Review: Orange, Episode 1: LETTER 01


Naho (middle), Kakeru (right) and their friend Sawa (left).


Orange follows the story of Takamiya Naho (last names first, to keep with Japanese convention) who receives a letter from herself a decade in the future. Now sixteen and in high school, the letter convinces Naho of its legitimacy by predicting how the day will unfold. What’s more, it talks of a certain Naruse Kakeru who will be joining their class from that day forward and is the source of a lot of regret from future Naho. Specifically, future Naho has regrets about her behaviors (or lack thereof) toward Kakeru, and is now imploring her younger self to do better because Kakeru isn’t going to be around for long.
My first observation was that Naho took the whole “letter from future self” concept extremely well. The extent of her reaction was a little confusion and mild disbelief, and both were curbed in the course of about fifteen minutes. Naho’s friend group rapidly integrates Kakeru into their circle with a montage of them spending the afternoon together. We see the first fruits of possible affection developing between Naho and Kakeru.
There are an abundance of still-frames used in the animation, which is usually not a good sign. The music is soft and atmospheric, but otherwise forgettable. Most of the dialogue seems to only exist as fodder to show interaction between the characters, and accomplishes little else in way of character development or plot progression. Most of our emotional investment comes in the form of Naho’s stream of consciousness as she wrestles with how to interact with Kakeru so as to abide by the wishes of her future self.

Christian Perspective:

Orange-anime-image-124Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12 – “Two are better than one, because together they can work more effectively. If one of them falls down, the other can help him up.”
This episode, more than anything else, is demonstrative of proactive friendship. Naho and her friends are almost aggressively welcoming of Kakeru, and set straight to work at integrating him into the class and making him feel at home. It is our jurisdiction as Christians to be welcoming towards others. Even if they turn us away or abuse our kindness, our commission is to seek out those who might be lost or lonely and give them positive company where they can flourish physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Content Guide:

Spiritual Content: No spiritual content, negative or otherwise.
Violence: No violence.
Language/Crude Humor: No swearing.
Sexual Content: No sexual content.
Drug/Alcohol Use: No drug content.
Other Negative Themes: No negative themes.
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Cooper D Barham

Aspiring author, marriage and family therapist, and active behavioral health technician, Cooper fills his world with God, music, videogames, anime/manga, drawing, reading, writing, and some physical stuff in between. If you ever want to talk about the big or little things of life, fire him a message. Helping others through tough times is both his passion and way of living. 'Got it memorized?'

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