Ayumu MuraseKaori IshiharaSumi ShimamotoKeiko Han
Iroduku: The World in Colors
Also known as: Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2018
Director: Toshiya Shinohara
Writer: Yuuko Kakihara
Actor: Aika Oomae, Ayumu Murase, Emiri Tachibana, Haruka Ominami, Hidenari Ugaki, Ikumi Hasegawa, Junichi Suwabe, Kaede Hondo, Kana Ichinose, Kaori Ishihara, Keiko Han, Mayu Kudou, Nao Toyama, Sayaka Ohara, Seiji Maeda, Shoya Chiba, Sumi Shimamoto, Takako Honda, Toshiyuki Morikawa
Keywords: anime, SF
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 13 episodes
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=20794
Website category: Anime 2018
Review date: 9 November 2019
Irozuku Sekai
It's a beautifully made, sensitive story about quiet people learning to unfold. I liked ep.1 a lot. Unfortunately it can also be a bit soporific. It won't necessarily have the firmest grip on your attention.
It's set in a version of the real world where there's a bit of magic. You can sell it in shops. Tourists probably buy it. Technology, electricity and the internal combustion engine all seem to be normal, so it doesn't look as if magic is being exploited on an industrial scale. It's just there, quietly, in the corners. Hitomi Tsukishiro has some magical ability, but she's also colour-blind, emotionally cut off and a magic-hater.
Her granny, Kohaku, is good at magic, though. Granny decides that what Hitomi needs is to be sent back sixty years into the past, to the year 2018.
This is likeable and quite interesting, as are the people Hitomi meets there. She meets her family in the past, who accept her and give her a place to stay. She meets a boy who can draw pictures that make her see colours again. She meets the school photography club.
...and that's it, really. Nice classmates take photos and try to help Hitomi, sometimes with the possibility of romance. It's pleasant, but hardly dynamic. Does this show have a plot? Hmmm. Depends what you mean by "plot". There's a little chain of "girl likes boy who likes girl who might like boy, maybe", but it's a comparatively understated element and it's all resolved quietly and gracefully. Stuff I remember from this series tends to be non-plot things like the magical colour painting imagery and the charm of the school culture festival. As for Hitomi, she's a passive protagonist, apologising a lot and trying not to touch the world. Her big personal issue is whether or not she can see colours. She's a nice enough person, but it's as if she's stuck in neutral. She doesn't drive things forward. She doesn't change things. It might be a stretch to call her a protagonist, in fact, rather than just the person to whom the series happens. If you're looking for someone who does things, try Kohaku.
What's the show trying to do, then? It's about emotional journeys and realisations. Half the cast is being blocked by something that, ultimately, is just created by themselves. (Hitomi, for instance, takes forever to tell everyone that she's a time-traveller and that she's colour-blind. I don't want to call her an idiot... but she's an idiot.) There's gentle, sensitive exploration and development of this. There's also delicate characterisation. Note the way that Kurumi feels the need to apologise for ruining the mood in ep.7, when her out-of-character harshness had been just one simple, straightforward line delivery. Aoi's problems include an inability to snap at people who are asking for it, e.g. Chigusa in ep.2 or his one-track-mind mother. (I wanted to climb into the episode and say, "Mate, you're allowed to tell these people to bugger off.") The people with problems tend to be the introverts, whereas the fun-loving extroverts don't tie themselves in knots and just get on with stuff.
The English-subtitled episodes have a surreal disclaimer, though. "Some viewers might find this work disturbing as it may contain strong language, a degree of violence or adult situations. Please watch it at your own risk." This is absurd. The show would be fine for grannies and infants, with the only risk being to your boredom threshold. The only disturbing thing about it is the presence of that flipping warning. Personally, I diagnose paranoia over America's Bible Belt. (You know, the kind of fundamentalist evangelicals who are why there's a wikipedia page for religious debates over the Harry Potter series.)
It's a nice show. Thoroughly nice, beautifully animated and a feast for the eyes. I love how it handles colour breaking into Hitomi's black-and-white perception, with that golden and slightly prehistoric-looking fish. (It's the jaws.) However I'll be blunt and admit that my attention wandered a bit while watching these episodes and I deleted them afterwards. It's also mature, sensitive and lots of other praiseworthy adjectives, though.