Review: Orange 1

Orange 1Orange 1 by Ichigo Takano
My rating: 4 of 5 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.

Conceptually, I love this manga. A letter from your future self that tells you to fix the regrets of the past (that you are about to do) sounds out of science fiction, but other than that one part, it is purely a coming-of-age story about being young, in love, making the mistakes that you do at that age. A major arc of the story is about regrets and how small choices ultimately make big changes. The future Naho has obviously spent some time ruminating on what things led to the events that transpired (also, wow, what a perfect memory) and how she could change them. At the end of each chapter, we do get some scenes of future Naho, and her life and the regrets she lives with.

But, future Naho is a 26 year old woman who looks back on her past (albeit with a perfect memory that I can’t relate to really) while current Naho is a shy 16-year old who doesn’t speak up very much. Even though her friends encourage her to come out of her shell, there are things that take courage. Even a simple refusal, or letting her feelings be known, are difficult for her. (Side note: she may low-key have anxiety issues) And the changes future-Naho is asking of her may seem simple from an adult’s perspective, but feel huge and momentous to a teenager.

Besides the main character’s arc to save Takeru (who is dead, in the future) by looking out for him, there are many other characters worth note here. Suga is a wonderful kid, so supportive of his friends – even though you know he is carrying a torch for Naho, he doesn’t act like he feels ‘friendzoned’. He supports her as a friend, and even encourages her feelings for Takeru. And then there is Azu and Takako who seem more like side characters but I hope they get more story time in further volumes. Mid-way, there is the introduction of Ueda, a senior who takes an interest in Takeru and girl seems shady af. (Which sadly might lead to the evil ex-girlfriend trope that I hate).

Overall, it seems like an interesting manga about childhood choices and regrets of an adult.

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2 thoughts on “Review: Orange 1

    • I do review them sometimes. And yes, I’m continuing with the series (already got the rest of the books soooo)
      As for the romance aspect, it feels familiar to Ao Haru Ride as of now

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