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  • Forfatterens bildeStephanie

Orange - So Shojo it hurts

I love me some shojo. Akatsuki no Yona, Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, Fruits Basket, Cardcaptor Sakura, Sailor Moon, I love it all. I still haven't watched that much, but from what I have I can definitely say that it's something I enjoy. The artwork tends to be very floral and detailed, which I love, and it's filled with cute and cool character designs, both male and female. But those are all broad talking points, no we're going to have to get more specific. I recently watched 'Orange', so here are my thoughts about it.

But I should probably start with a synopsis. The show is about a girl named Naho, who has just started her second year of high school. However, on her firts day, she recieves a letter. The letter claims to have been written by Naho herself ten years in the future, and in it are predictions about what will happen in the future, and a list of things Naho must do in order to not have any regrets by the time she finishes high school. At first, she doesn't believe it, but after seeing the predictions of the letter come true, she decides to follow its instructions.

So, is 'Orange' a great show? Not really. It's a solid 7/10 that's for sure, but it's on the lower end, barely reaching above a six for me. The show has everything I love about shojo, but there's so much to dislike as well. First of all, unless the shot is a close up of a characeters face, the production is complete trash, and the characters are off model most of the time as well. The eyes look so freaking bad whenever there's a perspective shot, they're barely drawn most of the time. The main character is somehow able to have both extreme bedhead and perfectly good hair in the same scene. There's also some cases of characters suddenly gaining lipstick in close ups that suddenly dissapear when it turns into a wide area shot.

The themes of suicide also feel kind of weird, and while that is the entire point and message of the story (that you need the help of others to get through tough times), I woudn't say it's done very well. It's not done badly, but on a scale from 1-10, I'd say Orange handled it in a very 6/10 way. It doesn't romanticize the idea of suicide, and while the cause is plausible and makes sense, some of the dialouge that Kakeru says which alludes to him wanting to kill himself is a bit... not bad, just weirdly written, mostly because of the fact that it punches you in the face with subtext so obvious it's basically impossible not to understand it.

Another thing I dislike about the show is the main character herself, Naho. She's so freaking surface level and basic, there's nothing interesting about her. When you have a character who's only flaw is that their too nice, something went wrong. I like her design though, she's cute. I've certainly seen better, though she and all the other characters are off model almost all the time to the point where it becomes jarring. Not to mention the incredibly mediocre voicework, where half the time it's okay and passable, and the other time it's laughable and becomes impossible to take seriously. Naho and Kakeru's seiyuu do a good enough job, it's more the supporting cast who end up dragging most of it down.

But the thing I dislike most about the show is the extremely vauge yet nonsense ending. Since the show deals with changing the past and time travel, it obviously had to come up with a way to explain how the letters ended up in the past to begin with. But the explanation is just so darn stupid. They send the letters back in the past... by throwing them into the Bermuda Triangle, in the hope that there is a black hole under the sea which will somehow send the letters back in time to their past selves. Just... what? A BLACK HOLE UNDER THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE? It's so freaking stupid, makes no sense, and it feels so tacked on and is such a whatever ending. One of the characters even point out the stupidity in the plan, but the other characters just ignore it. It's like... you just ruined this even more.

Before I wrap this up, I also want to talk a bit about the extremely fortgettable soundtrack. There are no songs I remember or liked, they were all as basic anime background music as possible. Even the OP and ED are bad. There's not really anything else to say about the music. It's just that unremarkable. The composer, Hiroaki Tsutsumi, doesn't seem to have done a lot of stuff, although he did work on 'Anima Yell', which had a great ED.

It may sound like I hate the show, but I really don't. The romance between Naho and Kakeru is super adorable

In conclusion, I'd say that 'Orange' is a pretty good show overall. It has some glaring problems, but as with most six and seven out of ten's, it had an interesting premise and ideas which I'm glad got explored, even if it could have been done better. I'm happy to have watched it, but I'm probably never going to rewatch or revisit it. If you like shojo, give it a try. If it's not your cup of tea, then... watch something else I guess, I dunno.

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