Anime Review: Orange Episode 1

Naho & the gang in the future.

Things seem to be going fairly well, huh?

As I mentioned in the last review, there were a few shows there were airing this that I wanted to try, and with a bad ISP during a trip, I ended up being behind a bit in those shows.

So far, I have covered the pilot episode of one of them and only one show remains in the lineup.

Today, I will be reviewing the pilot of that other show, which is called Orange.

Naho Takamiya shocked by letter

Naho Takamiya is an ordinary high school girl, who is enjoying her life with her friends and schoolmates without any cares in the world.

However, when she receives a letter from her future self that seems to predict events accurately, she must decide whether she is going to follow its warnings or throw it away.

After the disappointment that was Rewrite's pilot episode, I was not looking forward to trying out other shows this season.

Then again, if I had decided to not cover any other shows, since I only did one simulcast at a time in the past, I would have probably missed out on other exciting shows, or shows that ended up being better than I expected.

Suwa Hiroto & Kakeru

Having now seen watched this one, I can say that I really liked it.

From the first few minutes of the episode, I did not feel like stopping for any reason.

Yes, there is not a whole lot of action present, like there was at the end of Rewrite, but, unlike what many people think about males, some of us enjoy a good story more than something with massive explosions, lots of blood, sex, and no story. Bonus points for actually having a great story too, since things can actually be subpar without one.

This is what I expect from a pilot episode. I want to be pulled in and made to want to actually continue on with this series.

Seeing as TMS entertainment, the same people responsible for the edited footage of the international releases of the Detective Conan movies, is behind this work, I want to give them major props.

Then again, this is to be expected, because they are not exactly new in the anime scene.

Still, that does not mean that they should not receive praise when they do something right.

I also liked how the kind of story this was obvious from the very beginning.

While it may not be that exciting, in the eyes of many, it really helps to know what kind of story the series is, so that it can be properly praised or put in its place.

For example, when I watched Rewrite, I had no idea what kind of story it was going to be, because there were too many types of starts.

Here, however, the whole flow of the episode let me know that I was about to watch a series that may rightly be considered a romance series, though whether it can touch or surpass the kind of developments that are seen between Chise and Ainsworth in The Ancient Magus Bride have yet to be seen, and that the characters are going to grow over the course of this series.

Hopefully, TMS entertainment can keep this up, because there are times when an anime fails to surpass the original, much like how Boku Dake ga Inai Machi ended in its last episode.

Of course, even if they do, that does mean that the ending would be as satisfying as the one featured in the FMA manga or in the Pandora Hearts manga, as those two were probably the most satisfying ends that I have ever read.

Nevertheless, I really think that TMS entertainment did something good and will be able to easily attract viewers with this series.

I also liked how some of the reactions felt realistic and fairly believable.

For example, when Naho received her letter from her future self, she was surprised about how accurate it was.

If I had received a similar letter, I too would have been wondering how it have been possible for somebody to know these events, and her surprise felt genuine.

Not only did present Naho's feeling and reactions seem to be believable, but the feelings of her future self also genuine.

After all, everyone that reaches adulthood did things in life that they regret, and many would want to send a letter to their past, in order to change the outcome.

However, just as was shown in Boku Dake ga Inai Machi, even with knowledge about what is to come, things are necessarily guaranteed to change, even though the future selves of this series are not taking control the bodies of their past selves like Satoru did in Boku Dake ga Inai Machi.

In the case of this series, I expect the past selves to wisely doubt letters coming from their future selves, and that may crop up as the series goes on.

TMS entertainment really seems to be doing a good job in this category and it really makes me want to see how the characters will handle things.

The thing that I liked the most though is how there was practically no fan service present.

These days, there does not seem to be anime out there that does not have fan service present, with some exceptions, like Boku Dake ga Inai Machi, and it can even be hard to imagine that a series can do well without it.

However, it is certainly possible, yet difficult, to create a series that does not rely on such content, but, much like books, the ones that can say for sure whether anything is great or not is the viewers, not the studios.

After all, our favorite writers and directors can disappoint us in other works that they publish, after making one great title after another.

This is one of those series that I think, if done right, will become one that many will say was the best anime of the year, just from this aspect alone, especially because it does make it somewhat kid friendly for those residing in the same country as me.

Seeing as TMS entertainment titles have had less fan service than those from Toei, at least as far as I know, they should be able be consistent in this category, though from data that I can find, it may not really remain kid friendly, and I hope they can continue this consistency throughout the entire series.

Outside of those things, I cannot really think of anything else that I particularly liked.

Because the pilot was relatively decent and it was easy to see what kind of story was being present, as well as being able to be interesting without resorting to fan service, this show was very enjoyable.

Naho & Kakeru sitting together

Although I liked the episode, there are some issues.

However, aside from the usual problems found in pilot episodes, there was only one thing that bugged me.

Not all of the feelings, action, and reactions of the characters were believable.

While some were, like when Naho witnessed how accurate her letter was, there were times where they were not.

For example, the moment she found out that the letter claimed to have come from the future, she did not even attempt to throw it away, and instead kept it on her.

Even though I probably would not have thrown it away immediately, I would have suspected that this was some sort of prank, because it is not feasible to send things to the past, especially considering that time travel is nothing more than theoretically possible, just like the network and data transfer technologies boasted about today are just theoretical and reality is much more different.

Yes, Naho does think that it might be some prank in the manga, from what I see from online scans, but I do not even remember seeing her question it here.

Am I really supposed to believe that she has accepted that this is from her future self?

If I am, it would be no different from how my church leaders are trying to preach their beliefs like it is some sort truth that they have and nobody else does, when they are nothing more than beliefs.

I really wish that TMS had put in something that suggested that she was questioning whether or not the letter was legitimate.

Now, I will acknowledge that Naho never did outright believe that the letter had come from her future, much like many members of the church I attend think that whatever the leaders say is revelation and that those leaders are infallible, and she may question this in future episodes, but she still seemed to think that the letter was indeed from her future self, which we, as the audience, knows that it is.

She just got this letter TMS and she believes it after only a few days?

I can let plenty slide, if it does not hurt the quality too much, but this one that I cannot at this time.

Still, since this is not something that really breaks the show at this point, I will just mark this as a minor annoyance, depending on how long Naho goes around thinking that the letter is definitely from the future.

While there was only one thing wrong with this episode, that problem was not big enough to lessen my enjoyment.

Considering that there was quite a bit to like and there was nothing majorly wrong, at this time, this was definitely worth watching.

I recommend this to fans of romance, because the show has a heavy feel that this series will focus on romance.

As for everyone else, this might be worth giving a try, but I cannot really guarantee that this will be satisfying.

What are your thoughts on Orange episode 1? Did you like it or hate it? If you liked it, do you think that series has what it takes to become the best of season or year? Was there something you liked or hated that went unmentioned? Feel free to comment.

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Copyright © 2015 Bryce Campbell. All Rights Reserved.