Let’s begin with one of my 2016 favorite shows.
Once upon a time, TMS made a baffling choice of adapting orange, a manga series that’s essentially published years ago. Even weirder is there’s already the warmly received live-action adaptation aired in early 2016. Hence, the anime itself was already doomed from the very beginning. Turns out, the show itself held its own for most of the time, delivering emotionally charged moments that I consider as 2016’s highest points. It was not perfect in any means, but hell, I was bawling all the way out of the show.
As much as I love orange more than any of my colleagues in the blogosphere (Draggle-kun is the only other one I know who loves this show as much as I do), I also wish to fix some of its parts that bogged its impact down. Let’s start?
1. The bloated middle arc
The noitamina format could have fitted orange better. Included in this wish is this is what could have been that noitamina show in Summer 2016 instead of Battery. They could have done a lot more if they trimmed this to an eleven-episode series. Instead, orange suffered in padded mid-parts which killed the dramatic momentum it brought for the first six episodes. I also have never looked at orange as a romance show so I couldn’t care less whether Kakeru and Naho would be a thing. The series’ premise presented the show as a regret themed series than a shoujo flick, so the episodes where they had their doki doki moments can be removed without harming the overall narrative.
Moreover, the production could have been handled much better if the budget was used to adapt this series on a lower episode count. Episode 9 was downright the worst episode in Summer 2016 in terms of aesthetics. They recovered a week later, but there’s this ‘what if’ in my mind that orange might have been more evocative if the dragging parts are removed, and the budget was allocated on an eleven episode stint.
2. The wonky sci-fi aspect – ugh.
Lastly, I can do less with Hagita’s explanation as to how they received the letters. I was already fine with the murky sci-fi explanation the teacher gave. I mean, the show has to present pseudo-science in one way or another you know. However, there’s no need for us to repeat that crap over and over again. Black holes? Parallel world? You can’t pull this off thanks to inherent limitations.
First, the time travel element is just an ostensible aspect of the show. What was needed to present was how Naho and her company will save Kakeru’s impending doom. Second, you are not Steins;Gate, orange. That show gave an awful lot of explanation to make its time travel version more believable.
That said, the show’s blatant way of presenting science really made the time travel component meh. It also undermined Naho’s desperation to save Kakeru in the long run to be honest. You know, orange can be reduced to a mere wishy-washy thing which happened to come true in the end. Ugh.
Other than that, orange is an emotionally charged series I recommend to everyone. The characters are fully realized, the cat and mouse chase between Kakeru and Naho is just fantastic, and the OST is one of the best in 2016. I am a sucker for regret-themed series and it fits to my liking. Sad to see the show was doomed to bomb from the very beginning.