Damn, what a way to go…
Is this the perfect ending for Iroduku? I’ll admit that I hesitate to say it is. Not a single moment in this episode is godawful but the more I think about it, the more I do think some parts could stand to be even better. More on that in a bit.
But let me make one thing perfectly clear: the final farewell between Hitomi and all her friends is great. It was rough to sit through but only because it was so bittersweet to see. I really like how the spell used to send her back is a collaborative effort. Kohaku has everyone draw their own trail of star sand, thus augmenting her star sand watch with their willpower and desire to have Hitomi safe and sound. It may very well be there to explain Kohaku’s ability to cast magic she won’t be able to master until sixty years later but even as subtext, this makes for one last show of unity from the whole cast. Some of the individual farewells are also very heartwarming. Obviously, seeing Kohaku act like a grandmother one last time still gets a thumbs up from me but I’ll admit that my heart sank seeing Kurumi and Asagi this sad.
Most important about this scene is that you finally have Yuito and Hitomi confess their love for each other. About time that happened. It was close. Real close. Iroduku dragged it out as painfully as it could by first having Yuito and Hitomi shake hands and try to leave it at that. I suppose we have the latter’s self-doubts and related curse to thank since those factors interfere with the ritual until a confession properly happens. It does feel cruel for Iroduku to take the romantic angle now. Lateness aside, such a relationship just wouldn’t have worked out. I’m still glad that these two were finally able to lay bare how much the other person means to them. It wasn’t just Hitomi who was out of touch with life. Yuito was also on the brink of abandoning his passions. Both wanted to shut themselves out from the world and it’s because of that mutual problem that they were drawn to each other. They completed each other and it’s great that they let the other know that even if their relationship must end with some misfortune.
I’m also glad to see that Hitomi has permanently regained her ability to see colors. I was hoping that would happen. With her feelings towards Yuito being the last bit of hesitation in her mind, the curse ought to have been lifted once she reached closure. To somewhat go along with that, I find it really interesting that Kohaku concludes that it wasn’t her magic that completed the ritual but Hitomi’s. Kohaku may have been the one to start the journey for her granddaughter but it was Hitomi who needed to end it. She’s the one who needs to leave with no regrets so it makes sense that she’d have final say on her departure.
Frankly, it’s when the story returns Hitomi to the future where I think Iroduku could’ve done more. I know the present is the core of the story but are we seriously not going to learn what the others were doing for the past sixty years? No scene where Hitomi pays anyone a visit? Not even just a line of dialogue that mentions what happened?
There really isn’t much subtext to go off either. I guess, now that I got to look at them again, Hitomi’s classmates do look like the offspring of the Magic Photography Arts club of old. All that does though is confirm that the ships did sail for Chigusa and Kurumi and (somehow) Sho and Asagi. It is admittedly nice to see Hitomi befriend her friends’ grandchildren but I want to know about said friends themselves. Like, how did Sho’s photography career go? Did Kurumi get into the college that she wanted? Did Asagi write all those letters to Hitomi like she promised? I’m just left with so many questions.
And then there is the bit where Hitomi visits a grave. It’s possible that the grave belongs to her mother but given the events of this episode, I’m more inclined to believe that Yuito did, in fact, die at some point prior to 2078. If that is indeed the case…all I got to say is: what the hell, Iroduku? A bit dark, ain’t it? We’re not even privy to whether or not Yuito found another girl.
At the very least, I would’ve loved to get to know more about Granny Kohaku and I’m not just saying that because she has been my favorite character in the whole show. Imagine being in her shoes. Kohaku firmly believes in using magic to bring happiness to others but in the end, her daughter left after being the first in the family unable to use magic and her granddaughter plummeted into a depression and grew to detest it. Even if Kohaku thought of an entirely different solution, fate has already been set for Hitomi to be sent back in time to go on her own journey. I really, really want to know what must’ve going on her head this whole time. The scene where Hitomi hugs and tells Kohaku that she didn’t fail in helping her is still great but it could’ve been further expanded upon.
At least we found out that she did marry the bookstore owner?
There is one scene from the future, however, that I am entirely pleased with. It’s the part where Hitomi reads her favorite picture book again. As expected, it was indeed written and illustrated by Yuito but what really got to me was how the story is revealed to have been based on Hitomi’s time in the present all along. All the animal characters in the book even serve as the equivalent of her friends (of course, Asagi would be the rabbit). No wonder Hitomi was so drawn to this story as a child though evidently, its message now bears more relevance to her.
Way back in Episode 1, I said that “The World in Colors” is a very apt subtitle for Iroduku. At the time, I meant that more as a joke in reference to how gorgeous the anime looks (and to be fair, it is freaking gorgeous). But now that I’ve finished the show, I realized what exact meaning the creators of Iroduku were going for. Hitomi regains her ability to see colors, sure, but what she really regained during her journey were her emotions. Happiness, sadness, unease, confidence, frustration, peserverence — she’s experienced this all during her time in the present. Simply put, she’s living her life, a far cry from how disconnected and aimless she was when the story started. That is the real world in colors and yes, I realize that it’s a pretty cheesy execution on Iroduku‘s part but there is a real truth to what it’s advocating.
I do think Iroduku: The World in Colors could’ve ended on a stronger note but truth be told, I still think it ended strong. Not knowing what happened the others will forever bug me (and I highly doubt there’ll be an OVA addressing that, let alone another season) but as far as Hitomi’s final farewell to everyone and her overall arc, this episode did its job incredibly well. Again, what a way to go.
Thanks for reading!
Watch Iroduku: The World in Colors on Amazon