- Episodes : 13
- Genre : Drama, Romance, School, Sci-Fi, Shoujo
- Airing Date : July 2016 - September 2016
- Studios : Telecom Animation Film
Orange Introduction and Story (Spoilers)
Based off of the popular shoujo manga of the same name, Orange starts off with Takamiya Naho receiving a letter from herself ten years in the future. This letter mentions exactly what will happen that day and highlights the main point: to erase her regrets, especially concerning the new student Kakeru. While Naho is quick to dismiss the letter from herself, she soon realizes that perhaps the letter isn’t all nonsense.
As Orange progresses, we see how Naho struggles against her true nature to accomplish what her letters tell her to do, which often has her going outside of her comfort zone, but when she fails, Naho experiences the regret that her future self-discusses in the letters. Sometimes, the regret is not immediate, either. Such as when Naho neglects to stop Kakeru from hanging with them on his first day, she only realizes what effect this action has on Kakeru many episodes later when she finds out that Kakeru’s mother committed suicide that day.
Not just Naho, but all of her friends experience the same regrets as they fail to listen to their own letters, such as when Kakeru ends up dating Ueda-senpai, both Takako and Azusa had ignored the advice that their future selves gave them and supported the Kakeru x Ueda pairing. This deeply hurts Naho who had made a last plea for her Kakeru right before he agreed to date Ueda, but by then, it is all too late. From this, we can see that in Orange, it is through a combination of efforts from each and every person in their clique that they are truly able to erase any of the regrets they had in the past.
If they do not work together, one person’s efforts (like Naho’s) may become fruitless. This is especially evident if we consider the fact that Suwa must give up on his own feelings and push for Naho and Kakeru to get together despite having evidence that he and Naho are happily married in the future. Through Suwa’s act of selflessness, Kakeru is given hope for the future.
While the other characters are doing their best to change Kakeru’s fate, Kakeru, on the other hand, makes it more difficult each time. When he dates Ueda, he becomes distant, especially with Naho. Kakeru tries to avoid playing soccer with Suwa because he thinks that that was one of the reasons why his mother committed suicide. Kakeru even avoids Naho after they get into an argument later on in the series on New Year’s because he is ashamed of how he reacted to Naho. Each time, Kakeru tries to distant himself to please someone else rather than himself, which can sometimes take him several steps backward.
However, it all culminates in the ending, after countless cliffhangers, as we see Kakeru’s true moment of weakness and growth, where he contemplates actually committing the act of suicide. Yet, it is through the efforts of everyone in Orange that Kakeru realizes how much his friends care about him, which stops him from actually committing suicide. This is the greatest moment because, despite all the successes and failures of everyone throughout Orange, in this moment, Kakeru shows that they truly succeeded in changing his life for the better.
What You Liked About Orange
Orange had a lot of dramatic moments, but my favorite part of Orange was during the Sports Festival. In this part, we see how close the friendship is between Naho and Suwa, yet we can feel the jealousy rippling off of Kakeru as he witnesses how close they are. As a fan of love triangles, this scene really torments me as both Suwa and Kakeru are great options for Naho because they both care about her in their own way.
In that same part of Orange, you also get to see some development between the inevitable relationship between Naho and Kakeru. Kakeru actually admits to feeling jealous and realizes that perhaps he wouldn’t be OK with Naho and Suwa becoming a couple. Many anime have sports festival episodes, but not many have as much story progress as the sports festival episode of Orange!
As a fan of the original manga, I must say that Orange has managed to use the 13 episodes it was given to deliver a fairly great anime that does the manga some justice. Not a moment in the anime is wasted (which can’t be said about many other anime this season). Orange never left me with a feeling of boredom, although it does a great job at manipulating your emotions to really draw you into the anime. While it is nowhere near as dramatic as originally reported, that is why, perhaps, it is easier to watch for many people. Unlike anime like Your Lie In April or Clannad: After Story, you aren’t left holding on for dear life as those anime take you on an emotional roller coaster. No, Orange possesses a great degree of hope that leaves you feeling refreshed by the end.
Discussion Time: Should You Watch Orange
For many, Orange is the type of anime that will draw you in. If you love drama, shoujo, or hopeful anime, Orange is the type for you. While it may not be the type of anime for everyone, it is sure to draw in and impress a wide audience. If you’re up for it, you should check it out!
1. Relatable Main Character
There’s some faultiness in this, but the main character, Naho, is quite relatable for many of us. Naho is timid, reluctant, and quiet, and while some of us are a bit more flamboyant in nature than that, if forced to go outside our comfort zone, they will surely experience all of these traits. In Orange, Naho is forced to go outside her comfort zone time and time again, but this is all part of her character growth. And for many of us, we can relate. We’ve come across many a situation where we have to do something that we are uncomfortable with, but it helps us grow and evolve, and is that not all that matters?
