The recently aired anime Orange was based on the eponymous manga by Ichigo Takano, also known for Shooting Star and Bambi no Tegami. The studios that made Orange, Telecom Animation Film, is also known for Moyashimon, Futakoi and Nijuu Mensou no Musume, to name a few. Orange has a total of 13 episodes and started airing in July of this year. I came across the anime as I was looking through an upcoming anime list and as I generally like to watch romance anime, I decided to read the summary. From there I began reading a little bit of the manga and came to watch this anime.
Orange follows Naho Takamiya and her friends, in particular her new classmate Kakeru Naruse. On the day he transfers she receives a letter, the writer claims to be Naho’s future self. In the letter she finds a description of the events that will occur that day. Once she realizes everything described in the letter actually happens it convinces her that her future self is the writer of the letter.
Naho struggles with what to do with this letter, especially since it mentions the many regrets her future self has. These regrets often center around Kakeru, who future Naho says is no longer with them ten years from now. Her future self asks Naho to watch over Kakeru, in the hopes that he will be okay.
The story shows Naho’s current life, in high school, but also the life of her future self who wrote her the letter. The distinction is made clear by the clothing style and obvious aging of Naho and her friends. As Naho starts to right her ‘wrongs’ her life starts to differ from what the letter tells her and how future Naho’s life turned out.
In the anime you see Naho change from a shy and reserved girl to someone who tries to chase her dreams. All of this is caused by herself, or rather her future self, sending her a letter. She starts to find her own voice and realizes that life is short, so it’s better to take every opportunity you can rather than wait on the sidelines. Naho is still often conflicted on how to handle her feelings or her desires, but usually manages to figure it out. The fact that, despite the letter, she is unable to fully change her personality and habits overnight makes the story more believable and compelling.
Her relationships with her friends and the feelings she develops towards Kakeru are interesting to see. She clearly cares for her friends, as they do for her. You get to see their relationships in the future as well, these are often not exactly what you would expect them to be.
Orange does a good job of getting you into the story. The interactions between the friends in the present and future make for some happy and also emotional moments, both in the series and for the viewers themselves. Even when circumstances in the present change, the future of future Naho does not get altered and you still get shown what happened, in the future, before.
The series genres are drama, romance, school, sci-fi and shoujo. The sci-fi part mainly centers around the letter from future Naho. Time traveling is a theme in this anime. Although comedy is not one of the series genres, there are some fun or funny moments in this series. The majority of the series is filled with drama, with quite a few tearjerker moments as well, but there are also a lot of heartwarming moments between Naho and her friends.
While the characters don’t look very different from one another in the present, as they all wear the same uniform, they look different enough to distinguish the individuals. In the future you see them dressed in their own clothing styles, which show their personalities a bit more. The differences in clothing styles between present and future help make it easier to see where a scene takes place. Aside from that the characters look realistically aged in the future, in my opinion.
Orange’s drawing style and animation start off pretty detailed and well worked out, most of the time. Only when the image is zoomed out does the quality become less, the head shapes of characters become a bit weird sometimes and people in the distance are sometimes out of proportion. The backgrounds are usually still pretty detailed and still look good, even when there’s a zoomed out perspective. Objects and people sometimes look slightly off, but this usually doesn’t last long. The flaws in the drawing style and animation seem to either stand out more near the end, or become worse near the end of the series.
The intro of the anime shows the characters and their personalities well, as well as their struggles. The genres are conveyed well and the song, Hikari no Hahen by Yu Takahashi, fits with the images shown. In the outro you see a few drawn pictures, of places in the anime, with a lot of detail in them. The song, Mirai by Kobukuro, fits with the images, as it is a pretty calm song. Aside from this it also fits the anime’s themes well.
Despite the sometimes disappointing quality of the animation and drawing style, when it comes to consistency, I still really enjoyed watching this anime. It’s not an anime for people who dislike drama or dislike being moved to tears. The series depicts the characters’ emotional states well and pretty realistically, in my opinion. The storyline was interesting and compelling enough for me not to be bothered by the inconsistencies too much, which says a lot since these things usually irritates me quite a bit. I’d recommend this anime for anyone who is into these kind of anime. If you want to try out a drama anime this would probably not be the best one to start off with as it doesn’t always seem to be leading to a happy ending.
The eponymous manga has been completed as well, after 22 chapters, so it doesn’t seem like there might be a second season. This is usually a plus for me; a finished story. As it doesn’t leave you wondering or waiting for a new manga release or new season.
Studios: Telecom Animation Film
Started airing: 4th of July 2016
Number of episodes: 13