• Another new anime premiering this Summer 2016 Simulcast Season, Orange, is based on "a slice of life, science-fiction romance shōjo/seinen manga series written and illustrated by Ichigo Takano," author of Yume Miru Taiyō. The manga first began in 2012 and ended in 2015, with a total of 5 volumes. "The series has collectively sold over 4 million copies." Crunchyroll publishes the English edition manga digitally (1 volume available) while Seven Seas Entertainment publishes the English manga in print (2 volumes available).

    Everyone has regrets in life. So who wouldn't take the chance to change the past if given the opportunity? When sixteen-year-old Takamiya Naho receives a mysterious letter, claiming to be from her twenty-seven-year-old self, her life is suddenly thrown into flux. The letter tells her that a new transfer student by the name of Naruse Kakeru will be joining her class, and to keep her eye on him. But why? Naho must decide what to make of the letter and its cryptic warning, and what it means not only for her future, but for Kakeru's as well.

    Preview 1

    Preview 2
    The video introduces the anime's opening and ending theme songs. The opening song, which plays first in the video, is called "Hikari no Hahen" (Fragment of Light), and is performed by Yuu Takahashi. The ending song is called "Mirai" (Future), which is by Kobukuro (Bakuman., Cross Game).

    In addition to the trailers, the official website also revealed a new key visual:

    "Hiroshi Hamasaki (Steins;Gate, Terra Formars) is directing the anime at TMS Entertainment and Telecom Animation Film, and Yuuko Kakihara (Chihayafuru 2) is writing the scripts. Nobuteru Yuki (The Vision of Escaflowne, Kids on the Slope) is designing the characters. Yukio Nagasaki (Gate, Dragon Ball Z Kai) is serving as the sound director, and Hiroaki Tsutsumi (Kuromukuro, Monster Musume) is composing the music."

    The website also posted character designs for many of the main characters, as well as new concept art.

    Character designs:

    Naho Takamiya

    Azusa Murasaka

    Takako Chino

    Kakeru Naruse

    Hiroto Suwa

    Saku Hagita

    New concept art:
    "The concept art depicts a park. The park concept art is the first image below, and underneath it is an actual image of the park." The third image is concept art of Naho's room.

    Orange premieres on July 3 and will simulcast on Crunchyroll.

    Sources: (, (, (

  • @nubguy:

    Orange, is based on "a slice of life, science-fiction romance shōjo/seinen manga series

    Is something really able to fit in the Shoujo and Seinen demographics at the same time?

  • @darthrutsula:

    Is something really able to fit in the Shoujo and Seinen demographics at the same time?

    I feel like Seinen is so broad that there are probably a few shows that have elements of Shoujo as well. Should be interesting to see how they pull it off though. I certainly have never seen any shows that combine them both. Lol

  • @nubguy:

    I feel like Seinen is so broad that there are probably quite a few shows that have elements of Shoujo as well.

    Shoujo = young girls, shounen = young boys, seinen = 16+ men and Josei = 16+ women. Or at least that has been my interpretation.

    But you see why I don't understand how you could market something to young girls and adult men. The way they normally do shoujo is by having cutesy looking characters whereas for seinen (and I guess could extend to shounen as well) usually have a lot more of the "cool" factor.

    Even the underlying themes could determine demographics or subject matter. Idk my western mentality might be confusing me too. I just don't get it sometimes, like with the whole boy sees girl naked and completely cowers or w/e. Such a common trope and its so annoying and in my opinion not indicative of society. But I think of a western society… so... yea...

  • It's can be more than just age demographics though. Those are part of the meaning of the word, but they also represent genres. So, generally, seinen manga focuses on action, politics, science-fiction, fantasy, relationships, sports, or comedy, etc. while shoujo manga covers many subjects in a variety of narrative styles, from historical drama to science fiction, often with a focus on romantic relationships or emotions.

    Orange is a romance and a science-fiction, which is why I think it is probably listed as both shoujo and seinen. But I can see what you mean about target demographics. In this case, the show is probably targeting a young adult crowd.

