Orange hair in anime comes in many different shades. Sometimes orange hair is referred to as “strawberry” like in Bleach because of it’s mix of red and yellow elements. When you think orange hair characters like Bleach’s Ichigo, Ouron Host Club’s Hikaru and Kaoru, Shirley Fenette from Code Geass, and Spice and Wolf’s Holo.
Orange is a mix of blonde and red character elements. Orange characters tend to be flamboyant and attention seekers. The color has the energy of red hair and sometimes either the goofy, naive, or dumb aspects of blonde. Orange characters can be annoying because they want so much attention from the audience. Orange also has the cheery aspects of blonde and lacks the darker death oriented aspects of red.
Like all hair colors, orange can lean toward different hues in character. Orange can lean toward the red head’s characteristics. Ichigo is a good example. Or they can lean more toward the blonde side, such as Shirley from Geass. Ichigo has a temper and a raw energy about him. Every once in awhile the more goofy or regenerative side of blonde shows through, but mostly he is a red-head in his character.
Bleach makes it a point to combine his raw energy with the renewal aspects of his blonde side in various fights. Ichigo gets more powerful every time he gets thrashed by a villain.
Shirley leans toward the regeneration/renewal aspects of blonde with the temper of the red head coming out in rare occasions. She certainly isn’t the usual flamboyant orange, but she still gets attention from her male classmates…and the unwanted ire from many of her female classmates.
Orange doesn’t have any pure characteristics like non-blend hair hues. This makes orange characters interesting; you can’t be certain which end of the spectrum they lean at first glance. Although orange always gets attention from the other hues; orange is one of the hottest colors of the spectrum. I guess you can say the only trait orange characters have in common is the attention they garner. Many authors like to make this attention unwanted, often for comedic effect.
Orange has a love/ hate relationship with the audience. Some orange characters are extremely annoying and meant to be that way. Even characters people like can wear thin with their incessant energy, attention, and cheerfulness. Orange characters are interesting since they have a lot of freedom within their stereotype. They are not as predictable as the other hues. There are also many different shades of orange for authors to work with. Some oranges are closer to browns with their deep ruddy tones. Other oranges are just a few shades from being yellow. Orange is one color that has fewer audience expectations associated with it. It is a good choice if you want to avoid playing or following expectations associated with other colors.