Finally, we get to learn a thing or two about Hitomi’s past.
— Things are still awkward between Hitomi and Asagi. I guess that’s to be expected. You just feel bad for our heroine, because it’s not like she’s even remotely interested in Sho. She didn’t ask for this. She didn’t stick her nose where it didn’t belong. If Asagi wants to get mad at anybody, it should be her childhood friend.
— Of course, Asagi isn’t actually mad at anyone. She’s just moping. She’s moping because she doesn’t have the courage to face her problems head-on. Not only that, they’re all still children, so they can’t manage their emotions properly. As a result, she can’t even be nice to Hitomi even though she knows that none of this is the heroine’s fault.
— As a slight aside, this is why I would never want to be a teenager again. People like to go on and on about how the high school years were so amazing. No thanks. I’ll pass on having a cocktail of puberty hormones dumped onto my brain.
— Look how carefree Sho is right now. Dude has no clue what his childhood friend is going through.
— Asagi shows up to the club just to announce that she’s going to do an outside shoot. Hitomi tries to join her, but the girl just leaves without acknowledging the request. Even so, our heroine walks out of the room to follow Asagi. She just has her head down. Oh man.
— Sho cluelessly wonders if there’s beef between the two girls. Can’t somebody just knock some sense into the guy? They all know that Asagi is in love with him. It’s not a secret. But no, let’s just mutter under our breath and glare at him instead.
— Hitomi is trying really hard to mend this friendship. She’s going out of her way to reach out to Asagi even though she hasn’t done anything wrong. I guess she’s come a long way since the start of the series. Back then, she probably would’ve just hidden herself in a room and cried.
— Luckily, Asagi finally relents. And now they’re eating crepes.
— The girl even confessed that it felt to her as if it was just a matter of time before she and Sho would get together. I dunno, man. That sounds a bit entitled. Or complacent. Sho’s just too dense to understand her feelings.
— Still, the two girls make up. It only took five minutes, too. Even when drama crops up in Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara, it doesn’t stick around for long. These characters are so nice. They even do that communication thing that I always harp about. Well, the girls do. I dunno about the guys, but they also don’t have any issues to work out. Not among them, anyways.
— Should Hitomi just tell Asagi that she likes someone else or does she not need to?
— The girls then all go do karaoke. Must be nice.
— The next day, Kohaku announces what she plans to do for the upcoming cultural festival: she will use her magic to invite guests into pictures. That’s wild. In fact, people would pay big money for this.
— Dude, could you imagine the possibilities? This is virtual reality taken to the extreme. Imagine staring at an artist’s rendition of an alien planet then finding yourself there. Imagine staring at a creepy painting (like maybe something from Zdzisław Beksiński) and finding yourself exploring a hellish world. This is a whole new form of storytelling.
— So naturally, the kids turn to Yuito for help, because he can paint something “fantastical.” I’m not sure that this is necessary, though. There are already so many amazing works of art out there that they can explore. But this is a show about Hitomi, so whatever Yuito ends up drawing will of course unlock the secrets to her heart.
— Afterwards, Kohaku confesses to Hitomi that it’s actually rather difficult to enter a picture. You need to be able to touch a person’s heart or whatever. As a result, our heroine is going to have to pull this off. She did it once (inadvertently), so why not do it again? I dunno, though. The girl’s so inexperienced with magic. Something might go wrong… in a more serious series. We likely have nothing to worry about here.
— Again, Hitomi would’ve said no to this idea at the start of the series, but nowadays, she trusts that everything will go well.
— Elsewhere, Asagi infuriatingly continues to beat around the bush. You miss all the shots you don’t take, girl. I think Michael Scott said that.
— We see Hitomi practice for the big day by sending a paper plane into a Seurat painting. This is what I’m talking about. There are so many cool paintings to explore! We don’t need Yuito to paint new ones. Hell, it’s a generic example, but I still wouldn’t pass up entering Van Gogh’s The Starry Night.
