「俺たちのゲームセット」 (Oretachi no Game Set)
When OreSuki ended last year, there were so many questions up in the air. I wasn’t sure if a 30-40 minute OVA would be enough to cover everything left. Turns out the OVA was a trojan horse for Episode 13-15 – providing 1h 10m of content, giving the series ample time to deliver a bombastic finale.
We pick up where the show left off. Believing that his female friends would support his master plan, Joro had plotted against Hazuki by setting a wager where the winner is decided based upon who can collect the most barrettes, while the loser must never contact Pansy ever again. However, the plan backfires spectacularly. Himawari, Cosmo and Asunaro confess to Joro one by one and hand over their barrettes to Hazuki instead – making it clear they viewed Pansy as a romantic rival who could be eliminated. And as for Cherie and Tsukimi… while they are in love with Hazuki, they ultimately want him to be happy and don’t intend on backing Joro. Which leaves him in a precarious situation where Hazuki has already amassed plenty of barettes – with no takebacks being allowed. In addition to these girls, an extra barrette is up for grabs depending on the result for the baseball match between the respective schools that Joro and Hazuki attend. Meaning that Joro’s also relying on Sun-chan to pull through. It made me happy to see this final baseball arc. Not only does it take the series in a full circle – since the previous baseball match was the singularity that kickstarted this whole RomCom fiasco. So it’s only fitting that this singularity is resolved by a subsequent baseball match. It also takes OreSuki back to its roots – subverting expectations while Joro and Hose viciously scheme against each other.
Something I really appreciated about the OVA was how it strived to flesh out Sun-chan’s character. My opinion of him was pretty low after the saga where he betrayed Joro, and treated him pretty badly. I wasn’t ready to trust him so quickly even after he and Joro patched things up at the swimming pool. But this episode really gave us an insight into Sun-chan as a person and truly redeemed him. We witness how he struggled to be liked and recognised all his life, after being ostracised as a kid by the rest of his baseball team. He became best friends with Joro in middle school, under the impression that Joro was a kindred spirit who was also hiding his true self to be liked by others. But when Joro viciously confronts Shiba in defence of Sun-chan, the latter realises that Joro doesn’t hide his true nature to be popular, but only brings it out to protect the people he cares about. Furthermore, Sun-chan is rejected by the girl he has a crush on – because she’d fallen for Joro’s selflessness. And even though his friend always fought for him, he hadn’t really been a good friend in seeking to undermine Joro. So this gives birth to an inferiority complex on Sun-chan’s side, which he continually fights against throughout his baseball match.
Despite the fact there were moments where he almost gave up, two things allow Sun-chan to pull through. First, where he reconciles with Shiba, bringing up the level of performance since everyone is finally playing like a team. And when he felt despair that no one from the Library group had come to watch his important game, he takes off his cap – only to discover a message of advice Joro left for him that would help lead him to victory – showing that Joro truly had Sun-chan’s best interest in his heart. That was some truly beautiful display of friendship, and it’s not something that can be easily scattered across a couple of weeks. So it was really fascinating to see how studios can overcome traditional limitations as a result of opting into a different format.
Hose Reveals His True Colours
When the time comes to count up the barrettes, Hazuki reveals his wicked and twisted nature by suggesting a sickening revision to the wager – where the loser must never contact Pansy or her friends again. His intent being to destroy and deprive Joro of everything he cares about. For Hose, it’s a win win situation. If Joro loses, either Pansy gets abandoned by her friends, or Joro is completely left alone. What follows is a sequence of excellent mind games, where both contestants seek to one up each other. When Joro believes that he’s outsmarted Hose, by asking 10 girls outside the original agreement to help provide barrettes, Hose proceeds to reveal that he had always been a step ahead of Joro – summoning 95 girls from his school – bringing the score to 98-10. When all hope looks lost for Joro – Sun-chan brings over the baseball clubs fangirls as he had secretly arranged with Joro. In addition to news of their school’s victory, this gives Joro just enough barrettes to defeat Hose once and for all – with Pansy confessing her love to Joro before telling Hose to get lost. I was kind of disappointed that Hose became this one-dimensional villain. But it also meant that I didn’t need to feel bad for him when he lost.
In a conventional RomCom ending, this is where Joro plucks up his courage, confesses to Pansy and chooses her to be his girlfriend. And that did happen. However, I’m happy to say that OreSuki tore up the script and threw it out of the window. Right after he confesses to Pansy – who tears up with sheer joy, he follows up by confessing to Cosmo, Himawari and Asunaro as well. And asks Sasanqua to be his Friday sidechick – understandably pissing off every single girl to the point where they immediately ditch him. But while Joro might have acted like a knave, he was really fulfilling his promise that he would help her make some best friends. And also preserves his own friendship with Sun-chan by making him the priority – since our baseball kid still has feelings for Pansy, even if he was gracious enough to release her from the obligated promise of becoming his girlfriend. I wasn’t too disappointed by the way things unfolded, the best part being that we still got romantic closure. When Sumeriko catches Joro on his way home, he agrees to accompany her and they link arms – before he tells her ‘The moon is beautiful’. In Japanese, this is pretty much a confession of love. So we were allowed to have our cake with the attempted harem ending shenanigans, and were still able to eat it too when Joro implies that Pansy is the end girl!
Was OreSuki perfect? Admittedly, no. But god damn it was so much fun. And for once, I’m left satisfied with the proper ending, which was a huge improvement on those open endings designed to encourage viewers to buy the light novels. As always, thanks for reading my post – and catch you all next time!