Oresuki – 08 – Deep-Fried Joro-on-a-Stick

“What new devilry is this?”, Joro must be thinking when Yoki Chiharu, a classmate for all of thirty seconds, approaches him, bends the knee, kisses his hand and pledges fealty like he’s some nobleman.

Even if there’s no damnable bench in sight this week, it doesn’t change the fact that not a single woman in his life has ever been what he initially assumed her to be, nor are her intentions ever clear from the get-go.

Sasanqua, recently interested in his desk neighbor to the point of dying her hair, doesn’t like this one bit. Chiharu, AKA Tsubaki, claims to be paying Joro back for showing her (yes, during that baseball game a year ago) that it’s worth working your tail off for someone, as he was by buying consolatory skewers for Sun-chan. At no point does she drop the kind, dutiful, angelic act to anyone.

And yet Joro can’t help but think something smells rotten in Denmark. In a hilarious half-chuuni, half-rakugo inner monologue that belies his cheerful exterior, he warns himself again and again not to fall for this act, even as her act proves so goddamn effective, he doesn’t even care if he’s being deceived. At one point he asks the fourth wall why this angel wasn’t in the first episode!

Tsubaki joining the group causes almost immediate tension, as she makes and presents to Joro a lunch the same day Cosmos made him one. He accepts both, even though it’s too much food. Later, Pansy calls him out for trying to maintain the status quo. By accepting Tsubaki’s gratitude-fueled behavior, he can “dodge” Pansy and Cosmos’ love-fueled affection. “That’s not kindness, it’s running away,” she says.

When Pansy lends Joro a very valuable hand-written novel to read so they can talk about it later, he quickly loses it after Himawari tackles him in the street. That night he searches for it, and Ram and Rem from Re:Zero recover it for him under extremely suspicious circumstances, but it is totally ruined.

Joro vows to get a job so he can make enough money to replace the extremely expensive book, which not only means spacing out at lunch with the others, but cancelling all future library visits while he works…at Tsubaki’s family’s fried skewer restaurant. Again, Tsubaki has exactly what he needs when he needs it. Pansy states unequivocally that she’d rather he kept visiting her than get a job to replace her book.

But Joro is obstinate; he’s going to replace it, which means he has to work when he’d usually visit her, and which also means he’ll be spending a lot more time with Tsubaki, who finally potentially betrays to no one but us that she has some kind of “payback” plan in motion.

Whether that’s sinister or not remains to be seen; her expression is inscrutable. One thing is certain: maintaining the status quo, as Pansy is sure he’s so eager to do, is no longer tenable—not as long as Tsubaki has him all to himself. Closing note: Tsubaki could, in fact, be the girl Sun mentioned to Pansy a few eps back, whom Sun liked in middle school but who chose Joro. Perhaps Joro’s full memory of her hasn’t quite surfaced. We’ll see.

Cautious Hero – 07 – World Building Be Damned

Rista, Eruru and Mash may be used to Seiya’s overcautiousness and boorish manner, but every time he meets someone new, the goddess has to apologize for him all over again. Enter Roselie, general and heiress to the throne. Having just lost over a hundred of her soldiers to the plague of giant flies led by Beeb Bub menacing her fortress, Roselie wants to make their war council as brief as possible before she and the Hero rush right back into battle.

Needless to say, Seiya ain’t having it. He wants to return to the realm of the gods to train for three days, which while only an hour in Gaeabrande time, still feels like cowardice to Roselie, who is always about rushing forward. The two diametrically opposed personalities quickly clash, and when Seiya inevitably says something worth slapping him for, Roselie’s slap is blocked and she’s slapped right back…several times!

The one-sided exchange leaves her a swollen, blubbering, growling mess, but Seiya won’t apologize for defending himself. And he’s right that Roselie is responsible for the lives of the soldiers she so recklessly sent out without any kind of preparation. It’s just hard to side with Seiya when he’s so brusque and rough with a young woman.

Seiya gets his wish, of course, and when he learns there’s no god of Patriot missles or guns, he seeks out the next best thing: Mitis, goddess of archery. She agrees to teach him the skill that will enable him to launch a number of arrows in quick succession (she says seven is her max, but I doubt he has a max), and for good measure, he learns Eruru’s Fire Arrow in a matter of moments, sending her into a spiral of self-pity and candy-eating.

While it’s hard to compare with Roselie, who got the shit slapped out of her for rightly losing her temper in the face of Seiya’s insufferable attitude, one can’t sleep on the psychological damage he did to Adenela, who wasn’t that right in the head to begin with. When Rista pops by she sees Adenela’s walls covered in “I’LL KILL HIM.”

And yet, when Adenela follows Rista back to Seiya and draws her Eternal Sword to run him through, it is Adenela who is charmed anew into forgiving him without conditions, even as he criticizes her hair and tells her her presence is upsetting so could she please buzz off? Having fallen right back in love with him, Adenela leaves, but judging from her apple-licking, there’s something off about Mitis, which no doubt Seiya will be able to deal with.