Series: Orange (1-5: 22 chapters)
Author: Ichigo Takano
Shelves: Romance; Drama; Sci-Fi; High-School
Rating: ★★★★☆ 4 stars
One day, Takamiya Naho receives a letter written to herself from ten years in the future. As Naho reads on, the letter recites the exact events of the day, including the transfer of a new student into her class named Naruse Kakeru.
The Naho from ten years later repeatedly states that she has many regrets, and she wants to fix these by making sure the Naho from the past can make the right decisions—especially regarding Kakeru. What’s more shocking is that she discovers that ten years later, Kakeru will no longer be with them. Future Naho asks her to watch over him closely.
Orange centres on 16 year old Naho as she receives a letter on the morning of her first day as a high school junior. Upon reading its contents, she is shocked when she discovers that the letter is actually from herself in the future, as it urges her to save and protect new classmate Kakeru. In this series, we see Naho follow the letter’s content, as her future self (ten years into the future) voices all her regrets, and reveals how her decisions negatively impact Kakeru – giving advice to the present Naho on how to avoid repeating her past mistakes.
After watching the eagerly anticipated first episode of the anime adaptation of Orange, I immediately started reading the manga, and read the majority of it in a night. It was just so captivating! I don’t have much experience reading manga – the last time I read one was last year when I read Gangsta. (which I haven’t gotten round to finishing – oops). From my reading experiences I’ve noticed that I tend to get bored reading manga so I either read them incredibly slowly, or end up abandoning them completely. But I read this so quickly. I would have finished it sooner than I did if sleep didn’t eventually take over. It was also a quick read because it simply is a quick read of 22 chapters in 5 volumes. I think if you’re considering reading manga for the first time, a series like this would be a great choice!
What I liked about this manga, is that it is not simply a cutesy high school romance, but also contains elements of sci-fi. Not only does this make this quite different (from my experience) from other shoujo/romance manga, but the way it is included is so well done. As someone who isn’t that much of a fan of sci-fi, I didn’t find this element of the plot hard to follow, and that is because the sci-fi side of the plot (I will not go into detail to avoid spoilers), is very simple to follow, and is not overdone or convoluted. This makes this manga not only different from a lot of other manga I’ve read or know of, but it is also a great way for people to introduce themselves into new genres of fiction they might otherwise avoid.
Putting it simply, I loved this. It’s a quick read with characters you’ll love instantly. But my favourite thing about the manga is that it really gets you thinking about how your decisions and choices can impact other people, and I think that’s a great message to send to readers of all ages.
Would I read this series again? Yes!
Who would I recommend this series to? Fans of Shoujo manga/anime, people breaking into manga, people who actively seek to break their own hearts through the means of fiction/TV/movies, etc.