Last week’s episode ended with Kakeru getting a girlfriend and Naho starting to realize her own feelings. If you think this opening statement is quite straightforward, that’s because our current episode is also the same way. Let’s find out why!
We’re first shown that the gang is visiting the house of Kakeru’s grandmother. It’s actually their second time to visit; the first one was during Kakeru’s funeral 10 years ago. Given we know that they really felt guilt from his death, and adding the fact that the grandmother mentioned Kakeru talked about them a lot to her, the whole situation is terribly sad.
Then future Naho mentally apologizes to Kakeru for not being able to save him. She wanted to talk to him more, but she couldn’t find the courage to. This made me wonder, why? Weren’t they really good friends? I thought they seemed pretty close.
Of course, the answer lies in the present. You know how depressing it is when one of your friends is in a relationship with a person outside your group, and you no longer hang out with them much, if not at all? That’s what happened to Naho and her friends. Since Kakeru started dating Ueda, they just decided to have fun without him, most likely just like before he joined their group. Meanwhile, Kakeru is out with his girlfriend, as expected.
At school in the morning, Naho ends up meeting Kakeru by the shoe rack, and he asks her why she didn’t wake him up that morning like she always does. The answer is quite obvious: he has a girlfriend. Naho even tells him she didn’t make him lunch that day. Kakeru finally gets it and thanks her for everything she’s done until that point, even if it was tough.
Our girl, not wanting conflicts with others, didn’t want it to end it on that note, so she was supposed to add something, but then Miss Girlfriend, Ueda, suddenly arrives and whisks Kakeru away, quite quickly if I might note. Seems suspicious, especially since the same thing happens at lunch when Suwa and Hagita invite Kakeru to buy bread; Ueda arrives in front of their classroom and takes her boyfriend away.
I actually quite like how they introduced Ueda’s true character to us. Aside from estranging Kakeru from his friends, the girl even had the guts to call subtly insult Naho! I was wondering why Kakeru didn’t defend her, but since he doesn’t even tell others what he wants, he probably decided to just keep quiet. She also complained about how the town is boring and the people in it are different, because it turns out that she’s from Tokyo like Kakeru.
This set-up sounds like bad news actually, because the letter mentions that in the future, after going out with Ueda, Naho stopped talking to Kakeru. I’m guessing it’s not just her but the others as well since, in the present, he never hangs out with them anymore. So much for cheering him on his relationship. Naho also regrets not telling him “no” in person.
Aside from that warning, the letter says that Kakeru will call out to Naho during lunch the next day, but she ends up avoiding him. So, she’s told to answer him, and actually talk to him often too. True enough, he calls her. But, just as she was deciding to talk to him, Ueda appears behind him. Naho retreats, afraid of angering her. I appreciate the anime addressing her fears in following the letter to the dot; it’s quite understandable. It truly is easy to regret something when you look back on it in the future, albeit it’s not a really good feeling. But when you’re in that moment in the present, you’re only able to do what you can because of your emotions, especially your fears. That’s why, even if Naho has a weird letter from the future, it’s still up to her own choices.
It ends up getting even more depressing and complicated after that: Naho indeed starts avoiding Kakeru, and he notices this, clearly making him sad. But on one particular day, before going home, Kakeru says “bye-bye” to her himself. The letter mentions that, on that day, he and his girlfriend got into a fight, and then bids Naho goodbye after school. The letter advises her to greet him back. Probably she thought of this as a chance so she mustered her courage and followed the letter, but, surprise surprise, Ueda appears and “accidentally” shoves Naho aside. She probably thought Kakeru will let it go, but he ends up getting angry, and even went to help Naho! This makes her angry as well, revealing that she really is jealous of other girls he talks to, especially Naho. Afterwards, she storms off. I would normally advise against getting on your girlfriend’s bad side, but since Ueda is….not that great a person, it’s probably for the best.
I thought that Naho would finally feel better and restore her relationship with Kakeru at that point, but even she ran off! She did end up being the reason for the huge fight with his girlfriend, so of course she felt guilty. Thank God for Suwa though! He stopped Naho from making such a big mistake and convinced her to talk to Kakeru properly. Suwa’s the best guy!
Naho manages to catch up to Kakeru, tells him that making lunch for him wasn’t tough at all, and apologizes for not talking to him. They have a heart to heart talk at the park, where Kakeru tells her that he’s been thinking about breaking up with Ueda, not because of the fight earlier, but because Naho told him “no”. Aside from that, he hated not being able to talk to her, and, he’s actually more interested in someone else. Naho wonders who that person is, but…come on…it’s kinda obvious.
I’m very glad that this episode ended on a good note, and that it successfully managed to convey many different points. One of them is that the future is changing slowly because of Naho’s small actions despite being unsure of herself. It goes to show that even the smallest choices we make have impact. The second one is when it showed different scenes at different points how the students were enjoying themselves in their “boring town”, somehow to counter Ueda’s opinion of it.
Art-wise, many drawings are still off. Don’t even get me started on the length of Naho’s hair on some scenes – you can’t figure out just how long it really is because it keeps changing. I guess it’s better than the previous two episodes though, but there’s always room for improvement. Let’s just hope it doesn’t get worse.
I think that…
The future will be changed in a way, but we still have no idea if these small changes will affect Kakeru’s future. That’s why we should tune in next week for the fifth episode, and let’s all see together what other things the letter has to say!
TV animation ”orange”
starting from the July 3, 2016
Official site : orange-anime.com
Twitter : @AnimationOrange