A read everyone needs in their life. And easily one of the most beautiful pieces of literature that I’ve ever encountered. Eternally beloved.
Manga/ YA/ Romance/ Mental Health
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?
My rating: 5/5
The first time I heard about this manga was a year ago. It’s no secret that the love interest kind of dies and, being the softhearted snowflake that I was, I decided that no, I would not unleash tears and pain and grief upon my soul and then struggle to live a peaceful life.
What. was. I. thinking?!
Yes, this story is sad and heartbreaking. It may seem hopeless at times and you may doubt the happy moments that occur, but it is a masterpiece filled with lessons everyone should learn as early as possible.
One admirable aspect is the way the manga deals with depression. There is no sugarcoating, no hiding the subject, just raw emotions and accurate details, like fake smiles, pretty lies or suicide attempts. The pain is tangible, brimming with regrets and desperate wishes to change and heal the past. On top of that, there are some truly tragic revelations and despite the fact that they made me feel hopeless, I found them brilliant. By the third chapter I was crying and shaking, overwhelmed by the intensity of the feelings.
However, this story is about countering that agony and trying to fix the harm and the damage, so a lot of heart-warming and amusing episodes are sprinkled throughout the chapters. Needless to say they are so well done and natural; I could really see and feel how hard Naho was working to get things right- while conquering her anxiety around Kakeru, but also how important and appreciated her effort was, not only by Kakeru, but by her friends as well, who were trying their best along her side.
Another thing that stands out is how easily empathizing with the characters is. They are realistic, flawed and memorable (and I admit Naho was a bit annoying at times, hesitating to follow the instructions or not knowing what to do in their absence). Their development is amazing and lovely to witness. Friendship plays a major role in the story and the bonds between the characters are lively and just so moving. No one is left behind, female friendship is glorified (and we’ve got some badass females) aaand here I have to mention Suwa. He’s one of the greatest characters I’ve ever read about, the real MVP and he deserves everything good in the world!!! I promise you’ll LOVE him!
Moreover, I liked how the events from the future blended with the ones from the past. They were harmonious and created such a powerful effect, even though the situation might have seemed too sci-fi. Compared to the marvelous story, who cares?
Finally, I have to say that I was at least content with the ending. It was a good conclusion and if the finale is something that’s stopping you from picking Orange up (like it was for me), don’t worry and have faith.
In the end, all I have to say is please, please read Orange. It’s such a powerful manga and so important when it comes to understanding depression and its implications, not only for yourself, but also for the people around you.
And don’t forget to always be kind!
If you ever cry alone again…
or even if the day comes when you find just living to be painful,
then I promise I’ll save you