Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara Ep. 7: Take your time

Well, I guess it’s time we learn a thing or two about the side characters. And as you can probably tell from the screenshot above, this week’s spotlight is on Kurumi. 

— Right off the bat, we’re told that Hitomi has lost her ability to see colors again. You know what this sounds like to me? It sounds like she needs to spend more time with Yuito. Do these two even have any chemistry? I don’t know. But I mean, do we have a better idea?

— When her obaachan later asks Hitomi why she was even briefly cured in the first place, our heroine says she has no clue. C’mon, you gotta have a clue. She was able to see colors immediately after Yuito told her that he wanted her to see his next drawing. That’s a clue. It doesn’t definitely prove anything, but it’s still something. Don’t shake your head and pretend as though you don’t have the foggiest idea what might have happened!

— I think Hitomi was just super happy in that moment, and as a result, she could see colors again. You don’t recover from depression with a snap of the fingers, so this is going to take some time. Still, at least she’s on the right track… whether or not she wants to admit it.

— Since our heroine isn’t saying much, Kohaku suggests reading her granddaughter’s fortune. More like her love fortune.

Oh wow, great insight, obaachan. What else you got for me?

— The next day, the girls encounter an exasperated Kurumi. Apparently, she didn’t do so hot on her last practice exam. Boy, I’m glad I don’t have to worry about exams and homework anymore. Instead, it’s just boring daily standups at 8 am every single day. God, Agile is stupid.

— If this was possible, mages would rule the world.

— Kurumi ends up chasing Chigusa out of the room when he keeps teasing her. Meanwhile, when Yuito shows up, Hitomi can’t help but turn red. And of course, Asagi is still struggling to convey her feelings to Sho. Still, it’s nice how everyone has paired up more or less. The only odd (wo)man out is Kohaku, but she already knows she’s going to have a family.

— But even if Hitomi and Yuito end up together, I still have no clue how this is supposed to work. Whoops, I fell in love with someone from 60 years ago! Guess I’ll just stay here…? Or maybe she’ll drag him to the future. Well, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Knowing anime, there’s a good chance they won’t end up together.

This show loves its shiny faucets.

— Sho announces that the club is going to have a summer camp for the first years. Oh boy. To be honest, I don’t mind this show all that much. I even kinda like the characters. Its biggest problem, however, is that these kids never seem to do anything interesting on their own. Sure, Hitomi accidentally stepped into one of Yuito’s drawings in last week’s episode. But otherwise, the only thing these kids ever seem to do is hang out together. Well, I guess that’s what high schoolers are supposed to do, but that doesn’t exactly make for an exciting story.

— In fact, the show is almost too-lighthearted. I respect A Place Further than the Universe a lot, because although it had a nice, easygoing atmosphere for the most part, the anime wasn’t afraid to open up and deal with the girls’ emotional issues. Meanwhile, I’ve spent seven weeks with Hitomi, and I still don’t really know anything about her.

— I know she has a low self-esteem. I know she’s not very confident. I know that she acted somewhat depressed early in the series. But why? What made her this way? Shirase from A Place Further than the Universe confronted her issues head on. Meanwhile, it feels like Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara is content to cover up its issues with happy feels. Yeah, it’s nice to have fun and be happy… but shouldn’t we also address the root cause of Hitomi’s issues in case they ever come back? To put it another way, the show has a lot of nice flourishes, but it’s lacking meat for me to bite into.

— Since the third years will be busy, the responsibility for organizing the summer camp falls onto the next president, which is apparently Asagi. Welp, time for the typically mousey girl to take charge.

— And because Hitomi offered to help the girl in anyway, everyone decides to make her the next VP. Uh, that assumes that she’s sticking around that long.

— Afterwards, our heroine confesses to her obaachan that she never used to care about what color something was, but now she does. So Kohaku makes a suggestion: why not just ask their friends? If you want to know what color a sunset is, then pipe up! But again, Hitomi frets and worries, because she’s hidden her condition from them. At the moment, only Kohaku and Yuito knows about the girl’s condition. I still don’t see what the big deal is. It’s not like her condition carries a social stigma like, say, being bipolar. I could understand wanting to hide a mental illness from your friends. But not being able to see colors? C’mon, girl. Chill.

— Again, this is a bit of a Kurumi-centric episode, because we soon meet her big sister. More importantly, the girl feels overshadowed by her big sister from time to time. Her big sister had dreams of becoming a patissier, so she fought to study overseas. It all worked out for her, so she’s encouraging Kurumi to do the same. Needless to say, when the girl is just trying to stay afloat by scoring well on her exams, this is enough to make her feel insecure.

— Anyways, summer camp is here, and Chigusa is the first to whine about the heat and labor. I guess I can’t disagree with him too much. I’ve never been camping, and I don’t think I ever will. The thought of sleeping in the wilderness doesn’t appeal to me one bit.

