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orange – 06

「LETTER 06」

Orange has picked up the pace and finally reached the point where things are getting serious – or at least more serious than they already were. This episode gave us so much new information that it’s hard to know what to discuss first, but I think Kakeru’s impending suicide is most relevant in shaping the rest of the episode and how we can view Kakeru’s character from here on out. It was easy to suspect that Kakeru’s “accident” wasn’t what it seemed, and when Naho went ahead and read the future letters she found out the truth of the matter. Not only does this frame Kakeru’s words, actions, and intentions in a different light, but it also confirms that Naho hasn’t been receiving these letters periodically like I initially presumed. Her holding off on reading later dates is believable enough and it means they won’t have to get further into the time travel mechanics since it was all delivered in one pile.

When Kakeru says things like “this was a good day”, it now sounds a hundred times more painful than those words should allow. Now that we know this is a young boy who kills himself out of grief and regret in the coming months, there’s a finality to his words; something that wouldn’t seem out-of-place unless you knew he was going to end his life. Naho of the future would probably never have guessed Kakeru was suffering as much as he truly is because like many suicidal people, he does a convincing job of wrapping up his depression and pretending everything is fine. Anyone who has experienced these thoughts or knows someone who has taken their own life or wanted to will know that it’s not as easy to detect as you’d expect. Sure, some people are obvious in their grief, but there’s always those who suffer in silence until it all becomes too much and they’re gone without anyone expecting it.

Naho gets plenty of hate hurled at her, but I think she’s handling this scenario as well as any one could. If you were told that your new friend (who you have fallen in love with) is going to kill himself, and he’s doing everything he can to avoid showing his true feelings, what would you do? Naho being blunt about his mother – asking over again until Kakeru spilled the beans – was an awkward and risky move; it could help him clear his mind by expressing his feelings aloud, but it could also send him into further depression. And with him going missing in the final minutes of this episode it seems more likely that he’s not taken Naho’s questioning well. It’s painful for everyone involved because these kids are all decent people who don’t deserve this suffering. The moment where Kakeru tears up when thinking about his mother, and then explaining exactly what happened, was the most heartbreaking scene of the series thus far. I was already crying at that point, and I suspect that won’t be the last time.

The other major revelation this week was that Suwa has also received a letter. I can actually remember this scene from the manga but completely forget about it was adapted, so I was surprised when it happened so suddenly (and then surprised that I forgot about it in the first place – then again my memory of the manga got hazy an episode or two ago). This was pretty unexpected, but it makes complete sense. Everyone has noted how selfless Suwa has been with Kakeru, and now that we know he’s aware of the future as well, it all adds up. Suwa’s self sacrifices have been working out well so far, I’d say; I suspect in the original timeline Suwa was more obvious about his feelings for Naho, but the fact he’s willing to put them aside to save Kakeru is testament to his character. Now we’ll have to see if the other three friends are aware of the letters and whether they received them from themselves or all from Naho.

Not only was the final reveal a game changer, and Kakeru’s eventual suicide an emotional punch to the gut, but the little scenes with Hagita, Azusa, and Takako were also top-notch. Takako’s hatred for Ueda is amusing, though I hope we see more from her character in future weeks; meanwhile, Hagita and Azusa are adorable together and I agree with Suwa that they should definitely hurry up and date each other! Both halves of this episode showed how likeable these characters are and reinforced how much I’m rooting for them all to be happy. It’s going to be a difficult ride, but I’m ready for more turbulent emotions that await.

August 8, 2016 at 5:20 pm
13 comments »
  • August 8, 2016 at 6:20 pmET

    I had a bad feeling since the beginning when Naho didn’t follow the very first request to not invite Kakeru out, never expected that it would lead to this. The reveal at the end was also pulled off very well, looking forward to see how the series progresses from here.

    In other news, Suwa is the best bro since Sunakawa in Ore Monogatari.

