Not to derail this 1st Episode Impressions, but I want to say that the first thing I immediately noticed from the thumbnail of this series and the anime in general, was the art style. I seen it before but cannot quite put my finger on where. It seems very familiar…but at the very same time I cannot get a clear picture within my head. It having good artwork is a positive plus for me as I tend not to watch series if I cannot get into the art…despite how good it might be (an example of this would be One Piece).
Starting off, this seems like your typical “Slice of Life” anime that follows the life of a 2nd year student named Naho Takamiya. Being late for school, she notices a letter addressed to her and happens to read the contents in her classroom. Naho finds out that the letter is supposedly from herself 10 years into the future, accurately describing the events that will unfold and even predicting a transfer student named Kakeru Naruse entering into her life while telling her to “look after him”. The whole purpose of the letters are to make sure that Naho takes the alternative path she took, that way she will not be full of regret later on in life due to the decisions she made; obviously they still affect her future self regardless of how long ago it was.
From reading the description of Orange, I figured that it was going to be about a girl attempting to prevent a terrible tragedy that befalls someone she meets, though from watching the very first episode it is giving more more of a “these things will happen, here is what you do in order not to feel bad about things you could have done differently”. It gives a sense that it will be based upon overcoming her own fears and demons while simultaneously steering her away from things she did not know would have long-term impacts on her.
Something that also surprised me was glimpses of her future self and what she was doing, showing that Naho and Hiroto Suwa have a baby and are very happy despite the regrets she has…though that they are still remembering the death of the transfer student she happened to meet. Moreover, at the very end of “Episode 1 — Letter”, Naho’s future self happens to say, “To the me of the past, ten years ago. You’ve got a lot of happiness and joy ahead of you. I hope you can sense that happiness. I hope you don’t let it slip away from you. I’m writing because I don’t want you, my 16-year-old self, to carry these regrets. Now, ten years in your future, Kakeru is no longer with us. Don’t lose what’s important to you. Please keep a close eye on Kakeru”. That last phrase makes me think of quite a few things that could happen.
The very first thing I want to discuss about that letter at the end of the first episode, is that I could definitely be wrong and the events described by her future self will ultimately prevent the death of Kakeru from happening. Within the anime she predicts that she will fall in love with him the same say she predicts being asked to be a “Pinch Hitter” on the girl’s baseball team due to an overwhelming pitcher their opponents put in. Indeed, she does fall in love with him as predicted on April 20th. However, her future self turned down the opportunity to be the pinch hitter out of fear while our current Naho did it…and she still fell in love with Kakeru. That factual evidence supports my previous claim about nothing being done, but possibly by having less regrets…especially since her current self admitted she would feel guilty if she had caused her friend to fail at winning the game because she did not do something she absolutely knew she could do.
Orange seems like it will turn out to be something different than what I am expecting… it just has that feel about it, and I hope I am right. Right now, especially after going back and analyzing it for this article, it leaves a lot to wonder about exactly why her future self feels it necessary to correct past mistakes if she is happy where she is, and exactly the type of chain reaction those subtle differences in the decisions her current self chooses to make will cause. Will Kakeru happen to live? Will Kakeru still die? Will she still end up with Suwa and them seemingly having a kid together? Is Kakeru the thing that is important to her since he dies and Naho’s future self says to “Don’t lose what’s important to you. Please keep a close eye on Kakeru”? Did Suwa know? So many questions!
Anyways, I really like this anime so far and I am quite interested in where it is going. Hopefully I will have a blast with the next 12 episodes and can give a positive recommendation…but we never know what the future holds…though if I were to get a letter on today after I publish this, perhaps I will!