Orange vol. 1&2 – Ichigo Takano

Orange by Ichigo Takano started in Betsuma but was taken over by Futabasha publishing and was recently moved to Monthly Action magazine. Apparently Takano had some issues with Shueisha. You can’t even tell that the series ran in Betsuma anywhere on the site. Orange was on hiatus for two years, but now Takano is able to finish it. We are getting simultaneous releases with Japan digitally on Crunchyroll manga. Volume 3 was released in Japan on August 22, 2014, and we have received chapter 13 digitally as of August 26, 2014. It was hard to find information on this series, so special thanks to the Orange – Takano Ichigo Tumblr where information has been translated and there are plenty of fans keeping up with the series.


Digital Cover for Crunchyroll

The Gist: Sixteen year old Naho Takamiyo receives a letter from her 26 year old self 10 years in the future. It’s special instructions on how to interact with Kakeru Naruse, a new boy in her class, so that she won’t have regrets in the future. As the story unfolds Naho learns that she and her friends are trying to prevent a future without Kakeru. Lost in an accident at 17, will Kakeru’s fate be changed by help from future Naho and her friends?

The Review: Orange is one of the best shoujo manga I’ve read in recent years. There’s mystery and some fantasy along with drama and romance, memorable character relationships, and beautiful artwork. Takano does a good job of unfolding events slowly, letting the audience embrace the teenage characters while dropping in flash forwards to see how this twenty-something group cherishes their lost friend. Character development is well done with each person being important to the story. My favorite part of this series is the love triangle between Naho, Kakaeru and Suwa. Usually I hate love triangles, but this one is so bittersweet. In the future, 26 year old Naho is married to Suwa with a child. Yet the teenage Suwa is able to put his feelings aside for Naho if it means saving his friend Kakeru in the future. Takano makes me really want Kakeru to live on, but then I despair for Suwa and the future child. It’s very moving and I just can’t guess how this series will conclude. It’s what makes Orange a must read for shoujo fans everywhere.

A look at the toning and paneling for Ch.13

A look at the toning and paneling for Ch.13

The Art: Takano’s style is very detailed and more realistic looking, which fits the story well. The character designs are distinct and easy to tell apart. The paneling and dialogue flow well, and the toning isn’t too over the top. There’s a good mix of comical cartoon expressions for humor and then more realistic faces for the emotional moments. The color pieces are watercolor that look lively and in some instances are very detailed. Overall it’s a gorgeous series.

Chapter 13 color cover

Color Cover for Chapter 13

The Audience: Aimed at a shoujo audience, Orange falls in the same line of storytelling as Kimi ni Todoke or Strobe Edge. However, having the flash forwards does lend this story to appealing to an older audience. Even guys could get into this sentimental story about saving a good friend. The topic of suicide is a serious but relevant theme for teens that is addressed in the series.

The Media: Orange is available digitally from Crunchyroll manga where the first chapter can be sampled. The first 13 chapters of the series are available to read now. Crunchyroll did a fine job of translating and editing the story. Their manga reader is also a pleasure to use. The series is up to 3 volumes in print in Japan. Orange would definitely make a great anime, but who knows if that will happen. If you like this series then you can keep up with the comic on twitter at Orange_Comics.

Heart of Manga Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ Highly Recommend

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Super mom and teacher until the kids go to bed, then romance manga addict and writer until the caffeine wears out! Specializes in the shoujo and josei genre of manga and anime.
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1 Comment

  • Great review! I cannot wait to read this!

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