These past few episodes had me worried that Orange might be headed for a sad ending, but in the end, Naho and her friends do manage to save Kakeru. This wasn’t achieved by them sweeping into action and saving the day (although they did attempt this), but instead through all of their interactions with Kakeru throughout the series. This is what causes Kakeru to change his mind just at the last moment, and allow him to save himself.
It’s unfortunate that the production quality wasn’t top-notch for this final episode, but it wasn’t bad enough to be distracting. The extra runtime also helped give the episode enough room to finish the story without rushing anything, although I didn’t think it needed to be as long as it was. All in all, I thought it was a satisfying episode to end the series with.
So this week’s episode starts off with Valentine’s Day. After making some chocolate to give to Kakeru, Naho struggles throughout the day to hand them to him. At the end of the school day, Naho manages to catch Kakeru before he leaves and convinces him to listen to what she has to say.
The two talk for a while in the most honest and open conversation they’ve had so far. They both apologize for having hurt the other, and agree at the end to start dating.
Everything with Kakeru appears to be going well after this, but Naho and the others are still worried about what might happen on the night he died in the future timeline. They all decide to stake out the intersection where Kakeru was hit by a truck (in the future), just in case they need to prevent anything from happening. When the time written in their letters passes by without Kakeru showing up, they head to his house to find where he is.
Kakeru’s side of these events transpire just as they did in last week’s episode (minus his bike). The group of friends split up and search for Kakeru, but are unable to find him.
When Naho and Suwa are finally able to spot Kakeru, they’re too far away from him to prevent any collision with the oncoming truck. As they rush to Kakeru’s side, they find him on the ground motionless. As everybody fears the worst, Suwa picks up Kakeru and he eventually opens his eyes.
It turns out Kakeru decided at the last moment that he wanted to live, and managed to avoid the truck. The group of friends have a very heartfelt conversation full of tears and hugs. Kakeru explains what he’s been going through and apologizes for the trouble he’s caused his friends. Suwa and the others apologize as well, and also open up about the letters they received from the future.
For the first time in this series, I believe, we finally get to hear Kakeru say that he “doesn’t want to die.” After hearing these words, I think we can finally start to think that Kakeru will be okay.
I think this episode answered a question I raised in one of my previous reviews about why this series is called Orange. As far as I can remember, the color orange isn’t something that gets any particular attention throughout the series. In this episode, however, Naho makes a comment about watching the orange-tinted sky together with Kakeru. This could just be me grasping at straws here, but I wonder if this is the origin of the title. This is the main color of the scenery that everybody’s future selves look out to multiple times throughout the series, but were never able to experience with Kakeru as they had promised.
Also, as I brought this up in my very first review for this series, I thought I should revisit the topic of which characters I liked the most. My original choices were Hagita and Azu. Now that we reached the end of the series, I would rank the six characters as follows: Suwa, Hagita, Azu, Kakeru, Takako, and lastly, Naho. I should emphasize that this list is merely the order in which I like the characters, and not which ones I think are objectively the best. I should also note that Kakeru was at #5 for me right up until the last two episodes.
From what I’ve seen around the internet, it appears Suwa is number one on most people’s list, but I’m curious to see what people thought of the remaining five. So if you’d like, go ahead and share which characters were your favorite in the comments below.
If you’ve been following my reviews for Orange this season, then you probably won’t be very surprised with my rating for it. Having finished the series, I would rate it a 5/10. (You might want to check out my final review for Shokugeki no Soma: Ni no Sara for insight on how I tend to rate the anime I watch).
All in all, I did not enjoy this series very much. I wouldn’t say it was bad, but I wouldn’t say it was good either. I think the biggest weakness of Orange is its main character, Naho.
I know I’m not alone on this, but I just couldn’t bring myself to like her character. To have her be the main lenses through which we saw the story unfold made most of the experience very dull for me. I think the story would’ve been significantly more interesting if it were told from the point of view of any of the other characters (especially Suwa or Kakeru). I’m not suggesting to take Naho out of the story completely, but for her just not to be the one telling it.
Well, that’s it for my final review of Orange. If you have any thoughts on this final episode or the series as a whole, please do share them in the comments below.
Currently Airing. Started on July 3, 2016