Episodic Thoughts: Orange – Episode 1 (Spoilers!)

[Description]: My thoughts on Orange episode 1.

The first episode of the show behaves about as one would expect – it introduces the premise of Naho receiving a letter from her future self, it establishes her group of friends in a very face-value way, and leaves off with the foreboding news of Kakeru’s future demise. Everything unfolds in a pretty typical manner and while the letter offers something unique insofar as a story element, the montage of Naho, Kakeru, and her friends gallivanting around town is about as meaty as it gets. It’s pleasant and readily invites future developments however there is nothing here to hook the viewer in – to grab their attention. The sole attempt at this was the news of Kakeru’s death but given that we know little to nothing about him and don’t really understand the implications of this, it doesn’t evoke any desire in me to know more. At least for now.

The episode’s kind of run of the mill procession aside, it presented a good deal of content worth nitpicking – nothing that outright destroys the viewer’s suspense of disbelief or damages the show substantially but a myriad of small issues that make me concerned for the show’s future. Naho’s reaction to receiving a letter from herself is odd enough. She is seemingly unfazed as it continues to predict the outcome of her day and never grows either suspicious of somebody playing a trick on her or feverishly curious at what the rest of it says. For some inexplicable reason she only reads bit by bit at a time and as long as this style of reading the letter doesn’t give way to future surprises then its likely fine but the way in which she interacts with the key plot device is very strange.

While the show may eventually touch upon this there seems to be a good deal of hypocrisy in how her future self writes the letter. The premise of the show speaks directly to the regrets of Naho’s future self and how she wishes to relive those moments and avoid her own fate. Why then does she write so esoterically, without context or reason? The orders are brief and are accompanied only by scraps of information such as what will happen if she does not act accordingly. Additionally her future self seems very sure of herself in that the actions she recommends will bring about greater happiness than the choices she once made. This kind of conviction however, at least within the first episode, is baseless as she has no true way of knowing what will come to pass if Naho acts differently than she once did. In addressing her previous self she appears just as nearsighted as she condemns her past self for being.

All in all, it was a mediocre introduction into the show and while I’m worried these minor issues may eventually compound into bigger ones, I am curious as to what kind of show this will ultimately become.

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