Hitomi is a mage with a problem that is possibly or possibly not related to her use of magic. Where once she could see in color, Hitomi now only sees the world in monochrome. At first, this plot element feels a bit kitschy. The initial episode swings us between full color and short black/white/grey scenes to remind of of her colorblindness. Of all the unique elements in the episode one—the others being the time travel mechanism, an automated vision of the future, and the everyday use of magic—this was the one that was most problematic. That is, at least, not until the final scene, which was absolutely breathtaking.
Tracking down Aoi, the boy who has possession of a treasured earing that she dropped when she herself fell from 2078 into 2018, Hitomi sees one of his art pieces in full color. She imagines the drawing of a rainbow and dragon leaping off the page and becomes lost in the exuberance of once again seeing the full spectrum.
There’s obviously something magical at work here. While monochromacy is a condition that’s symptomatic of eye disease in humans, Hitomi’s ability to suddenly see color shows us that something else is amiss. Could it be related to her use of magic? Could it be that Hitomi’s stupor, possibly depression, be the cause of her condition and not a result of it?
It must be frustrating to be Hitomi, to deal with the difficulties of navigating a world of greys and knowing that you’re missing so much (like the fireworks that open the series). But it seems that she’s resolved to living with this condition—that is, until she comes alive after seeing Aoi’s tablet. That scene reminded me of my own challenge, one where I don’t really think much about what’s wrong until I see what’s right.
This past Sunday, I had a wonderful time praising God at my church. We have a terrific band with talented musicians that also select songs which are really convicting. One line in a song I’ve sung dozens of times particularly stood out this time, though: “Jesus, you make all things new.” It’s a beautiful line and it spoke to me right when I needed to hear it. I’ve become complacent in my sin and I know its impacted me—the way I care for others, the way I love my family, the way, even, I run this blog. But that sin has already been washed away, and I need not wallow in guilt. I’m not who I was, and need never be that way again.
Hitomi’s reaction was much like my own. I lifted my hands in praise, while Hitomi literally dances. This timid, reticent girl spins around in a circle, forgetting the stranger in front of her. Her world, if only for a moment, is made anew.
When she snaps back to reality, at Aoi’s questioning, the world of colors retreats back to grey. When I left church, I retreated as well, and repeated some of the same sins I was sure I had become strong enough to repel. But even in our short moments of the joy, this is much is true for both Hitomi and myself: the colors are real and they are amazing. And there’s hope, yet, that one day they’ll be permanent.
IRODUKU can be streamed on Amazon Prime.