Christian artist and gamer. Crazy about ducks and the color purple.
Another week has passed, so we have the second episode of our calming but drama-filled story about friends, Orange! We were introduced to our protagonists last week, as well as the key elements of the story: a letter from Naho’s future self, and Naruse Kakeru, our transfer student. So, what happens next?
“Now, ten years in your future, Kakeru is no longer with us.”
This line in the letter is how our latest episode begins, finally giving us an idea on what regrets Naho’s future self is revolving around. It’s quite a shocking reveal, though it could just mean that Kakeru moved away and lost contact with them, so she has regrets that they didn’t spend much time with him. It could also mean something else though…something really bad. At this point, you probably already had a hunch on what this is hinting to.
At school, the five friends learn that Kakeru’s mom doesn’t make him lunch, so Suwa and Hagita invite him to buy bread with them. Naho remembers the letter mentioning about this, and also says that she told him she’ll make him lunch the next day, but ended up not doing it. She’s also still quite bothered about the letter mentioning Kakeru not being with them anymore.
After class ended, we’re shown that Suwa found out Kakeru is better than him at soccer, so he invited him to join practice. Naho seemed to have ratted him out, so she got scolded a bit. It was a really cute moment! I was torn on whether Kakeru was gonna praise her by patting her or scolding her by bumping her head. But it was the latter, since patting someone you’re still not close with would be kinda pushing it a bit I guess.
They all went to soccer practice, except for Hagita who wanted to watch Evening Get. It’s not mentioned in the anime, but in the manga, it’s said to be a show about Nagano. Just for your information! Anyway, the girls watched Suwa and Kakeru play and cheered them on. You could definitely see that Kakeru was really enjoying himself, and he was incredibly good at playing too! He even scored a goal! Naho seemed to think so as well, as she watched him fondly. Suwa invited Kakeru to officially join the soccer club afterwards, but kept making excuses not to join. After much prodding and 10 minutes of awkward “hand holding” by Suwa, he finally agreed, although only as a temporary member. Suwa seemed to be super happy about his, most likely because he’s gonna have another friend on the team, and it’s a really good teammate too!
The next part makes us realize out that Naho does acts like a mom, because she fixed Suwa’s coat button earlier, and that she makes her own lunch every day. Kakeru jokes that she should make him lunch too, to which Naho obliges, just like in the letter. He takes it back, though, saying he was just kidding. So should she, or should she not? Thinking about it that night, she decided not to just do it, until she read the letter again, telling herself that she regretted not making the lunch. If it were me, I’d definitely do it. It’s for a friend after all, a friend that’s said to be no longer with us after a few years.
So Naho prepared the lunch the next morning, and it was so wonderfully made! You could see the heart and effort she poured out onto it. Kakeru would’ve definitely liked it, if she gave it to him. But she didn’t get the chance because she was too late in gathering the courage to. Kakeru already left with the other guys to buy bread when lunch time came. All that effort, wasted. She even managed to hurt his feelings after class when he offered to carry her heavy-looking bag because she declined quite forcefully upon remembering that the lunch was in there. It’s becoming quite the predicament for poor Naho.
She was already leaving school with Azusa and Takako, but she turned back to apologize to Kakeru, who was in soccer practice. When she finally saw him leaving with Suwa, she apologized and ran away, until Kakeru stopped her and invited her to go home with him. Suwa’s face during this part makes me feel like something is brewing…
It was like a mini-“not-really-a-date”-date after that. It was super sweet and peaceful, and they seemed to get along nicely, just walking around and chatting. Kakeru seemed really interested to know more about Naho since he kept asking her questions. When it was her turn to ask though, she seemed to have stepped on several landmines. She asked him what he was doing during the two weeks he was absent, and he answered her, sadness obvious in his voice even though he was smiling a bit. During those two weeks, he was busy with a funeral and a move, because apparently, his mom committed suicide on the day of the opening ceremony, the day they invited him to go with them even though the letter insisted not to. See what I meant when you should seriously follow something that seems super important?
This is something huge, and Naho felt it too. So she finally gathered the courage to give Kakeru the lunch she made, which made him incredibly happy! It was too precious! She even told him that she’ll keep on making lunch for him every day, and even wake him up in the morning! She’s really just like a mom as Kakeru joked, but you can definitely tell he’s very touched. Naho then narrates that she promises to make Kakeru’s smile live on forever and ever.
If you were thinking of the worst-case scenario of why future Naho has regrets, then you’re most definitely right, as shown in the last part of the episode. The five friends of the future all meet up to visit Kakeru, who we find out has passed away in an accident when he was 17, leaving behind all the promises he made to his friends, filling them all with regret because he couldn’t be saved.
The younger Naho reads this in the letter, crying, and swearing that she’ll save him.
The plot is moving forward! We finally learn that Kakeru is going to die in the future, a future that the future Naho is trying to prevent from happening again, thereby sending that letter. Maybe we can finally hope that younger Naho will follow the letter’s instructions more seriously? It’s a person’s life at stake! Though, this makes us think of another dilemma: can a person’s fate be changed? Can Kakeru really be saved?
Meanwhile, the animation quality, to be honest, dropped down a bit in my opinion. While there were still many scenes that are beautiful, I couldn’t help but notice some poorly drawn parts. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since animes tend to fall art-wise from the second episode onward due to time constraints and the like. I don’t think it’s a good excuse though, but what can we do. It is still much better than other animes out there I guess. To be fair, the backgrounds and the quality are consistent quality-wise, managing to save some scenes.
This will get even more interesting in the coming weeks! With the reveal about Kakeru’s troubles and his fate, what will Naho do? I also think we’ll get even more drama and feels but also happy moments between the six friends! I’m hoping as well that the art quality will be much better next week.
See you again in the next episode!
starting from the July 3, 2016