  • @nubguy:

    So, generally, seinen manga focuses on action, politics, science-fiction, fantasy, relationships, sports, or comedy, etc. while shoujo manga covers many subjects in a variety of narrative styles, from historical drama to science fiction, often with a focus on romantic relationships or emotions.

    Which is why I am confused on this one because unless it has some sexual undertones, assuming it steers towards the shoujo side, or if it had some fantastical romances, if it steers on the seinen side, I just don't see it. Its like saying Star Wars is targetted for young men and young girls because there is a princess for the girls and everything else for the men.

  • I admit Nub I had seen the previews for it too and the premise sounded intriguing.

  • This debate isn't new. People still argue what exactly Chihayafuru is.

    To me, Orange looks more like soft-core josei than anything. It certainly doesn't feel like shojo. Isn't that supposed to be REALLY girly stuff like Sailor Moon and CCS? The seinen label also feels wrong - just because it's partly sci-fi doesn't mean it will easily appeal to that audience. There are plenty of young adult women who enjoy science fiction, after all.

  • IDK… the first thing that popped into me head researching this series was:

  • I think is this one of those shows/manga titles that is hard to try to pin down into a particular genre. The promise sounds very intriguing and I read the first chapter of the manga on CR. I'm looking forward to going back to continuing reading it once the anime series starts so I can see how they compare. Because it tells with shifting time frames that would be a little too confusing for a younger audience but a more mature/older teen young adult audience will be able to follow it. That's just my initial take on it.

  • Yeah, I agree with you. After watching the first episode I am not sure I would really classify it as shoujo.

  • No matter what this show is classified as I found the first episode held my interest and may be worth following this season.

  • I checked out the first episode of this and this one is turning out surprisingly intriguing… the interactions are good, though not the best I've seen... still this one looks like its got some serious potential.

  • @nubguy:

    After watching the first episode I am not sure I would really classify it as shoujo.

    Orange is kinda weird looking at its serialization. It started in a shoujo magazine (Bessatsu Margaret) and then switched to Monthly Action which runs seinen series but might be mixed demographics (can't find much info about the magazine).

  • Crunchyroll Feature Article: "Dear My High School Self" - Orange Episode 1

    Link: (

  • I've read the manga so I have been really looking forward to this one. The only thing I don't care much for so far is how they subtly changed the art, but it still looks really good. This is likely a show I may wind up buying if they execute it well, the manga was fantastic.

  • This isn't seinen. That's pretty clear to me. If anything, it'd be crosslisted with josei, since it is still targeted towards females, but has a more serious subject matter. However, I can't argue if they changed to a seinen magazine, because that's the publishers telling you what they want you to classify it as.
    Josei/shoujo/seinen/shounen isn't only about genre, though certain genres are more common to some than others. Art style is also a tip off but not definite. It's about demographics. Anyone can like it, but who is it targeted towards? That's the question.

    Anyway, talking about the anime, if you just watch the first episode, you can tell that Naho is the type of annoying shoujo character who stays quiet when they should speak up. The kind that creates misunderstandings and inhibits plot progression because she won't grow some ovaries. But the reason I don't hate her or this series is because she grows up and learns to change. That type of character growth is one thing that makes this more than a shallow shoujo romance.

  • Crunchyroll Feature Article: "Dear My High School Self" - Orange Episode 1

    By Emily Rand
    Originally published on Crunchyroll

    Time is something that appears linear in the moment. There is the present you, the past behind you, and your future ahead of you. In the present, you're often too busy living from Point A to Point B, and moments rarely seem detached from each other due to proximity. You can easily connect the dots because you're living through those moments at the time.

    Only when reminiscing, or thinking about the past, do we tend to isolate events — often spurred by photographs, videos, and other small keepsakes that stir our memories. Since Orange is already a look back through a life that has already been lived once, with specific future outcomes, the manga source material reads like a collection of these moments.

