The second episode of Orange adds a new layer to the conflict initially presented. Naho said that she had many regrets, and at first it appears this is because of what happens to Kakeru, but that isn’t exactly the case. The true problem is Naho herself.
For most people, change is an unpleasant subject, and they only like it when it’s on their own terms. All of Naho’s regrets are rooted in actions made out of habit and apathy ingrained in her reserved personality, and if she’s going to redirect the outcome of her life, she can’t stay the way she is. In a strong reaction to unwanted change, some people romanticize the idea of never changing and always being yourself, as if no one had any problems holding them back. Flaws become identity and people will hold onto them until they get burned. I think we saw a bit of this thinking in Naho, as she tries to discard her advice because it isn’t acting according to who she is, although in reality, she’s afraid.
Change may be painful, but no one can avoid it forever, and it’s usually worth embracing. When a person accepts Christ, they are given a new life, exchanging their old self for the new. But being human, we will often resist even this change, which can completely transform our lives for the better. In a similar way, Naho is being given a chance many would jump to take, but she still hesitates.
Naho is asking herself to do no small thing, and she probably knows it. How could someone trust something as flimsy as a note from the future with something as terrifying as the chance of being rejected? She’s such a shy and quiet person. What if, by the time she changes, it’s too late? She never worked up her courage the first time. But she’s not just trusting herself, she’s trusting someone who has a definitely better understanding of both Kakeru and herself. In a way, this is a bit like trusting God. Many of us struggle with relying on someone we can’t see, even once we’ve discovered by experience that God is more than trustworthy. It is so easy for us to depend on what we’re comfortable with, and fail to embrace the chance he gives us to see a more wonderful future.
This episode was much like the last in subtlety and pacing. I enjoyed Naho’s inner conflict, especially in the scene where her thoughts mirrored her mother’s unrelated arguments. I can’t help but feel like the character interactions are a little boring for everyone except Kakeru and Naho, but a more interesting dynamic might develop eventually. I’m curious about future Naho’s personality, and whether we will see her future changing as she makes different decisions or whether that will be left a mystery until the end.