“Naho immediately feels a connection to the new boy who has transferred to her class. Kakeru is calm, kind, and seems to like Naho as well. But their relationship gets thrown for a loop when Naho receives a letter from the future. The letter explains that Kakeru will die unless Naho does exactly as the letter says. But changing fate is no easy task. When the letter starts to get things wrong, Naho worries that she will still lose Kakeru forever. Luckily, Naho has her friends to back her up. Not only do they want to see Naho and Kakeru get together, they also have time-traveling letters of their own…”
-Synopsis from Goodreads
What a great ending to this manga series! It was such an emotional journey but ultimately an uplifting story.
You may remember I reviewed Orange Volume 1 a lifetime ago, back in March.
By Volume 2, Naho and her five friends have acknowledged that each of them has been receiving letters from their future self, warning them that Kakeru’s life is in danger. Their letters have been following the same pattern as the ones Naho has received: they detail what will happen each day, but recommend doing or saying different things to better impact Kakeru. Each of them, it seems, fully recognizes 10 years later just how many signs they missed that Kakeru was struggling with depression. Kakeru believes that he has been successfully hiding his true feelings, but in retrospect all of the signs were there.
Now, the five friends are working together to piece together the advice from each of their letters. The letters mostly center around doing things to get Naho and Kakeru. It’s clear to everyone that Naho and Kakeru make each other happy, even though neither has admitted yet that they like each other. Once again Naho is forced to step way outside of her comfort zone to make her feelings known to Kakeru. She has to let him know that she not only values their friendship, but that his presence in the world is meaningful to everyone.
Once again, this story just blew me away. The illustrations were so lovely but the subject matter was so intense. If anyone is reading this and doesn’t plan to read the book, I’m putting the spoiler here if you, like me, crave happy endings: Kakeru ultimately realizes just how much he values his friends, and his life, at the last second. Naho and her friends save him from committing suicide.
I know that this wasn’t necessarily a realistic outcome for someone who is depressed and may be suicidal, but the story is fiction and meant to show how you can change someone’s life if you take the time to read the signs and recognize their behavior.
I really enjoyed this series and I hope to read more manga in the future!
Goodreads rating: Five stars