Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara Ep. 4: Obaachan’s back

And she’s such a rascal. 

This is one of those things that sound weird out of context, but it’s totally true. Certain smells just remind you of home… if you’re lucky enough to have that sort of thing.

— Too bad obaachan is also black-and-white like nearly everything else in Hitomi’s world. To date, only Yuito’s art is special.

— So… no discussions about why Kohaku’s future self sent Hitomi back in time? No discussions about what we’re going to do with the poor girl in the meantime? No discussions about possibly returning our heroine back to her original timeline? We’re just going to go straight to school? Welp.

— How did Kohaku even lug all of these to school? Magic… must’ve been magic.

— Kohaku also shows off her new bag of magic tricks, which includes the ability to make her classmates feel as though they’ve been transported to England. That’s pretty wild. Again, you’d think that magicians would be like rock stars in this universe.

— But all of a sudden, a runaway train appears outta nowhere and makes a huge mess. Kohaku takes the blame, but I’m not so sure that she’s at fault here. The train is so blurry and smudgy that it seemed amateurish, if that makes sense.

— On the school rooftop, Asagi tells Hitomi that she likes cute magic, and she kinda wishes she had the talent to cast a few spells of her own. Hitomi is taken aback, because she doesn’t quite know how to respond. After all, she still dislikes magic at the moment.

— After class, Kohaku wants to walk home together with her granddaughter — what an odd thing to type out — but the latter has club activities. Well, I’m sure obaachan’s just going to join the same club anyways.

— I’m amused at how PA Works likes to show off by rendering everyday objects in 3-D. Ooh, that ceiling fan is so well animated! In all honesty, I still prefer the charm of 2-D animation, so eh.

— Basically, the kids are meeting up so that they can plan for the upcoming school festival. Sho’s not very exciting, so he suggests photographing the night skyline.

— Meanwhile, Hitomi is amazed at her obaachan’s ability to easily make friends. Kohaku’s a natural people person, so I guess our heroine could learn a thing or two from her. This is not such a bad deal for Hitomi either, since it looks like she wants to make friends. She just can’t because she’s so painfully negative about herself. She’s always putting herself down. I bet if you ask her to name one good thing about herself, she wouldn’t be able to give you an answer.

— When Sho lets Hitomi borrow a camera, Asagi mentions how he used to always break it and thus anger his father. So those two are more than likely childhood friends. I wonder if she’s going to feel increasingly uncomfortable as the guy gets to know Hitomi better. After last week’s episode, I feel as though this is where the character drama is headed. I can’t say I’m a big fan of these love polygons, but we’ll see…

— Elsewhere, Yuito’s mom is concerned that her son wants to look for a job. She fears that he’s not giving art school enough consideration. Maybe he’s just that pragmatic about his future.

— Or maybe he’s got his own issues to deal with. Maybe he’s depressed about something, but he doesn’t feel comfortable opening up to anyone about his feelings. After all, I suspect he wouldn’t want to overburden his single mother. Plus, there’s always the stigma that guys are supposed to be emotionally resilient. Oh, they can be emotional… just not weak at the same time. When men look weak, this is a major turn-off for a lot of people, where they want to openly admit it or not.

— When someone turns down an opportunity like art school, the common refrain is always, “Oh, but you’re so talented! It’d be such a waste if you didn’t stick with it!” I think that’s the wrong way to look at it, though. Obviously, if Yuito is passionate about art, then he should pursue it. More specifically, however, I think he should pursue it regardless of his talent level. At the same time, however, that’s sort of a privileged perspective, isn’t it? If you have the luxury to pursue art even if you have no aptitude for it, then you’re pretty damn lucky… relatively speaking.

— Oh hey, Hitomi and Kohaku are finally having that conversation. Kohaku’s solution: let’s just wing it. And as I thought, it was Hitomi’s fault that the train showed up this morning. Yeah, yeah, we already knew that she had hidden magic potential. After all, it’s in her blood.

