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All the small things in life add up to create who we are. Every second, every decision can change us and those around us. Every grain of sand shapes our fates, drawing us together or further apart from each other. Only a virtuous few learn to live this life to the fullest… but most of us live with regrets, sometimes regrets with a weight so heavy that they linger in the backs of our heads every day.
This is what happened to Naho, whose life, somehow, gave a chance to fix her innermost regret; the death of her first love. Although his death didn't come by her hands, she did, however, have the power to avoid it - or so she thinks- by changing all the small details that happened between them from the moment they first met. As the series is still ongoing this list will be judged using the first 5 episodes; whilst we wait for the new episode next week, here are 6 anime like Orange for you to enjoy. Are you ready to change your future with this list?
Similar anime to Orange
1. Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai. (AnoHana: The Flower We Saw That Day)
- Episodes: 11
- Aired: April 2011 - June 2011
The phrase “You never know the value of what you had until you’ve lost it” couldn’t have been pictured better than in AnoHana. This is a story of the hardship of friendship and the too-soon departure of a friend and a first love. If this already doesn't sound like Orange, then here’s more help you realize that time travel isn't relevant to be similar.
AnoHana shows that time doesn't heal every wound and sometimes you need a little push, a little motivation to be able to move on after a friend or a loved one dies. In Orange, Naho and friends cope with this pain by reading letters from the past (and Naho somehow sending letters to the past); in AnoHana, this past comes visit Jintan and friends, not as a letter but as the ghost of their departed friend Menma; talk about putting salt in an open wound. “If only I would’ve known that was the last time I'd see her” is what Jintan and the others are most regretting, especially our protagonist because he’s so lost in depression that it's slowly wrecking his present life.
This is what we all initially thought Naho would be like before the end of episode 1 but even if Naho didn’t live her life similar to Jinta, she, just like him, clearly regrets not answering in time her love’s last question. AnoHana also shares Orange’s secondary plots like family problems, the death of mothers and one-sided loves forced to cheer on relationships of their crushes with others.
Anohana ~ The Flower We Saw That Day PV
2. Ao Haru Ride (Blue Spring Ride)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2014 - September 2014
Ao Haru Ride doesn't involve any time traveling but their characters and plot are stunningly similar; if you’re seeking something almost identical to Orange, here it is. The male lead in Ao Haru Ride, Mabuchi Kou is almost a perfect clone of Kakeru, from his strange gloomy but at the same time cheerful attitude, to the way the look, the way they tease their girls and even the complicated family problems that cause their depression and change in attitude, these two are birds of a feather. The female protagonist, Yoshioka Futaba has nothing to envy from Naho as they are also almost identical twins physically but Futaba’s personality is more upbeat than Naho’s, even so, they both share a similar love story.
Futaba had the chance to be with her first love, Kou, but she let the chance slip away only to find herself regretting for many years as she never saw Kou again. Later, life gives her a second chance to make things right with Kou, not turning back like Naho, but falling in love all over again with Kou; not as the child that won her heart before, but as the completely different man he is now. Both anime have the subject of being brave enough to show your feelings, to change yourself in order to avoid living a life full of thoughts about “what it could have been”.
TV animation "Blue Spring Ride" PV first series
3. Kokoro ga Sakebitagatterunda. (The Anthem of the Heart)
- Episodes: Movie
- Aired: September 2015
The movie The Anthem of the Heart, also known as Kokosake, on its surface, doesn't have a direct relation to Orange aside from their stunning artwork. This is where the secondary plots come in. The protagonist of this story is Jun, a little girl that saw what she shouldn't and said too much, unleashing a chain of events that destroyed her family and her future. Because of this specific event regarding her parents, she is now unable to speak, or more like, it makes her literally hurt every time she does. She is now forced to unwillingly live a life she hates, away from social interactions. That is, until her savior, her knight in shining armour appears to lift this terrible curse.
Like Orange, this movie deals with the subject of regrets due to self-made past mistakes and depression caused by mothers. Both series also depend strongly on character and friendship development as well as with unrequited love between a group of friends. Both female leads slowly force themselves to change how they are, motivated by their love interests. Surely, the much-awaited love twist that will happen in Orange will have nothing to fear against the love twist this anime has to offer. Both anime teach that dwelling over the past changes nothing, that mistakes are permanent but whether or not they become regrets is up to us to decide.
