Why My Life Is Orange

Why My Life Is Orange

For life, though both sorrowful and sour at times, is also sweet.
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As the dark streets were illuminated by the light of the moon, and her friends all laughed joyously around her, sixteen year-old Naho Takamiya smiled and thought to herself, “I didn’t know the preciousness of everything, or the importance of life. I was still a child." Often times, we as humans and individuals, take our lives for granted and regret it later. In Orange, a Japanese animated television series directed by Hiroshi Hamasaki, explores themes of life that incites me to think about my own life, and what it means to me.

The production Orange is about a young high school girl named Naho Takamiya who one day receives a letter from her future self. In that letter, it consists of a series of directions the future Naho wants the present Naho to follow, in the hopes of saving the life of her friend, Kakeru Naruse, who is no longer alive in the future. Together with her friends Suwa, Azusa, Takako, and Hagita, she gradually starts to understand that in life, you cannot always do things by yourself and with that, helps Kakeru through his dark times as well.

To start off, I want to discuss the character Kakeru. He is a seventeen-year-old student who recently transferred to Naho’s school. The series quickly shows that he is someone who walks a dark path. Throughout most of the show, Kakeru blames himself for the death of his mother due to the fact that she committed suicide, thinking it will lessen his burden of her. He is someone who keeps things to himself and believes that if he tells someone his troubles, he will be burdening them. Because of this, it causes me to think about myself. I can relate to him well because occasionally, it feels like no one wants to listen to me, even though in the back of my mind I know that is not true. Though his character is primarily focused on the more grim aspects of the show and in individuals, it is exactly that quality that helps the hope and light around him shine. He is surrounded by people who genuinely care about him, and they all emit a different aura of their own. This leads me to ponder over the thought that even though I may feel like I am alone and in a dark corner by myself, I am just unable to see that I have close ones who do have interest in what I have to say and how I am feeling. I reflect on all the times I was alone and felt anguish by myself, wishing there was someone I could tell but never really making the effort to do so in fear that I was bothering them. Orange helps me see that that is not the case; in fact, there are friends and families that are willing to support me, just like how Naho saved Kakeru’s heart.

The character of Naho forces me to come to terms with my own personality and mind. It almost pained me to see that I am so similar to her. As I angrily watched her continuously struggle to comply with the directions of the letters due to her timid nature, I realized that maybe I was just infuriated at myself. I now understand that perhaps I am so frustrated at her because of the fact that I do not like how I am exactly like her; someone who is held back by themselves. I cannot count the times where I regret not being able to push myself forward just a little bit and show a morsel of fearlessness. At the end of the day, I would come back and mope to myself, upset that I let myself down. While I watched Naho, the inner me wanted her to become something that I felt I was not; courageous, daring, and above all, brave. When she proved that she also did not have those characteristics, I felt disappointment, and secretly knew it was not at her, but at myself. After a lot of reflection and thoughts, I came to accept that even though hesitant nature may keep me from doing certain things, it does not define who I am. And just like Naho, who was able to overcome her own self, I strive to push myself out of my comfort zone.

Orange makes me recognize that in life, it is challenging, but also blindingly beautiful. Kakeru indirectly wills me to grasp that I am encircled by a sea of people who cherish me, even though I might not be able to see it myself. He exhibits that even when life throws curves and knocks me down, I can get back up with the help of loved ones.

Naho illustrates to me that I can be brave, despite having a shy personality. If she were not confident in herself, she would not have been able to save Kakeru. And even though she holds regrets, she is able to come to terms with how valuable life is and that we need to be living, not just be alive. From her, I think about how I myself can learn to be bold and not be restricted by what my head tells me, and instead follow what I believe in.

As Naho sat by herself in her room, “[she] drank the orange juice that Kakeru got for [her]. It tasted sweet…sour…and sorrowful.” For life, though both sorrowful and sour at times, is also sweet.

Cover Image Credit: Wallpaper Abyss

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7 Reasons Why Literature Is So Important

"Literature Is One Of The Most Interesting And Significant Expressions Of Humanity." -P. T. Barnum
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Today, there are too many people who believe that literature is simply not important or underestimate its abilities to stand the test of time and give us great knowledge. There is a stigma in society that implies one who is more inclined toward science and math will somehow be more successful in life, and that one who is more passionate toward literature and other art forms will be destined to a life of low-paying jobs and unsatisfying careers. Somewhere along the line, the world has come to think that literature is insignificant. To me, however, literature serves as a gateway to learning of the past and expanding my knowledge and understanding of the world. Here are just a few reasons why literature is important.

