Onodera Ritsu- the name must sound oddly familiar if you have ever encountered the series “Sekaiichi Hatsukoi ''. Sekaiichi Hatsukoi, also known as “The World’s Greatest First Love '' is created by mangaka Shungiku Nakamura.
The author has created many beautiful series like Hybrid Child, Junjou Romantica, Junjou Mistake and Sekaiichi Hatsukoi. There have been many Shounen Ai characters over the years, but no one comes close to Ritsu Onodera for many reasons.
There are countless reasons why Onodera Ritsu is such an amazing character not only in Sekaiichi Hatsukoi but in the Shounen Ai universe.
The Pure, naïve, yet jaded Adult
When it comes to love, pure love, and one true first love, there are many candidates. Well, Onodera Ritsu is leading the race when it comes to a faithful person who doesn’t have a single selfish bone.
Ritsu Onodera is a pure adult who was hopelessly devoted and in love with Takano Masamune. Welp sucks to be both Ritsu and Takano who broke up ambiguously due to a miscommunication.
Unfortunately, this pretty much left them both jaded and broken. No matter who Takano ever tried to date, he could never get over Ritsu. The same goes for Ritsu who decided to give up on love altogether. Why shouldn’t he, due to the childish actions of Takano, Ritsu was very heartbroken, to the point he left the country?
In the manga, Ritsu often had nightmares when he broke up with Takano and went to study in England. Takano was a mess, and so was Ritsu who decided to stop believing in love ever again.
Not until he met Masamune Takano again, as boss and subordinate. Office romance isn’t a cup of tea for Ritsu, but pretty much everyone in the Emerald department at Marukawa Publishing is pretty much living their secret romance.
Tenacious “Never gonna give up”
Takano Masamune wasn’t the only one who felt “bothered” by Onodera Ritsu’s presence. Someone else was jealous to the point of flaming, bashing and using every chance to bring down Ritsu.
It’s none other than Takano’s BFF and ex-date, Yokozawa Takafumi. Dear delirious Yokozawa felt threatened (and rightfully so) after Ritsu’s arrival. Although a professional, Yokozawa didn’t leave any chance to undermine poor Ritsu.
Professionally, Yokozawa doubted Ritsu’s ability and let’s be honest, he was pretty much looking down on him with a prejudiced mindset. The angsty and stabbing Yokozawa tried every antic in the ex-book to deflate and demotivate Ritsu to pursue Takano, knowing fully well that Takano still loves Ritsu.
As if Ritsu was ever gonna let personal issues affect his professionalism. Let’s learn from Ritsu Onodera what it means to be a real “pro.” Thankfully, when in a pinch, even if Yokozawa had no faith in him, Takano showed full support.
A kind gentleman
Ritsu Onodera can be furious, tenacious and absolutely cute, he's a true gentleman, although his kindness often backfires. Ritsu was indecisive and excessively kind to almost everyone including An Chan, his ex-fiance. Ritsu never had “hearts for her”, but it's a different story for An Chan who was very much in unrequited love with Ritsu.
She's aware that Ritsu doesn't love her the same way, and he's still not over his high school crush. When An Kohinata met Ritsu after the new Year, she waited for him in the cold. His kindness kinda ticked off Takano Masamune because he sensed her feelings towards Ritsu.
It's natural for Takano to get jealous of his ex-fiance. Unfortunately, it took some time for Ritsu to make things clear with Ann. Luckily, Ann is a sweet fluffball who sensed Ritsu would only smile at "Takano" only and no one else. Ritsu, whether in the past or present, can never get over Takano Masamune.
Know your heart…?
Onodera Ritsu might look like an indecisive man but that’s far from the truth. Takano Masamune kinda irked Ritsu off so many times, almost playing with his heart, and passion and even made him cry due to his tyranny.
If one word could describe Takano, he’s a sadist who loves playing Ritsu, especially in work life. Although, he’s also the one who truly treasures Ritsu. Ritsu has too many suitors which makes Takano jealous like there’s no tomorrow. Takano’s possessiveness towards Ritsu and his willingness to care for him are not lies either.
Onodera Ritsu kinda stalked Takano in high school, but we will just forgive this pure naive soul who only wanted to know his senpai. Ritsu never had any toxic or malicious intentions towards anyone, not even Takano or Yokozawa who looked down on him on certain occasions.
The one thing that makes Ritsu Onodera in the Sekaiichi Hatsukoi universe quite appealing is that despite he might appear weak or shy, Ritsu knows his heart and what he wants.
Although it’s very difficult for him to truly and openly admit his feelings for Takano due to societal pressure, work and family, especially his controlling mom. Ritsu knows what he wants and why he loves Takano. Although Takano might seem like a sadist, a tyrant who loves playing with Ritsu, let’s not forget he’s always sincere in work and personal life.
At least one thing’s for sure, no matter how much time has passed, Onodera Ritsu will always have Masamune Takano in his heart. Long live the couple and hope Ritsu Onodera can be happy together with Takano Masamune.
Thanks for reading!!!