Oh what to say about Orange, except, screw you FEELS.
Orange is that anime that you may write off, it’s a slice of life, meh. Then in the last 30 seconds it uppercuts you with FEELS. Ugh, my heart.
The setting is a small town, where everyone appears to be friends. Naho, our protagonist is part of a group of 5 friends, who invite the new kid to hang out.
Slice of life, transfer student, normal right? Eh wrong. Earlier in the day Naho received a letter, from herself, addressed to herself, claiming to be herself from the future! Steins Gate vibes anyone? (actually the director for Orange and Steins Gate are the same, so prepare yourself!) The note warns her and advises her to do certain actions, Some she obeys while others she doesn’t. When she finally reads the second page,(why don’t characters ever read the whole note? I would. Maybe that’s why I’m not a protagonist) she discovers that Kakeru, the new transfer student, is dead in 10 years, and that she fell in love with him when she was 16 years old, her current age in the anime.
Oh why do you do this to us? Create the love story, then kill it. The questions now will be how did he die, and is this a self fulfilling prophecy. By trying to save him, will she inevitably cause his death? Will he die trying to save her from her own death? Why why why why!!
Back on track!
Staying in the element of small town, the music is very rustic, including banjos. Electronic music, electric guitars, and heavy drums are not factored in at all, keeping the slice of life genre light and fluffy, especially in group fun montages that are singe frames like a camera shot.
The art style reminds me of Ao Haru Ride, or even Prison School with the amount of detail that went into the characters. The eyes are large and circular, which if you pause at juuust the right moment is creepy. But the details included in the characters, stock, supporting and main, are amazing. The characters are constantly moving, whether it be their head, mouth, or whole body. The backgrounds are usually more darker, or deep orange(ironically) because a lot of scenes take place after school when the sunset is approaching.
The background imagery is more important because there are a lot of inner monologues when there are no characters on screen. The music during the monologues are often soft string instruments, keeping the tone with the rest of the music. There haven’t been any intense scenes as of yet, with the feels reveal at the end, so I am expecting more from the music department next week!
There were CGI fish.
So the positives are the setting. Between the scenery, the music, the sky of colors, it really portrayed somewhere far from a city. I don’t know what prefecture or if we ever find out what prefecture they reside in, but with so many animes taking place in cities, this small town vibe is cute.
The character design was a bit flawed for my liking. With some characters constantly moving while others remained perfectly still, it was creepy. The character was supposed to be spaced out in a couple scenes, but it looked more like she was a wax doll and not staring into the abyss, her eyes were too aware. If that makes sense. I do appreciate all of the detail, its beautiful. I praise you forever! But portraying a thoughtful character is more than just stillness, and it didn’t come across properly.