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「LETTER #11」

That. was. dramatic.

And here I was thinking these past few weeks of orange were fairly slow and almost uneventful. That couldn’t be further from the truth this week, for better or worse (mainly better). This was easily the most exciting episode in weeks. After so long of progress with Kakeru going well, it only takes one little slip-up to revert back to the unfortunate events of the original timeline. There’s a few we can point fingers at (and I know fans already are blaming one particular character for this mess), but at the end of it all if Kakeru doesn’t want to be saved, then he won’t be. He is his own person with his own problems who can’t look past the short-term pain. Even with his friends knowing what they know, it still might not be enough to save him in the end.

I should probably begin with Naho. Poor Naho. She’s getting all the hate under the beating sun after what she did (or rather, what she didn’t do), and I can understand that, but at the same time I don’t blame her for all this mess. At this stage in the story she’s on the same level as the rest of her friends in terms of background knowledge and foresight, so it’s not like she’s carrying the burden solo any longer. She’s had less of the spotlight in the past few weeks, so this is her first time in a while to actively change her relationship with Kakeru and how one particular event between them played out. Obviously, things didn’t work out well at all. Their relationship may have blossomed more than it did in the original timeline, but the events with his grandmother are still the same Kakeru still feels guilty when he’s done nothing wrong. Perhaps Naho should have offered to go with him or have been more careful in choosing her words, but it’s clear that she just wants to solve this as quick as possible and trampled on Kakeru’s feelings as a result.

Suwa was (one again) the standout of the episode, proving why he is the ultimate best friend. He’s sacrificed so much of his potential future to aid in the saving of Kakeru, even if it means not confessing to Naho when he originally did before. Of course, the scenario is different now, but that’s a bold and brave move for him to take even with all his friends rooting him on. I’m glad he took the stand though, because that seems like the dodgiest time to confess his feelings, especially now that he knows about Kakeru’s suicidal thoughts. Back then he wouldn’t have known, so there’s no use blaming him, but if he repeated history here that would have put him in the bad books for sure. He’s doing what’s best, and he’s frankly better at it than Naho. But Naho is the lead character here because she has the strongest bond with Kakeru and is the most likely to help him through his troubles.

I’ve seen some criticism for this episode because of his overdramatic it was, but I love a dose of drama in my anime (my all-time favourite is Ano Hana, after all), so I’m not in that camp. The art has improved again, and the dark winter colours helped set the tone even before things started to go horribly wrong. I can see why viewers would get angry over the events of this episode, but it was inevitable that we were going to get some miscommunications and bad decisions before we reach the end of this story. With only two episode left I expect things will have to take a positive turn next week if we’re to end on a happy note. That’s what I’m expecting, but we could also be in store for a surprise tragic end, which would be a ballsy move if nothing else.

Also, the new ending visuals are really pretty. My favourite ones so far.

 

ED1.3 Sequence

September 13, 2016 at 5:46 am
30 comments »
  • September 13, 2016 at 6:28 amSetsunahenry

    I want to punch Kakeru so badly.

    • September 13, 2016 at 7:44 amBear

      Somebody really needs to get in his face and shake him till his teeth rattle. Talk about being self absorbed. “It’s all my fault” Grow up kid, killing yourself isn’t going to bring your mother back and is going to devastate your grandma and friends.

      • September 13, 2016 at 3:09 pmSamu

        The thing is, people with suicidal thoughts usually realise the pain that their passing would cause others. But many times it’s still not enough to justify living when living is repeating the same mistake and trauma in your head over and over until you can’t bear to live with yourself. You’d think that him losing a loved one to suicide would make him think otherwise, but that’s clearly the opposite of what’s happening here.

      • September 13, 2016 at 5:49 pmBear

        @Samu

        At this point he’s going into a “death spiral” and someone needs to break him out of it. It’s like a terminal case of OCD. Trying to be supportive isn’t working and the argument with Naho shows how bad it is. She tried to say something positive and it backfired. He’s convinced that he doesn’t deserve to be happy so what they’re doing is just triggering that self hate in him. He needs to be shaken up and made to think about this. At least enough to seek professional help. Odds are that you’re right and nothing they say is going to affect his feelings of self loathing.

      • September 14, 2016 at 7:30 pmDepression is not agame

        I’m sorry Bear, but it seems like you don’t understand how any of this works. Being supportive is actually the best way to help someone out of depression. Do you actually know anything about depression, and having suicidal thoughts? Grow up? Self-absorbed? You do know that everyone is selfish to a certain extent right? We all act on our own interests and feelings. Telling someone to grow up is just emotional invalidation – which obviously is going to make things worse.

