Levitating a coffee cup is harder than you think.
— Apparently, Hitomi is not used to carrying a bag full of heavy books. I guess everything would be digital in the future?
— And of course, her new friends immediately badger her about joining their club. Just anime things. Well, I wouldn’t really know. Maybe Japanese students really do care that much about their friends joining the same club as them. When I was in high school, we had one day where clubs would try to recruit people, and… well, that was it. Honestly, you never heard from them again.
— Uh, there are black-and-white photos, girl. Proper lighting and composition are still important regardless of colors.
— At the moment, the girl is mostly concerned with honing her magic skills for Yuito. Well, at least it’s something. What I mean is that Hitomi’s not just drifting through her new life without anything to do. Fulfilling her promise to Yuito seems silly, but I guess you could call it baby steps. She’ll gain a new appreciation for magic, and she might also make another friend. I still suspect the story will try to squeeze in some sort of light romance between the two, but we’ll see.
— Cooking up magic in this universe almost looks like you’re making scrambled eggs. Speaking of which, are their male magicians in this universe? So far, I’ve only seen women cast spells.
— Since Hitomi’s first attempt at levitating the coffee cup won’t work, Pocky is now being used as both a motivational tool and a magic wand. Oops, I meant “Popocky.” Wouldn’t wanna get sued. Shhh.
— Yay, she knocked the cup over. Progress!
— The next day, Hitomi pays the arts side of the Photography Arts Club a visit. And of course, only Yuito’s drawing stands out to her. What’s so special about it, though? What makes it different from any of the other works of art in the same gallery? The subject matter doesn’t strike me as anything particularly unique.
— This girl is so reluctant to try anything. Her self-esteem has bottomed out, because she’s afraid to even try her hand at painting. Why did she bother to put on the apron then?
— Despite Hitomi’s utter lack of confidence, she still manages to produce something that impresses Yuito. In fact, he’s in awe of her use of colors. This can’t be her first time painting. I’ll bet you anything that something in her past must have scared her away from it.
— And yet, she keeps apologizing… for what? People are polite if they apologize. They become annoying if they do it for no good reason.
— Anyways, Sho and the rest of the photography gang show up and steal Hitomi away for the time being. Time for a history lesson about the club and its members, I guess. We get to learn exciting factoids like how Asagi likes taking pictures of rabbits and bugs.
— Also, Sho and Yuito are best friends! Gosh, I hope best friends don’t end up fighting over the same girl!
— The gang then invite her to go take pictures of other clubs, but of course, Hitomi is afraid that she’ll get in their way. Luckily, these guys just kinda strong-arm her into coming along with them. Imagine if our heroine was both depressed and stubborn. Boy, she’d never find herself out of this mess.
— Man, we still haven’t met obaachan from the past.
— Asagi kinda has an odd expression here. She’s in the middle of taking a picture of her friends. I don’t wanna read too much into things, though. This is just something to keep an eye on.
— On that same note, Kurumi and Chigusa also like to tease each other…
— Sho is surprisingly bad at keeping it simple. He nearly scares off potential recruits by rambling on and on about the finer details of photography. Those things can come later. You just want people to have fun in the first place.
— Still, I don’t know why any kid in this day and age would be intimidated by photography. If you have a smartphone, you have a camera. If you have a particularly expensive smartphone, you actually have a pretty decent point-and-shoot camera. Sure, you can get better results with specialized equipment, but… this is high school. And with Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and other forms of social media, everyone’s an amateur photographer nowadays.
— Sho has to run off at one point in order to photograph the Drama Club. The rest of the gang needs a new model, so of course, they rope the heroine into it. After all, she’s the prettiest character on the show, right?
— At first, Hitomi refuses to be the model, but when Yuito says she’ll be fine, she relents. Man, what is so special about this guy? Is he just that hot? Are his drawings just that dope?
— Aw, don’t call the girl your new hope. You’re just putting more pressure on her.
— Naturally, magic is involved. Our heroine, however, runs into trouble because she can’t see colors. As a result, the vials all look the same to her. Why not ask for help? Well, just look at Hitomi. The girl’s scared to do anything. She’s probably deathly afraid of looking helpless, too.
— Still, magic must have existed for quite some time now since everyone treats it like an everyday thing. I wonder how it even got started in this universe.
— So far, everything’s going fine. Despite using the wrong vial, the girl is walking across the pool without any issue. Hell, snow is even falling from the sky. She’s drawing upon her own magical potential without even realizing it.
