Christian artist and gamer. Crazy about ducks and the color purple.
One of the most awaited shoujo animes this summer season, Orange started off as a manga by Takano Ichigo. Last August 2015, it officially ended at 27 chapters and 5 volumes. It became such a hit that it got its own live-action adaptation in December 2015, and now it got an anime adaptation as well!
— 高野苺『orange』&コミック情報公式 (@orange_comics) August 24, 2015
Orange is a story of friendship, love, and regrets, reminding us that our choices in life, small or big, have effects. At the start of her second year of high school, Takamiya Naho receives a letter claiming to be from herself 10 years in the future. The letter tells of events that will happen in the future, her many regrets, and that she should keep an eye out for their new classmate Naruse Kakeru, who transfers on the day she gets the letter. At first, she’s just confused about it and doesn’t pay it much mind, but when things start happening exactly as the letter says, she finally believes that the letter is telling the truth.
The first episode starts out with a group of 5 friends, retrieving a time capsule with their letters, and a picture of them when they were younger with a 6th person. Naho starts narrating, “Now that I’ve turned 26, I have so many regrets.”
Then we’re shown a younger Naho rushing to leave for school on April 6th, your typical “I’m gonna be late!” trope in animes. When she gets her bag, a letter drops, seeming to be addressed to her but also written by her. Realizing she doesn’t have time to think about it further, she quickly leaves and puts the letter in her bag.
Naho gets to school, thinking that it’s the first time she overslept in her life. She then remembers the letter and opens it, to reveal that it’s from herself 10 years in the future. To somehow prove this, the letter addresses that on April 6th, she overslept for the first time in her life, just like what she mentioned earlier. The letter also says that they’re going to have a transfer student, Naruse Kakeru, and it happens! It’s definitely weird. If I get a letter like that I don’t know what to feel to be honest.
Afterwards, Naho’s friends, Suwa, Hagita, Takako and Azusa all invite Kakeru to go home with them so they can show him around town. Kakeru refuses at first because he’s got something to do, but after much prodding, he finally agrees. Naho somehow gets worried because the letter told her something about it: to not invite Kakeru on that day, seriously. When someone stresses that you shouldn’t do something, you should definitely not do it, but given it’s from a suspicious letter from the future, I can understand why Naho didn’t follow it. Plus, this is about making a new friend!
Kakeru seemed to enjoy their time together, even laughing out loud when they talked about Azusa’s nicknames. And when Azusa brought them bread from her family’s bakery, he traded his curry bread with Naho, seeming to notice that the girl didn’t say she wanted it even though she did. Everything about this part seemed so precious. Ah youth!
The next day, Kakeru didn’t come to school, and for the next 2 weeks. When he finally got back and was asked what happened, he just shot them a lovely, refreshing smile, saying he just wanted to ditch school. But when someone goes absent for that long a time and just smiles at you, it should elicit more suspicions, shouldn’t it? Unfortunately, no one commented on it and just went about their time playing sports, the girls in softball, and the boys (except Kakeru) in soccer. He seemed to want to join though.
The letter said that Naho refused to be the pinch hitter that day and that she really regretted it, but she also fell in love with Kakeru that day. Those things all happened too: their team was about to win, but because of a good pitcher from the opposing team, they’re gonna lose. Naho refused to pinch hit because of her aching foot and getting scared of the pitcher (who wouldn’t with that face and enthusiasm). But, after deciding that the letter must be telling the truth, she accepted and won the game for them with a home run! After that, Kakeru met up with her and tended to her injured foot. He told her to speak up about her ill-fitting shoes, the cause of her injury, and about other things too, because he’s been watching her. He then praised her for her batting skills with another lovely smile. Who wouldn’t fall in love with that right? Naho also mentioned that he should join the soccer club if he wants to, because she’s been watching him too. He says he will next year.
The episode ends with Naho reading the rest of the contents of the letter, telling her that she wrote to her 16-year old self because she doesn’t want her to carry regrets for the rest of her life. What happened, or better yet, what’s going to happen that will result to this amount of regret?
The anime is such an eye-candy! The animation was fluid and each frame looked lovely, matching up to the backgrounds that set the ambience of the story even further. I’m super elated that the opening and ending songs as well as the background music fit the story so well, giving me so many feels. As for the story, it’s paced just right, good for the sereneness of the plot. I actually can’t find the right adjectives to describe this gem! Just a bit more and it’ll look good enough to be a movie. Here’s to hoping the quality is consistent with the next few episodes up until the end!
This will be quite popular this season (or maybe this is just me hoping). Fans of the manga, including me, are really grateful that such a lovely adaptation was made, and we look forward to it up until the end! Meanwhile, those who are new to the series are definitely hooked because of the mystery of the story and the endearing characters! Please keep on watching it!
Till next week’s episode!
starting from the July 3, 2016