Nikku is an indie game developer, a freelance translator, and an avid anime viewer.
I certainly wasn’t expecting that ending. I have to say, this is the first episode of Orange that I genuinely enjoyed.
Overall, I haven’t been enjoying this series all that much so far. The premise piqued my interest, but neither the characters nor the story have been able to pull me in, and I didn’t feel very invested in either of them. I can honestly say that I the ice cream dispenser animation from episode 4 was the most interesting scene of the previous episodes. That’s the level of interest I had for this series so far.
This week, however, managed to turn that around for me, and hopefully this will continue for the second half of the series.
— 高野 苺 (@ichigo_takano) August 7, 2016
Do you want to know what makes this week’s episode so interesting?
For one, the pacing has picked up. This might be a bit of a stretch, but I would say that more things of substance happened in this episode than in most of the five previous episodes combined (not completely, but close). Despite the quicker pace, this episode didn’t feel particularly choppy or rushed.
The other strong point of this episode is the amount of new information that’s revealed. In a handful of scenes, we’re able to peer a little deeper into Kakeru as a person. Since he usually keeps his guard up, it wasn’t something we’ve been able to do much so far.
Early on in the episode, Kakeru and Suwa have a conversation about regrets and choices. Kakeru explains that he’s afraid to hurt others by making the wrong choices, so he’d rather not choose at all. He regrets what he feels to be a life of bad choices, and he’s unsure if it’s okay for him to like Naho. Suwa tells him that if he doesn’t make choices, then he won’t be able to do or change anything, but Kakeru says he’s fine with that.
In some later scenes involving Naho, we also get to see Kakeru struggling to cope with his mother’s death. We already knew that he was probably struggling with this, but he hasn’t actually revealed how he feels. In this episode, Kakeru talks about the regret he has for not being able to prevent his mother from committing suicide. He blames himself for not being there when he knew she really needed him. Naho tries to tell Kakeru that his mother would forgive him, but her words aren’t enough to comfort him. This conversation also increases the amount of guilt Naho feels for not preventing Kakeru from hanging out with them on their first day of school.
It’s all this guilt, regret, and sadness that likely leads Kakeru to eventually take his own life. We learn from both the letter and a scene from the future that it wasn’t an accident that ends Kakeru’s life after all. If you remember what I wrote at the end of my review for the second episode regarding this, then you’ll know that I’m glad to see the story shift back in this direction.
The biggest surprise this week came at the end with Suwa’s mention of a letter. The episode ends there, but we can assume that he also received a letter from the future (most likely from himself). I wasn’t expecting this to happen at all, and I’m interested to see where this will take the story from here. I’m curious to see if Hagita, Azu, and Takako have received letters as well. I also want to know what differences exist between those letters given how they all have different experiences and knowledge. This should allow them all, or at least Suwa and Naho, to work together to save Kakeru.
This episode finally confirmed something I’ve been wondering about since the first episode, and that’s whether Naho has read the whole letter from her future self or not. You would assume that anyone in her position would read the whole thing in order to know what information it contains. I thought the anime was only revealing the letter bit by bit as a way to prod the story along. It turns out, however, that Naho didn’t read the entire letter until this episode because she was too afraid to get to the details surrounding Kakeru’s death.
— TVアニメ「orange」 (@AnimationOrange) August 7, 2016
Good ol’ Hagita was quite active in this episode. Not only did he play a nice trick on Ueda to keep her away from Kakeru (and get a bit of revenge for Naho), he also participated in a contest during the school festival. It was a bit sad to see him get last place, but he was apparently aiming for it. He almost had a perfect zero, but he received one vote from Azu. I think Hagita and Azu would make for an interesting couple. Do you agree?
This week’s episode has gotten me excited for the second half of this series. Like I mentioned above, I’m curious to find out if any of the other friends have also received letters from their future selves, and how they will differ from one another.
starting from the July 3, 2016