Orange, otherwise known as: “How to Plan, Produce and Animate an Anime: Not by TMS Entertainment.”
One day, Naho Takamiya receives a letter from her future self stating all of her regrets, events of each day and how she thinks she could fix them. Among them, a boy named Kakeru Naruse befriends her friendgroup, and a story about friendship, love, depression and fixing begins.
So. As per usual, the season came and people took their bets on what shows would take off. At the time, I said that Orange was going to be the anime to do it – I wasn’t wrong, I wish I could be happier about it.
Having read the manga, I came in with high expectations only taken back by the studio producing it. Then, the first episode rolled in and shockingly, the production was amazing. Already preparing my sermon for how right I was and how wrong everyone else was, the rest of the season happened.
I don’t think an anime has ever suffered so hard over aesthetic as much as Orange has. Let’s start off by saying that episode two had the small number of seventeen animation directors for a twenty four minute episode.
For some insightful perspective, most 12 episode anime have at most three animation directors and then one animation director for the entire series.
Now, there are two possibilities as to why one episode needed so many animation directors as it did. Either the production planning was a mess and time crunch demanded more people on the job, or each director specialized in something. Now I’d love to know what seventeen different things seventeen different directors are going to be good at which someone else couldn’t do, so I’m guessing it’s a fail on the production planning side of things.
Moreover, this leads to each episode having a whole entire different aesthetic and whole entire different production value – some episodes animated stunningly, but most being some of the worst examples of animation, freeze frames and moves per second that I have seen ever since Princess Princess.
So with the looks out of the way, it’s up to the personality to make up for it. Now. a shoujo that deals with depression and has time paradoxes in it should be cool, right? Wrong.
I’ve said it a million times before and I’ll say it again, but shoujo does not translate well into anime. Most of the time. Orange is a clear example of this where the melodrama was amplified and what made me sad reading it made me angry watching.
Shoujo anime being bad is not a surprise. That’s not why I’m mad. I’m mad because Orange could have been amazing. I’m mad because it showed that it could be good and it openly talked about things other anime don’t dare to discuss.
Someone said that until another anime deals with depression and suicide as openly as Orange has, they’ll give it a higher rating. Thinking about it, I think I agree, but I still wouldn’t recommend it to anyone unless you’re really starved for shoujo.