— Cute moment: Kohaku initially wants to know who she ends up marrying, but she ultimately decides against it. Well, we know at least that it isn’t one of the three dorks in the Photography Arts Club. Otherwise, Hitomi would’ve recognized one of them as her gramps… unless, of course, PA Works pulls a dirty twist on us.

— Plus, depending on what happens from here on out, the future might change. Kohaku might end up marrying somebody else completely.

— Watching these kids hang out in a dark and spooky school later that night, I’m reminded of Another, a horror series by the same studio. Honestly, I thought it kinda sucked. PA Works’s stuff is too pretty for horror. Some of the best horror films have been pure jank, man. And that’s how you approach the uncanny valley. Beauty isn’t uncanny. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be beautiful.

— Still, Chigusa manages to scare Kurumi with his ghost stories, so she refuses to go up to the rooftop. I’d think the rooftop is less scary, but whatever. As punishment, Sho tells Chigusa to stick with the girl. He sounds annoyed, so she looks annoyed in return. Ah well, you two lovebirds should just admit your feelings to each other already.

— Later on the rooftop, Asagi stares as Sho continues to show Hitomi the ropes.

— Since we have two Tsukishiros, the group decides to refer to the two girls by their first names. Well, they all do except Yuito. For some reason, he insists on still calling Hitomi by her family name. Most importantly, she seems disappointed. Hoo boy, I’m not sure where this drama is going, but I’m feeling a little apprehensive about it!

— Elsewhere, Chigusa continues to tease Kurumi. Not much to speak of here. It’s obvious that they’ve been paired up right from the get-go.

— Asagi might worry about Sho’s burgeoning friendship with Hitomi — after all, it might be forcing her to truly reconsider what he means to her — but their interactions are so dry and straightforward, so I’m not sure if she has much to worry about. At the moment, Sho only talks to Hitomi about how to use the camera. Meanwhile, Yuito casually walks up and gives our heroine a whole new perspective on how she sees the world. It’s funny, because on the one hand, he sounds like he’s trying too hard to be deep, but on the other hand, it’s obvious that these two have a certain, undeniable connection. Otherwise, would someone as painfully shy and lacking in confidence as Hitomi be so bold as to admit that she wants to see his next drawing?

— Unfortunately, he has such a flat response to her request. First, it takes Yuito a while to even reply to Hitomi, then he just kinda stares off into the distance. It’s almost as if he answered because he felt obligated to, but on the inside, he’s wrestling with something he won’t reveal to us just yet. What does his art mean to him and why does he feel so reluctant to share it? And if his art is that personal, why does it look so generic?

— All of a sudden, Kurumi and Chigusa run screaming up to the rooftop, claiming that they’ve just seen a ghost. It’s probably just Kohaku messing with them.

— Yep, it’s just Kohaku.

— Obaachan then gives a spiel about how she wants her magic to make people smile. Yeah, whatever you say, Shiny Chariot.

— Then in front of everybody, not only does Hitomi admit that she doesn’t like magic, Kohaku reveals in return that the girl is her granddaughter. Needless to say, the other kids are very confused.

— It’s such a crazy world that people can easily accept the fact that Hitomi is from the future. Not only that, they still see her as their friend. I mean, why wouldn’t they? But poor ol’ Hitomi worries about everything. To be fair, Yuito’s a bit speechless.

Uh, prime focus for what?

— Then afterwards, Hitomi and Kohaku team up to cast this neat little magic spell. At least it’s better than just a boring night skyline.

— At the end of the night, Kohaku teases Yuito for his inability to call Hitomi by her first name. He doesn’t really respond to it. Instead, he only wonders if our heroine will eventually have to return to her original timeline. Maybe he has the same issues as Hitomi. Maybe he’s been abandoned in the past.

— The next morning, Kohaku predictably joins the club, but she’s also merging the Magic Club with it. As for Hitomi, she’s a bit distracted. Again, the only colors in her world exist within Yuito’s drawings. But if he feels as though she might depart one day, maybe he won’t want to get any closer to her. After all, he didn’t seem too excited about the idea of showing her his next drawing.

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