Hump Day Husbandos: Hiroto Suwa (Orange)

Hump Day Husbandos

It’s been quite a while since I wrote up some extensive thoughts on Ichigo Takano’s best known manga. Orange. Orange, as one may be able to surmise from its title, tells a tale that captures both the sweet and sour of life.

Hiroto Suwa is the literal shining beacon of hope and happiness in said piece, and is a godsend of a supporting character when things get too much. With a typical shoujo backdrop but with heavy themes behind it all – think somehow juggling both time travel and depression – Orange acts as a painful reminder of the lows and highs of what our existence means, especially when we consider our personal journeys in matters of romance.

Who is Hiroto Suwa?

Hiroto is a supporting character of Orange and a classmate of main character Naho. Orange plays out from Naho’s perspective; she initially receives a letter from her future self, who instructs her to follow the advice she has in writing in order to save Kakeru, a transfer student and eventual friend of hers who will meet an untimely death.

But she’s actually not the only one who receives a letter from her future self. Hiroto has his own letter from his future self, including even tougher requests to ask of his past self. Not much can be said going forward without going into spoiler territory so you have been warned!

Why we love him

If I was to sum up why my adoration for Hiroto is as extreme as it is, then it’s mostly because he’s not all that different to Toradora’s (best) genki girl Minori. They’re not just the life of their respective parties with their extroverted and energetic natures, but these two can basically be described as some of anime’s and manga’s most selfless characters ever.

Hiroto is quick to exhibit this trait whenever Naho is in the picture, and that’s because Hiroto has always had a thing for her. You can probably already see where this is going.

Future Hiroto happened to get together with Naho shortly after the passing of Kakeru, and for this reason especially, Hiroto regrets and holds guilt over his reasoning and the actions of his past self for taking advantage of Naho when she was at her most vulnerable. Hoping to steer his old self away from these decisions will eventually lead present day Hiroto into giving up on his feelings for Naho, and instead looking on as Naho begins a romance with Kakeru.

Why you will love him

Honestly, that in itself is a solid enough of a reason to regard Hiroto as best boy. But outside of his significant involvement within his friend group and with Naho especially, when he isn’t being the happy-go-lucky clown, Hiroto’s thoughtfulness comes across in waves. He always acts as the polar opposite to both Kakeru and Naho, the pair who are never quite as vocal and honest about what they really want. He has a lot more maturity to him than anyone gives him credit for, really.

And as always with a story with the intention of looking at both the sweet and bitter sides of life itself, Hiroto’s part in Orange was always to be the supporting character. Other titles one could give to him such as “second best” or a mere replacement for Naho’s true love interest are just as apt since Naho quite literally settles for him in the original timeline despite him deserving so much more.

The guy willingly threw away the picture-perfect life he always wanted: a family unit with Naho as his wife and their own baby. It really is as bittersweet as the story gets, and bless Hiroto for keeping his head held high whilst sacrificing his own happiness for the sake of the futures of those most important to him.

I’d rather not cry again, but if you fancy a touch of the waterworks, give the show a watch yourself over at Crunchyroll.

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Lilia Hellal
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