[Description]: My thoughts on Orange episode 13.
As far as finales go, Orange definitely didn’t have the worst of them. On the contrary, the show went out on a higher note than the rest of its episodes might have suggested it would. I don’t think the final episode was all that impressive and it doesn’t make up for the show’s excessive mediocrity but it was probably as good of a finale as Orange could have gotten for what it was. Similar to the most recent episode, there were fewer instances of the characters tripping over themselves and acting stupid and by minimizing these unattractive features of the show, the final episode was able to behave as it was desired to.
The beginning of the episode was a tad irksome given that Naho waited around at each juncture, lecturing herself on being proactive and making the first move while letting her chances to give Kakeru his chocolate dwindle away. It’s that kind of behavior that makes her look like such a dumb character. The way in which the scene where Naho finally does approach Kakeru was neat in how it overlayed the image of her future self over the scene – Naho in that moment acting as a direct proxy for the words and regrets of the version of her who couldn’t save Kakeru. If anything I would have preferred if the scene was a ‘bigger moment’ for the show but it kind of comes and goes like anything else.
Similiarly, I liked the scene where future Naho talked about wanting to meet Kakeru as a child. The music and artwork were emotive and beautiful however the sequence itself kind of got slapped between two other scenes and it’s not really clear to me why it happened when it did. I’m glad Orange didn’t show Kakeru reading the text from his mother again. It was more artful to let the viewer fill in the moment as the show went about its business. On one hand it’s a nice touch to have Kakeru approach the very moment of his suicide and then explicitly opt out of it due to the kindness and love his friends showed him. On the other, he was still able to come to that point and it further emphasizes his resilience to their efforts. Not a terrible thing to have happen at all but whether or not you’re frustrated at Kakeru for this will depend on how well the show legitimizes the depth of his depression for each viewer individually.
The detail about the group’s future selves writing letters for Kakeru was a good one to include and it rounds out a few things but the fact that their existence wasn’t known before this point was purely to blindside and surprise the viewer. Book-ending the series with the time capsule scene brings a strong sense of closure to the series and overall the lengthy finale did a decent job of tying certain things together. It doesn’t markedly improve the show by itself but had the rest of Orange been nearly as engaging, the final episode may have felt additionally pertinent.