Random Curiosity

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「LETTER 04」

There’s still eight more episodes of this? I’m already sweating from an overdose of emotions. We’re now at the point where I basically remember nothing of what’s to come, but each passing episode has made these characters more likeable and heartbreaking, and from what I’ve been told the second half of the series is even better than the first. All things considered, Orange is at a pretty good place right now – especially if you’re an anime fan who loves to be emotionally manipulated in the most heartbreaking ways possible (aka me).

This episode carries on the tradition of seeing snippets of Naho in the future before jumping back into the dramatic events of the present. This time her, Suwa, and the rest of their friends head off to visit Kakeru’s grandmother. It’s a shorter scene than I was expecting, but it confirms that Naho and Suwa are indeed married in this timeline, and the child always in Naho’s arms is theirs. It was obvious, but felt like a scandalous confession now that they’ve said it out loud, especially since the results of this timeline appear wildly different from the one we’re following in Naho’s high school days. There’s no clear connection to the present and future and how the letters are being sent (or when exactly), but I expect that will come eventually. If not, I’ll live with it. It’s a detail that doesn’t necessarily need to be explained, but with the diverging events thanks to Naho’s new actions I’m wondering if both timelines will co-exist with one another when that time comes.

This was another episode of montages, easygoing conversations, and whole lot of tension. It’s a shame the artwork is not as polished as it was in the premiere, but even if the visuals were shoddy stickmen it’d still have that emotional drama to keep us content. I’m still not used to the choppy editing, but I don’t dislike it either; it’s just a shame that we don’t have stellar artwork this week to keep that from becoming a distraction. Thankfully though, that’s a little quibble compared to what this episode did offer. All those slow conversations and that build-up paid off wonderfully – or at least it felt like it did. Knowing that Kakeru is going through some personal struggles right now, yet masks it with his easygoing smile, is enough to make me weary. I’m not letting my guard down that easy… especially after only four episodes.

Another interesting development that could occur soon is the discovery of Naho’s letters. Her friends are noticing that she’s acting different from usual, which is to be expected when she’s being told the tragic events ahead of her and she’s focused on trying to prevent them. This entire episode it felt like Naho was barely present in the conversations – while her friends were enjoying themselves (even without Kakeru’s company), Naho seemed like she was in another world. If her secrets letters are discovered that would present some curious possibilities.

The first comparison that comes to mind (again) is Ano Hana, where Jinta is the only one who is aware of Menma at first, before his childhood friends eventually believe him and work together to get to the bottom of their drama. We could be in for a similar situation in Orange, which would allow Naho to not get so worried and bottle up her true feelings – but what would that mean for her relationship with Suwa and the events of the future? It may not even happen, but it would make for a welcomed dramatic shift. Either way, whatever does come next, I’m sure it won’t be sunshine and rainbows. I can’t wait!

July 24, 2016 at 3:47 pm
17 comments »
  • July 24, 2016 at 4:32 pmGyabo

    While I enjoyed this episode as much as the past few, the editing really took me out of it at times. The random montage in the middle of the episode with Naho looking at her letter really threw me off and felt like they were just trying to stretch the scene out. I really loved the similar stylistic choices in the first episode, but it really didn’t work for a scene like that and I’m wondering what kind of emotion they were going for with it. Then there was the scene at the end with Kakeru just BOOKING IT from Naho without any kind of farewell, which struck me as extremely odd. I’d be pretty weirded out if someone just ran for it in the middle of a conversation, so Naho smiling fondly after him felt a little unnatural. All forgivable offenses though, and I’m really enjoying the pacing so far.

  • July 24, 2016 at 5:17 pmArgetek

    Thanks for a quick and insightful post, Samu!

  • July 24, 2016 at 6:23 pminfo600

    I’m genuinely impressed that they’re finding the space to animate the stuff that was glossed over real fast in the manga, ie. these short-shorts:
    http://randomc.net/image/orange/orange%20-%2004%20-%20Large%2004.jpg

    and the soft-self-serve ice-cream:
    http://randomc.net/image/orange/orange%20-%2004%20-%20Large%2005.jpg

    Also, regarding Naho and Suwa in the future as well as the diverging events in the present
    *******HEAVY MANGA SPOILERS/HINT************
    Show Spoiler ▼

    *******/HEAVY MANGA SPOILERS/HINT***********
    ps.

    I’m already sweating from an overdose of emotions.

    Surely it’s not the dust in your room? :P
    but in all seriousness, I can practically share Naho’s reluctive-ness over being able to overcome the uneasiness to speak to Kakeru after him becoming someone’s possession…

    pps. we’ve just covered chapter 4 if you guys want to actually want to compare this to the manga counter-part

  • July 24, 2016 at 7:50 pmKabble

    I finally got through an episode w/o tearing up…
    Nevermind idk why but I teared up as I started writing this response.
    At the very least I’ve made it an episode without my heart being slowly ripped out of my chest.
    I’m so invested in this show it hurts. I’ve always had a soft spot for youthful drama’s.
    We have 9 more episodes of emotional stress you guys…
    I say we join hands and start the healing circle now cause I know we’ll all be devastated a month from now.

