ORESUKI Are you the only one who loves me? Is, weird. I know a broad statement to start this one out huh? As most of you may know weird in most cases does not mean bad, I like tons of weird shows, I mean, literally just look at any of my other posts. But when I use the term weird when it comes to ORESUKI it is a little different, mostly because I have no idea what this show is trying to do. What started out as a self-aware slapstick comedy runs the part of the harem that makes fun of harems (while giving Joro the MC PTSD of park benches) But it doesn’t stick to this formula long, it actually drops it three or so episodes in just becoming a harem, doing the exact same thing it was making fun of episodes earlier. Add the fact that the points of tension in the first couple of episodes immediately disappear in the latter as the girls around Joro do a 180 on their love life, once shunning the main but turning out to be in love with him. (Again something the series once makes fun of only to incorporate it as a core point of the plot)
ORESUKI Are you the only one who loves me? Came out in the Fall 2019 lineup, a fairly strong season with masterpiece Beastars, wonderful harem We Never Learn Season 2, another SAO, and My Hero season cause why the fuck not and the utter trash can that is Assassins Pride. In short, there were not only better shows, but better harems airing at the same time (specifically We Never Learn, I wrote about It here) ORESUKI follows main Joro, a self-described ‘typical run of the mill main character’ that is quickly rebranded as ‘typical run of the mill background character’ as his childhood friend, Hinata, Aoi and president Akino, Sakura state to him they are both in love with his best friend Ooga, Taiyou. I should also mention they all have really stupid nicknames. Kisaragi, Amatsuyu, the main known as before mentioned Joro. Aoi’s is Himawari, Sakura’s is Cosmos for some reason, and finally, Ooga is Sun-chan. Joro, now tasked with helping his two friends with their romance puts on a face, appearing gleeful to help the two girls in their endeavor.
The kicker is, he isn’t. What this series does very early on is show glimpses of Joro, the real Joro. On the outside, he seems just like the typical, happy-go-lucky guy just wanting to help out his friends. What he really is, however, is a massive ass hole that couldn’t give two fucks about any of it. At the start, this was actually very refreshing. He was helping them to save face, not really thrilled about the situation he’s in, mad at the girls for dressing up the event as a confession to him (this is where the bench PTSD comes in) But, as the series carries out this side of Joro doesn’t really get old, but more irrelevant. Tired of attempting to help the two girls, Joro decides to take lunch in the library, an isolated place almost no one uses, naturally there is a catch. Enter low-key beauty who metamorphosized herself, Sanshokuin, Sumireko, aka Pansy.
Pansy is the ugly duckling of the school. A sonically awkward library aid that seems to be always alone. With a sharp tongue, she talks to Joro on his lunch much to his displeasure. Approaching him, Pansy suddenly becomes flustered, claiming that there is something that she wants to tell him, and naturally, points to a park bench in the library telling him to sit. (The series plays this bit throughout the whole show and yes, it gets very, very old) Being slapped with a rush of Déjà vu Joro hypes up his best friend Sun-chan as he expects yet another girl to ask for his help to court him. But as Pansy’s words leave her lips she is clear in her statement, she’s in love with Joro, and Joro alone.
This is where the “Are you the only one who loves me?” comes into play. Out of all the girls, the wonderful council president, the bubbly childhood friend, the countless classmates, why is it that the only one that loves Joro, is the sharp-tongued ugly duckling Pansy? I should note Pansy is hot, actually, she is so hot Joro meets her by accident at a baseball game, leering at her for hours. But even in her “disguise”, she is still plenty cute and I don’t understand the whole narrative that she is this ugly weirdo, because honestly, she isn’t any of that. She is without a doubt the most interesting character in the series, silently watching everyone around her she becomes an orator, playing the feelings of the group to force them to be more open and honest with one another. This adds conflict when Joro finds out her best bud Sun-chan is actually in love with Pansy, yeah it becomes a bit of a cluster fuck, this is all in the first couple of episodes as well.
So at this point, the area of tension is well, obvious. We have A Lull In The Sea level of relationship webbing without annoying ass Hikari. The stage is set, and personally, I was excited to see what this series was going to do with this until it did it. I’m going to avoid spoilers so I am not going to get into too much detail. But the web gets blown up, the friends fall apart minus Pansy and Joro. The status quo doesn’t last long however, with a push from Pansy Joro rebuilds the group of friends, the library becoming a haven for them. Oh, expect this time around Cosmos and Himawari are in love with Joro, because why not? Post makeup ORESUKI doesn’t really do anything different or of interest. Joro remains self-aware, sometimes breaking the 4th wall to tell the viewer how stupid any given event was. There is even an episode 9.5 in which the whole first 10 or so minutes is just the production class clowning on the show while also recapping.
This is ultimately what I mean when I say this show is, weird. I have no idea how I’m supposed to take it. Am I suppose to make fun of it? Laugh when it makes fun of itself? If that is the case why is the last handful of episodes, though whimsical, really heavy as Joro is handed an ultimatum. It goes back and forth seeming at random at making fun of itself, jabbing that Joro just wants to make his own personal harem but then shifts on him or one of the other girls taking on an extremely emotional task, relying on one another. It sets a rather strange narrative that, even days after reflecting on it am unsure how I felt overall about the show.
Another thing I need to mention is the animation. Studio Connect, in my personal opinion, has one of the more bizarre animation styles, and frankly, I’m not a fan of it. The charters themselves look odd, their movements seem rigged. Cosmos looks like she is faded literally the whole time, Sun-chan is the only normal-looking one, and well, I mean he is pretty cookie-cutter so makes sense. The sound is fine, nothing remarkable so overall I can say that even with the weirdness, ORESUKI is okay. It had me laughing at some moments, invested at others, and to be honest, I liked the sprinkle of girls that over time add to the harem. Classmate Sazanka, Sasanqua specifically was a cute and unexpected addition that I really enjoyed. If I was going to put a number on this series, ehhhhh It would be around a 5. I think the foundation set by the first few episodes had it on track for a 7 but with the fall off, it’s hard for me to think any higher than that.
As always thanks for the read!