When a grandmother is Best Girl.
In all seriousness, it was about time for Kohaku (Kaede Hondo) to finally enter the picture. Iroduku sure took its time, four episodes to be exact. Then again, perhaps it’s a good thing that she was formally introduced later in the series. It did allow Hitomi to get used to the present and get to know the other characters on her own for a couple episodes. Besides, Kohaku seems like that kind of girl who would steal the show as soon as she appeared onscreen. Why, you could even say that she is going to make things a bit more colorful and no, I won’t walk myself out the door for that pun because Iroduku itself thought the same thing. Tell me that rainbow painted on one of the ships at the beginning wasn’t on the nose.
It appears that Kohaku is a foil to Hitomi in a lot of ways. Both girls appear to have raw magical aptitude but unlike her granddaughter, Kohaku seems to have always loved magic and has honed her craft, hence why she was studying abroad at the beginning of the story. These two also seem to differ socially as well. Whereas it’s taken Hitomi three episodes to comfortably fit in with the formerly named Photography Arts Club, Kohaku actually hits it off immediately and acts like she’s part of the group before she officially joins. Even in awkward and uncomfortable situations, these girls behave differently. Unlike Hitomi who begrudgingly trudges through them all, Kohaku tries to wiggle herself out as evident in one scene where some magic goes awry at school for God knows how many times and she gets sent to the Principal’s office.
Oddly enough, it doesn’t seem like Kohaku isn’t that radically different from the grandmother she’ll one day become. A lot of the dialogue in past episodes gave the impression she’s a troublemaker. She’s definitely as peppy as everyone described her to be but as far as wreaking havoc, she has apparently matured from her studies abroad. Right now, she’s trying to use her magic more carefully and only use it if it benefits others such as showing her class what London looks like, performing an innocent prank on some friends…sending your granddaughter across time…She’s trying to use magic more purposely is what I’m trying to say. If anything, her one deliberate attempt at attention seeking in this episode is actually just giving everyone some English tea she brought back from London.
Perhaps I also get that impression based on how she’s embracing the fact that she now has a granddaughter to look after. As soon as she arrives in Japan, she immediately welcomes Hitomi with a hug. Various scenes afterwards have her express faith that her granddaughter will one day like magic and encourage the latter to be more open with her new friends. It’s not perfect. There’s no way it could since Kohaku is still teenager and can only impart so much wisdom at such a young age. Just being called “Granny” isn’t something she used to anyway. At one point, she encourages Hitomi to embrace whatever the future has in store only to then ask who her future husband is. She refrains shortly after but the scene is still indicative that Kohaku is still learning as a person. Still, she does seem to subconsciously realize that being the grandmother, she has to treat Hitomi a little differently than she would with a normal friend.
Now to move onto the other characters so that no one tells me that I’ve only focused on Best Girl.
An interesting development happen with Aoi as you find out that he isn’t actually pursuing art as a career and instead looking for other jobs. That sure makes you wonder what this could mean for Hitomi. Maybe she was sent by her grandmother to convince Aoi to keep up with his passion? Even if it wasn’t the plan, Aoi seeking other professions ought to concern Hitomi if she ever finds out since his drawings are still the only things she can recognize in color.
Their relationship sure took an odd turn this episode regardless. When everyone decides to call Hitomi and Kohaku by their first names, Aoi still decides to call the former Tsukishiro. A dick move no matter how you look at it. Even Kohaku thinks so. I get where he’s coming from though. Considering the rapport he’s developed with Hitomi, perhaps he’s a bit shy to start acting that close to her.
There is one fascinating interaction between Hitomi and Aoi that happens when the club takes some pictures of the night sky. Aoi remarks that monochromatic photos have their own appeal in how they pronounce details in ways colors cannot. Such benefit however seems to elude Hitomi as seeing in monochrome is all she has been able to do for the most of her life. Right now, it feels limiting hence why she looks forwards to Aoi’s drawings so that she can see colors again. I doubt the scene is meant to discourage Hitomi from seeking a way to see colors. If anything, I think this scene is hinting that maybe one day, she’ll accept her color blindness depending on how she takes away from seeing more of Aoi’s art.
As for the others, there’s definitely some relationships to look after. There sure has been a lot of scenes where Shou is helping Hitomi out with using a camera. One of them even shows Asagi’s reaction to such interaction. Looks like someone is getting jealous. Meanwhile, Kurumi and Chigusa continue their little bout of bickering which continues to be amusing. I’m with Kohaku, these two really should just make it official. Her pretending to be a ghost to scare them and make them feel closer though was some comedic gold.
Thank goodness everyone finally finds out that Hitomi is from the future. Not that it was a well kept secret to begin with. Hitomi kind of dropped a lot of hints up until now. I doubt you could’ve made a huge conflict out of it either since at best, you’d just have Hitomi dealing with gossip. I doubt there’ll be Men in Black knocking on her door as Chigusa speculated. Still, it’s nice to see her get it off her chest. It’s a very courageous moment on her part and I really like that Kohaku was there to support her throughout the whole thing. And much like how her ancestors all accept her being from the future, so does everyone in the newly named Magic Photography Arts Club. Considering that this particular cat is now out of the bag, surely this means Hitomi will reveal that she’s colorblind. Right? RIGHT? Oh well, baby steps I guess.
Thanks for reading!
Watch Iroduku: The World in Colors on Amazon