Orange Episode 3: Notes Come Too Late

As I mentioned in my previous post, sending letters to your past self to solve serious problems is going to include some drawbacks. Unlike the first episode, Naho paid close attention to the letter, and was starting to believe that she might be able to actually change the future, even if it meant changing herself. But a greater awareness of all that her mission entails doesn’t guarantee anything, and it especially doesn’t ensure that her efforts won’t go awry.

Really now

One of the things I was worried about was Naho being too hard on herself. Her future self might see everything in retrospect and have a better understanding of her actions, but sending the letter was still taking a shot in the dark. Depending on how time travel works in this story, Naho might faithfully follow the letter and Kakeru could still die, perhaps even adding more hurtful memories to the pile.

Emphasis on might

In this episode, Naho follows the letter’s advice by responding to a note with another note, which in my mind was perfectly acceptable. She had no idea the note would be read too late. The worst part is, even though she was technically still following the letter, this was clearly her own choice, and she personally  decided how to respond. She broke through her hesitation to make her feelings known, and yet it wasn’t enough to alter the unwanted situation, shattering her new found confidence.

So that’s where the title comes from

Disappointment is bound to come in life. Try as we might to do everything right, sometimes even our best efforts fail. But there is always hope. God is with us through our trials, and if we lean on him and the people he’s placed in our lives, everything is much easier to bear. God calls us to endure, and not lose sight of the greater things to come. It’s interesting that Naho’s disappointment doesn’t go unnoticed either. When she tries to leave, Suwa follows her because he could see something was wrong. In a similar way, God sees us in our struggling even when no one else does.

I felt like the final scene changed the tone of the story. At last it is almost certainly confirmed that Kakeru’s death was by his own intention. It is unsurprising that Naho’s pain runs deep enough that the possibility of changing her past would be worth the risk of making everything worse. This adds a deeper level of urgency to the plot beyond every day romantic misunderstandings, and I’m feeling a lot more invested. I’m glad that they’ve already shown events starting to diverge from the letter’s predictions, and I have no doubt Kakeru ended up joining the soccer team because Naho encouraged him. I wonder how the heartbroken Naho is going to respond to the letter now, and look forward to finding out!

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