One morning, Naho Takamiya receives a letter in the mail claiming to be from herself 10 years in the future. The letter reveals a series of events that are supposed to take place that day. At first, Naho thinks it's just a prank; but when the letter mentions a transfer student named Kakeru Naruse, who really ends up transferring into her class later that day, she is forced to believe in its contents.
As Naho continues to read the letter, her future self mentions several regrets, urging Naho to take the right decisions now. Somehow these regrets all seem to be connected to Kakeru, and with the burden of the knowledge that the boy wouldn't be with her and her friends in the future, will Naho be able to make the perfect choices that will alter what seems to be fate?
After chapter 9 ran in Bessatsu Margaret magazine in November 2012, Orange went on hiatus for over a year. In 2013, the series switched publishers from Shueisha to Futabasha, which re-published the first two volumes. Starting from chapter 10, serialization moved to Monthly Action magazine in the February 2014 issue.
The series has sold a total of 1.6 million copies since it was serialized, with the fourth volume ranking 25 on Oricon's weekly manga rankings chart. Orange also ranked 15th among male readers in the 2015 Kono Manga ga Sugoi! magazine. A live-action film adaptation was released in Japan on December 12, 2015.
Seven Seas Entertainment published Orange in English in 2 omnibus volumes, each containing 2 and a half of original volumes, from January 26 to May 31, 2016. Crunchyroll has been publishing digitally the manga since January 24, 2014. It is also published in Spanish by Tomodomo Ediciones, in Polish by Waneko, and in Brazilian Portuguese by Editora Jbc.
At first glance, Orange may not seem to be anything more than your typical romance/drama set in your usual shoujo location - a high school. The incorporation of changing fate as its main and defining premise, which in itself is nothing too unique even in the romance department, can lead to premature and ignorant condemnations of Orange as nothing more than a mere "melodramatic shoujo" when it is nothing of the sort.
Whilst its premise may not be something immensely exciting at first glance, what Takano has excelled at is the execution of this premise. There exists a delicate yet extremely refined harmony between the potential romance and exploration of our characters both in their present selves and in their future selves, 10 years down the line. One of the most astonishing aspects of Orange is that it successfully balances the two timelines, not only in the pacing of their progression but particularly the ability to reinforce characterisation of their younger selves through their older counterparts and vice versa. This is accompanied by a steady pacing which decelerates accordingly during the exposition of our characters and potential answers to how any of the sci-fi elements are possible and the purpose behind the entire "future letters". Not only has Orange provided a potential explanation to the plausibility of these letters, it maximises the potential of the premise to broaden the possibilities the storyline takes whilst simultaneously respecting the actual complexity of time travel - and the physical reality attached to it. It is all too common for shows to be bogged down by time travel and many series, in anime and manga, fail to respect their premise which often leads to glaring plot holes or a detraction from what the creator is attempting to convey. Orange does not try nor pretend to contain any magnanimous storyline; it is an earnest story whose simple premise acts a platform on which authentic and compelling character growth is achieved.
The characters in Orange present themselves initially to be a cohesive cast with a mixture of personalities that are commonplace in shoujo. For some readers, the existence of certain stereotypical traits may be a deterrent but they provide a sense of appropriate levity and humour in a storyline that explicitly explores mental illness as a key theme. Naho and Kakeru are the series' main focus and their journey is an outstanding exemplar of introspective growth. My experiences with shoujo had previously left me with little expectations on the genre's ability to fully comprehend and portray the whole range of nuanced emotions individuals experience but Orange's characters distinguish themselves by doing so even when faced with a Herculean task of saving a life whilst dealing with how one's own actions can knowingly completely change your own. Through a combination of delving into the regrets of their adult selves, an exposition into their current future lives and the primary storyline concerning our teenage protagonists, readers can experience fully the true gravity of the decisions that they make and do not make and how this may affect them and subsequently their future selves. Orange's prevailing quality is achieving this sweeping exposition by seamlessly entering different POVs and different timelines assembling every perspective of the same events creating a deeper and rounded drama that never turns a blind eye to potential consequences but rather addresses them directly and in an earnest fashion that we would expect a group of young and close friends to approach.
