I’m super thrilled that this week’s episode of Orange finally got to tackle important aspects of the story. Previously, we saw how the gang’s friendship was like when Kakeru dated Ueda, as well as just how strong his relationship is with Naho. This time, the story adds more to that last bit, plus something else!
Onto our review!
— TVアニメ「orange」 (@AnimationOrange) July 31, 2016
Naho narrates, reading from the letter, that in May 24 Kakeru was going to be absent from school for a week. The last time he disappeared for that long was when his mother died. Since the future is changing, there’s no need to fret about it, and she says that she wants to save both Kakeru and her future self.
The first scene after the opening song got me quite confused: Kakeru comes to school. Wasn’t he supposed to be absent for a week? Does that mean the letter was wrong? But then we’re shown that the date is actually June 21st, so there’s quite a bit of a time-skip. I guess the part about him being absent was just for the sake of the intro. They didn’t do a good job of clearing that up, though.
Anyway, Kakeru gets to school soaking wet, which was predicted by the letter, so Naho brought a towel for him in advance. I laughed at Hagita calling Kakeru an idiot for not bringing an umbrella when he himself was also soaking wet! Too bad there wasn’t any towel for him as well. Then, Kakeru casually invites Naho to walk home with him. While Naho took it as an open invitation for everyone, everyone has their own excuses for not joining them. Incredibly suspicious! Plus, the letter mentioned the six of them all going home together, which made it even more suspicious! Are they up to something? Is the future changing that much?
The next events are incredibly cute and sweet! We finally get to see Kakeru and Naho interacting more. Their mutual interest can’t be mistaken as platonic anymore! The two were blushing and flirting and being shy all the time! Kakeru gives Naho a really pretty hairpin as thanks for the lunches and for everything she’s done for him. He also says that his grandmother actually offered to make him lunches, but he declined because he wanted to eat Naho’s cooking! Smooth move, Kakeru! After that, he invites her to study with him at the library over the weekend. During the whole interaction they are totally awkward around each other, but you could see that they enjoy each other’s company. Meanwhile, the ex-girlfriend Ueda, along with her friends, saw Kakeru and Naho together. They weren’t happy about it.
Back in school, the science teacher teaches the class a topic that’s directly connected to the plot: time travel. At first I thought, “why would a teacher ever teach high school students this kind of complicated thing?”. He mentioned something that could ruin Naho’s goal: there are parallel worlds wherein even if you go and change the past, the future where you came from won’t be affected. That means, no matter how much Naho works hard, future Kakeru won’t come back in future Naho’s world, so her regrets won’t be erased. She won’t be able to save them both.
Also, in her own world, some things have already changed. Probably, some events mentioned in the letter won’t happen anymore, just like when Azusa and the others didn’t walk home with them the other day. The letter also mentions Kakeru inviting Naho out to watch the fireworks at the cultural festival – it didn’t happen. So, shy and timid Naho does an unexpected thing! She asks Kakeru to watch the fireworks with her, just the two of them! You go girl! Seems like their relationship is going well.
But then, another problem arises. As everyone is preparing for the cultural festival, it’s revealed that Suwa likes Naho! If you’ve only speculated this because of his friendly attention, then now it’s official. It seems everyone in their group knows this, except Naho herself! Unfortunately for him though, the others are supporting Kakeru and Naho, so they can’t cheer him on. Surprisingly, he’s okay with it because he’s rooting for them too. What a great guy you are, Suwa!
At the cultural festival, Suwa goes out of his way to support Naho and Kakeru and allows them to spend time together. He also shows how much he cares for Naho when he stops Ueda and her friends from bullying her. Future Naho mentioned in her letter that the past Naho should thank Suwa for everything he’s ever done for her, because he was the one who saved her heart when Kakeru died. No wonder she married him. Naho realizes that her future self knows that her past couldn’t be changed. She can’t saved from her regrets, but maybe another Naho, one in a parallel universe, can.
— TVアニメ「orange」 (@AnimationOrange) July 31, 2016
First of all, I have to say that some events in today’s episode could have been a bit tiring because they are often seen in a lot of 少女 (shoujo) series. Not here. In Orange they feel totally refreshing because they were played out quite well! For that, I really commend the author. Unfortunately, the series’ continuity is choppy and the events don’t stick well. For example: the scene after the opening song, as well as the scenes when Suwa came to Naho’s rescue. They didn’t flow nicely.
The art quality (especially the backgrounds) are still super nice. There is something about the characters that feels a little off: have that blonde side-character classmate and his friends that appear at least once every episode always looked that thin and gangster-like? I couldn’t resist mentioning because they looked a little off. Even if he’s just a side-character, consistency and appeal are important!
— TVアニメ「orange」 (@AnimationOrange) July 29, 2016
I think that…
Things are going either up or down from here! I know that Suwa said he supports Naho and Kakeru, but of course his feelings for Naho will play a part in the development of the story. Plus, some things changed, so we might not be able to rely on the letter too much anymore.
Guess we’ll have to see next week!
TV animation ”orange”
starting from the July 3, 2016