The Anthem of the Heart-Beautiful Word Beautiful World- Trailer 4
Any Anime Like Orange?
4. Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April)
- Episodes: 22
- Aired: October 2014 - March 2015
Your Lie in April and Orange both are slowly phased melodramas about the life and romance of the two teenage protagonists. Both anime share the theme of tragedy sugarcoated with the illusion of love that didn't end as we all wanted to. Kousei Arima was a child pianist prodigy that convinced himself that he had lost the ability to hear his own music because of a trauma induced by his late mother.
He meets the beautiful teen-violinist Kaori Miyazono who persistently encouraged him to set himself free and treat himself and his music like he deserves. Arima’s grim future was changed by Kaori just as Naho intends to do with Kakeru’s future. Their friendship shows that life won't wait for you to fix whatever is wrong, you have to act now and just live a life you won't regret because maybe, time will run out faster than you think.
Both series have realistic characters with stories that are based on character development rather than plots. Even though Orange and Your Lie in April have such sad themes, the anime is actually full of vibrant colors to lighten up the mood and correctly portray the joys of youth. Your Lie in April, like Orange, is a story about learning to heal and learning to live your life to the fullest in order to have no regrets.
Your lie in April English Trailer
5. Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time)
- Episodes: Movie
- Aired: July 2006
Just like Orange, the theme of time bending to alter the future of the protagonist is present and it’s the main subject of the story. Unlike Naho’s time traveling letters, the protagonist of this series, Makoto Konno, physically travels back in time. Like Naho, she keeps secret from everyone the ability to “change” the present or future by traveling back in time and although both girls do it with the same idea in mind - changing little details in their days - they do it solely for different purposes. Makoto wants to stay in her actual present, enjoying her moments of youth with her friends, not caring a bit for the future. Is the key of time something she should really be toying with so recklessly?
For being a movie rather than a series it has endless comparisons to Orange; for example, changing small details to alter the present just for personal desires, the death of friends and the power to change that fate, the subject of love between protagonists and how it heavily depends on the time travel, saving the guy she loves from “death” , embracing the fact that some things cannot be changed, the theme of second chances and finally showing the consequences of those time travels and the result of the altered futures.
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time - Trailer
6. ERASED (Boku dake ga Inai Machi)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2016 - March 2016
As adults, sometimes we have so many regrets it makes us restless. Regrets resonate constantly in the back of our heads, making us question many aspects of our lives, becoming the fuel for depression and self-limitations. This is the story of Fujinuma Satoru, our protagonist in ERASED and the guy whose life led nowhere in every direction. For Satoru, the ability to turn back time was no surprise as he has had this ability since forever.
However, Satoru can only turn back time for five minutes and his ability is only triggered just as a terrible event is about to happen; usually the death of others. Even if Satoru can save the rest, what gives? His life is shit; but there’s one event he completely erased from his head, the trauma that has been eating his life away silently for 18 years.
Like Naho, Satoru’s biggest regret is not preventing the death of friends and this has been the cause of his present life sorrow. He strongly believes that he has the power to change the future and save the life of his loved ones by altering small details in his daily life. Like our protagonist in Orange, he keeps secret that he can time travel as his changes strongly involve others, especially his friends and these interactions must go as natural as possible in order to change the future.
Other points that ERASED share with Orange is the fact that both series show past/present time swings constantly, both protagonist have romances in the past but are shown with different love interest in the future, both have a lot of internal dialogues and most importantly the theme of depression due to a trauma related to mothers, and the death of mothers, are all present in both anime series.
ERASED English Trailer
After going through this list, it is more than clear that we can never, ever let our regrets become the tears down our cheeks. There's no point in dwelling on the past, we all make mistakes but we don't all let them be regrets. It's better to stand up, to act; it’s better to say sorry for something you did instead of living a life in the shadow of what it ‘could’ have been if you had actually done it. Time goes too fast and this life is too short to have so many regrets so please add to yourself the lessons that these anime mentioned here have to teach you about life.
Thanks for reading and hope you all liked the list. Orange is a promising anime that instantly won over our hearts, hopefully, one of our recommendations here will also win a little space in your heart. Until next time!