The artwork is simply sublime; Takano has really tailored Orange's visuals to fit its universe perfectly. The drawings have a crisp yet delicate style but maintain the quality of an enchanting romance reminiscent of Io Sakisaka's art. Their high school versions have a youthful and exuberant look in the present which is contrasted by much more mature designs for their future selves. Moreover, attention has clearly been placed in the way facial expressions are drawn and what exactly is being portrayed in every panel - a single chapter of Orange is packed with more development and exposition that most manga could hope to achieve in even 2 or 3 chapters of similar length. The fact that such an elaborate story is told in a mere 22 chapters is a testament to the poetic economy Takano has achieved in Orange.
It is extremely challenging for me to fully explain why I believe Orange is this extraordinary and I attribute that to the series' interwoven and self-reciprocating plot. To compartmentalise Orange as just a tragedy or just a romance or just anything for that matter would be an injustice and a criminal simplification of what is a meticulously well-crafted masterpiece but I feel that if you are looking for a unique story that incorporates any of the aforementioned themes, I would urge you to give Orange a go and to experience a true profoundness in conveying human beings in all its complexity and the power regret can hold. Orange will not garishly and boringly shove its message, any melodrama or textbook philosophy down your throat; its individual elements are there for you to indulge in and to experience together its bittersweet nature. read more
You ever read or watch something extremely popular, and as time goes on, it gets more and more relevant and more and more popular, yet, you don’t like it? Maybe you’ll detest it so much, and it will remain so beloved, but no one ever explains why it’s good? For me, that series is the manga Orange, which was recently adapted into animation, giving me an excuse to re-review it.
The character designs in Orange are quite boring, having traditional “shoujo hair” and generic school uniforms. The lips and facial structure does look a bit more human than normal; however, it falls right into the uncanny valley and is quite disturbing to watch. The manga has decently detailed art, but the panelling is just atrocious. There is no flow or structure to actions, and the literal panel space is even off, which is such an obvious aspect of a manga that you’d have to try to fuck it up. The backgrounds are scarce and often not even existent, which makes the whole thing feel empty and lazy. The anime is pretty mediocre from a production standpoint; occasional bits of movement, but cuts corners whenever possible. However, the directing in the anime added a lot to the original story, giving a coat of melancholy to everything, and adding a bit of subtlety to characters through movements and such. It reminds me of another show recently, though not nearly to the same extent, that used great directing to bring a lackluster source to life: Re Zero.
The characters in Orange are hollow and lack any personality traits. The protagonist, Naho, is “nice” and “in love with Edgy Teen Batman” with literally nothing else to define her. Edgy Teen Batman has no character traits other than those that my sophomoric nickname describes. The only other thing given to characterize him is that he suffers from depression, though the way it’s portrayed is childish and lazy enough to be considered offensive by some, including myself. Every other character acts merely as a plot device to further the narrative or to make sure that the audience knows that Naho is nice and Kakeru is the best. Having somewhat recently finished Legend of the Galactic Heroes, which has such a wonderfully fleshed out cast of over 70 characters, reviewing something with such little care to even its two protagonists is disappointing.
The dialogue in the manga for Orange is dronish and forced, feeling more like it is trying to get across a quota for what needs to happen in a chapter, rather than being an actual genuine conversation. The anime, however, has a slightly more natural feel to the dialogue, making it slightly easier to watch.
Orange is driven entirely by drama, rather than strong characters, atmosphere or anything stupid like that. It exists solely to show drama, and the only reason it gives you to continue watching is to see the next point of over the top drama. While melodrama is not inherently a problem, it becomes one when it is the main focus of the series, and distracts from any positive aspects, if there are any; which in the case of the Orange manga, there aren’t, and in the case of the anime, there are few.
Not only is drama the only driving force of continuing to watch the series, but it is also created artificially, to make conflict harder to resolve. Characters hide important information from one another just to make everything worse for them. The entire narrative is built around one time that Kakeru hid information from his friends, and is perpetuated by his friends withholding information from him and each other.
The conclusion of Orange is insultingly anticlimactic and rushed. It seems to through the meager efforts of the rest of the series in the garbage. It manages to make me hate the whole package even more than I already did, which honestly impresses me.
The next paragraph is a massive spoiler. The series is quite lost thematically. It’s trying to convey a message of “Don’t let your regrets own you” because of how Kakeru ends up killing himself because of his regrets, which is portrayed as a massive mistake. However, because they only saved him because of trying to fix a regret, that regret being failing to save him, the series ends up contradicting itself. Reminiscent of Steins;Gate having a similar contradiction, though in the case of that show, it was more of a complete heel-face turn, rather than thematic incoherence.