— Unfortunately, Kurumi just had to break the girl’s concentration, so she immediately falls into the water. I half-expected someone to heroically dive in to save her, but alas…
— On the one hand, Hitomi could definitely learn to be more assertive. Yes, she needs to be able to stand up for herself and say no every once in a while. But on the other hand, it’s not like they’re asking her to do drugs or anything illicit. Sometimes, you just need to let go and stop being so scared to live your life. We’re talking about walking across a pool. I’m a killjoy and even I wouldn’t have issues doing that.
— In the aftermath, Yuito realizes that she can’t actually see colors. Will she confess that his drawings are the exception? Kinda. But nevertheless, she wants him to keep it a secret. Why? This isn’t like a scarlet letter. This is nothing to be ashamed of. Why is she so afraid?
— That’s not a good attitude to have.
— At the end of their conversation, Hitomi runs off as if she can’t take it anymore. Meanwhile, Yuito just stands there kinda speechless, because he can’t imagine a world without colors. I’m sorry, but as much as I’m enjoying this series, they’re being a little too dramatic about this. Yo, just put on some old black-and-white movies. Voila, you’ve just imagined a world without colors. In fact, we even used to dream in black-and-white. It’s not that big of a deal. It sucks, but it’s not life-ending. Not even close.
— And of course, I know that the girl’s inability to see colors is just a metaphor for depression. But therein lies the problem. Depression is a big deal. Depression is an illness that requires treatment. But when we dance around the delicate topic and thus reframe it as some weird inability to see colors, the issue suddenly loses a lot of its weight.
— Later that day, the rest of the gang thinks that Hitomi won’t join the club after what they’ve put her through. Well, knowing anime, I’m sure they don’t really have anything to worry about.
— The next day, Kurumi calls out to Hitomi at the shoe lockers, but the latter immediately turns and runs off. Uh, awkward. Kinda rude, too. She also avoids Asagi’s gaze in class, which makes the girl nearly blubber. Geez, you guys. This is much ado about nothing.
— After class, Hitomi ends up escaping to the rooftop to munch on Popocky. She does at least tell herself that she needs to address the others properly at some point. I guess Popocky gives you confidence and courage.
— Apparently, the Photography Arts Club are being punished for misusing the pool. Even so, Hitomi will help them clean the whole thing. They don’t have a spare outfit for her, so the poor girl has to clean in her school uniform.
— Yuito sees a rainbow in the sky, which reminds him of Hitomi’s inability to see colors. He then brings up the fact that Sho takes monochromatic photos, which is something that Hitomi should have no issues with. Before anyone could even invite her, our heroine blurts out that she would like to join the club. Well, that’s that, I suppose.
— Everyone’s happy… but again, Asagi has an odd expression on her face. She’s not unhappy, but she’s not exuberant like her friends either.
— Right before the episode comes to an end, we see that obaachan is on her way home. Sounds like obaachan’s going to be a pain in the butt too.
“Still, I don’t know why any kid in this day and age would be intimidated by photography.”
Because many people, for whatever reason, don’t realize that a standalone camera and their smartphone are actually the same thing… There’s still a perception of what a photographer is, and that includes complex and expensive equipment.
I deal with this on a daily basis in the local FB photography group that I run.
Then the club’s approach is wrong. Should’ve just had people take pictures with their phones to begin with, then slowly introduce other stuff. With modern phones, you can get decent looking pictures anyway. Good enough for a high school club.
Good enough to win low level competitions too! Two of the five best-of-class winners at our county fair were taken with smart phones.
About Japanese students and club things…it’s true, club is very important. “Circle” is a very important concept in Japanese social activities, especially school children. In fact many highschool students and university undergraduates would not socialize much with people outside their clubs. It’s not to the degree that anime depicts, but it’s true. Getting into a club is important.
When you get to post-graduates though, almost nobody care much about club activities anymore. Part of that is because postgrad students are usually pretty busy with reports and research. But it’s also partly because when you get older, you realize that kind of stuff are actually not that important in life as you think it was…
What a contrast. You only join clubs here in order to pad your college applications. I also doubt the clubs at my public school got any funding or guidance from the school.
Of course there are students who just pretend to be in a club for their college application too, but there are many people who are very passionate, or at least diligent with club activities. And you could find many odd clubs too, just like in anime. My university got Touhou and Kancole research club, RPG-in-real-life (whatever the hell it means) club, karuta club, raiway research club. And there’re more unofficial circles that I could not understand what the hell they are doing…
Yeah, I only had one friend who joined a club, and he only did it to meet girls.