IRODUKU: The World in Colors
Episode 10

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 10 of
IRODUKU: The World in Colors ?

Misunderstandings and misconceptions are relied on for many plot points, and this week's IRODUKU does a good job of exploring a couple of different ways they can be employed. In terms of the positive, Hitomi's refusal to let the awkwardness of Sho's confession to her ruin her friendship with Asagi is not only a wonderful statement of how much her friends mean to her, but also a very nice change in the way such things are typically handled by most forms of entertainment, which are more likely to have us screaming Why won't you just talk to each other, damnit!? than to show actual cathartic conversation. The show's refusal to fall into that trope isn't necessarily new, with really only Asagi's shyness about confessing her feelings to Sho taking the more common path, but this is the clearest example of it working in the narrative's favor thus far. With Hitomi and Asagi both able to see their friendship through the storm, we get a clear picture not just of the strength of their bond, but also of how much Hitomi has grown over the course of the show.

That's important to the building relationship between her and Yuito as well. We know there's a connection between colors, magic, and emotions, and in a previous episode, Hitomi basically walked around inside Yuito's heart, freeing him from his artist's block. Now he gets to return the favor when Hitomi and Kohaku team up to send the entire club inside one of Yuito's pictures as practice for a cultural festival event. Once again that golden fish shows up, and the next thing Yuito knows, he's alone in the dark. He keeps walking until he comes upon a statue of Hitomi sitting outside a heavy wooden door, and when, with some difficulty, he opens it, he finds kindergarten-aged Hitomi drawing pictures of a sad princess separated from the queen by a river. No matter what he does, Hitomi won't accept any solutions he offers for crossing that body of water, although she does eventually let him draw with her.

Metaphorically speaking, Yuito has found the piece of Hitomi who has been frozen in time by her trauma. She later reveals to him that her mother was unable to use magic and simply abandoned Hitomi one day, leaving the little girl to blame her own magical skills for driving her mother away. This is why she has a block against magic and why she feels unworthy of being loved, and while it isn't fair or even really true that the little Hitomi in her heart is holding her back, because deep-seated trauma never truly goes away, she does need to accept her presence there. It's a much more serious issue than bypassing a creative block, and Yuito himself may not feel up to the task of helping her. Given how well she's buried this detail – with her frozen self standing guard outside a barely-openable door – she may not even truly want him to. But he's said the words that may start the healing process, that it wasn't her fault, and even if the misunderstanding and self-recrimination she's been living with don't go away, she may be able to begin to deal with them.

This brings us back to that golden fish. In this case it is a literal light in the darkness that helps Yuito find where he needs to go, the one consistent color that Hitomi sees. As a color, gold has many potentially symbolic meanings, including triumph and illumination, both of which feel plausible within the context of the series. The question is whether those meanings are for Hitomi alone or for both Yuito and Hitomi as a pair.

We're in the home stretch of the show, so we should be getting some answers on that front soon. Hopefully we'll also get back to the quality level the show had prior to this episode as well – there were some very off faces and weird stilted walking this week that don't need to stick around.

Rating: B

IRODUKU: The World in Colors is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

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