Nikku is an indie game developer, a freelance translator, and an avid anime viewer.
I can’t say I’m all that surprised, but way to go, Naho. She really does have a knack for choosing insensitive words at sensitive moments. It would be tough to fault her if Naho was in the dark with regards to Kakeru’s situation, as was the case with her future self, but it’s impressive that she’s still capable of doing this despite being privy to all this extra information.
I can’t help but think how much smoother that scene would’ve played out if we replaced Naho with Suwa, and it’s why I’ve warned in several of my previous reviews about putting too much faith in Naho.
Also, before I dive into the plot summary, there was one really small part of this episode that I had trouble understanding. During the scene where the group of friends are discussing their plans for Christmas and New Year’s Eve, Hagita makes a sort of snort at Naho and Kakeru. This is typically a reaction a character has to show distaste when other characters are acting too close, but it’s something Hagita hasn’t done before, which is why I’m confused about it. Is this just another out-of-character moment, or does Hagita have a secret dislike for people going on dates on Christmas Eve that we just don’t know about?
If anybody has any thoughts as to why Hagita reacted this way, please share them in the comments below.
— TVアニメ「orange」 (@AnimationOrange) September 10, 2016
So on to the summary. This week’s episode starts a short time after the school’s sports day, but soon jumps to the end of the year. Naho and Kakeru make plans to hang out on Christmas Eve, but Kakeru ends up having to cancel because his grandmother gets sick.
The group also makes plans to visit a shrine together on New Year’s Eve. Suwa, however, decides not to go with them in order to avoid confessing his feelings to Naho, contrary to what he did in the future timeline.
While at the shrine, Naho and Kakeru go in search of a vending machine to buy drinks for everybody. Their conversation eventually shifts to the condition of Kakeru’s grandmother, and how worried he is about losing her. Naho attempts to reassure him that everything will be fine, but this backfires and their conversation quickly escalates into a fight. Kakeru heads home upset and leaves a crying Naho behind. Suwa shows up and after briefly comforting Naho, convinces her to chase after Kakeru.
I had a bit of an issue with the fight scene between Naho and Kakeru. Although I thought that Kakeru getting upset was completely understandable, I felt the extent to which he did was somewhat overblown. This is in regards to some of the more meaner things he says to Naho near the end of the scene. It reminded me a lot of episode 02 and Naho’s disproportional reaction to the troubles she had surrounding her bentou, although I think this scene is exaggerated to a much lesser extent.
Also, this episode provided an interesting glimpse into how each of Naho’s friends feel about the effects they may have on future events not related to Kakeru; in particular, Suwa and Naho’s relationship. It was nice to see this because it’s something I’ve been wondering about since the beginning of the series, and that’s how the story, as well as each of the individual characters, plans to reconcile Suwa and Naho’s relationship in the future. Unlike their shared desire to save Kakeru, their thoughts related to this aren’t unified.
Hagita has an interesting take on this topic, and it helps explain how he’s acted throughout the series. He believes they should try not to alter the future as much as possible. This is probably why Hagita has been the most neutral when it comes to supporting Naho and Kakeru’s relationship.
Takako and Azu’s thoughts regarding this are more confused and less clear-cut. They want to support Naho’s relationship with Kakeru, but they also want to help Suwa in this too. Their approach appears to be to just toss everything in and see what comes out, because you never know how Naho’s feelings can change over time. Takako is especially adamant about this due to what’s written in her letter, which seems to be the only one, other than Suwa’s, that mentions about their marriage in the future. This could be the reason why during the scene a while back, where Takako, Azu, and Suwa talk on the rooftop about supporting Naho, Takako says she would be willing to help Suwa if he just asks for it.
Like Hagita, Suwa has also made up his mind regarding this. However, he’s decided to go in the opposite direction. Suwa, particularly his future self, seems to feel that he won Naho unfairly, and so he’s determined to remove himself from the equation and focus on supporting Naho and Kakeru’s relationship.
Last, I thought it was interesting that Suwa’s future self sent him pictures along with the letter. Although this is something I’m sure the story is not concerned addressing, I wonder if this was such a good idea. The letters from the future are mostly a secret, and even if they wanted to tell anybody about them, it would be tough for the group of friends to get anyone to believe them. With pictures, however, things are a little different. If Suwa wanted to share the pictures with others, or if they were accidentally discovered by someone, they could potentially spark some serious time-travel trouble. Like I mentioned though, I’m fairly sure the story won’t touch on this issue.
— TVアニメ「orange」 (@AnimationOrange) September 11, 2016
Currently Airing. Started on July 3, 2016