— You can immediately tell that something is weighing on Kurumi’s mind.

— Meanwhile, the acting president and vice president are trying their best.

— Chigusa inadvertently makes Kurumi feel even more insecure by making a big deal about one of her big sister’s creations. I mean, it looks nice, but… it’s nothing you can’t find in any decent pastry shop. Still, it never helps when your friend even jokingly suggests that they’ll just have to settle with you.

— So what’s the theme of this week’s photo shoot? Apparently, Chigusa is a bit of a romantic. He doesn’t have a girl to model for him, however, so he starts badgering Kurumi. Normally, these two would tease each other back and forth, but because she’s not in a good mood, she shuts that down right away. Nothing wrong with that, but her friends are a bit taken aback. I dunno, I think true friends should see both your good and bad sides.

— When Kurumi goes off to be by herself, Hitomi is the first to reach out to the girl. So the third-year opens up about a lot of things. For instance, both Sho and Yuito are more determined than ever, so she feels left behind. She feels as though everyone has already discovered what they’re passionate about, but she has nothing to show for herself. Eh, life isn’t a race…

Hitomi once again blushes when she hears that Yuito no longer has his artistic block. Yeesh.

— Elsewhere, we see the determined  Yuito, and he’s busy drawing away on his tablet. In fact, he tells Sho that he has to give drawing a shot because someone is watching him. Is he really talking about Hitomi? Really? Just like that, she has motivated him to pursue art? I dunno, I guess I just didn’t realize last week’s events gave him such a profound epiphany.

— Encouraged by Yuito’s good spirits, Sho suggests a friendly competition. I dunno, dude… I think you’ve already lost.

— Anyways, we return our attention to Hitomi and Kurumi, and the latter is just opening up about things we had already guessed. Basically, she envies her big sister, she doesn’t know what she’s passionate about, she doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life, yadda yadda yadda. And again, I must emphasize that life isn’t a race. It’s just too bad that modern society isn’t always very understanding. Gotta go to college, gotta pick a major, gotta graduate on time, gotta find a job, gotta build experience, so on and so forth. It’s easy to say, “Take your time and explore!” But this is only true if you can afford to do so. We don’t all have the luxury to sit back and let life come to us.

— Kurumi tells Hitomi to keep their conversation private, because she’s afraid that Chigusa would tease her even harder if he knew about her insecurities. Well, he’s already hearing everything that she has to say. Not only that, I doubt any of these characters are jerks. Again, this show is too light-hearted that it’s seemingly afraid of conflict. It’s not that I want Chigusa to be mean and make fun of Kurumi, but because everyone is so nice, the show becomes predictable.

— Afterwards, Hitomi bumps into Kohaku working on a spell that will help her friends capture their memories… whatever that means. Our heroine takes one look at the vial and wonders if magic could help Kurumi out.

— This is when Yuito walks up to Hitomi with his latest drawing. He’s ready to show her what he’s been working on. In the distance, Kohaku sees these two get together, so she smiles and quietly walks off to give them some privacy. Again, obaachan is such a wingman.

— Like always, Hitomi’s ability to see colors always returns whenever she gazes at one of Yuito’s drawings. But again, why? What makes his works of art so special? The anime sadly has not even bothered to explain this to us. Just looking at his latest drawing right now, I can’t say that I’m very impressed. I can’t say that there’s anything remotely interesting about it. It’s rather kitschy, actually.

— These two then begin to thank each other profusely. He thanks her for inspiring him to draw again. She thanks him for, well, teaching her more about colors. Thank you, oh thank you, oh thank you!

— You need lows to make the highs feel high. You need highs to make the lows feel low. The problem with Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara is that it’s comprised of almost all highs. So far, we’ve had like… what? Two minor conflicts and they were quickly resolved as soon as they began. Asagi got mad at Sho, but then forgave him within minutes. Yuito got annoyed that Hitomi might have been poking around in his mind, but he got over it in about half an episode. This show has no meat!

— Anyways, Hitomi later tries to cheer Kurumi up by reading her fortune. Well, it’s the same fortune that Kohaku had read to her, but even so, this is enough to make the third-year embrace her underclassman.

— Then Chigusa proves that he’s not as insensitive as Kurumi thinks he is. When the boat that they were hoping to photograph leaves early, he tells Kurumi to just leave their baggage behind and run for the boat. In other words, live in the moment. And on their run, he basically tells her that she’ll eventually find what she’s passionate about. Nothing too groundbreaking here.

— Unfortunately, the kids couldn’t catch up to the boat, so they’ll just have to settle with yet another generic skyline. But this time, Hitomi decides to take Kohaku’s advice from the start of the episode. More specifically, she’ll finally tell everyone about her inability to see colors.

— We’re now seven episodes in and… well… it’s an okay enough show, but it isn’t really taking any risks whatsoever. Kinda reminds me of PA Works’ last anime series, actually. They just play it too safe.

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