Monday, September 26, 2016

"Even if it's not stylish... keep on living." - Hideyoshi Nagachika

People often say, "even if the going is tough now, keep living, and it'll get better".
Easy for them to say.
Just living is the most painful thing.
If it would release me from my regrets, I'd gladly die right now.
- Kakeru Naruse

So in the past year I'm hooked to a manga/anime series called "Orange". I accidentally found the manga when it was still ongoing like a year ago. Turned out it has one of the best story ever written in manga history (for me. And I'm not just saying this because I'm kind of an otaku.). It has a live-action movie adaptation, too.

Here's a poster

Aww look at that group of friends, they look so happy and cute together, all laughing like that. "Orange" must be a cheerful comedic story about these guys, right? WRONG.

It's one of the most tear-jerker movies I've ever watched. And I've watched a lot.

"Orange" has a theme of friendship, a tiny bit of romance, depression and suicide. Dang, right into the deep stuff. But yes, it's true. It's very deep but oddly relatable. It tells a story from a girl's perspective, Naho Takamiya, where she suddenly received a letter from herself in the future. Yes, it has a sci-fi element to it but not too much, not so illogical so it doesn't make the story ridiculous. The letter told her to save her friend/crush, Kakeru Naruse, from depression and to prevent him from committing suicide. Originally, Naho is already a group of five with those people in the poster except Kakeru (the one sitting in the middle), while Kakeru  has just transferred to Naho's school. As a very shy person, Naho has to overcome her shyness and save Kakeru with the help of her friends. It's very touching, really. I cried a bucket reading/watching all its franchises.

Kakeru Naruse

The thing that hits home for me is about handling the person who suffers from depression. I met two people who had it. One I was able to give a hand to, the other one I wasn't. That other one tried to took her life one day but thank God she was able to be saved. The day it happened haunted me so bad because she's someone I get to meet literally everyday, and I just talked with her in the morning of. I felt deep, deep regrets because I actually knew about all her problems, how she was being abused by her husband on daily basis, mentally and physically, but I didn't help her. Partly because I didn't know how to, and partly maybe because I was an ignorant jerk. Thankfully she's all better now, she said she gained her will to live once again and I still meet her everyday.

One other thing that I think relatable to real life is how the depression itself felt. In the 12th episode of the anime, there's a part from Kakeru's perspective where he does the narrating. He tells the story of how he feels what he feels right now in chronological order, and he describes how it feels (which is what I quoted in the beginning of this long babble). I for one have never experienced depression myself. As a psychology student, I only know the symptoms of depression from text books. And what Kakeru depicts in the whole story... matches all the symptoms. How he starts to lose interest in his passion, which is soccer, how he thinks he's somehow hurting the people he loves and it makes him isolating himself, and other things.

All I'm saying is, if you would like to get a better understanding about depression and how to help people who suffers from it, read/watch this. If you're not into anime or if you think reading the manga would be too long, just watch the live-action movie. It's altered a bit but you'll still get the point. I personally recommend watching the anime because the screenwriter and the director put some funny conversations in it, but any form at all, dude.

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