Is it worth? Who knows! I’ll let you decide, but first, you’ll need to give it a watch 🙂
From the beginning, it’s obvious that Naho has a crush on Kakeru and she shows it early on with many hints. However, what really happens will make the audience realize how there’s future events that takes place with the main cast. Futuristic segments are shown from the first episode of characters in their adult ages. Furthermore, it’s implied that a tragic event happens in the future that affects the lives of the characters in the present timeline forever. After all, everyone has regrets or wish they can take back a decision they once made before.
This actually gives the characters a more miserable hope for the future. As they know that Kakeru suffered a tragedy, they feel sorrow will strike in their lives as well. Meanwhile, the show does a fairly well job at getting the story flowing from the start. Indeed, Orange uses time travel gimmicks as a way of storytelling. Naho receives a letter from her future self and in it, it predicts everything she experiences on that particular day. The latter not only contain details about the future but also the fate of Kakeru, something that will tragically end his life.
At its core, the show is a drama tale. It chronicles the lives of characters with the most prominent ones being Naho and Kakeru. Of course, they have friends as well and it’s easy to recognize their meaningful values. What makes Orange really special is perhaps the many themes found in the show. There’s social alienation, regret, doubt, friendship, love, fate, and trust, just to name a few. In addition, the series takes daily social problems to bring the realism out at its best. Remember that time when you had a crush on someone but just couldn’t find the right time to confess? Or being in a love triangle but wishes for the best for your friend rather than yourself? That’s the type of realism that I think we can all relate. Similarly, Orange takes love triangles to explore relationships between certain characters. The most prominent in the series is between Naho, Kakeru, and Suwa. There is obvious attraction between Naho and Kakeru although Suwa also harbors hidden feelings for Naho, something that she hardly recognizes. However, because of circumstances, Naho often is hesitant to act on her own feelings.
The title of the show is Orange, which is actually the flavor of the first juice that Kakeru bought for Naho. In a way, it’s symbolic for her own love for him as she describes her crush as being “bittersweet”. From my perspective, the love relationship between Kakeru and Naho does have a bittersweet feel to it. The letters brings doubt for Naho as she fears about Kakeru’s fate. Not only that, but her friends also share that fear, the fear that they may not be able to save Kakeru. The show often teases around with how the characters attempt to fight against fate with the knowledge from the letters. Not being able to save someone’s life may be considered one’s greatest regret after all. Do note that the show explores sensitive topics such as suicide as well and in later episodes, we learn how dark the plot can be from a realistic point of view.
Where Orange shines in storytelling and characters, its animation isn’t always delivering its expectations. It’s adapted by a studio cooperation between Telecom Animation Film and TMS Entertainment. While early episodes didn’t have much problem with its quality, some of the latter episodes seems to lack budget especially with the still frames and awkward character faces. I do have to admit though, Orange’s animation style has a matching way with its realism. The slow moving pacing fits well in conjunction with body movements and in particular, it expresses character reactions quite realistically from many angles.
For a show like Orange, the soundtrack is also very important because many segments can be quite emotional. In this case, the lighthearted OST works well to give the show its atmospheric feel. The OP and ED theme songs are harmonious with bittersweet rhythms.