— So, uh, can you get trapped in a picture?
— Yuito finally presents his finished work. Yep, it definitely looks like it was designed by committee. There’s even a rabbit land for Asagi. Yeah, but does she know that Trix are for kids?
— But of course, to the normally colorblind Hitomi, this is probably the greatest painting she’s ever seen.
— Now it’s time to use our friends as guinea pigs! Amazingly enough, Sho is the only person to ask if it’s safe.
— Sure enough, the kids end up inside Yuito’s painting. This concept has unlimited potential. It’s just too bad PA Works seem as though they’re too afraid to get creative with the idea.
— Look at them just glide down from the sky as if they’re Mary Poppins. Who’s in charge of the physics, though? Yuito or Hitomi? You can’t exactly draw physics into a painting.
— Okay, sure, walking on a rainbow is a little bit more difficult, but that’s what Mario Kart is for.
— Everyone kinda pairs up. Sho with Asagi. Chigusa with Kurumi. Yuito with Hitomi. And of course, Kohaku and a whale.
— The guy is right: Hitomi is in love with his painting, but it’s about a billion times more amazing that she can send them into a picture.
— Welp, here comes that golden fish to muck things up.
— When Hitomi and Yuito follow the golden fish, the guy finds himself in an endless black void. He eventually comes upon a stone statue of a depressed-looking Hitomi. Alright then. I guess it’s time for us to finally learn a thing or two about the girl’s backstory. It only took us… oh, ten episodes.
— Next to the statue is a huge castle-like door. Yuito had to strain himself to pull it open. This is where the painful memories are buried. Casual friendships are all rainbows and sunshine on the surface, but deep down in the depths is where true bonds are forged. God, that sounds so cheesy. Welp, it’s time for Yuito to plunder Hitomi’s castle. Her memory castle, that is.
— Yuito finally stumbles upon a younger Hitomi drawing the same sorrowful subject over and over: a picture of a giant chasm between her and her sad mother. The guy proceeds to sit down and start drawing. He offers various solutions to help the girl bridge the gap, but she rejects all of them. Still, he continues to sit next to her and draw.
— Honestly, I find his reaction to all of this kind of odd. If I was in his shoes, I’d be a bit freaked out. At the very least, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. Nevertheless, the guy acts as if seeing and experiencing this is, well, normal.
— Suddenly, time has run out on Hitomi’s magic, so everyone snaps back to reality. Naturally, the other four had nothing but a blast. But when Yuito turns to look at Hitomi, he sees that she’s in tears.
— Afterwards, the two of them step aside, and our heroine finally opens up about her mother. For some reason, the woman is the only member of the family with no aptitude for magic. One day, she just left. As a kid, Hitomi couldn’t help but blame herself.
— Yuito does the expected thing and tells Hitomi that it wasn’t her fault. It couldn’t have possibly been her fault. Obviously, the woman had issues if she’s willing to abandon her own child. Still, Hitomi regrets not doing more to help her mother.
— So yeah, that’s it. There isn’t really a whole lot of complexity to this story, which is why we spend so little time with Hitomi’s past. All we need to know is that the girl’s ability to use magic drove her mother away… probably. We don’t know that for sure. But even as she tells herself this, she pauses and stares at Yuito. I guess magic helped her find love. That’s hella corny, but it is what it is.
— The girl then wonders what she’s meant to do. She wonders why she was sent back in time. I dunno, to learn that it’s okay for her to love and be loved?
— It’s just hard to imagine how this is all going to work out. Can there honestly be a happy ending between two kids from two different time periods? Will Hitomi just live in the past forever? Is there a danger that Kohaku’s magic might run out and, as a result, Hitomi will be forced to return to the present?
— As an aside, this sort of magic could do wonders for mental health. There are lot of things that bury deep in our past — bad experiences, feelings, what have you. Imagine using magic to unearth these traumas in order to treat them. Oh well.