Diving in for one last look at summer’s little treasures.
The Fall season may be well under way, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take some time to bid fond farewell to our Summer standouts. After spending two weeks out of town and then writing a whole lotta final thoughts on orange and 91 Days, my schedule’s a mess right now (I haven’t even finished all of the shows on my summer watchlist), so this post will be shorter and more informal than usual so I can get it out before the Fall season overtakes me completely. Thanks in advance for your understanding!
As all that may suggest, Summer’s been pretty hectic on my end thanks to a second move, family events, new writing projects, and the aforementioned two-week trip, so maybe it’s no surprise that I gravitated toward lighter comedies and escapism this season. That said, there are still a trio of shows on this list that’ll punch you right in your feels pouch. Good thing you’ve got those other soothing shows to help ease the sting, eh?
91 Days defies expectations one last time to bring us a finale that haunts and comforts in equal measures, and a conclusion as steeped in uncertainty as the series itself. The more I think about it, the more I like it, and I can’t wait to talk about it with you.
First, though, let’s give any newcomers curious about this gangster drama a chance to decide if they wanna pick it up (hint: do it). We’ll start with a spoiler-free review and then move into the episode commentary. I’ll let you know when the shift happens, so scroll on for thoughts both overarching and focused.
As is tradition, I’ll be spending the first part of this post providing a spoiler-free review of the orange anime series, and then the second half chatting about the (perfect) finale itself. I’ll let you know when I’m moving into spoiler territory so anyone who hasn’t yet seen the show will know when to stop reading.
We’re looking down the barrel of our final episode, and as expected of a show that keeps using lines from Shakespearen tragedies as its episode titles, everything is collapsing right on schedule. Since the vacation put me a week behind, you’re getting a double whammy of commentary this week, and fresh off an Episode 10 rewatch, too! Everything is terrible! Let’s talk about it.
I’m back from holiday, recovering from jet lag, and coming down with (hopefully just) a cold, but I really didn’t want to try rolling two episodes and a season review into this Sunday’s post, so I managed to squeak out some belated commentary during a slow work day. Apologies if it’s not the most polished of pieces.
orange shuffles timelines a bunch this week, giving us the original past timeline from Kakeru’s perspective before shifting us back into our usual original-future and current-past timelines. As you’d expect, the world through Kakeru’s eyes is a heartbreaking one, achingly honest and really hard to watch.
With the relay race over and the gang’s bond tighter than ever, it looks like we’re safe to slip back into relaxed slice-of-life bantering and gradual romances…for all of half an episode, anyway. orange picks up the pace this week to take us from our highest crest straight into our deepest trough. For the first time, it feels like changing the future may not be a given after all.
For an episode that’s packed with big changes, this feels like the calm before the storm, giving our two main characters a chance to breathe, think, and chat in a way they haven’t in while. The moral ambiguity and tension are thick as ever (as 91 Days‘s beloved canted angles will attest), but there’s very much the sense that we’re moving into the final act of our bloody tale. Fitting, really, given that the Vanetti’s new playhouse is about to raise its curtains for the first time.
After spinning its wheels and rushing its art last week, I’m relieved to say that orange‘s production schedule and story both seem to be back on track (pun very much intended). The relay race is here at last, and with it the kids find time to directly address their own feelings and one another.
orange isn’t what I’d call a subtle series and, as I’m experiencing it a second time, I’m realizing exactly how laser-focused it is on the importance of community and “sharing the weight” of our troubles with others. There are times when that kind of straightforwardness might irk me, but when it comes to addressing difficult, often-avoided topics like grief and depression–and especially when directing that discussion at a younger audience–a little thematic bludgeoning might be just what the doctor ordered.
Corteo makes it rain in more ways than one this week.
It’s another episode of dense scheming and counter-scheming here on 91 Days, but as with recent weeks, the plot is a means to an end, less about what happens and more about how our main characters (re)act and what that tells us about them. Which isn’t to say that what happens isn’t well-paced, tightly narrated, sharply directed, and ridiculously tense–because h’oh man, is it ever. The sheer number of times I shouted at my monitor during “Behind the Curtain” is ample evidence of that.