        You make it sound like this is such an easy thing to deal with. Break out of the spiral? What…are you talking about? What solution do you actually have? It doesn’t seem like you have anything concrete in mind. How do you shake him up? How, really? Punch him? It isn’t going to work.

        What needs to be done is to actually validate his feelings. Silver-lining things won’t work. You need to acknowledge the validity of his feelings, and then work to change it. If you deny it in the first place, then he would only be more suicidal. I’m sorry, but I would suggest that you keep away from these type of people in real life. No offense, but your stubborn personality and ignorance is very likely to get these people killed in real life (and then you’ll blame it on them).

      • September 15, 2016 at 6:57 pmBear

        @Depression is not game

        Validate his feelings? Really? “I should be dead” ? Yes, let’s validate that feeling! Being supportive isn’t working in this case or did you miss the fact that every time he has a positive situation he winds up worse because he doesn’t feel he deserves to be happy? He’s convinced himself that both he and everyone around him would be better off if he were dead. Yeah, let’s be supportive of your right to feel that way. Happy talk isn’t going to help him nor is condemnation. Making him feel better only exacerbates the guilt feelings he has. He wants to feel bad because he thinks he deserves to feel bad. Obviously he needs help but unless you get him to see that that is a selfish belief you won’t get him to seek that help. This is not a generic depression that is leading to suicidal thoughts (unless he’s inherited the mental illness that his mother had which I will admit is possible).

        Sorry, in this case I don’t think hand holding is going to work and yes I have had experience with depression.

    • September 13, 2016 at 3:04 pmSamu

      Wow, the lack of empathy and compassion for someone clearly suffering with depression and on the brink of suicide is pretty concerning. I can understand that his attitude is getting in the way of things progressing in a positive manner, but it makes perfect sense given his situation. Many people who lost a parent because of what they perceive to be their own selfishness and harsh final words would feel the same was as Kakeru.

  • September 13, 2016 at 7:39 amBear

    I don’t have a problem with what Naho did except for one thing: she didn’t immediately apologize. It might not have worked but just standing there when she knew what had happened before was absolutely stupid.

    Suwa is being ridiculously self sacrificing. OMG, his future self sent a picture of him, Naho and their child? Wow, how to be an M and an S to your past self.

    You know, Kakeru’s mom was mentally ill. Could Kakeru also have a mental breakdown instead of suicide (or alternately they manage to stop him but he’s still sick)? Resolves the situation for Suwa and still allows him to be the good guy and still get the girl.

  • September 13, 2016 at 8:25 amKamui

    As someone who was on Naho’s position once, I can tell you: You never know for sure how just one word could fuck everything up. The worst thing is that when the event is triggered your mind goes blank and more often than not your ideas to try smoothing the issue out only end up make it worse. I can understand why people would hate her for it, but I can’t. Empathy is a hell of a drug.

    On Kakeru’s apparent “assholeness” (is that even a word?)… Well, he is quite depressed and I’m sure as hell he’s not getting any professional help for it. It’s quite hard to deal with someone who is being helped and I can’t even fathom how hard could be to deal with someone who it isn’t.

    Suwa is.. I don’t know but bro is not enough for it, that’s for sure. Her future self needs to learn a bit from him, though.

    • September 13, 2016 at 3:05 pmSamu

      Completely agreed. Other than Suwa, everyone here is being ‘difficult’ or making mistakes. And it all makes sense given their circumstances – not many teens would be able to pull this off successfully without doing more damage, I’d imagine.

      • September 13, 2016 at 3:57 pmKamui

        You’re bound to fail even if you’re older, specially with someone that is so far gone as Kakeru. My ex-fiancee used to said that it was like a monster that suddenly takes over you and robs you everything. The only way to deal with a depressive person is lots, and I seriously mean lots, of patience and love. It’s not something than anyone can pull off.

  • September 13, 2016 at 9:10 amMaBoySuwa

    The entire show we have been watching this one kid and his issues, while the other characters are making sacrifices on a personal level as they go along with it (especially ma boy Suwa). This is just the premise of the show and to drive the narrative the author has chosen forward.

    But if this were real life? I as one of the friends would get into Kakeru’s face and give him a piece of my mind. How he’s a self-absorbed, selfish child that, while having legit issues, should be more aware of his surroundings. The world sadly does not revolve around you. But oh how it easy it is to see the world through a grown ups eyes.