  • August 8, 2016 at 8:14 pmKabble

    And that is how you present a game-changer.
    I’ve liked the idea of Suwa being just that selfless of a person, but reasoning makes this cooler.
    We know he’s a great person indicated by future Naho’s letters, but damn….
    OR what if future Naho and Suwa collaborated letters to one another and F-Naho reminding Present Naho to appreciate Suwa is their way of like…
    Idk my brain fried out before the thought completed LOL
    I’m not crying anymore per episode, now I’m curious about everything.

  • August 8, 2016 at 8:17 pmTori

    The transition I’ve made from being woefully depressed throughout each episode to having fits of romantic rage is just incredible.
    I spent the entire past two episodes yelling at Naho and Kakeru to frakkin stop acting like they don’t know the other likes them for the love of God.
    Btw it’s good to see Kou and Futaba get a 2nd season of love lololol

  • August 8, 2016 at 11:23 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    This is something that I feel should be a done bit more often – a seemingly small, negligible event/choice/etc. early on actually having a really big consequence down the road. Though, I certainly never expected Suwa to have also gotten a letter from the future.

    And I really do hope we get to see Takako punch Ueda. It’s quite clear that Ueda and her lackeys are escalating against Naho little by little to where I wouldn’t be surprised if their attempts to get at her end up having bad results down the road…I’ve even been thinking that they would eventually go too far and put Naho in real life-threatening danger and Kakeru could still die by rescuing her and sacrificing himself (or at least coming very close)…

  • August 9, 2016 at 1:15 aminfo600

    @ Samu – I think Naho gets that large amount of notes in one letter. She’s been afraid to read ahead finish reading her letter in its entirety until this episode.

    Welp, Naho’s being too hard on herself trying to know Kakeru’s dark regrets (and save him from his current fate). She ended up having a breakdown (because of that dark regret) AND (temporary) alienated Kakeru. At least Suwa noticed and is now helping Naho out without having to hide the fact that he knows that same bit of future as well. (Not that she asked him or anything)

    ps. We’re at chapter 8 now (this episode having went through chapter 7 as well).

    • August 10, 2016 at 6:44 amSamu

      Yeah, I’m glad we got clarification of the letter situation. It also is believable enough that Naho would hold off on reading more, I think.

  • August 9, 2016 at 5:09 amZJZJ

    It would be terribly sad if all of them got a warning not to invite Kakeru out that first day, and still did it.
    Till now the others have been playing supportive roles, but with this new reveal I expect to see them directly trying to change things more. It must feel pretty bad for the others to know of the future (I’m expecting that not only Suwa knows, though we’ll see), because so far it seems that Naho is the key player to saving Kakeru, which means the rest who know the future are probably also worried but can only push Naho and Kakeru together and hope for the best without having a direct hand in things.

    I definitely felt worried and scared when Naho tried quite forcefully to get an answer out of Kakeru. It would have been really bad if he had closed her out there. I’m glad that he opened up a bit at least, because now that more is known of the situation more help can be given to him. But having revealed the things he had kept so hidden away he’s also probably extremely vulnerable now, so I’m praying that Naho and the others tread very carefully now.

    I love this show so much.

  • August 9, 2016 at 2:22 pmyoloalchemist

    I don’t care what anyone else says. Suwa is the sole MVP of this anime!

    • August 10, 2016 at 6:45 amSamu

      Truth be told, I don’t think many would disagree with you on that.

  • August 10, 2016 at 4:30 amlaila703

    i bought the 3rd voulume last week and i stoped reading exactly were this episode ended but i have to say that there are little details left out of the last two episodes which i think is important,beautiful and sad .

  • August 10, 2016 at 6:59 amLord Nayrael

    M y guess was right! I could never imagine Naho sending the letters without at least mentioning it to Suwa, seeing as it might lead to a world where their child would not be born. And I was certain that Suwa would not only support it, but want to do the same thing. Seems like these two really would risk everything to save their dear friend, even if it is only in an alternate world.

  • August 12, 2016 at 12:49 pmlunascha

    Show Spoiler ▼

    • August 14, 2016 at 10:22 amSamu

      Please be careful when commenting about how you got spoiled for certain details because in doing so you just spoiled anyone else who doesn’t know what’s going to happen.