Monday, March 21, 2016

Manga Review: orange: The Complete Collection Part 1 by Ichigo Takano

Rating (Out of 5): ~4-4.5
Publisher: Seven Seas
Release Date: January 2016
Volumes: 5 Singles/2 Omnibus
Spoilers?: Some
Buy it here: Amazon. Barnes and Noble. Book Depository. Powells. RightStuf. (Also available on Crunchyroll.)

Goodreads Synopsis:

Everyone has regrets in life. So who wouldn't take the chance to change the past if given the opportunity? When sixteen-year-old Takamiya Naho receives a mysterious letter, claiming to be from her twenty-seven-year-old self, her life is suddenly thrown into flux. The letter informs her that a new transfer student by the name of Naruse Kakeru will be joining her class, and to keep her eye on him. What is Naho to make of the letter's contents and its cryptic warning?


As the new school year begins, Naho receives an odd letter from her future self. She doesn’t know if she should believe it at first, but as what it says starts to come true, she decides to listen to its advice, to right some of her future regrets. It’s all leading up to save her new friends death, but Naho doesn’t know if it’ll work, and how much she can change how quickly.
I can’t believe how good this book was. Following her own advice, Naho begins changing, taking chances she normally wouldn’t have, and mostly for the better. It’s forcing her to have more fun, more experiences, and have more courage with her crush. Her tight group of friends are all growing up, and trying to be there for Kakeru, a new boy in class who’s being eaten up by his own regrets.
I love how much Naho changes. How she grows as she pushes herself, and so how much changes as she takes the courage to go after Kakeru, even a little bit. Their relationship is sweet and still getting stronger, but there’s also all the friendships. Naho has two girl friends and two other guy friends, and they’ve all known each other a long time. Their friendship is strong, and they’re there for each other when they need to be. There is a big romance here, but the friendships take just as much attention, which I appreciate.
This volume was surprisingly well-done, sweet and slow and important. I like that we get to see how their future selves are doing, what they’re finding out, and how they’ve turned out with all the regrets. I like that as the present changes so much, the younger kids future is clearly changing in the present, but that it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s for the better or the worse. The original future wasn’t terrible, even if they did want to change things, and they did miss their friend. It’s just different now, not necessarily worse or better.
I was really impressed with this book, and I can’t wait for the next one, to see how the series wraps up.

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