ORESUKI: Are you the only one who loves me? – Anime Preview
Synopsis: Kisaragi Amatsuyu thinks he’s hit the jackpot after popular upperclass girls Cosmos and Himawari invite him out! But to his sheer disappointment, they spill a juicy secret: the girls are into his friend and not him. Overhearing this reveal, a girl in the shadows begins to pester Amatsuyu, finding enjoyment in his lady woes. But he’ll soon find out this girl is the only one who likes him! (Official Funimation Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Oresuki’s first few minutes are promising as Kisaragi Amatsuyu, a seemingly average High School kid, is approached by a scheming young woman, who seems to know his darkest secrets. That enticing opening shifts into the typical anime rom-com vibe, meant to lull us into a false conception of what the series is, before we gradually build back towards those first few minutes and experience twist after twist. It’s a roller-coaster of emotions, but the big issue is how flat and unfunny everything within the typical rom-com anime vibe feels. Jokes more often fall flat and it’s not until things start going off the rails that Oresuki’s promising first few minutes feel vindicated, making this first episode quite uneven.
Linny: For some reason, the episode is obsessed with giving and explaining the nicknames of every single featured character, making for an unusual feature that stands out but does little to add or subtract from the show’s appeal. Something that’s less unique but definitely still enjoyable is the show’s decision for the protagonist to express his shock by using English words. In fact Kisaragi, known by his nickname as Joro, awkwardly reacting to other people’s actions makes for a few of the episode’s funniest moments. But the show then decides to have certain situations play out almost exactly the same, especially in the case of Joro’s interactions with Himawari and Cosmos, his two would-be love interests, and those scenes end up feeling so repetitive and unpolished that this first episode already feels quite stale.
Tom: Things take a significant turn when we learn that Joro isn’t entirely the young man he presents himself as. While the reveal that there’s more to Joro than meets the eye is interesting, the trouble stems from how his personality goes full incel, expressing frustration that his love interests don’t show a lick of romantic entanglement with him by internally labeling them as bitches and minxs. This isn’t helped by how abrupt the switch is, explaining this snap change in mere seconds, rather than perhaps giving us a few minutes and revealing gags to re-contextualize his character. Also, because of that tease in the first few minutes, and the way Joro’s false love confessions play out, the ultimate twist becomes obvious and the humor to get there doesn’t quite come together.
Linny: The 180 degree twists we get regarding the girls’ confessions to Joro were really working to help Oresuki feel different, especially since it was mimicking being a bland generic rom-com anime so well otherwise. And even finding out that Joro was putting up a facade of being a sweet and likeable guy all this time could have worked to make this show feel all that more unique…but the rage and hate he spews towards the girls who ‘jilted’ him really leaves a bad taste in your mouth. This whole notion that people owe you romantic feelings and favours simply because you let them walk all over you is a toxic thought process that has led to some really violent and upsetting real world incidents. Sure there are actively manipulative people out there but in this case, it seems pretty clear that neither Himawari nor Cosmos went out of their way to mislead or manipulate Joro yet he aggressively labels them with hateful terms and paints himself as the poor, innocent victim when he was the schemer all along. I’m sure some people could still see and enjoy the twisted comedy of the situation but there’s a fair number of people who would be put off by it. If this is going to be one of the big comedy/plot points of the series, it’s going to be hard to sit through for some. Knowing that this could be a prevalent part of the series, it’s ultimately going to be up to your tolerance or enjoyment of this factor that will decide if this show is for you, even with its more unique take on rom-com stereotypes.
Tom: What I think Oresuki is hinging itself on is that Joro having to deal with the mysterious girl introduced in the show’s opening moments is a kind of comeuppance for his toxic views on love and romance. That said, while he may totally deserve that punishment, I don’t know that Joro will be all that fun a character to follow week in and out. That said, Comedy is incredibly subjective and while I don’t think Oresuki comes together in the right way, it’s no doubt got an appealing premise that subverts typical rom-com shenanigans. If that simple act of subversion is enough and the more rough edges of its comedy don’t bother you, Oresuki’s start isn’t so uneven that it should be dismissed entirely.