Orange 🍊 Chapter 22

Last Letter (aka chapter 22)


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Previous Part: Chapter 21
Next Part: Chapter 23 - 未来 (Volume 6)

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Start Date Chapter Page Numbers Page Count
Dec 31st Last Letter 159 - 210 52

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Chapter thoughts!!!!

And there we go. Kakeru is rescued. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Naho and Kakeru will be together for some time. Who knows how long. Future Naho got a glimpse of happy and alive Kakeru.

Hagita stole the show. Both in the present and the future. Destroying Kakeru’s bike was a brilliant idea and then he did it too. :joy: And he’s very smart in the future, correctly anticipating and figuring stuff out. I like how we really get to see the smarts he has, when he starts the story as mostly comic relief. And on that note, that hug Hagita gives Kakeru when Kakeru finds them in the corridor on the fateful day. I couldn’t help but laugh with them all at his antics.

When we started this series, I liked Naho the best. I could see myself in her. I knew what it was like. And then we got to see more of Azu and I liked how happy go lucky she was most of the time, but still had a lot of emotional depth. And then lastly we get Hagita and Takako taking more room, seeing into their characters more.

Naho and Kakeru are obviously the most developed.

In that way, the one I understand the least is Suwa. The hero we don’t deserve, and the hero whose actions feels a bit too good to be true. Maybe he was always that altruistic, but I feel like his willingness to so completely put his love for Naho aside is the only thing I don’t quite jive with. Because we never get anything else from him, his whole existence seems to be about giving Naho up so Kakeru might live. And that’s very one dimensional.

We always see Suwa through the lens of him helping Naho save Kakeru. And him saving Kakeru himself. And we know his love for Naho. Outside this, I don’t know anything about Suwa at all. He’s just a support pillar for Naho and Kakeru. And despite clearly being the third most important character after Naho and Kakeru, I feel like I understand and know Azu, Hagita and Takako better. (Perhaps Takako the least of those three.)

That is not where I thought I’d end up.

But the last couple of volumes really fleshed out Azu, Hagita and Takako. But I don’t feel like I got anything new from Suwa, except that he knew the most about the future of them all.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve enjoyed the story a lot. Seeing these poor teenagers having to grow up too fast, figuring out stuff that most adults struggle with.

The above thing about Suwa? Minor thing really. It just sticks out to me.

I look forward to seeing what stuff will be fleshed out by the two additional volumes. :heart_eyes:


There we go! The main story has ended. Man, I’m so glad this was recommended to me years ago. And I look forward to rereading this in a few years, perhaps when I can read Japanese manga volumes at the same speed I can in English/Swedish.

Even so, I think a slow pace worked well for this manga. In that way, it worked fine as a learner. :slight_smile:

Anyway, more to come in a few weeks time, and I’m looking forward to it!

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Under details as it's spoilerish of prior chapters.

I think the key point to understand is that when Suwa originally confessed to Naho, she turned him down. But she ended up marrying him later, even if it took many years to reach that point (assuming based on the age of their child).

Our Suwa knows he can still turn things around.

But he also knows that his future counterpart both got Naho and gave up soccer. He can try for what his other self missed out on.

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I’m glad this discussion thread is up because I didn’t wait to read this chapter either, haha.

Chapter 22 Thoughts

That was a powerful ending and very satisfying after all that buildup. It’s nice that Hagita became the MVP of the pivotal moment by destroying the bike. That definitely saved his life, but most importantly, all that time he spent with everyone making positive memories and lasting bonds helped build the figurative rope that pulled him back at the last minute.

As we saw with future Kakeru’s end, he had nothing but negative experiences eating away at him. Naho was also not very decisive at the time, so she wasn’t there to reach out to him either. So naturally when he saw his mother’s last message, he felt he had nothing to live for. Thankfully all their efforts paid off in this timeline, and I think that’s a beautiful message to the reader that many small gestures by the right people can help save a life.

As for Suwa, on the surface he’s altruistic and a little too perfect, but as a reader we don’t focus on him so much because the main characters are Naho and Kakeru. We watch Naho watching Kakeru and we see Kakeru seeing Naho as someone similar to himself, and that’s why we can recognize that the two love and need each other.