    In that sense, the author depicts quite a believable story, you know, minus the parallel world gimmick

  • September 13, 2016 at 11:59 amTrippwire

    In so many places I see people saying that they want to “punch Kakeru in the face” or tell him off. Honest question: Can Kakeru’s behavior actually be brushed off as being childish and self-absorbed? I think he’s more than just upset about his mom’s death. He must have a major depressive disorder for him to keep acting the way he does.

    I feel like doing either of those things mentioned above would encourage him to commit suicide, not “open his mind” and “grow up.” I’ve seen some people even saying that he might as well off himself—he’s too “unreasonable” and “annoying” and “deserves to die” at this point. But I find it hard to believe it would be easy to treat a real person this way if they displayed the same behavior as Kakeru.

    Again, I’ve seen so many opinions like this and it makes me wonder if I’m reading too much into the situation. :\

    • September 13, 2016 at 3:06 pmSamu

      I don’t think you’re reading too much into it. Kakeru is obviously suffering from depression along with his suicidal thoughts. It’s not being childish and self-absorbed. He’s mentally ill and the reactions people have to his actions are the most disconcerting thing of all.

      • September 13, 2016 at 6:02 pmNishizawa Mihashi

        It’s been that way since well, forever. In a way you can kind of understand why, but it’s still a terrifying thought. Makes you wonder about everything as a whole. Take it from me, someone who’s studied the field long enough and having had to deal with similar issues all before my current pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in it. I, I just don’t want to think about it anymore sometimes, still catches up to me though, in my nightmares, my dreams…

  • September 13, 2016 at 12:43 pmForRealTho

    Boohoo my mom died, and it’s “‘all my fault”, I guess I better be a dick to all of my VERY GOOD friends and contemplate on killing myself… Who the f does this twerp think he is, some sort of god? Things happen, and some of them are beyond our control since we are only human, no reason to be such an ass-wipe.

    Improve yourself as a human, work your way through society, be a nurse or a doctor, or something that interest you. No need to be regretting things that are already in the past 24/7.

    I’m sorry this has been a frustrating ride for me, just wanted to vent it out. I’ve been staying to this show just because all the characters are likeable, minus that twerp Kakeru.

    • September 14, 2016 at 12:01 amTrippwire

      ^ Perfect example of my point.

    • September 14, 2016 at 4:18 amDarklord

      “Bohoo…my mom died???”…and I’m guessing you’ve lost a parent at such a tender age, so you know how that feels?

  • September 13, 2016 at 3:53 pmsamui

    In Kakeru’s defense, teens are known for having this kind of outburst especially if something bad just happened. I am already in my 20s when my father died, I am still as that selfish as Kakeru as far as ‘moving on’ is concerned.

    Yeah, Poor Naho should have just apologized immediately.

  • September 13, 2016 at 5:59 pmNishizawa Mihashi

    Perhaps I’ll just save my POFITs for when the show finally ends, cuz it feels as if that if I were to discuss anything about the show minus the technical points, I’d be setting myself up for walking on the plank and falling right down into a river full of piranhas.

    • September 13, 2016 at 8:30 pmAnonymous

      After reading the chapter, my first thought was that the chapter was “wrong” in a sense. Kakeru reminded me of Anakin Skywalker from the prequel films, all angst and whatnot. Initial reactions aside, after some contemplation, and after reading this review and a review on AngryAnimeBitches, Kakeru’s reaction, while a little unexpected and kind of uncalled for, makes sense. He doesn’t know about the letters, and Naho kind of came off as making little of his fears, but since she knows that Kakeru’s grandma’s gonna be alright, I can see how she could say what she did. I mean, as a teenager knowing all that she knows, I’d probably make a faux pas and screw things over.

      Looking at it from Kakeru’s perspective, he probably just feels vulnerable after knowing his grandmother got sick. He’s afraid of losing his only family, and that puts him in a bad spot. I mean, even though he did open up with the others, that doesn’t mean he’s gonna stop feeling like crap. Naho didn’t see it and unintentionally made light of (or trampled on) his feelings, which just only made things worse. In hindsight, I suppose that she could have suggested that they go be with his grandmother since family and all, but then again, if I were in her shoes, I wouldn’t have thought of that which just shows what a thoughtless and careless being I am.