1. Expanding horizons

First and foremost, literature opens our eyes and makes us see more than just what the front door shows. It helps us realize the wide world outside, surrounding us. With this, we begin to learn, ask questions, and build our intuitions and instincts. We expand our minds.

2. Building critical thinking skills

Many of us learn what critical thinking is in our language arts classes. When we read, we learn to look between the lines. We are taught to find symbols, make connections, find themes, learn about characters. Reading expands these skills, and we begin to look at a sentence with a larger sense of detail and depth and realize the importance of hidden meanings so that we may come to a conclusion.

3. A leap into the past

History and literature are entwined with each other. History is not just about power struggles, wars, names, and dates. It is about people who are products of their time, with their own lives. Today the world is nothing like it was in the 15th century; people have changed largely. Without literature, we would not know about our past, our families, the people who came before and walked on the same ground as us.

4. Appreciation for other cultures and beliefs

Reading about history, anthropology, or religious studies provides a method of learning about cultures and beliefs other than our own. It allows you to understand and experience these other systems of living and other worlds. We get a view of the inside looking out, a personal view and insight into the minds and reasoning of someone else. We can learn, understand, and appreciate it.

5. Better writing skills

When you open a book, when your eyes read the words and you take in its contents, do you ask yourself: How did this person imagine and write this? Well, many of those authors, poets, or playwrights used literature to expand their writing.

6. Addressing humanity

All literature, whether it be poems, essays, novels, or short stories, helps us address human nature and conditions which affect all people. These may be the need for growth, doubts and fears of success and failure, the need for friends and family, the goodness of compassion and empathy, trust, or the realization of imperfection. We learn that imperfection is not always bad and that normal can be boring. We learn that life must be lived to the fullest. We need literature in order to connect with our own humanity.

Literature is important and necessary. It provides growth, strengthens our minds and gives us the ability to think outside the box.

Cover Image Credit: google.com/images

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I Made Emma Chamberlain's Mediocre Vegan Cookies, And They're Pretty Incredible

Emma and her vegan cookies have made their way into my heart, and are here to stay.

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One day, I went down the black hole that is 'YouTube at 3 am' and discovered my favorite social media influencer of all time: Emma Chamberlain. I started binge watching her videos every night for about a week, where I came across her "Cooking With Emma" series. I decided that I wanted to give her vegan antics a go for myself.

I've never cooked or baked anything with the intention of it being vegan, so not only is that new territory for me, but I've never even eaten a vegan cookie. The only reason I'm doing this is because Emma did, and she is aesthetic goals.

To start the journey of vegan baking, I took to Pinterest, just like Emma, and found this recipe to use. Although the video that inspired all of this used a gluten free recipe, I opted for only vegan, because I'm allergic to most of the ingredients that make things gluten-free.


In true Emma style, I used a whisk to combine the wet ingredients together, making sure to use her special technique.


Then, I did the same thing with the dry ingredients.


After that, I dumped everything together and combined all of the ingredients.


Once they were combined, I chopped up a vegan chocolate bar, because Emma and I like chocolate chunk cookies, not chocolate chip, there's a difference.


Now that everything is combined, I made balls of dough and stuck it on a pan, and baked them while I binged more Emma, because what else would I be doing in my spare time?



The recipe said to make the balls a lot smaller, but we aren't perfect, so I made them gigantic. In my head, I thought the worst thing that could happen was it turn into one big cookie, but that's a whole other video you need to watch.

I took them out of the oven, and they were brown on the top, but still a little doughy. At this point I was tired of waiting and eager to eat them, so I disappointingly set them aside to cool, which only lasted a minute or so before I snagged one up to try.



The taste was definitely one I've never associated with cookies, and came to the conclusion that if I decided to go vegan, it would be doable with these cookies and Emma Chamberlain by my side.



Emma inspired me to get out of my comfort zone, which is a reoccurring theme throughout her channel, and I'm happy to be apart of it. She taught me that even if mediocre cookies is all you have, eat them with pride because you made them yourself.

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