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I’m having incredible amounts of feels from the latest installment of Orange! It’s about time, as we’re already past half of the season! In the last episode, we had major developments for Kakeru and Naho’s relationship and we also got to know more about the situation with Kakeru’s mother and his regrets. Lastly, Suwa revealed that he got a letter from the future too! What happened next?
— TVアニメ「orange」 (@AnimationOrange) August 12, 2016
The episode continued from where it left off last week with Suwa’s revelation. Future Suwa tasked his younger self to erase his regrets, just like how Future Naho did with hers. I’m super glad that, finally, Naho has a comrade in this battle against Kakeru’s fate! It’s the ever dependable Suwa too!
So, the next thing on their agenda was Kakeru’s birthday! It’s quite sad that their future selves didn’t manage to celebrate it, so it ended up being part of their grief. Although, isn’t it normal for friends to ask for each other’s birthdays as soon as they get together? Maybe they were just too caught up with having fun that they didn’t remember. At any rate, thanks to their future selves, they finally got a chance to know it and prepare for it.
The parts where they asked Kakeru for his birthdate as well as what he wanted as presents were so precious! It was typical of Kakeru to be shy to ask for anything, but the gang was so persistent to give him something that he caved in anyway. That’s what friends are for! You could see how the boy was satisfied with just getting simple things, and it somehow gave me the impression that he just really appreciates their friendship, or that he thinks he doesn’t deserve to get anything. We also hear his mom speak for the first time, and it seems that she didn’t want him to join any clubs in school. No wonder he didn’t want to join the soccer team before.
Speaking of friendship, Azusa and Takako were the best of friends! Ex-girlfriend Ueda just wouldn’t stop harassing Naho about Kakeru and it was getting annoying. I was super happy and proud that the two girls finally stepped up and stood up against her! I was also incredibly glad that Naho spoke up, even if it was still quite timid. It was a big leap! I hope Ueda finally backs off and stops showing up.
After that, the two girls told Naho that they know she likes Kakeru, and that they’re going to support her. Meanwhile, Suwa told Kakeru to ask Naho out! They are sure determined to support the two! At least in that timeline they won’t have any regrets about this, because in the future, they knew Kakeru’s feelings but kept it from Future Naho. The way she immediately teared up made me sad! It’s tough to know thatthe person you loved actually loved you back, but it’s too late to do anything about it because he’s gone. That’s gotta hurt! She also remembers not being able to act on her feelings. She was constantly stopped by her fears and anxieties, until they became her regrets. No wonder she constantly urged Naho to act without fear!
Back in the present, Kakeru’s birthday finally arrived! He seemed incredibly happy, which was such a treat to see! When Suwa gave a bouquet as his present, I laughed a lot! But apparently, it was something Kakeru wanted to give Naho, but it was just a joke. The birthday boy ended up taking the plunge though, and gave it to her as he confessed his feelings. At that moment, Suwa remembered the letter which said that his future self regretted not supporting the two of them, so he just entrusted it to his younger self. So that’s why Suwa was cheering them on even though he himself liked Naho! Their happiness is more important to him than his own. Suwa’s indeed the best guy! In the next scenes though, we found out that Naho never gave Kakeru a reply, not then nor in the days after. He also didn’t want to bother her for her reply, but the others kept pushing them towards each other.
Then came another dilemma: it seems that the car accident wasn’t the first suicide Future Kakeru attempted! Before that, he met up with his friends from Tokyo, who seem like huge jerks, because they laughed off his “plea for help”. So, in the present, Naho and Suwa decided to talk to him about his problems, because, while Kakeru’s future had surely changed, there’s still a chance he might try to kill himself. Someone please save our poor Kakeru!
We then find out that his guilt is even heavier. Apparently, not only did he break his promise with his mother, but he even dissed her when she urged him to come home. If I hurt someone so bad that they killed themselves over it, I’d be terribly guilt-ridden too. Thankfully, Naho and Suwa were there for him. They told him to not meet his Tokyo friends, but to confide in them instead. He didn’t want to though because he thought that friends are only supposed to laugh with each other, not burden them. Where did he ever get that idea? No wonder he only ever smiled at them even though he was troubled.
Eventually they got him to talk; he wanted to die every single day because of what he’d done. But they told him that it was not his fault. I appreciated the hug Suwa gave him because Kakeru really deserved one! Just imagine, he’d been carrying this heavy burden for five months, from April to September! I’m also relieved that Naho managed to tell him her feelings at last. She told him that she doesn’t want to lose him because she needs him and because she loves him too. Kakeru’s smile when he heard that, just broke my heart into teeny tiny pieces!!! It was a smile that showed he was at the brink of breaking down, but somehow I felt that those words helped him a lot.
— TVアニメ「orange」 (@AnimationOrange) August 14, 2016
This episode has a lot going on, but it wasn’t overloaded in the least. They tackled many important themes, which were executed nicely. In terms of pacing and storytelling, the anime team really delivered well. It was so moving that I cried my eyes out and my heart still feels the heartbreak.
On the other hand the art quality, it’s…bad, again. Many scenes had ugly drawings that were too hard to miss. Even the priority scenes had a lot of mistakes. It’s truly the common sickness of many anime series to have the art quality drop midway. But the story doesn’t deserve this. We might’ve been more moved if it was better, so I hope again that they’ll pick it up in the next episodes.
We’re going to be in for something big again next week. Now that we’re nearing the end of the anime, it means that we’re nearing the climax, so slowly it’ll build up. Let’s look forward to the next one!
starting from the July 3, 2016