orange – Episode 8

Five heads are better than one.

orange 8 (31)

Even though a good portion of orange focuses on realism and day-to-day high school events, I don’t tend to think of it as a “slice-of-life” because it has such a clear end game and driving story line (save Kakeru/change the future). The constant sense that we’re moving towards a tangible goal helps orange maintain tension even during its most mundane arcs and conflicts, but it can also serve to make episodes like this one feel frustratingly slow-paced, as if we’re just marking time before the next major “Kakeru event flag.”

That isn’t to say the quieter stories don’t serve a purpose, or that the cast aren’t likable or interesting enough to carry us through everyday events (I love hanging out with these kids, personally). orange‘s narrative arc is a kind of rise-and-fall, a sequence of highs and lows for Kakeru and, by extension, the rest of the cast. Which, while it can lead to some lulls in the story, is also a pretty excellent depiction of grief and depression. Healing isn’t a constant rising line; it’s a series of crests and troughs, some created by obvious triggers, some by far more obscure ones.

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2 thoughts on “orange – Episode 8

  1. Interesting to hear you enjoyed the scene where the Gang all volunteered to race. I remember watching the Orange movie (2015) and cringing at this part. I mean, I understand they were trying to depict the friends’ solidarity, but the fact that NOBODY ELSE bothered to volunteer seemed way too convenient, and ruined the emotional investment for me.
    I still have to catch up on the anime version though! There are 3 eloquent bloggers covering it this season–what a great time to be a fan!

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    • It’s definitely an “O Captain My Captain” kind of Big Dramatic Moment that does undercut some of the story’s grounded realism, but it didn’t bother me that the rest of the class kept silent because they establish from the start that Azu and Takako spoke to the girls chosen for the relay ahead of time, so this wasn’t a *totally* spontaneous Grand Friendship Gesture. I got the sense the rest of the relay team was in on it, at least.

      Plus, I’m sure the entire class at this point knows who’s friends with each other, so once Suwa stands up it doesn’t surprise me that everyone kind of realizes this is about Kakeru racing with his friends and decide to just sit back and let it happen.

      I haven’t seen the movie, but I thought the anime staged the moment really well, so hopefully when you catch up you’ll get swept up in the sweetness of the moment too. ^^

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