I’d Rather Review | Orange

Orange| 13 Episodes | DUB | VRV

Verdict: Sad, confusing, but thought-provoking in its own way.

Group Picture
The group of 5 became a group of 6.

When I first started watching Orange, I wasn’t expecting it to be the emotional roller coaster drop that it was. It started out like most Slice of Life anime do. There was a high school, a girl, and then there was a boy. The story follows a group of 5 friends who let the new transfer student into their little clique, and so the group of 5 became a group of 6.

What is unique about this anime is the main character, Naho, gets a letter on the first day of school. It’s a letter from her future self, warning her that on that day she was going to meet a new boy who was going to sit next to her. The letter then warns her not to ask him to hang out with her and her friends that afternoon. She doesn’t listen, for obvious reasons — I mean, who would listen to the instructions in a letter that claims to be from the future? — but when things begin to unfold as the letter said it would, she sees it to be the real thing.

This starts her on a journey to save herself from the regret that her future promises her if she doesn’t change her actions now. She does her best to listen to the letters and bit by bit things do begin to change and alter ever-so-slightly from what the letters promised. As the anime goes along, the risks become steeper and we learn that the letters weren’t sent just to clear some regret from the past about missed opportunities in softball games and box lunches. The letters are sent back to warn Naho that if she doesn’t change her ways, a life is going to be lost in the process and it’s up to her to save her friend now, before it’s too late and she has to live her life full of regret.

Blush
Kakeru and Naho.

It’s an interesting story that plays on the thought, “if I’d known then what I know now…” and takes a look at what would happen if a teenager could receive a letter from the future warning them of present mistakes. I think the way that Naho is depicted is accurate in some ways and infuriating in others. However, she faces the actual reality of having to deal with a letter from the future. That’s a unique situation, and although lots of people like to think that their teenage selves would heed their advice, the question remains: would they? Would we? I like the whole concept of this anime and it’s done very well. It pulls on the heartstrings in all the right places.

There are some things that I didn’t like, the main one being how the actual problems of the characters are never dealt with, just the symptoms. However, in high school, the mentality to see the bigger picture often isn’t developed yet and so dealing with the symptoms of a problem is the only real solution. I also didn’t like shallowness of the love story between the main characters, or how the other main character, Suwa, had to make the biggest sacrifice of anyone in the show. In doing so he drastically altered what would have happened in the future and took away that same future for his friend. It was a difficult decision and it showed in him a selfless – selfishness that can only really be shown in teenagers — the kind of selflessness that seems honorable but is really super selfish in the long-run.

Triangle
Naho, Suwa, and Kakeru. Of the 3, Suwa made the greatest sacrifice.

Overall, it was a good anime that made me think about a lot of things. What would I tell the teenage version of myself if I could write a letter and send it back? Would I try to change things? Would my teenage self, listen? What would I do if I received a letter from the older version of myself now? Would I listen? Would I change things?

I would definitely recommend this anime. I would just advise that you bring a box of tissues with you and be prepared to answer some existential questions of yourself. If you have your own thoughts about this anime, please share them with us and leave a comment down below.


The Otaku Couple

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