  • July 24, 2016 at 9:59 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    Considering how things are shown for Future Naho, it’s looking more and more like how DBZ handled, and how DBS is currently handling, time travel with Future Trunks in terms of it being alternate timelines where Future Naho’s time is already set; anything Past Naho does will only create a new future for herself in that particular timeline, but won’t magically shift anything around for Future Naho.

    http://randomc.net/image/orange/orange%20-%2004%20-%20Large%2031.jpg

    And definitely agree with Takako…the more we saw of Ueda-senpai, the less and less you like her; totally controlling, possessive, inconsiderate, etc. and just made you want to punch her at the end. Now it makes me wonder if she could’ve been involved in whatever happened to Kakeru and no one in the future even knows it, or if things could change so she does end up involved somehow…

    • July 25, 2016 at 8:38 amBakapooru

      I interpreted a lot of Ueda-senpai’s actions as a girl being jealous that Kakeru is looking in another direction. At first, it might be cute, but in the end, Ueda-senpai just behaved more and more badly.

  • July 24, 2016 at 10:37 pmfripsidelover9111

    Not best, but the most entertaining episode so far for me. I enjoyed being emotionally manipulated while watching it.

    But Naho’s last line at the ending scene was rather disappointing.

    I wonder if future me knows who Kakeru likes?

    It does not sound a rhetorical question. She is really wondering whom Kakeru likes, which implies she is horribly worse at reading other person’s emotion and attitude than normal people (hence close to being mentally handicapped). Though she has been depicted consistently to be within being normal in emotion and intelligence.

    I couldn’t help laughing.

    • July 25, 2016 at 1:35 amHalfDemonInuyasha

      I wouldn’t say it’s because she can’t read others as much as it is that she keeps convincing herself that it couldn’t be her (which is pretty common for “average” people). After all, Naho has shown to have a pretty low opinion of herself, especially if she thinks she caused, causes, or will cause problems for others.

    • July 25, 2016 at 2:17 amfripsidelover9111

      HalfDemonInuyasha //

      she keeps convincing herself that it couldn’t be her (which is pretty common for “average” people).

      Am I missing something? If there were some scenes which ckearly indicated that she kept convincing herself, “It can’t be me. Never.”, I would have no issue with her last line.

      Maybe the scene where Naho said she wanted to do a plastic surgery is the closest one. But even the scene is more like “I guess Kakeru chose the girl because she looks pretty” rather than convincing herself to believe “He will never like an average looking girl like me”.

      • July 25, 2016 at 2:56 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

        This is where “show, don’t tell” comes into play. Characters shouldn’t always have to directly say (whether normally or mentally) how they’re feeling to get the point across. Like how Naho was constantly looking down and appeared negative, especially when Kakeru was around, or right when she starts to build up the courage to try to say something, she immediately looks back down as soon as Ueda was in the picture. It’s pretty clear that she’s most likely thinking “Why would Kakeru like someone like me if he has someone as pretty and popular as Ueda-senpai?”

      • July 26, 2016 at 1:48 amfripsidelover9111

        HalfDemonInuyasha //

        I would buy your interpretation if Naho hadn’t put her “No” answer in Kakeru’s shoe box and hadn’t followed Suwa’s advice.

        To be sure, Naho often appeared negative and passive. But it is open to many interpretations ifself, thus it can’t count as “Show, dont tell” example.

        A more plausible interpretation is that her response is partly based on her assessment of how lilkely she and Kakeru will get close. She avoided and ignored Kakeru after he began having a date with Ueda, and she approached Kakeru and said somthing very close to love confession, shouting at Kakeru across the street after Kakeru actually broke up with Ueda.

        All these indicate she is not a simple doormat weeping baby, but her reactions are based on rationally calculated expectations to considerable extent.

    • July 25, 2016 at 9:52 amdanny

      Having been a high school girl of similar personality to Naho, I can confirm it’s very very common for less-secure and self-aware girls to not realize or recognize when guys are throwing hints but are too uncertain to offer directly.

      That’s part of being a teenager: not really knowing your place/rank/value. Some ego-strong people overestimate themselves but many (boys and girls) underestimate themselves.

      It’s only one of the biggest drivers of stereotypical teenage drama. It’s anything but “close to mentally handicapped”.

      Common teenage insecurity not only causes one to underestimate oneself; it also causes Kakeru not to be direct with Naho even though he recognizes her timidity. It goes 2 ways and she’s not the only one socially struggling with the idea that she can’t/can have what she would like.

  • July 25, 2016 at 1:14 amFuji

    I love this story and the pacing of Orange, but I can’t seem to see past thru the artwork in this episode. Whenever the camera pans out the character faces look extremely off. I really hope they will fix it on BD.

  • July 25, 2016 at 4:36 amAzsurance

    Anyone has an idea where to get their list of music? It is seriously an ear orgasm.

  • July 25, 2016 at 9:00 pmLunascha

    Did anyone tear up like I did even from the previous episode? I am so happy I found this anime through this blog.

  • July 27, 2016 at 6:08 pmsealouse

    all the animation budget must have went into that ice-cream machine in the beginning.

  • July 28, 2016 at 10:42 amBamboo Blade Cat

    Thought it was a touch contrived that Ueda kept showing up every time Naho tried to talk to Kakeru, unless Ueda is a stalker…

    And then she goes all psycho on Naho after just having one date with Kakeru!!! Well that escalated quickly.

    “She’s bland and bumpkin-ish”? SHUT YOUR DAMN MOUTH ABOUT NAHO, PSYCHO!!!!!

    Clearly Naho did Kakeru a huge favor there, cause going deeper into that relationship (no pun intended!) would’ve been a disaster with that drama queen crazy!