IRODUKU: The World in Colors
by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 11 of
IRODUKU: The World in Colors ?
Remember when the bookstore clerk was reading Alison Uttley's A Traveler in Time? That was definitely more than a throw-away reference, as it turns out, and may in fact be the inspiration for this entire series somewhere down the line. (Although that could also just be me being way too excited at finding a now-obscure literary reference twice in a single show.) When Hitomi vanishes for a moment at the beginning of the episode, Kohaku immediately sends an email to a magic professor she had in England – Lavinia Uttley, who would be the right age to be Alison's granddaughter if she existed. (Implying that in this world, Alison Uttley's novel was perhaps nonfiction?) Lavinia is apparently an expert in time travel magic, and she warns Kohaku that Hitomi must be sent back to her original time as soon as possible, because as a time traveler, the universe is actively trying to correct the historical anomaly. But instead of sending her back to the future, history will just stick her in a hole in time somewhere and forget about her.
If we take the idea that Uttley's novel – about a girl going back in time and trying to save Mary Queen of Scots – is perhaps nonfiction in the show's world, or at least better known than presently, Kohaku's panic takes on an even larger significance. She's the only one of the characters who has been actively studying time magic, after all, so it would make sense that she'd feel the greatest sense of urgency here. Hitomi can't quite bring herself to accept that she has to return to her original time, which feels like it will undo everything she found and learned in the past, whether or not that's true. Asagi seems to understand the consequences of Hitomi going back the most fully of everyone – as in, she'll be gone from their lives for sixty years at the least if they ever see her again – with Yuito joining Hitomi in apparently trying not to think about it. It's clear that he doesn't want her to go, and certainly not in just two days, which may lead those hoping for a happy ending in the Disney sense to worry that it might not happen after all.
And it may not. That's the thing about endings – they aren't required to fit any one definition of “happy,” and we could argue that Hitomi learning to live more than she was before her trip to the past would constitute a happily-ever-after. But I'd be lying if I didn't say that I'm not hoping for some kind of loophole to pop up. And that does seem possible: after all, much of this show has also been about Hitomi learning to control her magic and to accept it, with the realization that she's a very powerful mage indeed. If she's going to be helping Kohaku to cast the spell, her own desire to stay in the past could prove strong enough to alter things, as could her connection with Yuito. Twice now they've been able to enter each other's metaphorical hearts with her magic, and that speaks of a very powerful bond between them, one that even History might think twice about severing.
The fact that the ceremony will take place on the night of the new moon may also prove significant. Mythologically speaking, at least in the sense of Greco-Roman (and more specifically pre-Olympan Greek myths), the new moon is associated with the goddess Hecate, part of the maiden/mother/crone trinity of moon goddesses. Hecate's moon is when her powers as the goddess of magic are strongest, which is why Kohaku wants to cast the spell then – but that could also make Hitomi's abilities particularly strong and counterbalance Kohaku's spell. That Hecate is also the goddess of the crossroads may also prove significant, because Hitomi is very much at that crossroad right now, and there's no guarantee which role Hecate will be playing when her moon rises.
The waning moon, the title of this week's episode and also the “Kagen no Tsuki” in Ai Yazawa's manga of the same name, does symbolize the waning (fading) of power, among other things. It's a bit of a last chance, symbolically speaking, representing the fading of the mother into the crone. But the cycle begins again when the moon begins to wax once more. If Hitomi and Yuito's relationship can make it through the dark of the moon, maybe we'll get that Disney ending after all – or at least Hitomi will come out stronger on the other side.
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