Genre: School, Slice of Life. Romance, Drama
Orange recounts the story of a group of high school friends who experience the death of a friend through suicide, and they can’t help but feel guilty. Now right off the bat, you can tell the theme is strong, if you decide to watch this, have the Kleenex box right next to you.
Alright so here’s how it goes. When transfer student Naruse Kakeru is introduced to class, a group of friends, Naho, Suwa, Saku, Azusa and Takako, welcome him and propose to hang out with him, Kakeru was very reluctant, but since they insisted, he eventually gave in. Along the way, they have a really good time, and Kakeru enjoys himself. Now here’s the thing, the plot starts with Naho’s perspective, we look at the story through her narration. As she wakes up, she receives a pack of letters, when she opens them, she realizes the letters are signed by herself, more precisely, her future self. Naho is puzzled, as she doesn’t quite understand, but she thinks nothing much of it. When she opens the first letter, it predicts the arrival of Kakeru, and the letter warns Naho to not hang out with him that day. When Naho comes back from school, she decides to take the letters a little more seriously.
To consolidate all this information, the current world of Naho and her friends, is a real alternate reality. Naho’s future self along with the same friends in the future, have lost Kakeru. They regret it terribly, so much, that they have come up with a way to try and possibly change the outcome in another life. One of the friends had heard myths about alternate realities, and ways to influence those realities through time travel. So as crazy as it sounded, if there was even the slightest chance that it could work, they would definitely attempt it. They wrote letters depicting the events to their high school selves and warned their younger selves to not repeat the same mistakes they had made. They thought they weren’t there for him enough, they thought they were too harsh on him at times, not knowing what he was going through, they had many regrets and wanted to spare their younger selves this future. The friends gathered together with their letters, put it in a jar, sent it away at sea, and they could only hope for the best.
Unknown to their future selves, their younger selves actually receive the letters, and even if at first they ignore them, when the events start matching up, they start taking it seriously, and seeing how their future selves regret Kakeru’s death, to the point of trying to alter another reality, they start taking action to prevent it at all costs.
The characters, Lord Jesus, especially the trio of Suwa, Naho, and Kakeru, they are simply amazing. Suwa is genuinely concerned for Kakeru, and he’s willing to go really far to save him. Naho is struggling between her current feelings, and trying to take her future self’s plea into consideration. Future Naho tells high school Naho about her deep regret from 10 years ago that she still carries with her, and pleads her younger self to change that at all costs. This greatly influences Naho’s life and actions, as she was not expecting any of this, yet still decided to go through with it, because she wants to change the outcome. At times, we can see her struggling with uncertainty and lack of confidence, which does affect the things she’s supposed to do.
The story describes the characters’ thoughts in relation to their actions and their situation, and that shows you the raw, unfiltered nature of that character, which is a LOT of depth in a character, but although they presented 6 of them, only 3 of them get so much insight.
The story itself is a highlight. I think its a great story with a lot of originality, it took a really powerful theme and showed the impact it has on people, how long it can last and how it changes them, and incorporates it into a really well written story. The plot is just brilliant and it brings the story together.
THE FEELS ! This story has a 90% chance of making you cry, or have your eyes water. The upper 10% is really only if you have no feelings or you’re dehydrated. This anime will definitely evoke emotions out of you towards both, the overall story line and the characters. Honestly, it would require some understanding, if you’re watching this and you either don’t understand or don’t empathize, or you’re not letting yourself explore it enough, then you won’t see what I’m talking about here, but the other highlights will show. Or it might just be me, I go 1000% when I watch anime. Let’s move on to my final thoughts.
You can already tell, but let me wrap this up. Orange is a brilliant, unique, sad yet beautiful story, the ending is really where the story glows and brings back all of the emotion you’ve felt throughout the series.
The main characters are overall great, but 2 of them especially stand out, like Suwa and Naho, although Naho can have her moments where you’re like “get it together !” but that just makes it more realistic. The other secondary characters aren’t portrayed much, the story attributes focus to the 6 main cast and almost none to the secondaries, but from the plot’s approach, Naho’s and her friends’ point of view, that was completely understandable. I know I like to see diversified characters as secondaries, but this anime already had me completely focused on the main ones. Even within the main ones, the trio is really where the focus lies, the other three are still there, but more in a supporting fashion.
This anime threw me into such feels I wasn’t ready, but looking back at it, I just feel like it’s such a beautiful story, all of the events in the story keep you engaged, and it all gets tied down to an epic ending. For an anime like that, the ending is a huge deal, cause endings are supposed to tie the story together and leave you satisfied, and in the end, I was just that. One last thing I want to add without spoiling, I wish the story had expanded on Suwa’s life after high school a little more than it did, because he was such a great character he deserved that.
RATING: Story: 9.5 Plot: 10 Main Characters: 9.8 Action/Feels: 10 OVERALL SCORE: 9.8 SirMeliodas Approved