I don’t often see myself dipping my nuts into shoujo manga/anime. It doesn’t necessarily present an experience that is very relevant to me. However, let me be clear with you – the Orange anime adaptation is not just some high school/teen drama, it is definitely not “for girls” or “soft” it is more than that. The themes that Orange touches are far beyond what any tough guy stereotypical shounen series would ever dare touch. Orange is a story about friendship, growing together, growing apart, living life on your own accord, and taking chances. Orange is an adult’s story played out by high school students.
The pillars that make this anime, an anime series are quite beautiful. From the opening sequence to the ending sequence, to the facial expressions of the characters, and with how the light is manipulated onscreen, it is all just so exquisite. I dare you to watch the opening sequence without feeling something in your heart. I have never heard that opening song before but hearing it, played along with the visuals of the opening make me feel somewhat nostalgic. In fact a lot of the soundtrack and the way they are woven into the visuals give me a very nostalgic feeling. I think to have that ability as an artist is probably the greatest asset to have when connecting with an audience. The ability to create something foreign to others but to make them feel something intangible like nostalgia, is truly special.
But one of my most favourite parts of the series are how facial reactions are animated. A beauty to this series was that every character was an easy read, in terms of
their emotions. Whether they were angry, bashful, happy, sad, tired – the animators made sure to remind the audience to feel with the characters. Fortunately for us, the leads – Naho and Kakeru always showed in their face how they felt, leading to the audience to relate to these characters at a level that I do not feel for other lead characters in other shows.
Whenever it comes to ensemble casts, I find that the best way to judge them is by how much they are their own character and how much they need each other. In Orange, we see a group of six friends with six varying personalities who do very much need each other. The relationship of these six friends are only further strengthened through the plight of their friend Kakeru. Something that is marvelous about these characters is that you can tell that the letters actually had a strong impression on them. The characters from the future/alternate timeline were able to send their frantic message to their past and their past selves just picked it up immediately.
My personal favourite character however was Suwa. I think Suwa, although perhaps not a huge deal in the long run for his timeline, made the biggest sacrifice in saving Kakeru. He gave up any potential future he could have had with the girl he loves – Naho, in order to save a friend he loves. Suwa is not just a great character, he is a great friend and person. He reminds me of how shitty friends can be in real life, and that I should strive to be more like him. Actually, now that I think about it – Suwa loves Naho so much, his future self actually just straight up told Suwa of the present timeline to support Kakeru and Naho getting together just so Naho could be happy. HMMMMM. I LOVE SUWA, Forget everything I just wrote, Suwa is literally the best character in the show, without him the show is not anything that it is cracked up to be.
Orange is fantastic, it’ll make you cry and feel from episode one to thirteen. The characters are amazing for each other, you’ll miss high school and being a teenager. Emotionally, this show will take you through such a roller coaster that won’t let you off until you’re finished the series finale (or write an article about it). The audio and visual of this series is comforting and really makes the audience feel immersed into the series. Please, if you’re looking for one series to have the feels for, please pick up Orange, it is so fantastic and you will never regret this, please!