In the sci-fi/slice of life series Orange, Naho Takamiya is living her normal teenage life when she unexpectedly receives a letter from…herself? Indeed, her future self has sent her back a letter detailing some major events in her life that she wants to see changed, particularly regarding a new transfer student named Kakeru Naruse. While Naho is understandably skeptical at first, when she realizes that the letter is eerily accurate, down to the style of her handwriting, she begins to follow its instructions, altering her experiences in school and helping to steer her clear of actions that she would later regret.
The first thing I noticed about Orange was the animation. It has a very modern look to it, and the polished animation looks great. I’ve seen a few comments that Berserk could have taken a page or two out of the Orange playbook when it comes to the animation style, and I’m inclined to agree. The realism is particularly impactful given the slice of life genre, as the environments and interactions leap off the screen.
The plot seems to pull a few ingredients from a variety of recent shows (Erased, One Week Friends, etc) and still manages to stand on its own two feet with the unique plot element of the letters. While there is certainly some time manipulation involved, it’s not outright time travel (yet), and the show is still heavily a coming of age, slice of life series.
What really helps to drive the series is the core group of friends surrounding Naho. Hiroto Suwa, Takako Chino, Saku Hagita and Azusa Murakasa each play different roles in her stereotypical group, but do so with charm.
Overall, I’m enjoying Orange a lot so far – I think that it’s well animated and has the potential for some good storytelling. I do think that ReLIFE is doing a better job at striking a chord with older viewers in terms of the nostalgia of high school and a wish to return to our younger years and try again, but Orange is certainly in a close second. A great addition to your summer viewing list!
Orange airs weekly on Saturdays and can be found on Crunchyroll