Why must you do this to me, Iroduku?
So, a couple weeks ago, DerekL over at Apprentice Mages Lounge brought up in the comments that the temporary effects of Kohaku’s time magic might foreshadow what will happen to Hitomi. If everything eventually reverts back to a previous state then surely, Hitomi gets sent back to the future once her grandmother’s spell wears off. That sort of happens here in Episode 11 though what actually is the case is much more worrisome. Granny’s magic is starting to wearing off but since Hitomi is from the future, the timeline is displacing her into this sort of purgatory space called a “time gap” as it tries to restore itself. We could question the logic behind this all we want but the point is that Kohaku needs to master time magic fast or else Hitomi will cease to exist entirely. It’s a pretty dark possibility, especially for a show this down to earath, but it is making Iroduku‘s final stretch quite poignant.
The manner in which Hitomi disappears from the fabrics of reality is itself executed very well. No fancy graphical effects or anything, just a simple cut between her present on the screen and then her suddenly omitted from it. It actually kind of reminds me of how the characters in Angel Beats! disappear when they decide to move on. Fitting considering that both that and Iroduku are shows animated by PA Works. The first time around, it’s a complete jump cut and it occurs right at Asagi’s peripheral vision. It lends the others some credibility over now believing Asagi’s claim while Kohaku and you, the viewer, can still raise an eyebrow over what happened. The second time, however, is more explicit with Hitomi practically disappearing in front of Yuito, thus sending him and everyone else into a panic.
Obviously, the gang manage to find Hitomi. The one reassuring thing is that if Hitomi comes back, it’ll be at the same spot. Even so, I find the image of Hitomi resting on the bed of flowers nearby so ominous. She looks like she’s dead and given what’s stake, she might as well be if things go south. One very subtle detail that I love is the little train droplet that trickles down her hair and then her eyes. As it falls down from her eyes, it makes it look she’s shedding a tear which could denote how Hitomi feels. After all, she wants to stay in the present. She doesn’t want to go back to her time and leave behind all the friends she’s made.
This sure is an interesting episode for Kohaku. Props to her for immediately noticing what’s wrong with Hitomi but imagine the pressure she must feel now. It falls entirely on her to send her granddaughter back to the future but with she is now, she’s nowhere near the level of her future self as far as Time Magic mastery is concerned. There’s also the matter of gathering the right materials. Kohaku does luck out with the beach gaining a surplus of Star Sand after a typhoon passed but collecting all that stuff still looks like a grind.
You can also tell that Kohaku is deeply worried that Hitomi will disappear before preparations are complete. As Hitomi rest from her second disappearance, Kohaku keeps an eye on her. She hesitates to get rest out of fear that Hitomi will disappear before she know it and only agrees to do so after the suggestion of her grandmother. Later you find out that Kohaku tied a rope around hers and Hitomi’s wrists. I’d question how well that could keep the latter close by but it’s the gesture that counts and it seemed to have given the former some piece of mind.
Some of the other characters’ reactions to the situation is worth noting. Asagi shuts down pretty quickly since good or bad, the result of what will happen is Hitomi leaving the present. It may sting more since the two of them just reconciled after the drama with Sho. Eventually, she turns around though, concluding that her remaining time spent with Hitomi should at least be fun. In sharp contrast you have Chigusa who is awfully calm about the situation. A bit presumptuous of him to assume that Kohaku could, at some point, bring Hitomi back to their time. Then again, this kid has generally lived in the moment of things. There’s no doubt that he’s as upset as everyone else but perhaps his personality is letting him stomach this better.
Now, what to make of that final scene between Yuito and Hitomi? I mean, if that wasn’t them declaring their love for each other, I don’t know what is. Whether or not their relationship is truly romantic, this scene still packs quite the emotional punch. Iroduku has occasionally been showing Hitomi looking over at Yuito’s house from her room and this episode finally followed up on that. She sends paper airplanes over with magic (I guess she doesn’t have a phone?) to get Yuito’s attention and then the two signal to each other with their lights. I get the impression that Hitomi’s plan was to write messages on the paper but when it becomes clear that Yuito was running towards her, she decides to follow suit. Having them meet in person again works better anyway. Goodness, that hug. It says everything about what those two are currently feeling. The clock is ticking here and for all they know, every moment they spend with each other could very well be their last.
This is going to be a bittersweet ending, isn’t it?
Thanks for reading!
Watch Iroduku: The World in Colors on Amazon