IRODUKU: The World in Colors – Mid Season Anime Review
Synopsis: In a world in the future where magic is still a part of everyday life, 17-year-old Hitomi Tsukishiro, a descendant of a family of mages, lost the ability to see colors when young and has grown up into a girl devoid of emotion. (Official Amazon Synopsis)
Mid Season (6 Episodes) Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Iroduku held promise, despite a fairly slow beginning. Unfortunately that slow build isn’t a build at all. Instead the series is mired in a generally plodding and subdued nature. Six episodes in and Iroduku has squandered much of its run time, leaving its emotional through line, over arching narrative and more on the floor in favor of grounded character drama that’s often so mundane that it feels altogether boring. Tsukishiro is thrown back in time by her grandmother in order to address the girl’s general depression, realized by her inability to see color. While that premise is ripe for emotional drama, It can instead feel like each episode is little more than watching her run around with the photography/magic club she joins, taking pictures and sprinkling about the faintest of magic.
Linny: If there was a show that could be called EXTREME slice of life, it would be this. Every episode is extremely grounded and mundane as we follow the daily life of Tsukishiro and her gaggle of acquaintances in the photography club. She engages in the most bland activities with her friends and while there are a few moments of excitement, most of the show is like watching a really boring vlog. Even though magic is a part of the show’s universe, it comes off as little more than something akin to herbalist and homeopathic practices and that further showcases just how low key this show is, that even with the added bonus of magic things somehow still feel painfully dull.
Tom: Iroduku also seems increasingly confused on how exactly magic is integrated into society. At times it feels like magic is something foreign, heard of, but rarely seen. Something that instantly gathers people just for the chance to get a glimpse of its wondering spectacle. Other times magic feels akin to as Linny described above, herbalism and homeopathic remedies that are just another aspect in the grand world of life. This inability to settle on what magic is, and how it is perceived, can make the series feel confusing, and it’s especially detrimental when so much of the show is about banal high school drama, making it feel like the fantasy element of magic is at times more an after thought than a truly integral piece to the puzzle.I even wonder if magic is even needed to tell this story. Could Tsukishiro have instead been moved across country to meet the boy who will restore her ability to see color, rather than sending her through time? Could she be a fellow artist rather than a witch? Outside of a handful of visually impressive and fantastical sequences, magic could easily be substituted for near anything else and nothing would truly change.
Linny: Iroduku tries to play Tsukishiro’s colour blindness as some big stigma that she is constantly battling in order to elicit sympathy. However, the way the Tsukishiro behaves ultimately works against her, making life harder for herself than it ever truly needs to be. When Tsukishiro lets the truth slip, people treat her no different and definitely no worse than before. In fact, it’s her early decision to hide it from people that often ends up causing trouble for everyone involved. It hardly seems a shameful secret, and without any characters to instill interpersonal drama over it the stigma Tsukishiro feels comes across as hollow.
Tom: Iroduku had the early makings of a strong drama/romance, but quickly becomes confused about what it wants to be. It doesn’t want to go too crazy with its magic or characters, but that ends up keeping the entire production dull and plodding. Like its depiction of magic, the series seems confused, unsure of what its message or point even is. It’s a shame because the few times the series bucks itself free, and allows magic to really flourish with vibrant visuals and more absurdist imagery, Iroduku sticks out. If only it’d allow its characters to be as equally vibrant than maybe it would’ve become a highlight to the Fall season. But as it is, Iroduku is just another dud.
Linny: Iroduku: The World in Colors might be of worth for someone who likes melancholic/emotional slice of life that go in hard on keeping the tone and characters grounded to the point of being muted and plodding. The show occasionally teases intense mystery and build up with magical and fantastical displays but abandons them so often and so quickly for the every day activities that it’s hard to really mention those as a promising element. Overall, I feel Iroduku is a show for those who like stories that have a chance of producing ‘all of the feels’ but it’s most definitely an easy pass for everyone else, especially anyone who wants something fast paced with energetic elements.
Iroduku: The World in Colors is available for streaming via Amazon Video.