2. Real Issues
Orange is one anime that does not make light of the seriousness of life and actually tackles these problems head on. What do you do if someone you know is depressed and will commit suicide in the future? While many of us would rather not fall into this situation, there are those of us who will come across this problem at some point, and that’s what makes Orange so great. It’s realistic and actually tackles issues that we might face. There are other anime that tackle romantic fantasies, adventures beyond our wildest dreams, or ridiculous school life situations, but Orange is one of the few that actually gets real and features something real that is not added for comedic effect. For some of us, it hits close to home and sometimes, that’s just what we need.
3. It’s Not Just Any Shoujo
If there is something else about Orange that is notable, it’s the fact that Orange just is not the typical shoujo anime that has been pretty much garbage in the last decade. It has dynamic characters, a real plot that isn’t like the rest, and a real message for many viewers. It’s got drama without being overly dramatic and Orange has heartwarming moments that leave an impression on viewers.
1. Frustrating as Hell
Now, let’s not think of Orange as the most ideal anime. In fact, while our first positive point was about how Naho was relatable, this can also be a huge flaw in the anime. It is because of the fact that Naho is so human like all of us that it can really frustrate viewers because Naho makes the same mistakes we do and hesitates the way we would, and there are many of us who see this and see the regrets we’ve had in our past. We see our flawed self, and for some, we want to watch anime to escape our troubles.
Of course, there’s also the fact that many of us would become irritated by the fact that Naho stumbles so often instead of being the idealistic main character we usually come across. How come she can’t just make a fool out of herself the way Naruto does? This trait can frustrate many of us to hell especially since Naho was given the ultimate fact: Kakeru will die should Naho not do these things. Why can’t she just forget what she wants and does, and just do the right things?!
2. Painful Love Triangle
There are a few people out there who enjoy love triangles, then there are the people who hate them. And in Orange, the love triangle is extremely and utterly painful. While Orange itself isn’t completely focused on romance, it is clear that romance is an underlying aspect that comes into play. First off, Suwa is a great guy who is self-sacrificing and kind hearted. He will just give up on Naho if that means that Kakeru will live, but he has evidence that he and Naho could be happy in the future. Then there’s Kakeru who is pretty kind to Naho, but because of the fact that he will possibly commit suicide in the future, viewers are kind of left with the option of rooting for him for his own sake rather than because Naho x Kakeru are a cuter couple.
Then there’s the fact that Naho is completely and utterly oblivious half the time. She doesn’t even seem to realize her own feelings for Kakeru at first, nor does she seem to have any sensitivity to Suwa’s feelings. When her friends joke about there being a future with her and Suwa, and Suwa brushes off the comments and states that he wishes there was an alternate timeline where they could be together, Naho just laughs and agrees. That is just RUDE! How can you just brush off someone’s feelings like that, even if they do admit them casually?! Take it or leave it, but this love triangle can really get to you if you think about the minor details hard enough. It’s not a dominant part of Orange, but if you like to dissect your anime, it will really bother you.
If you’re the type who wants facts and figures, and hate things that make no sense, then you’re going to be irritated when you find out that you have no idea how the characters in Orange even get their letters from the future aside from a brief mention about a black hole in the Pacific Ocean, but how the hell does that work? A message in a bottle?! In fact, while they discuss the idea of being able to send things into the past and creating an alternate timeline where Kakeru is saved, but they don’t really discuss how they’ll figure it all out. No, but just because they made up their minds to do it, they are somehow capable of doing so.
Then there’s the fact that most of the characters in the future made up this idea once they found out that Kakeru had possibly committed suicide. The future Orange cast think that by sending letters into the past to erase their own regrets that they’ll be able to somehow change Kakeru’s future, thus keeping him from committing suicide, yet, if he internalized everything, how is it possible that they knew how to do it all? Yes, he might have shut down a few times and withdrew, but that’s not enough to indicate every part that should be changed. Yeah, there’s a few strange impossibilities that may drive you nuts if you like your facts straight.
Orange is an anime that was hyped up for the summer season, but has it lived up to its hype? For some, Orange fell kind of flat, while others actually did find themselves enjoying it. Now that the season is over and the anime finished, it is up for binge watchers to enjoy if they’d rather watch it all the way through! We at Honey’s Anime believe it can be an anime worth watching, but that depends on what you look for in your anime. If you enjoyed it or hated it, let us know in the comments below!