I’ll say right off the bat that the show will test a bit of the audience’s patience. The pacing in the beginning is slow and doesn’t jump over itself to sell its core concepts. But that’s not really a negative of the show. I came to realize that the directors wanted to help the characters grow especially with important relationships. From the first few episodes, it’s shown that Hitomi is not a sociable person and finds it difficult to open herself to others. That soon changes when she meets Yuito Aoi and the photography club. Through their influence, Hitomi begins to climb out of her shell. For some reason, Hitomi is also able to see Yuito’s colors in his drawings. This is important as it enables the both of them to connect on a more personal level.
Indeed, Iroduku shines best when it’s able to capitalize on the character relationship development. Hitomi and Yuito is a prominent example. The show commits to developing their relationship from strangers to close friends. It felt like the creators wanted us to experience both of their character growth alongside them. Significantly enough, Hitomi does develop from a withdrawn witch girl into a more mature woman. This is thanks to the positive influence of Kohaku Tsukishiro, who also joins the Photography Club later on. What I find interesting about Kohaku is her outgoing personality and loyalty to her friends. From the beginning, she seems like the opposite of Hitomi and is easily open to others. At the same time, she’s also a bit of a troublemaker for her experiments with magic at school. While I can’t say she is a flawless character, Kohaku brings in a lot of hope for character development. Hitomi begins to regain her sense of magic but also able to make new friends. It’s a very simple and acceptable way to see her character growth.
Now you may be questioning yourself if this show contains romance as part of its storytelling. While the show itself isn’t adamant on building romance, it does exist in some ways. As the story progresses, it seems Hitomi develops some feelings towards Yuito and vice versa. Their photography club president Shou Yamabuki also begins to show an attraction towards Hitomi. Meanwhile, there’s Asagi Kazeno in the club who has an obvious crush towards Shou. You get the idea. Not to mention, misunderstandings ensue early in the series when Kurumi took a video of Hitomi coming out of Yuito’s room. Romance angles exist in the show but really doesn’t overshadow the story’s flow. P.A. Works have been known to make anime with romance content that can get be stale and overly sensitive. Thankfully, Iroduku isn’t the case even though it exists.
Still, the big question to ask yourself is what’s the most you can get out of this show? At best, this show works in wonders as a character driven story with a creative modern fantasy atmosphere. Every character in the show brings something to the table for their role. The show’s main push though is Hitomi for her character growth and self-discovery. Whether you like it or not, the story focuses on her growing with more self-confidence and plays a central part in regaining her sense of magic. She even gets on better terms with characters like Asagi after the two understands each other more. Meanwhile, we also get some unique symbolisms. The most prominent one is the golden fish that symbolizes hope. Not only does Hitomi finds her own world now, she also grows to accept magic. This is also thanks to Kohaku’s presence as she wants to make her granddaughter happy. Magic plays a role and she wants Hitomi to experience the best out of it. As you may expect, the show also contains time travels tropes. But really, this isn’t a show about fixing the past but rather about changing a character in a positive way. I’m probably going easy on this show in some ways but everything felt like it flows so well from start to finish. From Hitomi joining the photography club to experiencing cultural festival together with friends, P.A. Works manages to sell this series as a modern coming of age fantasy.
Even if this show isn’t your cup of tea for its drama, the technical content is a feast for the eyes. P.A. Works once again manages to showcase their talent with high level production quality. It’s very well polished that makes the show itself look like a work of art. It’s easy to also accept the show as a modern fantasy with the relaxing setting and lush backgrounds. Magic itself is portrayed in aesthetic style with blending of unique colors. As it’s part of the plot, the show’s visuals manages to capture the essence of that at its finest. My only pet peeve is the character expressions. An easy finger to point at is Hitomi for having the same face for the majority of the show. I get the creators wanted to portray her as a withdrawn girl in the beginning but it’s hard to sometimes feel empathic about her on the surface. This is a contrast to pretty much almost every other character. As you may also expect, this show is very melancholic especially during some of the more emotional episodes. The theme songs reflects that as well along with voice mannerism in those cases.
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