We have another peaceful but melancholic episode in Orange this week! Previously, Kakeru joined the soccer club as a temporary member, and Naho got the resolve to save Kakeru and change the future! Let’s see how this episode fared, shall we?
It starts with a warning from the letter, that when Kakeru’s provisional membership in the soccer club ended, he didn’t continue on joining the club for real. The letter wants Naho to make a way so that Kakeru joins. She was already determined to do something about it when Suwa announces that Kakeru is now officially a soccer club member! Way to be anti-climactic, but I guess somethings are already changing, and Naho guesses this as well! So there really is a way to change the future! Looks like following the advice of a mysterious letter from the future is working nicely, especially since in the past few days, there’s been a lot of evidence that it’s the real deal.
The thing I liked about this episode is that it showcased even more how close the six friends are, like with how Hagita was showing something silly to Kakeru, and their interactions during lunch. Even if it’s just random things or conversations, you can really see that they enjoy each other’s company. With their different personalities and interests, it’s quite a wonder how they all got together, but as we can see with how the five of them let Kakeru in their group, I can understand that it probably just happened.
Afterwards, a sudden love rival is introduced! According to Kakeru, Ueda-senpai usually comes to watch soccer practice, and, given that she looked at him while passing by their classroom, and even took the effort to greet him in hallway, she seems totally interested in him. Just when our shy protagonist is starting to notice her feelings (don’t tell me her constant blushing and consciousness around him isn’t an indication of that)! To top it off, the letter says that Ueda will confess to Kakeru the next day, and they’ll start dating!
There’s probably no need to worry about that though, because we can see that Kakeru shows Naho a bit of favoritism, if you’ll let me call it that. He asks her for morning wake up calls since soccer practices will be starting for him, as well as noticing her when she was carrying heavy stuff, even carrying it for her though he didn’t need to. Maybe it’s just because Naho’s the closest to him in their group, but the clincher is when he asked her if she liked anyone! Too bad she denied it since she’s shy, and he denied liking anyone too when she asked. When she mentioned Ueda though, he said he liked her looks. So what’s that supposed to mean…
And then the moment of truth. Just like the letter said, Ueda asked Kakeru out. To give everyone (meaning us fans) a moment of suspense, he said he was going to give her an answer after the break. We can see that Naho’s somewhat bothered by this, but then Kakeru doesn’t let her pay for the orange juice she asked him to buy, compared to everyone else who paid him, so it’s kind of comforting.
You’d think that Kakeru is also starting to like Naho, cause of the letter he slipped into the eraser he borrowed from her. Even if you’re close friends, why would he ask her if she thinks he should date someone, right? Either Kakeru’s just really unsure, or he’s hoping for something. I don’t know, maybe I’m just overthinking it. Naho on the other hand, has finally realized her growing feelings, so she replied to his letter and slipped it into his shoe box so he can see it before he gives his reply to Ueda.
Unfortunately, Ueda is very impatient and asked Kakeru early, so he didn’t see that Naho said “No”, meaning it’s not okay to date Ueda. So, the letter’s warning came true; he started dating her. Poor Naho is saddened by this, the fact that the future of him dating Ueda wasn’t changed, and that when she finally realized her own feelings, it’s too late.
Meanwhile, in the alternate future, we see that the five friends of ten years later all read their letters in the time capsule. They wrote the dreams they thought they’d fulfill, but none of them managed to. Then comes the heartbreaking bit. They decided to read Kakeru’s letter, and all it contained was a message addressed to the five of them. Not a word to himself, as if he predicted that he won’t be around in the future to read the letter. It gave them an idea that the accident wasn’t really one. Could he have thrown away his life on purpose?
I’m super glad that the art and animation are pretty nice this time! I’m really hoping that the quality doesn’t go downhill again in the next episode, since some animes also tend to have that pattern. I especially liked how the emotions are portrayed well, both the obvious and the subtle ones, which played a big part in giving me a roller coaster ride of feelings! I also like how they arranged the events in this episode, and even added some scenes that make it more enjoyable, like how the friends interact, how the class is in general, and some other small but helpful things!
I think that…
The plot is getting thicker step by step! The anime is good at showing how nice and peaceful a life as an adolescent is, as well as that it’s not without its problems. To most people, love problems may be somewhat shallow, but you can’t deny that it still plays a huge part in a person’s life. I don’t think future Naho would’ve mentioned it in the letter if it didn’t make an impact on her, letting her remember it even 10 years later, right? And even things as clubs, friends and the like definitely make up a person, since these are all things that make us happy or sad.
What else will play a part in shaping Kakeru’s future? Let’s find out next week!
TV animation ”orange”
starting from the July 3, 2016