Hello everyone! I hope you are enjoying Anniversary Review Week so far. Today is Day 2 and while we talked about a upbeat show yesterday, we are going to look at the other side of the spectrum today. I normally am not one that goes into a situation knowing I am going to cry. Sure, I cried when Seido lost in Ace of Diamond and several times during Kimi ni Todoke, but I did not know I was going to cry. There are a lot of shows out there that I want to watch, but the knowledge of the emotional turmoil I am going to be sent through keeps me away. Today we are talking about the one of the few shows I have gone into that I knew would lead to my crying multiple times over the course of it.
So let’s jump right into my 39th Anime Review, and Day 2 of Anniversary Review Week. My review of a show that…well that tells quite the story: Orange.
Orange is a 13 episode anime that aired from July 2016 until September 2016 as a part of the Summer 2016 Anime Season. It is based of a manga of the same name that was written by Ichigo Takano that was published from March 2012 until January 2017. It received a sequel film, Orange: Mirai, that aired in November 2016. There was also a live-action movie that was released in 2015. It was animated by Telecom Animation Film, and received an English dub by Funimation.
Our story is about high school second year, Naho Takamiya, who receives a letter on the first day of school claiming to be sent from herself 10 years in the future. While not convinced at first, several things happen that are mentioned in the letter which leads Naho to believe it to be real. The letters tell Naho that her 26 year old self has many troubles in adulthood and regrets many things. She is also instructed to keep watch over the new transfer student, Kakeru Naruse, and to do whatever she can to help him. Naho then finds out that her four friends (Hiroto Suwa, Saku Hagita, Azusa Murasaka, and Takako Chino) received letters as well. All of which asked for them to keep an eye on Kakeru, who is revealed to no longer be alive in ten years.
The cast of this show is not large by any means. We mainly spend our time with the six main characters as they try to save Kakeru or, in Kakeru’s case, just living their everyday high school lives. While I would love to tell you that these characters are perfect the way they are, I cannot do that. Naho can be oblivious and downright frustrating at time. She means well, but often times it just ends up making the situation worse. We do not really spend a lot of time with the other two girls, but they seem a lot more levelheaded than Naho at times. Kakeru is going through his own problems which any of us would struggle to deal with. I do not have a problem with his character, he seems the most…human out of the six. However, like Naho he can be very oblivious so watching the two of them together can be very frustrating at times. Hagita was interesting because he served, somewhat, as a comic relief character at times, but if the comedy was toned down a little bit. It was a more natural, dry humor that I personally am a big fan of. In my opinion, the best character was the lovable Suwa who is doing whatever he can to save Kakeru and bring Naho and Kakeru together. He is such a pure, motivated, kind character who you cannot help but love as you watch the show. Suwa is the one who keeps everyone on track and is not afraid to step up and say “stop running away”. The show definitely needed him. The cast was overall a good, balanced one with all of the characters meshing together very well.
We also get to see how Kakeru’s passing has affected the five remaining characters ten years after the events of the show. Told through many flash forwards over the course of the series. After they graduated, they all kind of drifted apart from one another. Well…except for Suwa and Naho. Anyway, it really caused an impact on these characters and ended up changing them in a lot of ways. It affects us more than it would if we had not been able to see their adult lives.
While I loved the story, there were a few things that really bothered me. Mostly focusing on Suwa. With him being my favorite character, I wanted him to be happy with life and what he was doing. It was hard seeing him do these things to bring Kakeru and Naho together when he knew that it meant he could not be with Naho in the end. It sucked! I wanted Kakeru to live but I also wanted Suwa to end up with Naho. I think the whole purpose of the movie was to emphasize that both could not be possible. They just kept kicking us in the shin with the Suwa feels. It is just hard when you see your favorite character being hurt so much. Suwa really drew the short end of the stick on that one. I mean just look at him with their baby. It’s so cute!! It is just very hard and complicated thing to watch.
Orange was animated by Telecom Animation film which has done other shows like All Out!!, Chain Chronicle, and also did some work on Lupin III. The show was overall very well animated and very pretty to watch, but there were a few times in the middle where it just seemed like some funky stuff was going on. The soundtrack was okay. The opening and ending songs were pretty but neither of them made it onto my iPod.
The one thing that I liked about Orange was that the story it told was very important. It looked at how even little things you do can hurt someone, or even how that event could go on to to change someones life. This, in itself, made the show even better to me despite the few flaws that it had. Maybe my opinion would have been better if the love triangle between Suwa, Naho, and Kakeru had not been there and the story had been about five kids trying to save the life of their friend. I do not know, that is just what I would do.
In the end, I award Orange with a B. While the show had things that bothered me (Suwa deserved better!) the story that it told, and the lessons that it taught made it a beautiful show. I also cried multiple times while watching this show, which is something hard to achieve and not many shows have done it! I do recommend this show to people who are willing to sit through the emotions this show brings, because the story it tells is beautiful.
Well that is all that I have for Day 2 of Anniversary Review Week! What do you guys think? Did you cry watching Orange, or reading the manga which I did as well? What other anime series made you cry? Let me know in the comments down below!!