    Hiroshi Hamasaki's strongest directorial choice in Orange's premiere episode was the decision to present time as fleeting individual moments that eventually will relate to each other, rather than a linear progression. Like the letters that Naho Takamiya receives from herself ten years in the future, Orange skips from life event to event — the significance of said events matters only to Naho and Naho alone.

    The decision of whether to pinch hit or not in a class softball game seems fleeting and unsubstantial in the moment, but is a microcosm for Naho's entire outlook on life, and acts as a catalyst for Naho's eventual love of recent transfer student Kakeru Naruse. Naho receives a missive from her future self for that day, instructing her to pinch hit. Apparently this is a small thing that Naho regrets, either immediately afterwards or later on in life.

    Naho's conversation with Kakeru following the softball match — where Naho does pinch-hit the second time around — offers insight to why this specific moment would have stuck with Naho for years to come. After telling Kakeru that her shoes are too small, and that she subsequently neglected to speak up and exchange them, Kakeru watches Naho closely that day, even offering her an easy out from pinch-hitting by speaking up about her injury. Later, Kakeru treats her injury and they talk.

    As viewers, or readers, we can only guess at how the original conversation between Kakeru and Naho developed. In the slightly shifted conversation — since Naho decided to pinch hit — Kakeru once again brings up the fact that he's been watching her, and has noticed her automatically shrink back from vocalizing her true thoughts and desires for the sake of not disrupting the group. Perhaps this conversation happened in the original timeline, but in this version, Naho speaks up — something she rarely does — and tells Kakeru that if he wants to play soccer, he should. It's difficult to imagine Naho saying this to Kakeru if she doesn't pinch hit earlier in the day. As she says herself, this is something that she doesn't want to regret ten years in the future, even if it seems like a minor event. The moment Naho tells her friend Azu that she'll pinch hit instead of Azu, is tied to the later moment where she tells Kakeru to be more honest with his feelings. Boldness begets more boldness, and I'd hazard a guess that Naho didn't speak up in front of Kakeru the first time they had that conversation.

    Like Naho, I rarely voiced my opinion in high school, and if I did ever speak up, it was always to agree with whatever someone else was doing. After periods of extreme social ostracization during junior high school, I had learned enough about blending in, and although I had actually developed a strong enough friend group, I already knew that it was easier to just go with the flow.

    Each week, while blogging Orange, I'll be writing a letter to my high school or college self, regarding a specific moment in time that I'd want to change. These will range from small personal moments to larger, monumental turning points in my life. This week, I'll start off with something seemingly small, similar to Naho's softball game, that could have had much larger repercussions on my high school career.

    Dear my high school self,

    How's it going? I know that you're pretty overwhelmed with high school life, but I need you to do me a few favors. In these letters, I'm going to chronicle events that are about to happen, and choices that I want you to make, so you don't repeat my mistakes.

    September 9, there are tryouts for the drama club's production of Little Shop of Horrors in two days. You'll try out with the song, "The Lady is a Tramp." You'll make it into the chorus, with a few bit parts here and there.

    Here's what I want you to do. Tonight when you go home, dig out the George Gershwin songbook that you buried a few years back when you wanted to play "something cooler." Turn the page to "Someone to Watch Over Me." It's much more suited for your voice, and actually practice. Don't just do it because your middle school drama friends are doing it, put in the effort for yourself.

    It doesn't matter what part you get. It only matters that you try.

    New episodes of Orange air every Sunday on Crunchyroll.

    Source: (

  • Crunchyroll Feature Article: "Belief and Disbelief" — Orange, Episode 2

    By Emily Rand
    Originally published on Crunchyroll

    "A letter can't change someone's personality so easily. I wish I'd never read that letter."

    -Naho Takamiya, Orange, Episode 2

    Continuing where the first episode of Orange left off, Naho continues to receive hints about transfer student Kakeru Naruse and her future without him. The series transitions immediately into Naho staring at words on a page, written in her own, familiar handwriting, saying the same phrase that Episode 1 ended with — "Now, 10 years in the future, Kakeru is no longer with us."

