Season aired: Fall 2018
Number of episodes: 13
Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Thoughts: IRODUKU: THE WORLD IN COLORS (Irozuku Sekai no Ashita Kara) is a simple story that takes place on Earth in the future where magic is easily accepted to be a gift that lives within certain families. Hitomi is a girl who is struggling with her own identity as a magician who hates her magic powers and is incapable of seeing colors. Her adventures begin when she is sent to the past without any explanation (which is the present year for audiences) as she opens her heart and her eyes to the colors of the world around her.
IRODUKU is a calm and slow paced story, which I don’t think people expected when they hear stories involving magic. And I think the slower pace the anime decided to take is both a good thing and a bad thing. This anime can get very slice-of-life at times but without the usual humor that can be found in Laid-back Camp or the heavily intense drama of Your Lie in April. As a result, the first few episodes once Hitomi has been sent back to the past can proceed extremely slow. I know for a fact that this pacing is the reason why quite a few people dropped the anime before it has finished. At the same time, however, this incredibly real pacing adds an element of invisible charm that you don’t really detect until the last few episodes where everything has come together and the episodes suddenly don’t feel quite long enough.
For one, I think this pacing helps Hitomi’s character development as she learns to open up slowly to people around her and heal from the fact that her mother abandoned her a long time ago. It doesn’t start excruciatingly slow like Violet Evergarden has, but it doesn’t feel forced. From little subtle changes of her smiles to her more animated gestures, the development had been seamless from start to finish. It also helps the development of the feelings between her and Yuito, the artist boy whose art is the only thing she can see colors, which leads to an extremely satisfying ending of their love story. The last few episodes inexplicably just keep getting better and better as Hitomi’s time runs out with her friends from the past, alongside Kohaku, her spunky grandmother who is a teenager.
Unfortunately, the supporting characters are a bit stereotypical once more (and even Yuito). There’s the bright, cheery girl who makes friends easily. There’s her love interest who’s flirty and a prankster who often bickers with the cheery girl. There’s the shy girl who lacks self confidence and has a crush on the cool, calm guy who takes steps forward without any fear. There’s Hitomi’s grandmother who is eccentric and silly girl that everyone fears yet loves at the same time. And yes, they go through character development, yet the development was relatively small and rather predictable. And because they all start out as such cookie cutter stereotypes, I never really bond with any of them aside from Kohaku.
And a big reason for my love of Kohaku is because her seiyuu did such an exceptional job. That’s not to say that the other seiyuus didn’t do well. Impressively, the cast is relatively new to the industry with Seiji Maeda settling into his very first role as a seiyuu in a supporting role already. However, it really is Kaede Hondo who brings more to the table of this entire crew where her voice breathes life into Kohaku and doesn’t settle her as a 2D character stuck in a screen.
Characters critiques aside, one thing that I cannot find critiques in is the art. Considering that a central theme to the story is colors and the fact that P.A Works produced it, you’d expect no less. But this anime has gone far beyond what I expected. When the magic hits and the world shifts from reality to the art of Yuito’s works, I often find my jaw just dropping in awe at the beauty. The use of light and colors and texture is just genius in ways I cannot describe. The only thing I wish (and this isn’t an official critique) is that since Hitomi starts out seeing things in black and white that the anime would show more of the black and white of her view so the vibrant color changes would be even more impactful.
The art is largely what kept me onboard through the beginning slow episodes that can border on boring at times. However, I am actually incredibly happy that I held onto IRODUKU until the very end. By the last episode, I found the entire series to be incredibly touching. It is a story of not only Hitomi healing and changing as a person because of the people in the past, but a story where the people also changing because of Hitomi entering their lives. By the time the series end, it is bittersweet because people ultimately pull apart as the time slips by, but the people you meet will always change who you are and contribute to the final person you become.
I am planning to rate all my anime based on the anime rating system that Japanese anime critics use. I will have 5 categories, each with the top score of 10, and then a final multiplier of 2.
Voice acting: 7
FINAL SCORE: 76