Orange 05-06

Orange - rare happy Naho

Yay! Naho can smile!

winter15-highw Things just don’t always go easy, but sometimes you get help from unexpected places.

Finally on the Right Path?

Orange - Surprise

Surprise gift and stalker picture!

So Kakeru has corrected his mistake of going out with Ueda, and into that void steps Naho. Or more like the two of them are making halting steps toward each other. A date to study, a small present, walking home together. And on top of that, it seems like the others have noticed that Naho and Kakeru are both into each other and are clearing a path for them to be together. Well, at least Azu and Takako are. Because it’s no secret to anyone except Naho that Suwa is also way into Naho. And while Suwa’s keeping a lid on it, Hagita doesn’t have the tact to keep his mouth shut when the subject comes up. But thankfully, Naho, being herself, doesn’t believe that Suwa could like her.

Orange - Suwa realizes he's defeated

Suwa knows he’s defeated, so go for max happiness

Actually, I think it’s that Naho doesn’t believe anyone could like her. She really strikes me as someone whose self-confidence is so lacking that she can’t conceive of the idea that she’s worthy of someone liking her, even as she knows she likes Kakeru. It’s interesting that none of them tell Naho “Hey, we know you like Kakeru, and he likes you, go for it!” But that kind of directness would be much more of an adult move, not the teenager “She told her friend who mentioned it to his friend who got in touch with me…” long way around that happens. It’s even rather surprising to me that Azu and Takako go directly to Suwa and state that they’re supporting the NahoxKakeru ship, even though they like Suwa and think he’d be a good guy for Naho. Even Suwa goes all-in on those two getting together, stating that he knows he doesn’t have a chance. He even works toward that goal as hard as, or even harder than, anyone else, setting up chances for the two of them to be together at the school festival featuring the worst insert love song ever. Seriously, Yuriko is somewhere going “OMG shut up shut up shut up, I don’t know that guy at all, please stop using my name in a song!”

Trouble at Sea

Orange - Suwa to the rescue

Saved by Suwa once

Orange - These jerks don't quit

But they just don’t give up

But even with a fleet of minesweepers named Azu and Takako, as well as the Destroyer Suwa out in front of the JDS Nahokeru, there are still some torpedoes in the water. The biggest one is turning out to be the jilted Ueda. Half cause she’s a jerk, and half goaded on by her lowlife friends, they start harassing Naho about being with Kakeru, via the hairpin that he’s given her. This is pretty classic Japanese school girl bullying, trying to take her hairpin, and then making Naho execute a pointless errand. But even if it’s late, Suwa (first) and Azu and Takako (second) get her out of trouble. Interestingly, Suwa even expresses guilt about his role in extricating Naho from the harpies, but it gives Naho the chance to acknowledge that he is always helping her. And while that could be considered twisting the knife a little, it really doesn’t seem like Suwa feels that way about it, which is good.

Orange - unfair question

The girls ask the unfair question – “Which of us would you want to ask out?”

Orange - Naho pushes too far

But Naho pushes Kakeru too much, tries to “help” too much

So Naho and Kakeru are headed for smooth sailing now, right (I’m gonna ride this wave as long as I can, baby! Hah!). Not quite, because even though the two of them are making a lot of progress and getting closer, maybe Naho’s pushing it too much. They have a date for the local Obon festival, even if it’s a “everyone else ditches us and now it’s just the two of us” date, and Naho, knowing that Kakeru seems to be guilty about his mother’s death, is trying too hard to ‘save’ him immediately, leading her to push him to talk about his mother, even though he tries to put her off. The conversation actually doesn’t go that badly, and I think that in the long run it will probably help Kakeru to have talked about it, and also to know that Naho won’t hate him for what happened. But it puts an awful large burden on Naho, knowing that the first day of school is what caused his mother to commit suicide. And Kakeru feels an even heavier burden, blaming himself for her suicide. Of course Naho doesn’t know what she can do or say to help in that situation. It’s a really heavy subject for a couple teenagers, and while in the end it might help Kakeru to know that Naho cares about him, for now it puts an uncomfortable space between the two of them, one which Kakeru responds to by bailing and then going incommunicado. But that leads to another revelation for Naho, when Suwa reveals that he knows about the letter (and implies he got one too).

Orange - Finally asking for help

She finally asks for help


In hindsight, it’s blindingly obvious that if Naho did get a letter from her future self about saving Kakeru that the rest of the group would probably get a similar letter. If you invent a way to communicate with the past, are you going to keep it to yourself? And if you use such a thing to save a friend of yours, aren’t you going to use as many avenues as possible? Why would you count on Naho, probably the least reliable to change what she did the first time out of the whole group? So I’m guessing that we’ll see how the others have been contacted, and whether their letters are based on their own future selves’ regrets.

One thing that I think might be coming out of the show is a rather odd impression of time travel, but I think that it’s actually working. If you believe in the multiple branch version of multiverses, then yes, you can go back on your own timeline, but if changes happen, they will create a new timeline that you yourself will not have access to. But that doesn’t mean that making those changes is necessarily not worth it. Would it be worth it to know that even though your friend killed himself in your past, in another timeline he did not do that? If you regret not doing anything about it in your own past, it can still alleviate your regrets to do those things, knowing that they make a difference. Of course this is predicated on that multiple-branch theory of the multiverse. There are other suppositions that there is only one timeline, and no matter what you do to go back in the past and change it, it already happened and you don’t actually have the chance to change it (For an example of this kind of universe, you can see Time Enough for Love, by Robert Heinlein). Which is correct? I’m sure I don’t know, since I’ve never traveled back in time.


Proving that you don't have to be young to love anime, I enjoy all genres and styles of shows. If it's not hurting anyone else, you should never be ashamed of what you like!
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