I caught up on Orange about 3 chapters into its run, and after 3 years of melodramatic emptiness, shitty artwork, and a raving fan base who refused to explain anything, it finally concluded. I wrote a horrible, rambling, poorly written review soon after describing my hatred for it. A year later, the anime started airing, and I had hope that I would be proven wrong, and the anime would be excellent and no one would even have to tell me whatever they like about it. However, while the anime was slightly better than the manga, it still failed to be remotely acceptable as a piece of work. And I still have yet to be explained what merit can be found here, other than the miniscule few positive points I have mentioned here.
I think I understand why this manga is called orange. When you eat an orange, you don't know if it'll be sour, dry, sweet, juicy, etc. You try your best to pick the perfect one to eat, but you don't know what'll happen when you eat it. Will it be good? Bad? Will it leave a bad taste in your mouth or make you smile from deliciousness. When/if you read orange, you will understand what this means.
This is a story about a girl named Takamiya Naho. She is 16 and on a certain day in April, she receives a letter from her future self. Yes, this manga deals with time travel and parallel worlds which is why it's a sci-fi manga, also. In the letter, it is written in the POV of Naho at age 27. It tells her that there will be a boy named Naruse Kakeru joining her class that day and that in this world, she should take the advice in the letter in order to avoid a tragic incident involving this boy; this is what makes it a drama and tragedy. Of course, it's still a shoujo with it's love triangle and romance scenes. Although these genres could not seem to go together, they actually do which is why I gave the story a 10.
It's pretty good for a shoujo manga.I always notice how in other shoujos, the eyes look kind of weird or just something about it ticks me off very much. In orange, the character designs are very good and Naho is probably one of the cutest shoujo manga girls ever.
This is where it gets kind of bumpy for me. Of course they take some of the more popular tropes in media and put it in this manga. For ex./ the serious megane who is there for comic relief, the outgoing high maintenance friend who is more than what she seems, the quiet and serious friend who can get scary when something involves her friends, and the sporty, handsome, humble, loud, and outgoing popular friend. And then there's a new type of character: the depressed and suicidal character who usually keeps his personal feelings to himself. Some of these tropes are executed greatly while the others are kind of mediocre. And last but not least, the typical shoujo manga girl who is predictable as hell but cute af and really quiet and shy and blushes at everything !!! This is where I have a problem. Yeah, yeah it's like a tradition to have a submissive, cute shoujo manga girl, but Orange brought so many new things to the table so idk why the mangaka didn't change up Naho's character a bit. I will admit that i have no read much manga much less shoujo, and i've only watche a couple shoujo animes, but I am greatly aware of this dumb trope. She is predictable as hell even in this manga full of plot twists, and there are times where her passiveness had me on the floor screaming 'NOOOO'.
Putting the characters aside, I enjoyed this a lot. Usually, I am very slow with reading manga, but I was able to catch up to the new chapter in less time than I imagined. The plot twists are great, and as the manga goes on and my favorite character shows up more, the more I enjoy it!!
Okay, this is officially my first review. I've decided to review orange first because it is a manga i will never ever forget
It was the story that first compelled me to read this. I'm very much into sci-fi shoujo tragic mangas, and the ratings and reviews seemed quite high. The plot is simple: a girl receiving a letter from her future self asking to watch over someone who won't be in the future, to save him. The details really got me hooked, and there were many unexpected twists. Of course, there are still many questions left unanswered like if Kakeru will survive, and how the letters got sent to the past on the first place. But since the manga is still unfinished, the story is amazing for just nine chapters. It warmed my heart in just the third chapter.
I've read many mangas with bad art. Thankfully, the art of orange wasn't another of those mangas with lousy rushed art. So, I'm giving a perfect score for this category.
A story can be flawless in every aspect, but if the characters aren't good, then why even read it? The characters in orange were amazing. I don't want to give any spoilers, but you'll probably grow to love each and every one of them. The things they do made me sympathize with them, and sometimes moved me to tears. I hope they will continue to develop more and more each chapter.
I most definitely enjoyed this. I was bored with nothing to do when i came across orange. Ten minutes later, i was moved to tears. The first ever manga to make me cry. (Believe me, I've read a lot of manga). Never before have i read a manga as beautifully crafted as this.
I can only hope orange continues to be this way, having a dramatic bittersweet end. So i highly recommend you read this if you are a fan a dramatic and tragic love stories.read more