about how this three episode finale actually goes down.

First, there's really only been one person with an actual chance to rival Pansy for Jōro's affections. As twisted as he is, Jōro has had an incomparable amount of admiration for his best friend, Sun-chan. The series has had a running undercurrent, usually played for humor, about Jōro and Sun-chan's bromance. The episode splits its focus between the barette shenanigans and flashbacks from Sun-chan's point of view to further illuminate how the guys became friends and their mutual respect for one another as "two-faced" people. Sun-chan basically gets a whole character arc, starting with his childhood days as a reserved and ostrichsized baseball prodigy to the birth of his gregarious "Sun-chan" personality. All of his experiences, including rehabilitating a past betrayal with a teammate, lead up to victory at the baseball arena. This is building up in the background while Jōro is running around like a madman.

Early on in the episode, the rules for the barrette-collecting competition are laid out, primarily to close any loopholes that would allow Jōro to cheat. One of the rules states that barrettes have to be given in front of both Jōro and Hose, so Jōro does his best to avoid his competitor to prevent him from gaining any more barrettes until he can guarantee his own victory. Unfortunately for Jōro, basically all the girls are attempting to corner him and bring him to Hose. There are a lot of false starts, but eventually the group gathers outside the baseball stadium to continue the previous confrontation in the library.

At this point, Hose has completely dropped his "Mr. Perfect" facade, a heel-turn that I have mixed feelings about. Hose's previous personality was, of course, too good to be true. However, I liked the idea that it was possible for the "perfect romcom protagonist" to be stifling to anyone with the semblance of flaws. Jōro is flawed by a mile and Pansy has her own baggage, too. I could understand her trepidation of being pulled into a relationship with an ideal guy and not wanting to be put on the pedestal as his girlfriend. Instead, it's revealed that Hose is just a bad variation of Jōro and Sun-chan with his particular flaw being that he's a possessive, controlling POS that will probably end up with domestic violence on his record.

Cherry and Tsukimi don't seem particularly shocked by this development, so I'm going to presume they also knew about this side of him, too. After Cosmos, Himawari, and Asanuma talk both girls into just confessing to Hose instead of trying to do what he wants to avoid being resenting, Cherry and Tsukimi split their votes. At this point it's impossible for Jōro to win, so plot has to introduce a (contrived) loophole. Before I get to that though, I also want to point out that Hose got Jōro to agree to up the stakes of losing to the loser also having to remove himself from Pansy's social circle. I think once that was made evident to the remaining voters, they should have handed the barrettes over Jōro out of basic human decency. The only outcome is Pansy AND the rest of the girls no longer being able to be around Jōro or all the girls renouncing their friendship with her. It's some dark shit.

There's no way the narrative is going to allow it. Jōro reveals that the established rules didn't state he could ONLY get barrettes from the main characters, so in rushes all the various minor characters he encountered while running away from Hose to give him their barrettes. But wait, Hose also thought of this and gets 98 barrettes? But WAIT, Jōro also also thought of this and gets the all the baseball fangirls to give him THEIR barrettes? And Sun-chan wins the match?? Insert "theevilisdefeated.gif".

This is supposed to be the big romantic climax where Jōro finally confesses to Pansy and he does...and all of the other girls in jokey attempt to have a rotating stable of ladies. This anti-climax is waved off as Jōro preserving the relationships so that Pansy can continue to have friends instead of a boyfriend. Instead, we get our real romantic climax after that. You think I'm joking, but the next scene is framed like a perfect resolution to one of the fleshed out relationships in the show. Sun-chan and Jōro.

Finally ridding himself of the girls, Jōro gets two large bags of katsu for Sun-chan, just like he did last time. He waits by the South Exit, the one he knows Sun-chan uses when he doesn't want anyone to see him cry. Sun-chan tells him that he owes him one and Jōro offers to do anything he'd like, to which Sun-chan asks him to sit next to him and share the katsu. The two sit down on BENCH-KUN, the cursed bench of confessions, and begin eating together. Sun-chan reminisces about how he's always been rejected, except by Jōro, and thinks he would have hoped Jōro could have been a cute girl. Despite that, he wonders if Jōro is the only one who loves him (anime title drop).

THE END

Kinda. We get a cute, romance-coded scene with Jōro and Pansy after this but honestly, Jōro's heart belongs to Sun-chan. They're just so pure and honest with one another.

What's left to say about ORESUKI? Ultimately, I was disappointed in the "safe" ending insomuch as Jōro's relationship with Pansy. I also thought the shenanigans in this conclusion weren't particularly clever. The one upmanship in getting more and more barrettes to find a hidden way to win made me groan. Yes, it is 100% in Jōro's nature to cheat and I'd expect that from him, this was just a boring way to go about it.

Still, I had a lot of fun with this series, Jōro's silly faces, its cast of misfits, and OTP Sun-chan and Jōro. For a romcom it's still a pretty good ride...(if the script had just quit referring to the girls as "sluts" [translated as "airheads" this time]...)

Rating:

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


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