Iroduku: The World in Colors – Ep. 1 (First Impressions)

From all the promotional materials provided for Iroduku: The World in Colors, I had two presumptions about this anime. First is that the premise has a lot of potential to be good and second is that the visuals look great. Now that I’ve seen the premiere, I think those assumptions were right on the marks.

“The World in Colors” sure is a very apt title in regards to the visual department. Goodness, this anime looks absolutely gorgeous. The backgrounds, the lighting, shadows, the wind effects, you name it. Granted, it’s P.A. Works; a studio that can rival with KyoAni and Ufotable for consistent quality animation. So long as they have the budget and the talent, they’ll keep delivering the goods in this respect. Still, there were a few moments in the premiere that just made me go “Wow”. The fireworks scene at the beginning. The time travel sequence with the bus and all those pictures passing by. The occasional cuts to a monochrome color palette. The final scene with that pastel aesthetic and all those colors. It’s all very stunning.

Of course, visuals can only carry a show for so long. It’s the story that must really succeed in grabbing the viewer’s attention and I do think Iroduku is off to a very promising start. The story begins sixty years into the future, in a work where magic exists. Hitomi Tsukishiro (Kaori Ishihara) is a young member of a family of mages, whose color blindness has left her emotionally disconnected from the world around her. That alone is an interesting conflict though spicing things up is Hitomi’s grandmother, Kohaku (Sumi Shimamoto), who decides to use time magic and send her granddaughter to present-day. There’s a lot of potential here. Potential regarding Hitomi’s growth, how she interacts with people from a different time period, and how her presence might affect those people’s own lives.

Evidently, we’re just in the set-up phase, establishing Hitomi’s situation and briefly introducing most of the other main characters to the viewer. Still I must admit that even that proved to be very engaging. The oddest yet smartest thing done in this episode is that it doesn’t introduce Kohaku’s younger self. Apparently, she’s abroad studying magic and even her folks at home don’t know when she’ll return. While an awkward obstacle for Hitomi, this does allow us to see her adjust to the new era in a very subtle and natural way. You see her try to navigate the town she’ll live in sixty years later, recognizing some places but still getting lost. Her futuristic earpiece that’s essentially her equivalent of a smartphone is now useless for her. Her encounters with some of the locals, some of whom are even her ancestors show that she is slow to trust. Some of the dialogue is also telling how much of a fish out of water Hitomi is right now. It’s a bit concerning if she has no idea what a band-aid is, for example. In a way, Hitomi’s situation is a reflection of her inner conflict. She lives in the world and yet she feels so disconnected with it.

There does seem to be at least one saving grace to Hitomi’s little time travel adventure right now. At the end of the episode, Hitomi goes searching for her earpiece and via some magic, discovers it’s in the hands of a boy named Yuito Aoi (Shouya Chiba) whose apartment she accidentally landed in after time traveling. After finding Yuito however, she catches him drawing and discovers that she can actually see the colors in them. Now that right there is an interesting mystery. At first, I thought it was maybe some enchantment Yuito uses for his drawings but if that’s the case, then Hitomi’s color blindness could be fixed no problem, much less involve traveling through time. There’s clearly some special connection between these two (maybe a ship is getting set to sail even?) and it does make for an even compelling hook than what potential the premise of this anime already has.

Since there’s obviously more anime to watch in the premiere influx, I don’t know if I should really say that this is my favorite debut of the Fall 2018 season. It is close though. Very close. It’s certainly up there with Bloom Into You at least (how fitting since both shows were the ones I was most excited for). Yes, this show could very well jump the shark for all we know but right now, I’m feeling really optimistic. Hopefully, everyone making this anime will play their cards right and deliver something delightful here.

Thanks for reading!

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