And that’s also why we think highly of Suwa because it’s unusual for a guy (or anyone in particular) to ignore their own feelings to let another person have the person they like. But that’s exactly why Suwa is a very strong character. He loves both Naho and Kakeru so much that he wants them to thrive.

If he loved them superficially, he would only want Naho for himself despite knowing she truly loves Kakeru and doesn’t feel the same way about Suwa. Same situation with Kakeru: if he only cared about him as a fellow classmate and team member but didn’t love him as a person, he would’ve gotten in the way even knowing that Kakeru needs Naho to lift himself up.

But Suwa isn’t the only strong one. Kakeru has proven that he loves Naho the same way (although we don’t see it until we get his perspective). In the chapter when they ended up fighting, Kakeru distances himself from Naho afterwards even after she apologizes. We learn later that Kakeru was really torn up inside by the way he treated Naho. He blamed himself and probably thought of himself as too much of a mess to deserve Naho even if she accepted him.

Just a personal aside, my husband has also gone through some traumatic experiences that left him with PTSD. The effects of his depression got even worse during the start of the pandemic which led to a hellish experience for the both of us. Many times, he just told me to leave. Maybe it was because I watched Orange some years ago, but I felt that if I did, he would no longer be in this world. Telling me to leave and running away was also his way of showing he wanted something better for me. I bet he expected I would just up and leave at some point, but even during the worst times, I could feel his gratitude that I stayed by him when (especially in a place like Japan) everyone else would run away.

But that’s why I see Suwa as a true friend shining his light on those who need it most knowing he’s very lucky to have his life as well as his dearest friends beside him. Of course, I don’t think future Suwa was as “pure.”

He had to live through his mistake of being selfish the first time so he could tell his past self of his regrets and convince him to change his path for him. And I’m sure part of that reason is knowing that future Naho is filled with pain in knowing that she couldn’t save her first love’s life.

The sad thing is present Suwa is the only one in the group who knows that Naho and he made a family together. He can’t speculate or talk with anyone about their children or what their lives look like, and that’s very lonely.

I don’t know if the last volume will go into more detail about this issue because I remember the anime was very explicit about it. So just in case, I’ll put it under a spoiler but the other thing is future Suwa made himself out to seem almost like a villain like he stole the girl from his best friend and indirectly killed Kakeru because Naho didn’t try to reach out after their fight. So I hope something happens for Suwa so he can essentially forgive himself.

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Suwa replies

@ChristopherFritz I can see what you’re saying. I still feel like we kinda have to figure out/guess that ourselves. I still feel like I didn’t get a chance to truly connect to Suwa, because mostly we saw his knightly action and he never really seemed to falter in them, except for flickers.

@Hantsuki After reading your words, I feel like maybe it is just me who didn’t feel like they understood Suwa. :joy: I hear what you say, about loving someone enough to make them happy whether it gets you what you desire or not.

I would still like to have seen this more clearly from his point of view. I feel like we got a much closer look at Azu, Tako, and Hagita, than we ever got Suwa, despite the fact that Suwa has much more screen time. Or maybe, because Suwa had more screen time, I expected to get a deeper look at him than we got.

Suwa hides a lot of information and what he truly feels from his friends. Just like Naho does in the beginning until her friends shows her that everything will be better if they do it together. And yet, Suwa lets himself hide.

I don’t know. I just hope we get some proper Suwa time in the next two volumes, because at least for me, Suwa is ephemeral. I feel like most of the conclusions about him that makes him seem more three dimensional are things we’ve had to infer or guess, not things that the manga actually showed.

Maybe I missed it, or maybe just not enough time/panels were spent on how Suwa felt where he couldn’t immediate hide it by changing the subject. Even when Tako is probing Suwa again and again, he manages to avoid ever expressing what we think he’s really feeling: that he will do this for Kakeru but he really is heartbroken too. (We get the first part of that, but never the second.)

I would have loved even a couple of panels where Tako (or Azu or Hagita) had managed to corner Suwa and lets him be sad that he might be giving up Naho as anything more than a friend. Or him thinking that by himself.