    For me personally, what makes Naho's reaction believable — at the very least, I'm willing to suspend my disbelief that she wouldn't immediately rifle through all of the letters, analyzing them and organizing her plan of attack to save Kakeru — is the fact that I would have no idea how my high school self would have reacted in the same situation. Initially, I probably would have found them creepy — I was somewhat superstitious due to mild OCD, so they would have freaked me out a bit and probably caused small routine changes — and not taken them too seriously until proven otherwise.

    Naho is a serious and shy girl. She's not one to take things lightly, yet she too doesn't take the letters with the utmost caution at first because she doesn't know what's actually going on, and hasn't been made fully aware of what's at stake. Despite the letter telling her that Kakeru is no longer alive in the future, the consequences of her actions don't hit her until Kakeru reveals the truth behind why he won't commit to the soccer club and his mother's death.

    This revelation is dropped in the middle of an infuriating shoujo romance cliché — giving homemade food to a romantic interest. Orange is very confidently directed, and it shows in how it approaches specific scenes, even when the series is navigating well-worn territory. The visual direction throughout this episode, especially when Naho is about to walk home with her friends without giving Kakeru the meal she prepared for him, is remarkably effective, playing on our potential infuriation with this particular brand of romantic scene while also tapping into possible regrets of our own. First, an establishing shot of her walking home behind her two friends, deep in thought. Then, a closeup of her back walking away, her extra bag with Kakeru's lunch packed inside a conspicuous shade of green on her shoulder. Finally, a shot with Naho out of focus in the foreground, establishing that the school is right behind her. Throughout this scene I wanted to yell at Naho on my computer screen, despite having read the manga and knowing what events will follow.

    As the viewing audience, we have more in common with Naho's future self. Not only is there the possibility that we, having regrets of our own, resonate with even her smallest bits of future discontent the moment her high-school self experiences them, we also benefit from additional information of what happens in both Naho's future and our own. The visual direction plays with this, and effectively established a strong connection between me and Naho as events unfolded throughout the episode.

    More impressive than reiterating dramatic tension, or playing with our expectations of it, is how Orange allows certain scenes to breathe. When Kakeru admits that his mother committed suicide, and Naho realizes exactly why the first letter told her that this was the one day she wasn't to invite Kakeru, the scene moves along at Kakeru's pace — including his drawn-out delivery of this deeply personal information. It observes the two from a distance at all angles while Naho internally berates herself for not listening to the letters.

    The question now is not of why she didn't initially listen to the letters' words but what happens now that she — presumably inspired by Kakeru's confession of his mother's death — follows the letters' instructions? Will it make a difference? Should it?

    I desperately wanted to connect with people in high school and college, but I never knew quite how. Even now, I struggle with this in my daily life, with a job that requires me to be somewhat visible on social media, and interact with others routinely. Just earlier this evening, I rambled on about something I liked in a text message that made me almost immediately regret writing so much.

    To this day, making friends is really difficult for me, since I refuse to open up to people. I realize that this probably sounds silly in the immediate context — writing embarrassing things in letters to my past self — but it's no less true for writing it. All that being said, I'm not in a bad place now. I have close friends, and while I have a myriad of past regrets, there's no guaranteeing that the ability to go back and "right" them would have worked out better or worse than what actually happened as I lived through them — even when it comes to much heavier things than lunches and crushes.

    Naho is missing one of her closest friends from high school in her future, yet even she admits that she has a world of happiness ahead of her. Her loss and regret isn't trivialized, but more importantly, her future happiness, continued friendships, and burgeoning family aren't framed as mistakes either. They're simply a part of who she is in the future. The letters won't change her personality, and there may be some regrets that she'll have to live with regardless of warnings received, because some things are only learned through living.

    No specific letter from me this week, but I'm certain that I'll have many more personal stories to share as the series unfolds. How did this episode affect you, if it did at all?

    New episodes of Orange air every Sunday on Crunchyroll.

