I have watched various anime genres as a fan of the medium. However, one particular type of anime is easily one of my favorites – shoujo. Shoujo content targets specifically for teenage females. As a guy, one could call it a guilty pleasure that I enjoy this genre so much. It is essentially me admitting I like the chick flick equivalent of anime, but this does not bother me.
The fact is, there are a variety of great stories for everyone out there. People should just indulge in whatever entertains them. The anime called Orange is one of the few shoujo titles airing this anime season, so I had to give it a shot as a shoujo enthusiast.
Orange is a story about a girl named Naho Takamiya. She (magically) receives a letter from herself from 10 years in the future. Within this letter, future Naho outlines how individual events will play out. Future Naho has many regrets about her past. She hopes the younger Naho can approach specific situations differently.
Of course, being a shoujo title and all, this is all linked to a boy named Kakeru Naruse who transfers into her class. The letter reveals how Naho will fall in love with Kakeru. In addition, Naho also finds out that Kakeru is not alive 10 years into the future. Thus, the real mystery unfolds: what happens to Kakeru and can Naho do anything about it?
By the Books
Aside from the aspect of the future letter, Orange is by all means very shoujo. With this in mind, the “conflicts” are thus very different. There will be no over-the-top fighting or super-flashy special moves to see here. In its place, expect drama tied to romance and other types of relationships. Not to mention, Orange paces itself as a slice-of-life story. Expect to see the characters doing very high school-like things such as going to class or eating lunch during their break.
When I watch shoujo anime, I view it in an entirely different light. I do not watch shoujo like other anime genres. I do not anticipate flashy scenes or anything of that sort. Instead, I judge shoujo titles for how well they can appeal to their own demographic, as obvious as they may sound.
In Orange’s case, I am intrigued at what happens to Kakeru, considering how the anime quickly establishes this plot point. Furthermore, I want to see how Naho will change history because she is getting a heads-up about the future.
Worth Watching (for Shoujo Fans)
Three episodes in, I can safely say Orange pretty much checks off every box for any given shoujo title. There is the modest-looking girl who develops feelings toward a guy, relationship drama ensues and problems that only make sense in shoujo stories occur.
Orange is not bad, but not particularly outstanding so far. Again, aside from the future letter aspect, Orange plays out like many shoujo titles before it, and this is not necessarily a knock toward it by any means.
Nonetheless, this title will tide me over until a stellar shoujo anime comes along. It has decent animation and a passable soundtrack. Orange is middle-of-the-road fare for shoujo fans, and sometimes a safe series can be just the ticket when watching anime.
All anime images belong to Telecom Animation Film.