books / reading / writing

Orange (the Manga) by Ichigo Takano

This is one where I read the manga before watching the anime (as I finished Vol 1 & 2 last night, I have not yet watched the anime) and it’s interesting as it’s the first time in the manga I’ve read in the last month or so for me to do so. One I’ve read has no anime, but the others: Ao Haru Ride (Blue Spring Ride), Ouran High School Host Club, Yona of the Dawn; I’ve seen all the anime available. So it was nice to come into this with the idea that if I like it, I have an anime to watch later.

Blurb from goodreads: On the day that Naho begins 11th grade, she receives a letter from herself ten years in the future. At first, she writes it off as a prank, but as the letter’s predictions come true one by one, Naho realizes that the letter might be the real deal. Her future self tells Naho that a new transfer student, a boy named Kakeru, will soon join her class. The letter begs Naho to watch over him, saying that only Naho can save Kakeru from a terrible future. Who is this mystery boy, and can Naho save him from his destiny?

It’s definitely not for everyone. It’s got time travel (but only slightly), trigger warning – discussion of suicide, regrets, and some serious meddling. There were moments that I as a reader didn’t believe. Not the time traveling letters, (I can accept that apparently), but when Naho repeatedly asks Kakeru what’s wrong, and pushes him to open up, and he doesn’t get really annoyed? I mean, even people who need to share and know they should, but often don’t, would still shut down with a technique like that. I know that’s small, and really didn’t completely hinder my enjoyment, but it stuck with me. Also, the idea that getting Kakeru and Naho together as some sort of life-saving method kind of worries me. They are good for each other, and super cute and sweet; but I’m not sure if the message being sent could be interpreted as romance as a life-saver. Just a thought.

I liked the cast of characters, I liked the friendship group. I have to say that shoujo anime and manga often does a really good job of friendships (I wish we’d had more of Azu & Takako, the other girls). Suwa probably takes the cake as the best person (maybe too perfect) of the group. His acts of self-sacrifice and putting others before himself is astonishing. I wanted to hug him the most, Kakeru second, and Naho third.

orange 2

I like that despite often strange set-ups in shoujo anime/manga, sometimes even quite absurd, there is often a lot of heart and thought-provoking character study. On the surface a lot of these look like typical teen romance drama or comedy, but several have been so genuine and emotional to me at least. I really am glad I started down this random path of anime/manga two months ago (I’m still not entirely sure how it happened).

By the way, this means I’ve read four of the eleven books I listed for summer reading.

© ecnewman, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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