Orange is a high school/romance story of both happiness and sadness, moments make you want to both weep and smile. The narrative centres on Neho and her love interest Kakeru. But they are just one element of a beautiful and intricate story, the narrative is told mostly from Neho’s school years with occasional flashbacks from her future self. She communicates with the high school version of herself via letters. Although Neho seems content with her current life, she and the rest of her friends all hold regrets, wishing they had done more for their dear friend Kakeru who sadly is no longer with them.
Orange is bittersweet, so many moments can bring both a smile and a tear, I had my doubts when I decided to watch this series, usually romance drama’s are something I steer away from but it surprisingly handles some very sensitive subjects such as depression, anxiety and loneliness, the characters are all relatable, so many of us would be able to see ourselves in them and that’s what makes Orange so special.
The most important aspect of the show has to be the tight nit friendship of all the characters, how they love and support one another and their desperation to save Kakeru. The show captures issues such as depression in a rather realistic way and handles the subject with care, it doesn’t show that there is some magic way to cure depression, instead it focuses on how important support from others can be, how they act as a safety net and more importantly the show teaches us how to try and be better to those that we love and be there for them in times of need.
Another important character who deserves a mention would be Suwa, his love for Neho is clear but no matter what, he will do whatever it takes to make her happy, even though it may mean that he has to give up his potential future with Neho and their son. Not only this but he also cares for their mutual friend Kakeru and wants to rectify mistakes of the past. Surprisingly rectifying mistakes, even when you know what the right thing is to do, isn’t that easy, everything is better with hindsight and no matter what, everyone makes mistakes sometimes, we’re only human after all.
unfortunately the latter half of the series does get bogged down with trying to explain how the letters are transported to the past. The whole idea is rather far-fetched and trying to make sense of the whole situation seemed unnecessary. But luckily the show manages to pick up in the final episodes and manages to end on a high note with the final episode.
Orange is a series which stands out for me and I’d even be tempted to call one of my favorites, it made me laugh, cry, smile and contemplate. Yes, there are moments where the pace slows down and it perhaps has a couple more episodes than required but it beautifully captures moments of hardship, life and most importantly friendship. All the characters were enjoyable and they all felt like they had purpose. My main issue certainly has to be that the ending seemed to be missing something, the future versions of themselves, can they ever be content, happy? And what about this new time line, how do these characters turn out now that they have altered history? Maybe in some ways it’s better not to know, but it does seem like something is left unsaid.