The biggest talk of the town over the last few months in terms of anime, as many of you may be aware of, is none other than the Japanese animated youth fantasy film Kimi no Na wa (君の名は) or Your Name by Makoto Shinkai (新海誠). Gaining the number one spot on its opening week, the film did not only receive local praises from the Japanese viewers, Kimi no Na wa was also well received internationally with positive remarks.
However, this article of mine will not be about Kimi no Na wa, but instead about a different work of anime that will be airing a film very soon. This anime has received fair remarks from its viewers, including myself, and they believe that it deserves more exposure to people who are not aware of it. orange is a beautiful anime revolving around friendship, love, and loss, so better prepare yourselves as this work is full of feels.
(This article may contain spoilers for those who haven’t read or seen orange.)
orange originally started out as a romance and slice-of-life manga written by Takano Ichigo (高野苺) in 2012. The manga itself was rather quite popular gaining top manga of the week positions and good positive remarks for its story. As I’ve mentioned, the story revolves around friendship, love, and loss, with the lattermost theme requiring understanding from the viewers.
orange started out with a manga, followed by a drama film and an anime adaptation. It tells the story of a group of friends, but everything starts off with one of the protagonists, Takamiya Naho, who receives a letter from her 10-year future self. The letter she receives contains details of what will happen thereon in current time, but the main goal of the letter is to prevent the biggest regret made by the future Naho which is connected to the transfer student, Naruse Kakeru.
The anime adaptation of orange, which just aired July of 2016, closely follows the story of the manga. The drama film, however, had certain points of the story changed or taken out which can be a bit disappointing if you rather prefer everything to follow the same context.
Now that you know a short background about orange‘s plot, it’s time to know the main characters, or the group of friends, of the title that makes the story worth the read and watch.
Takamiya Naho (高宮菜穂)
Naho is the main female protagonist of the story. She is a calm but jolly high school girl who at first didn’t believe the contents of the letter from her future self. Naho also harbors a love interest towards Kakeru, though it shows in the anime how slow she could be in understanding Kakeru’s actions in the latter part of the show.
Naruse Kakeru (成瀬翔)
Kakeru is a transfer student from Tokyo (東京) and is the person related to the details of the letter each and every one of the protagonists receive. Kakeru holds a deep grudge against himself, and as happy as he may show on the outside, he is suffering and has suicidal issues which his friends want to help prevent. He is also interested in Naho but would rather want to stay friends as he believes he doesn’t deserve happiness and wouldn’t want to hurt anyone, and the story escalates from there.
Suwa Hiroto (須和弘人)
Suwa is an athletic and outgoing person. He is one of the most vocal among the group and he helps his friends in anyway possible. Suwa is secretly in love with Naho but decides to keep it to himself and cheer Kakeru on instead, helping him get closer to Naho. He is also part of the school’s soccer team and invites Kakeru to join them.
Murasaka Azusa (村坂 あずさ)
Azusa, or more often called “Azu,” is the loudest and most cheerful friend among the group. The mood maker Azu oftentimes messes around insulting Hagita and they often resemble an old couple. She is also often seen hanging around the most with Takako.
Hagita Saku (萩田 朔)
Hagita is the quiet person among the group, oftentimes shown lacking when it comes to physical activities. Often arguing with Azu, it somehow shows that he may have an interest towards her but just denies it. His image also changed quite well in his future self.
Chino Takako (茅野 貴子)
And the last of the group is Takako. She is often seen supporting her friends but there is only little that we know about her except for the fact that even with her silent image, she is strong and protects her friends, especially Naho in times of need. Despite being the quiet type, she and Azu get along pretty well too.
It was mentioned in the anime that there is a possibility of alternate futures and that the changes made in the present time will create a new future, thus changing the future that is already there.
An anime film is also set to be aired in Japan which is entitled orange: Mirai (orange -未来-) or orange: Future. The film will be re-telling the story, but this time coming from Suwa’s point of view. Aside from that, the film will also show an original story that takes place after the manga and anime. This means viewers are going to speculate what might happen.
orange: Mirai will be showing all throughout Japan for a limited duration of two weeks starting from the 18th of November, 2016.
— PARCO-ART (@parco_art) 2016年11月1日
There is also currently an orange Exhibition taking place until November 20th, 2016 at the PARCO MUSEUM in Ikebukuro (池袋). The exhibition will showcase a number of Takano Ichigo’s illustration of orange and its characters from both the present and the future, and there are also limited goods for sale that you can only purchase at the exhibit.
— 高野苺『orange』&コミック情報公式 (@orange_comics) 2017年1月28日
There are many reasons to check out a certain title, and for orange‘s case, I recommend it because of its beautiful artwork, its good story especially with the strong bond of friendship theme, and most of all, the resemblance it can have with decision-making in real life.
I tried to avoid writing one major plot about orange so that those who haven’t seen or watched it yet could find out for themselves. Overall, orange, in my opinion, is a good manga and anime that will make you want to have a good set of friends who are always there to support you whenever you need them. There will surely be a scene in orange where you’ll get emotional so prepare yourself in advance.
For those of you who have already read or watched orange, what’s your opinion? Would you recommend this to others? The orange: Mirai anime film will be coming up soon, so for those who are in Japan, don’t pass up the chance to watch it cause Suwa’s viewpoint may give us a different side to the story!
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