Orange last week was just so fluffy, happy, and heartwarming! We got some assurance that, in some way, the gang really can save Kakeru! They managed to get him to open up to them, and they even won the relay race, which they felt was the most crucial event that affected their friend’s fate. So everything seems to be going great!
That is, until this episode, where it all just spiraled downhill. If last week was heartwarming, this week was heartbreaking!
— TVアニメ「orange」 (@AnimationOrange) September 11, 2016
The story started off quite happily, showing how the friends’ relationship went to another level because of the events during the athletic meet. This was most evident with Kakeru and Naho, who somehow became a bit more comfortable with each other, but they were still quite bashful. The five also reminded Kakeru again that he doesn’t need to suffer alone anymore; he can show his mother, who might be watching over him, that he can smile from the bottom of his heart. Kakeru seemed to appreciate these words, which was a good sign.
Going to the future timeline, future Suwa was expressing his guilt for “stealing” Kakeru’s future, because he ended up being the one marrying Naho. The others were also regretting never noticing the two’s feelings; if they’d known then they would’ve rooted for Kakeru. I felt quite bad for Suwa here. I mean, they might’ve only said those things because of the moment, but hearing everyone say the girl you love should’ve ended up with someone else is harsh. He felt even guiltier then, as he was the only one who knew the two liked each other, but never did anything about it. It’s a good thing Naho defended her relationship with Suwa! Despite her grief, I’m very glad she has a happy life with him.
Back to the present, the events fast forwarded to around December, where the six friends were talking about their upcoming holiday plans. Kakeru and Naho decided to meet-up during Christmas Eve for a date. Even though they weren’t really going out, that plan made it seem like they really were. Actually, just from the sight of them sharing “Pakkin” together and running off to get taiyaki while holding hands, they already looked like a legit couple. The group also all decided to go together to the ninen-mairi (or two-year shrine visit), where they visit the shrine on New Year’s Eve and stay until New Year’s Day. It sounded like a really lovely plan, if only Suwa didn’t ruin it when he said he won’t be able to go.
Takako confronted him about this afterwards, saying that he lied about doing something that day, because her letter said that future Suwa went with them to the shrine visit. Apparently, he also confessed to future Naho then, and it might’ve led to his marriage with her. That’s exactly the reason why Suwa wouldn’t go; he’ll never confess his feelings to Naho. The only reason they got married in the future in the first place was because Kakeru died, and they’re now trying to make sure he doesn’t. So, even if they have a family together in the future, it has nothing to do with their world now.
Afterwards he was looking at the photos his future self sent him – the photo of him and Naho with their child – it’s “what could be” if he confessed to Naho. However, he wanted to put Kakeru and Naho’s happiness above his own. That’s just so great of Suwa, but it’s also really sad!
Then we found out that Naho’s Christmas Eve date with Kakeru didn’t push through because his grandmother suddenly became sick. She read in her letter that during the New Year’s visit, she’ll end up in a big fight with him when they talk about his grandmother. Her future self never got to apologize until the day Kakeru died, so she wanted her present self to make sure she doesn’t say the wrong things and apologize if she does.
So the day for their ninen-mairi came. Suwa was a no-show and Naho was on edge. It’s a good thing that when Kakeru came, he seemed to be in a good mood, and even complimented Naho. However, it didn’t last, because he was actually feeling guilty about not being able to go on their date, and was worried about his grandmother. Naho tried to be careful with what she was going to say, but she still ended up stepping on a landmine when she told him his grandma will be fine so he should stay with them. That’s what he thought about his mother too, and she chose death because she actually wasn’t fine.
In the end, Kakeru got really mad and left. Naho didn’t get to properly apologize either. What a depressing turn of events that was. I can properly understand why Kakeru would be so upset though. Naho was asking him to stay longer even though he has to look after his grandmother. The same thing happened on the first day of school. Looks like he really still hasn’t gotten over his guilt, but who would that quickly, right?
Meanwhile, Takako was trying to get Suwa to still meet up with them. She assured him that they’ll still save Kakeru, even if he confesses his feelings to Naho. Hagita and Azusa tried convincing him too, but he was already actually on his way. He was almost run over by a speeding car, which gave me a heart attack. That was a close call!
He saw Naho crying and moved to hug her. I actually thought Suwa was going to go through with his confession, but he stopped. Instead of telling her he’ll be there for her, he said he’ll make sure she and Kakeru never drift apart, just as he has always done to support them. He urged her to go after him, and so she did. Suwa is definitely the best guy! Give him an award!
Naho tried calling Kakeru as she ran, thinking that maybe their fight was the reason he closed off his heart and eventually led to his death in the future, meaning it could’ve been her fault he died. Meanwhile, Kakeru decided to ignore Naho’s calls by breaking his cellphone, throwing it on the ground. Looks like he’s more than just upset! This is really bad!
Kudos to the author and writers, this was a really lovely episode, despite the heartbreaking events! I was very moved, feeling the sadness, the urgency, and the anxiety the scenes showed. I also thought they did a good job showing why the characters acted the way they did, especially with why Suwa decided not to confess, and why Kakeru got upset. Just by constructing the scenes in certain ways, what the characters were feeling even without talking were made quite clear to me too (i.e.: Suwa looking at his future self’s picture).
At first thought the mood shift between last week’s happy episode to the latest depressing one was quite abrupt. But now that I look back on it, I think it actually fits just right, since it gives us the idea that things can really go wrong without warning, and that fate has its way of trying to bring back everything in order.
Going to the art, it’s still not perfect, and I don’t think it’ll ever be. I’m just quite glad that the important scenes had their drawings and animation in order, somewhat.
I think that…
Everything will get even more depressing? Or maybe everything will go well? I’m not sure! There are only two episodes left for this anime, and there’s no telling how it’ll end up at this point! Let’s hope it’s not tragic!
TV animation orange
Currently Airing. Started on July 3, 2016