We often times take for granted the things that we should be grateful for and yet, we always assume that the things we need will always stay with us. That’s the kind of impression I’m left with when watching the first episode of Iroduku Sekai No Ashita Kara (The World In Colours).
Thinking about the possibility of viewing the world in monochrome seems like a cool aesthetic, but upon further reflection, colours add a lot to my impressions and connections with the people around me and the environment I live in. Without colour, it’s a loss of not only descriptive visual information but a loss of something tied to my emotional self since colours are always associated to the way we feel.
When we’re introduced to the protagonist, Tsukishiro Hitomi, in the first episode of the series, we learn that she’s lost her ability to see in colour. She wasn’t always that way. When she was a child, she was free to see the beautiful fleeting bursts of colourful fireworks spread across the night sky.
Due to an emotional trauma whilst growing up, she became an introverted teenager who cannot easily express her thoughts or feelings. We can guess from a brief snippet in the first episode that can possibly explain what may have occurred in her past that resulted in her now colourless sight.
Put into a single word: abandonment.
In short, Hitomi is your typical shy female protagonist trying to make sense of the world around her.
Hitomi is the audience’s vehicle to the magical world of Iroduku, set in two different time periods: the first being 2079 and the other, a time period we’re familiar with: 2018. The first episode of the series does little to showcase any true magical feats in introducing the setting, but gives us a taste of what the world would seem like if it were the case that magic did exist.
The world of the future in 2079, however, doesn’t look too different from 2018 because nothing looks high-tech or mind-blowingly advanced in any way. The magic in Iroduku is subtle. Every individual possesses a tiny glowing ball of light, a companion acting like a mechanized tool for communication created from magic.
In comparison, the world of 2018, in which Hitomi finds herself in because of plot reasons, establishes fairly mundane yet interesting distinctions between the future and the past. From Hitomi’s reactions to the 2018 environment, cash is no longer used as a means of payment, no one uses band-aids and the simple act of opening a window is now automatic in the future.
The first episode does well in introducing the key characters and secondary characters of the story.
In order to help Hitomi overcome her trauma and by extension, encourage Hitomi to use magic (which is most likely linked to her trauma), Grandma Tsukishiro decides that it’s a great idea to send her granddaughter back in time to meet her younger self. From the little screen-time Kohaku has, she is shown to be an impulsive character who won’t explain the reasoning behind her actions, although it isn’t hard to decipher her intentions.
In the first episode, the audience expects Hitomi to encounter the younger version of her grandmother but in a great turn of events, she doesn’t. Kohaku is apparently studying magic in England and no one knew when she’d return home. The storyline creates a sense of anticipation for a character who is meant to be, in part, Hitomi’s solution. Her character is described to the audience with through secondary accounts from the Tsukishiro family.
With Kohaku’s impulsiveness, the story nudges the audience to be sympathetic toward the protagonist; even so, I think that I could only respond to the whole debacle of time-travel with a face palm.
The time-travel scene was an interesting way to transition from the future to the past, instead of immediately placing the protagonist into a new scene automatically. The concept of having a character pass through time on a magical bus isn’t entirely new, but there’s something about the look and feel of the blue colour palette and sparkly special effects representing individual moments in time that made the experience unique.
I do have to say, however, that the bus driver knocked me off guard with their random character design – looking really out of place – and made the audience feel just as awkward by the situation as Hitomi.
Another key character who I’m flagging as Hitomi’s main love interest is Aoi Yuito, since he had a notable amount of screen-time this episode. We know little about him however. Yuito is an only child in a home without a father figure and a single mother. Everyone is happy that he has a “girlfriend” and believed that he was solely focused on art. He works as a part-time waiter at a cafe.
The unique part of how Hitomi and Yuito are connected is that they don’t actually meet in person for the first time until the end of the episode. Hitomi basically lands inside of his bedroom (but no reverse classic ecchi scene here folks) and escapes through the window once Yuito leaves for his part-time job, which sparks rumours about their “romantic” or rather strange relationship. The only impression that Yuito has of Hitomi is that she must have been a burglar trying to steal things from his home. #NotTheBestFirstImpression
The character designs are simplistic and at times, the characters appear to have the same face, but each character (who has a particular role in the story) is still distinguishable from the other. However, as an anime created by anime studio P.A. Works, the art in Iroduku is stunning. Transitional cutaways showcasing natural environmental shots or objects in a scene are detailed with textures and vibrantly coloured. P.A. Works excels at focusing camera shots on a particular item to create depth of field by slightly blurring objects that are not the focus of the shot, as well as lighting.
The soft glowing light emanating from the sun or primary light source paired with the natural shadows cast on the characters on screen blended together makes for beautiful visuals. #EverythingFeelsSoSoft
The first episode of Iroduku holds a lot of potential with its stunning visuals. The story’s pacing is not too quick nor crawling at a snail’s pace and the character designs may suffer from the “same face” syndrome but are still unique from one another. Still, I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of emotional rollercoaster P.A. Works is going to set us on.
Iroduku Sekai No Ashita Kara (The World In Colour) is an original romance drama anime created by anime studio P.A.Works for the 2018 autumn anime season. It’s slated for thirteen episodes and currently has five aired episodes. It’s available to watch over on Amazon Prime.
Have you checked out Iroduku? What do you think of it so far? Let me know down below!