      I know that Kakeru’s reaction was supposed to happen, and in a way, looking at from an outsider’s perspective, it seemed normal (though could’ve been less melodramatic). Does this make him worse? Selfish? Self-absorbed? I’ve read comments saying how they wanna punch him in the face. While I understand to some extent, it’s hard to open up to others given what he’s been through. Naho also didn’t seem to apologize immediately, which another reviewer noted, so that’s a little on her. I guess the real crux of the matter that I’m reading reviews about is whether or not Kakeru is realistic? Would our reactions be the same as Naho if we were faced with someone in the real world behaving the same as Kakeru?

      Also, shout out to the use of colors in this episode. Really sets the tone for this episode. Also, wow, Suwa got a photo of the future….Really wanna know how Naho would react if she ever laid eyes on it.

  • September 13, 2016 at 7:35 pmCherry

    NO NO NO NO NO.

    Poor Naho went full blonde trying not to cause the fight and caused the fight she was trying to prevent. ugh.

  • September 13, 2016 at 8:20 pmLunascha

    Cant really blame Kakeru for feeling the way he does because I would never be able to understand someone with suicidal thoughts but it definitely will not be easy to get away from the thought, but still, it stills hurts to see Naho hurting when all she wants is to make and be happy with him but their relationship cant progress.
    I believe that there are some things you cannot change the future for it was meant to be and that is what this episode showed
    However, knowing this is an anime and there is a higher chance of a happy ending, I feel like maybe there will be a change of feeling with Kakeru and somehow they will work it out.

  • September 13, 2016 at 11:06 pmKitKat

    If you were Kakeru what would you choose? Responsibility or to hangout with friends when your family member is sick at home? I would choose responsibility for taking care of a family member first. That’s what Naho didn’t understand. Naho shouldn’t have said what she said for Kakeru to stay because Naho thought his grandmother was fine(said in the letter that Kakeru’s grandmother is still living). However, Kakeru didn’t know his grandmother is going to be fine in the future and still living. Anyways, in this situation I feel Kakeru. I hope you guys don’t hate me for saying this. haha.
    However in Suwa’s situation I feel him, too because I believe Suwa should be with Naho instead of Kakeru and Naho together. Suwa’s and Naho’s chemistry feels more right than Kakeru being with Naho. That’s the only future I hope will not change in the anime. Suwa can protect Naho like Naho can help Suwa. So I hope they don’t put Kakeru and Naho together just because they don’t want Kakeru to die. I don’t hope Kakeru dies, too though. It’s pity if he does. Also I agree with samu this was a pretty dramatic episode.

  • September 14, 2016 at 12:30 aminfo600

    Healing someone Kakeru’s mind permanently is more of a improbability if it’s desired within a year (outside of brainwashing). Having that mental wound being reopened every couple of weeks doesn’t help at all…

    Neither did Naho’s choice of reassurance in this timeline (she was kinda selfish-minded in her quest to having Kakeru to stay by her side); While in comparison, Suwa’s choice of reassurance (to Naho) was the true example in selfless acts.

    ps. this is the first time that I’ve realized the current-Suwa was also received photos from his future-self (the hairlines weren’t as notable)

    http://randomc.net/image/orange/orange%20-%2011%20-%20Large%2011.jpg
    http://randomc.net/image/orange/orange%20-%2011%20-%20Large%2012.jpg

    pps. it’s chapters 17 & 18, like clockwork.

    • September 15, 2016 at 5:30 pmTaran

      I wonder if future-Suwa sent those pictures back to his younger self, in the hope that he wouldn’t give up on being with Naho, and that his future might turn out the same, somehow. I can’t think of another good reason to send the photos, unless he thinks Suwa might be happy to know that there existed a world where he and Naho had gotten married, and had a child. Also, did anyone else find the scene with the pictures in the classroom rather creepy? Azusa’s face and tone when she tells Kakeru, “You’ll find out someday,” was a bit eerie. And then the rest of them… I would have been weirded out in Kakeru’s place.

