I expected Iroduku: The World in Colors to spend an entire half-hour resolving the drama developed between Asagi and Hitomi. To my surprise and, frankly, to my relief, that bit is over and done with in a few minutes. Thank goodness. Neither girl deserves to deal with the headaches Sho has given them. The quickness of the resolution even speaks well to the maturity of these characters. If this was Hitomi from a couple of episodes ago, we probably would be here all day. But since she has gradually grown more assertive, especially after last episode with Sho’s confession, it makes sense that she takes a lot of initiative this time around. As for Asagi, she also realized she can’t be mad at Hitomi and just needed the right push. Overall, I’m glad these two talked it out as the best of friends should. My only real complaint with this reconciliation is that the following scene where they do karaoke with Kohaku and Kurumi wasn’t long enough…I mean it.
As for Sho, well, at this point, I’m convinced this guy has the foresight of a brick. He probably couldn’t even take a hint if the hint was flashing in bright neon lights. Right when both Asagi and Hitomi leave club early and he asked what’s the matter with them, I was like “Are you for real, man?”. Even Kohaku and Kurumi thought so too. Even though I think Asagi should muster the courage and confess, I’m on her side when it comes to being fed up with Sho’s dense head. Barring her own timidness, I kind of get why she hasn’t bothered yet. Even if she did tell Sho outright what she feels, what are the odds that he still won’t get it?
Moving on, Kohaku decides that the mages of the Magic Photography Arts Club (that name never gets old) should make their contribution for the school festival. Inspired by the times Hitomi accidentally entered Yuito’s drawings, Kohaku decides to do something similar for the big event. Naturally, Yuito gets persuaded by everyone to provide a new drawing for this and Kohaku enlists Hitomi’s help in casting the spell since she seems to have a knack at this kind of magic.
It really does bring a smile on my face to see Hitomi train so earnestly. You see her control multiple paper airplanes to practice sending multiple subjects into a work of art and safely pull them out and she looks so confident and determined while doing so. She really has come a long way from pocky conditioning and levitating cups. And as adorable as it is seeing her get in the face by one of her paper airplanes, it is a good visual cue to indicate her level of control, ending with her being able to land them all neatly on her desk.
Even this far in, it’s still so dazzling to see Yuito’s drawings come to life. That Iroduku uses this pastel aesthetic sparingly helps keep it effectiveness. It’s certainly more refreshing that now, everyone can enter the art thanks to the combined efforts of Kohaku and Hitomi. Oddly enough, Hitomi can still only see her friends in monochrome while she can see the colors of Yuito’s art just fine as always. I mean, it makes sense within the logic of the show but I was hoping this was going to be the first time she sees her friends in colors.
Surprisingly, things take a very solemn turn as Yuito accidentally peers into the inner depths of Hitomi’s thoughts, mirroring what happened in Episode 6. It’s a very eerie scene; stylistic but in a way different from the pastel or painterly look of Yuito’s mind. First, you see a petrified statue of Hitomi guarding a door and then, behind that door is a younger Hitomi glumly drawing on the floor. You later find out that this all stems from Hitomi’s biggest insecurity and the real reason why she initially disliked magic. How her mother couldn’t use magic while she still could and shortly after, her mother seemingly left her without saying a word.
That context provided makes the symbolism in this scene much more apparent. Young Hitomi draws a princess and a queen which we can presume is meant to represent herself and her mother respectively. A river is also drawn between these two figures, symbolizing the rift placed between them. What really stands out to me, however, is the fact that young Hitomi is coloring with monochromatic crayons. That seems very deliberate given her own condition in real life. Perhaps Kohaku is right that Hitomi cursed herself with magic to stop seeing colors. After her mother left, life would feel less joyous; not being able to see colors then puts the void Hitomi feels in a literal sense. It may even be a punishment as Hitomi feels it’s her fault for her estranged relationship with her mother.
As heartwarming and kind as it was to see Yuito draw something to cheer young Hitomi up, I can see why the little girl rejects every attempt. Her drawings look like something out of a fairy tale but the reality is that this might’ve been the best way for her to cope and wrap her around on what happened to her. She can’t just sail over the river, fly over, or walk across a rainbow to reunite with her mother as Yuito suggests with his drawings. That just isn’t how things work.
And yet, the task of helping Hitomi move on still very much falls on Yuito. Maybe the others will pitch in but right now, it’s primarily up to Yuito. After all, these two still share this peculiar connection together. Yuito’s drawings remain to be the one thing unaffected by Hitomi’s apparent curse; helping reignite a more positive outlook on life. Hell, Yuito’s trademark drawing is that golden fish. Now that seems to bear more purpose after seeing Hitomi represent the rift between herself and her mother with a river. Outside of any of this, Yuito has at least help put Hitomi on the first step towards healing by telling her that it’s not her fault that her mother left, something that she clearly needed to hear. I wonder how well that would’ve gone if it wasn’t someone else lending the helping hand. I just get the impression that it had to be Yuito to say those words.
This arc is, of course, far from over and I’m curious to see how it’ll develop at some point in the remaining three episodes of Iroduku.
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