While most everyone else gets bothered into speaking some truth or doing something that didn’t feel natural to them, Suwa is the one who seem to do it the most (we assume) and yet, we never get to see under the surface.

As I mentioned, this is really the only thing I can think of that I feel wasn’t satisfactory explored in the original story. So I’m very glad there is more.

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Now I can post this

Kakeru about to be Isekai’d

Suwa: I felt at the beginning and kept feeling even when knowing that he had a letter and after the end that his actions are just too selfless for a teen. Even if he knew he would get rejected, he would get with Naho in the long run, and maybe there could be an universe where he saved Kakeru and they got together. I also feel like everyone in general got too attached to Kakeru super fast, though I guess that could be related to them reading the letters and kinda getting to know him that way.
All in all I feel like Suwa is too wise for his years

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Ahh, thank you for starting your post like this! I think part of the reson i haven’t been able to start volume 5 yet was fear of what could happen, so maybe now i can gather the strength and courage to go on… :sweat_smile:

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I hear you. I might have peeked ahead at some earlier point because I needed that reassurance too. It would be devastating to put so much story and emotion behind saving Kakeru, and then have it fail. I can be honest and say I would have quit the series if that was so.

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It’s a very lovely story ! Will we be reading Blue Flag after this ? haha

Thoughts

It’s my second read of this series, I forgot how cheesy it was sometimes, but it was such an important read to me at the time ! Even though I read way deeper story line it came just at the right time when I needed ! I guess what really struck me is the “Try to live your life without regret” part. I realize there was something I didn’t wanted to wake up to in 10 years and feel, “God I wished I had said what I felt and maybe things would have turned out different”. And for that, this manga will always be close to my heart !

I agree, Suwa could use some more depth, because if I project myself in his stead, it would be torture. I would see myself stepping back to let them get together if that meant saving them, but actively putting them together, that would be too much and it would at least break me mentally.
But let’s be honest, He still got a shot ! They’re like highschoolers, how many couples formed in the teens year survive through the twenties ? Kakeru being surrounded by friends and being together with Naho will help him heal his wounds. By the time they break up, he might be completely fine, ready to live his life and my boy Suwa will be free to have his chance with the girl of his dreams ! :innocent:

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I’ve never heard of this. Is it by the same mangaka? Or maybe this was a complete joke for which I don’t know the reference at all? :sweat_smile: I can take it on the chin. :wink:

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Ah nah, just thought there were some similarities, that’s all! :grin:

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Yay, he is saved!

I’m happy that they came clean to Kakeru about the letters at the end. Ah, also I noticed at one point in that chapter this word was used: 欠ける, which is pronounced kakeru and means “to be missing (from a set, team, etc.); to be absent; to become lost” … I had a feeling that Kakeru’s name must have some (double) significance. I wonder if the other names do as well?

Takano-sensei’s note at the end was really touching. I couldn’t read/understand all of it, but 翔のような人がいたら、どうか救ってあげてください。 :cry:

Suwa

Yes! I had similar thoughts and hope for this future too. ^-^

I don’t know about Blue Flag, but I already ordered volume 1 of Dreamin’ Sun!

Also, I just want to say thanks to folks who shared a personal story about how Orange helped them be strong at one point or another in their lives. It’s just a little thing, but at work today, after finishing this chapter this morning, I put the English translations on a list of books to order for the store. So hopefully it can reach more people. :slight_smile:

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The series is rather different from Orange, but I’m enjoying it. Are you planning to start it before or after we get to the crossover chapter in Orange?

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When’s the crossover chapter?

I bought several volumes of Dreaming Sun when I was in Japan.

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Not sure when it will arrive, and I didn’t realize there was a crossover episode! So I’m not sure. What about you?

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Last chapter of volume 7, coming up April 1st.

Still over a month away!

I was originally going to start Dreamin’ Sun after finishing Orange, but when I heard there’s a crossover at the end of Orange, I decided I wanted to know the cast of Dreamin’ Sun before that. I started in January, and I’m currently on volume 5.

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Actually it starts a week earlier than that. We skipped having a break between v6 and v7. Main post should have the right schedule. :slight_smile:

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