Orange episode 12 finally takes us into the perspective we have been missing: Kakeru’s. This means a lot of the anger it was easy to feel last episode kind of dissipates as we see not just Kakeru’s perspective, but the perspective of the Kakeru who killed himself. We finally see the entire down the rabbit hole. The idea that Kakeru lost his way solely because of misunderstandings with Naho is completely wrong. Kakeru was experiencing serious traumatic depression and whenever he tried to reach out to anyone, he was shot down. The most harmful experience he went through was easily when he saw his friends from Tokyo. He told them he wanted to kill himself and they simply laughed at him.
It’s much easier to understand the way Kakeru behaves now. His mind is constantly on his guilt and regret, not simply using his interactions with Naho as a catapult for those. He feels regret, remorse, and the desire to fix what he has done. Yet his apathy to life is so heart wrenching. He has tried so hard just to keep living and get through it but he can’t. Seeing this other Kakeru I can’t be mad at him whatsoever. He knows he did the wrong thing and pushed Naho away so he can’t hurt her anymore.
I honestly felt devastated watching this. I feel guilty I judged Kakeru last episode because I have been him. My
depression has eaten me alive in the same way that his has and this freaking anime. . . this is exactly how people act when they are desperate and trapped. Orange so perfectly displays how depression eats you alive and takes away your will to live even when you think there are things to live for. The last thing he thought about before he died in the other world was Naho.
I don’t know how to function in regards to this episode. It hurt so much to read the things Kakeru said to himself and know how they felt and to know that I had judged him despite being him. It reminded me to be kind in all the moments of my life and understand how people felt and how they cope. I want his friends to save him and I want him to feel forgiveness for himself. If I knew him I’d throw him in my car and take him to therapy or something, anything I could do. I’d sit with him and cry.
This episode also explained some of the thought process of how the letters got sent into the past. As silly as it
sounded to me what it felt like honestly was that their hopes when they sent the letters is what actually caused the phenomenon and I’m willing to accept it if it means Kakeru can live. This anime deserves so much credit for making believable interactions and struggles for people, and for giving mental illness a light like it does.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go sob until the finale.