    Source: (

  • Crunchyroll Feature Article: "Maps" — Orange Episode 3

    By Emily Rand
    Originally published on Crunchyroll

    Traveling from Point A to Point B can be tricky — traffic and weather conditions can change and many other variables are beyond your control. Maps help with this, especially with the advent global positioning systems and smartphones, but they only provide a starting point, a route, and a destination. The actual journey, even if it's just a ten minute trek to the next town over to renew your license or grab a cup of coffee, still has to be experienced.

    You never know what will actually happen on a trip both during travel and once you arrive at your destination. Your geographical location — where you will stay, perhaps even plan out places to visit, food to eat, or things to purchase — is set, but you won't know what will happen, how it will all unfold.

    Naho Takamiya's letters from her future self are points on a map. The destination is a world with her friend and love interest, Kakeru Naruse, alive and well. It's a destination that doesn't exist yet, which makes Naho's collection of specific dates and letters all the more nebulous, despite their concrete nature. Saying a date, time, and citing fixed events that have already occurred — these all usually have weight in a timeline, but Naho's circumstances muddy their authenticity not only as fixed points in time but later as a reliable map since time begins to shift from Naho's original future.

    Orange contrasts this existence of a desired end result against Naho's internal struggles in the present despite the letters' instructions. Even when provided with concrete instructions she struggles because she hasn't lived through these experiences mentioned by the letters that make her the person who writes them. As mentioned in the previous week's episode, a personality cannot change that easily despite well-intentioned guidance.

    Her future self has given her a roadmap, but it's one that she finds difficult to follow given her personality and lack of experience. Complicating matters is the fact that her timeline has already changed. This week's episode opens with a harbinger of good fortune for Naho's efforts — her friend Hiroto Suwa already convinced Kakeru to join the soccer club. While Naho's friends and Kakeru joke about Suwa's overwhelming, borderline obnoxious persistence, Naho realizes that her lunch accomplishment could be the first of many changes, en route to a future where Kakeru still exists. Her confidence is shattered by an upperclassmen's romantic pursuit of Kakeru, and once again typical shoujo or romantic comedy tropes rear their ugly heads. Subversion is too strong of a word to use since things play out about as well as a seasoned shoujo viewer would expect — not well at all — but these rote circumstances are given new life in Orange thanks to Naho's destination, a world where Kakeru is alive.

    It's not often that a series can genuinely execute the idea of an opportunity lost, especially where high school romances are concerned. Orange places Naho and her friends' grief years after Kakeru's accident side by side with her immediate grief in the present at her inability to express her feelings in a timely manner and spend her remaining time with Kakeru in the most meaningful way possible.

    The future Naho, who is married to Suwa, meets up with her high school friends and they read their respective goals set by their high school selves. Kakeru's is conspicuously different, addressing the group and praising each of his friends in turn. The preparedness of his letter hints at the fact that his death may not have been accidental.

    On both sides of the timeline, letters set events in motion — Kakeru's inspires his future group to dig into the circumstances of his death while Naho is subsequently inspired to change the timeline so he doesn't die at all thanks to letters from that same future self that heard Kakeru's words years later.

    To preface this letter to my high school self, I had a group of friends from another state. We saw each other for one week every summer since our families vacationed in the same place, every year, for Independence Day weekend. One year, my friend R, who was almost exactly the same age and shared similar interests, confessed to me. I rejected him, not knowing what to do with his feelings at the time, or how I felt in return. I didn't see him until the following summer. After a year to think it over, I decided to return his feelings.

    July 7,

    R is going out fishing tonight. You leave a letter asking him to meet you afterwards, hinting at your romantic feelings for him.

    I want you to stop.

    Don't write the letter. Your feelings for him aren't invalid, but it's the wrong timing. It will only make things worse, and possibly ruin a friendship.

    Leave tomorrow with your family. Be sad. Listen to some Saves the Day and stare out the car window for the two and a half hour drive, and move on.

    New episodes of Orange air every Sunday on Crunchyroll.

    Source: (

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