Review: ‘Orange’ The Complete Series

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Based on the award-winning manga, Orange is the gripping story of second-year student, Naho Takamiya, who receives a letter from her future self. The letter tells of Kakeru, a shy boy who transfers to her school the next day, and of the life between them that will unfold into tragedy. Can Naho and a close group of friends change the future or must they live with a regret that can never be erased?

Story Review

Orange is not my typical genre of anime. On the surface it comes off as your typical slice-of-life anime. However, this story is much more grounded and serious then you might expect. The story revolves around a group of high school friends, who each get a letter from their future selves explaining that a new student to their school would end up dieing before his 18th birthday. The letters are designed to give them hints on how to prevent those tragic events from occurring.

Over the course of the series, the emotional rollercoaster of every day high school students are worked through with great detail. Even when we see the future flashes of their older selves, the series focuses heavily on the psychological and emotional toll these events had on all of them. Many have commented on the series handling of depression, which is a key issue for Kakeru’s state of mind.

Kakeru blames himself for his mothers death. Kakeru is shy. He doesn’t let others help him express that or deal with the depression. There are many points within the series that are emotional enough to bring even this reviewer to tears. Trust me, I dare you to watch it to the end and tell me you didn’t tear up at least once. The series covers themes like self sacrifice, regret, depression and the question of what would you change if you could write your past self?

As viewers we know what becomes of the group in the future, and who are couples. So watching those future couples work towards changing the future, in a way that could erase their own future happiness, is interesting to watch. Although you might think Kakeru is the only one they are trying to save, they are actually trying to save themselves also.

I won’t spoil the ending of the series. If you are looking for a series that is a bit more grounded in reality and deals with real life issues, this may be a series for you. The story itself has a lot of heart and is worth watching just for something that makes you feel warm inside. With a mix of sci-fi, romance and slice-of-life, Orange is a nice change of pace. We give it an A.

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Limited Edition Extras

  • Art Cards
  • Rigid chipboard box
  • Art book with letters from the English voice actors and writers

Bonus Features

Both the limited edition and standard edition of Orange include all 13 episodes. You also get promo videos, textless opening and closing songs, and trailers.

Robert Prentice