  • September 14, 2016 at 3:36 pmTori

    Suwa’s level of perfection and self sacrifice, for me, has gone from awesome to simply so unrealistic I just cannot relate to his character anymore.
    There’s selflessness and then theres Suwa’s unrealistic and honestly annoying selflessness. I get upset with my friends who exhibit that kind of behavior. I don’t see it as strength anymore I’d almost argue he’s allowing himself to undergo the same weakness that inhibits all of Kakeru’s being. Difference is that Kakeru had his thrown onto him and he’s guilted by the actions he couldn’t do whereas Suwa feels guilted by the actions he didn’t do in a future that hasn’t arrived yet.
    That kind of selflessness drives me nuts, it’s comparable to watching someone let themselves be walked over because ‘it will pass’ and thats not how things work.
    It’s good to know that for this circumstance in helping Kakeru, he’s literally perfect, but this kind of perfect is just…just no.
    I can’t sit around and be happy that Suwa is literally B-lining his own happiness to this degree just to ensure their friend does not commit suicide.

    Lets also be frank, these children are teenagers. Even worse? They’re teenagers who are stoic in their belief that specifically one person is who Kakeru needs in order to ensure his life is not lost and that places and immeasurable pressure on Naho. So of course when she royally fucked up I was upset but for the love of God they’ve all but said the only way Kakeru won’t kill himself is if the NahoXKakeru ship doesn’t sail off with gale force speed. Of course it makes sense to utilize her as the main factor in ensuring he lives, but damn they can’t honestly expect the most insecure member of the group to suddenly be the Jesus Christ to Kakeru’s grief and take it all in for him.

    It’s hard watching them micromanage the future more and more each episode. Suwa blatantly deviating from his initial future, Naho questioning her every damned move. The group making sure the two of them have as much alone time as humanly possible.
    It’s just a big ass nope.

    Naho is expected to do too much. Suwa does too much too perfectly. The group literally encourages Naho to save his life while essentially fixating on the framework. Not factoring in sheer human error. The boy is depressed and suicidal, we should be happy his isn’t dealing with manic depression otherwise he would’ve been dead 5 episodes ago.

    This is too much for teenagers to handle.

  • September 14, 2016 at 7:40 pmAnonymous

    After reading the chapter, my first thought was that the chapter was “wrong” in a sense. Kakeru reminded me of Anakin Skywalker from the prequel films, all angst and whatnot. Initial reactions aside, after some contemplation, and after reading this review and a review on AngryAnimeBitches, Kakeru’s reaction, while a little unexpected and kind of uncalled for, makes sense. He doesn’t know about the letters, and Naho kind of came off as making little of his fears, but since she knows that Kakeru’s grandma’s gonna be alright, I can see how she could say what she did. I mean, as a teenager knowing all that she knows, I’d probably make a faux pas and screw things over.

    Looking at it from Kakeru’s perspective, he probably just feels vulnerable after knowing his grandmother got sick. He’s afraid of losing his only family, and that puts him in a bad spot. I mean, even though he did open up with the others, that doesn’t mean he’s gonna stop feeling like crap. Naho didn’t see it and unintentionally made light of (or trampled on) his feelings, which just only made things worse. In hindsight, I suppose that she could have suggested that they go be with his grandmother since family and all, but then again, if I were in her shoes, I wouldn’t have thought of that which just shows what a thoughtless and careless being I am.

    I know that Kakeru’s reaction was supposed to happen, and in a way, looking at from an outsider’s perspective, it seemed normal (though could’ve been less melodramatic). Does this make him worse? Selfish? Self-absorbed? I’ve read comments saying how they wanna punch him in the face. While I understand to some extent, it’s hard to open up to others given what he’s been through. Naho also didn’t seem to apologize immediately, which another reviewer noted, so that’s a little on her. I guess the real crux of the matter that I’m reading reviews about is whether or not Kakeru is realistic? Would our reactions be the same as Naho if we were faced with someone in the real world behaving the same as Kakeru?

    Also, shout out to the use of colors in this episode. Really sets the tone for this episode. Also, wow, Suwa got a photo of the future….Really wanna know how Naho would react if she ever laid eyes on it.

  • September 15, 2016 at 12:54 amHapop

    I might be the only one thinking this, but was anyone else a little upset with Naho’s actions? She knew exactly what was going to happen – - – and yet said exactly the same thing (her and/or friends > family)to get the argument heated. She could have agreed and offered to go with Kakeru to visit the grandma together or even just let him go visit his grandma without saying anything (at least leave him in that up-beat state that he was in). She couldn’t have thought up those alternatives prior?

  • September 17, 2016 at 5:23 amNamaewoinai

    http://randomc.net/image/orange/orange%20-%2011%20-%20Large%2027.jpg

    What’s a Matter Mama’s Boy, Feeling Mentally Lonely Again…XDDDDD Man This Guy is…Kindd Funny…Really! But again yeah feeling pity i tell ya.