Orange Review

orange2b1Story:
Naho lives a pretty standard existence. She’s the incarnation of shyness itself, is blessed with a very supportive group of friends and together they enjoy their high school years to the fullest. One day, Naho receives a strange letter in the mail. It’s supposedly written by her future self and instructs her to save the life of a boy who enters her school the very next day.

Violence:
A few scrapes and such, but nothing serious. However, one character commits suicide off screen, another attempts it more than once and the topic of death comes up a lot.

Language:
Some sh-ts and a few instances of the b-word being used.

Nudity:
We’re in the clear here besides some shirtless scenes from the guys.

Theology/mythology:
Going to a shine on New Years is the only thing to put here.

Personal impression:
This series is pretty clean, yet I’ve decided to rate it for young adults simply due to the heavy themes within. Not going to lie, this show was really hard to get into and, once I did, I had more than a few moments where I wasn’t sure how I felt about the show overall. I still don’t.
What this show seemed to be doing at first was set up a fantasy world, but have the characters act as if the strange and totally impossible things were normal, aka magical realism, in a sense. It rubbed me the wrong way, as did the numerous times Naho’s shy behavior was used to an extreme for drama and/or she was blamed for other characters’ actions. However, as the show progressed, it started to become clear that this series was trying to tackle another issue all together.
Depression.
A weighty issue that few who don’t experience it personally can understand, depression is a mental illness that can be deadly. Seeing a counselor and possibly taking medication can be the difference between life and death for some. And the case of dealing with the death of a loved one who committed suicide, well, that’s even more complicated.
Once I understood what the show was actually trying to portray, the viewpoints of the characters began to make far more sense.
Even so, addressing depression is a hard path indeed. Where support is a requirement for those suffering from depression, it’s also vital that those around know that there’s no magic combination that can cure or “save” someone permanently from depression, and thus it is no one else’s “fault” that the person who is depressed has, ya know, depression.
As someone who has anxiety, I’m happy to see mental illness being tackled. At the same time, I know for a fact how slippery the slope is. See, my main issue with this show, and what still puts me a hint off, is this series’ constant trend of characters blaming themselves and cross examining themselves on every little, tiny issue, to try to keep Kakeru from committing suicide. Because the reality is, everything around someone can be fine. Everything can be perfect, even. And someone might still be drawn dangerously to suicide because depression is a mental illness and not always triggered or sustained by outside forces (sometimes, but not always).
On the other hand, I understand why his friends feel like it’s their job to do what they can. They love him and want to help. That’s good. But I still believe you should be careful when discussing what to do to help those with depression because there’s really only so much you can do. Unfortunately, it’s a demon only the depressed party can personally fight head on. All those on the outside can do is constantly offer support and encouragement. You can’t take that burden away,  no matter how much you love them. If someone with depression closes off, refuses to talk to you and even verbally abuses you, it is not your job/duty to force help upon them. You don’t have to abandon them or anything, but you also shouldn’t blame yourself for their behavior.
See how much of a slippery slope this is? The issue is a complex one and while I appreciate the show for addressing it and I do think it captures depression very well, I also feel some wrong conclusions can be drawn from it.
Overall, this is not a bad show. Not at all. It’s actually very good, considering the monster of a topic it took on. But if you watch it thinking about how someone you know behaves exactly like Kakeru, you need more than just friendship. You might need to do some extra research on depression and possibly seek the help of a good counselor. Depression is serious and can be life threatening.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 13
Languages: Sub
Official rating: TV14
Genres: Drama, slice of life, fantasy
Company: Toho
Official streaming: Crunchyroll

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This entry was posted in Ages: Young Adult, Anime Reviews, Toho, TV Series and tagged , , by inrosegalaxy. Bookmark the permalink.

About inrosegalaxy

Raised on everything from Moby Dick to the Star Wars X-Wing books from a young age, it came as no surprise to anyone who knew me that I’d become a literature graduate and avid writer. But my love of a good story wasn’t restricted to the written word in my early years. Star Trek, Mystery Science Theater 3000, and badly dubbed Godzilla flicks helped shape my love of science fiction on screen as well. I wrote my first story while in the second grade. It was a horrifying tale about murdering a fairy-eating dog via a slice of pizza (in my defense, my only exposure to pizza was in the cafeteria and I swear you could legitimately kill someone with those things). I was a special snowflake. Today I write science fiction, fairy tales, Gothic epistolaries, fantasy and anything else that pops into my bizarre and twisted mind. I write new articles for my blog every Tuesday and Thursday. And if you happen to fancy Japanese animation, I also run an anime review blog, RRAR, which updates every Monday.

One thought on “Orange Review

  1. Pingback: Amanchu! Review | Risembool Ranger Anime Reviews

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