The Cambridge Geek

ORESUKI Are you the only one who loves me?

Or: "The Day I Came to Hate a Bench".

Joro is surrounded by beautiful women. There's Cosmos, the school council president. She's the perfect woman, being beautiful, smart, fashionable and powerful. Then there's Himawari, his oldest childhood friend, who walks him to school every day and won't stop clinging to his back when she runs into him. It's practically a harem anime already. Which means that Joro is very pleased indeed when Cosmos asks him to come sit down next to her on a bench, and very nervously says she has something she wants to tell him. This is his moment, thinks Joro. Happily, he takes his first adventure into the world of bench, full of anticipation and glee.

This can only end well.

A shame then, that he's almost immediately crushed by Cosmos' request that he help her get together with his best friend, Sun. You see, she's fancied him ever since a moment of great emotional intensity after a baseball game, and hopes Joro can help her win Sun round. Unfortunately, this pattern continues with his nearest friend, and, sat once again upon a bench, Himawari requests his assistance in adding to the harem anime he is a background character in.

This can only end well.

You might expect that Joro would be a bit unhappy about this, and you would be absolutely right. While on the outside he seems cheerful and happy, he's secretly a bundle of red hot rage, full of hatred of the injustices of the world. It's a very pleasing switch from the usual form, where the main character of a harem anime bemoans constantly about all of the women in love with him, despite the obvious desire for it.

This can only end well.

But being outmatched by his best friend isn't the only problem. There's a third, Pansy. But this time, she's on his side. Fancies him quite a lot. Just a shame she's basically awful. Rude, unattractive, hides in the library, and prepared to special order a bench, just to mess with him. (This also has the greatest moment in terms of music and sound of the entire show. It is honestly brilliant.)

This can only end well.

Thankfully, the series isn't all doom and gloom. Pansy is a chessmaster, manipulating the lives of the people around her to get the response she wants. She's understood the trouble Joro is in, and wants what's best for him, carefully organising their relationships to both good and evil.

It's hilarious.

There are animation changes as Joro falls apart, we get snippets of his internal monologue, which is always maliciously demonic, and Pansy is almost certain to be a finalist in this year's Crunchyroll Awards for "Best girl". Through all of it, Joro is tortured and tormented, pulled this way and that by the machinations of his school friends, and yet still manages to maintain his smile over the evilness within.

This can only end well.

And along with all of that, I'm pretty sure that if this was a visual novel, the secret ending you had to work extra hard to unlock would be to get Joro together with Sun, who is an excellent friend as well as romantic rival.

This can only end well.

Give it a watch. You won't regret it.

Score 5

Tagged: Anime Comedy Schooldays Family/Relationships Harem Crunchyroll Subbed