Sorry if this post is long but I just had SO MUCH TO TALK ABOUT.
Granny Kohaku finally returns from studying abroad and gets to meet her future granddaughter. I’ve been waiting to see these two interact and what kind of dynamic Kohaku would bring to the group and I was not disappointed. When Kohaku hugged Hitomi, it was basically identical to the hug she gives Hitomi 60 years into the future (down to that ever so subtle finger movement). I couldn’t help but coo at how adorably heartwarming that was. Especially since it’s probably the first thing (besides pocky) that is personally familiar to Hitomi since coming to the past. And I can’t help but feel so emotional over it being the family-centered sap that I am.
As Kohaku returns to school, along the way, we here a bunch of students commenting how the “witch is back”. However, she doesn’t let that bother her and instead reveals to have brought truckload of English tea as souvenirs for her class. After that, the seem excited to see what kind of magic Kohaku had learned while studying abroad. Kohaku initially turns down their requests, claiming she changed and would only use magic to benefit others… until their disappointment gets her to cave in. However, what she does is pretty cool. Just using an image in a book, Kohaku essentially brings the location into the classroom as a kind of illusion, which captivates the entire class. However, a misty, black train suddenly blasts through out of nowhere and I couldn’t help but snort in laughter when the teacher opens up the classroom door only to be hit by a blast of smoke. Kohaku has been at school not even an hour and she already had to write a letter of apology for the umpteenth time lol.
The episode moves right along with Hitomi attending her first shown photography club meeting and Kohaku tags along to see how things are. The club is trying to figure out what piece to make that would combine both photography and drawing and eventually decides on the theme of the Night Skyline. A particular line of dialogue seemed to hit Hitomi a certain way. Yamabuki explains how by using a monochromatic filter, they’d be able to see the skyline in a new way. I feel as if this is a hint to both the audience and to Hitomi that seeing things in black and white isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Which I’ve been saying all along but I digress…
During the scene where Yamabuki was showing Hitomi her new camera, I couldn’t help but notice the shot composition that happened here. There were two separate conversations going on with Asagi/Kohaku and Yamabuki/Hitomi, however, I can’t help but get the feeling that the framing that was done in this scene is foreshadowing to some drama between Asagi, Yamabuki and Hitomi. With Asagi probably being paranoid towards Hitomi and Yamabuki’s growing friendship. Which I hope doesn’t happen since Asagi was the first person to reach out to Hitomi when everyone decided to stay away from her. I also don’t really feel that much of a connection between Yamabuki and Hitomi either. He’s just trying to help her get started with how to do things.
But enough about that weird love triangle (that isn’t even functioning on one end), it’s interesting how this next sequence plays out. With Yuito and Hitomi mirrored in a way that both have no idea what they want to do next though in very different aspects. It seems that Yuito doesn’t really know what he wants to do with his life and would much rather take the easier way out and seek some sort of mundane job right after school. Similarly, Hitomi doesn’t know where to go in her new life in the past. Both Yuito and Hitomi are shown to be facing the same direction while talking about their futures so it may be alluding to the fact that both are equally unsure of where to go but are facing in the same direction, which could mean that their paths are connected somehow. Or I may be looking way too deeply into the shot compositions, but whatever. It’s fun, heh.
However, Granny Kohaku gives some pretty solid advice about how things are more exciting if you don’t know what’s going to happen. That’s pretty much life in a nutshell. You don’t know what’s going to come next whether you’ve planned things out or not. Your plans will more or less always derail one way or another and set you on a completely different track you weren’t expecting. And Kohaku is very right to say to take things as they come. Live each day, day by day don’t stress too much about what may or may not happen. It’s okay to plan for the future, but don’t expect everything to go according to that plan.
It’s revealed (thought it was fairly obvious) that Hitomi has a hidden power that she is not fully aware or know how to control. And it makes it even more touching how Kohaku just took the punishment for Hitomi despite that train being her fault. She just took it in stride all with a smile on her face. With Kohaku now in the equation, hopefully she can provide some assistance to Hitomi’s magical growth and will be able to help set her on the right path. Considering Hitomi may have spiraled out of control without proper direction. Though I have to say that Kohaku’s reaction to asking about who she’d eventually marry and then taking it back because she doesn’t want to know was adorably hilarious.
On the day of the club’s night skyline themed photo shoot, the group gets permission to enter the school and is accompanied by the principal. It’s actually kind of refreshing to see the cast not sneak into school for the sake of their club. It may not be as exciting, but it definitely goes along with how somewhat realistic things are handled. As the group walks through the dark hallways, Fukazawa and Yamabuki start freaking the girls out with haunted stories about their school. Which causes Kohaku to be a bit mischievous and set off some magic to make it seem like ghosts. Poor Kawai is a little too freaked out and refuses to go to the roof so they force Fukazawa to stay behind with her since it’s mainly his fault. And at this point, it’s VERY obvious that the show is trying to push for a Kawai and Fukazawa ship. Though the opening made it pretty obvious to what the pairs will be.
While up on the rooftop, Yamabuki starts to show Hitomi how to get better pictures, which causes Asagi to be a little jealous. Come on girl, Hitomi is freaking new at this. If Yamabuki (aka the class president) isn’t going to show her how to do things, who will? It’s his freaking job to help new club members, SHEESH. But bless Kohaku as she seemed to sense the tension rising from Asagi and distracts her by giving her some snacks. Good job Kohaku, she took the bait!
Apparently having two Tsukishiros became too confusing, especially when both would reply when the name was called. I can’t help but giggle at that since I have a fairly common name and in this one group that I’m a part of, there are a handful of others with the same name so it gets pretty confusing lol. I KNOW THE PAIN. Anyways, Asagi suggests they just call the girls by their first names so it’ll be less confusing. Yamabuki is rather flustered over this since it seems it’s a little too intimate to him, heh. Though it did feel like kind of a douche move when Yuito just called Kohaku by her given name but chose to refer to Hitomi by “Tsukishiro” instead. This guy… it feels like he’s always unintentionally alienating Hitomi. Especially since it did seem to bother her.
However, it does seem that Yuito is trying to be supportive of Hitomi of her colorblindness by offering some positive point of views on monochromatic pictures. I also really like the quote that he says: “With fewer colors, you might come to understand some important things.” There’s a lot of underlying meaning to this statement. Such as, without all the colors to distract you, you can see more subtle things that would normally be overlooked. A DIFFERENT POINT OF VIEW as I say for the umpteenth time in these reviews. Turning it back to Yuito, it seems like he’s struggling a bit with his art. Not in the sense of drawing, but more so what he wants to do with it. Since earlier he stated he didn’t want to pursue art as a profession, despite his mom obvious willing to support him in it. Which is rare since a lot of Asian parents are usually very opposed to their children going into the art field. It’s obvious he really enjoys it, but I think he’s hitting (or believes he is) a dead end in his supposed hobby and doesn’t know where to go from here on.
The moment is broken when Kawai and Fukazawa run onto the roof screaming, claiming that a ghost was chasing them and had actually caught it on film. Though it just turned out to be Kohaku using magic unsurprisingly, considering she was jeering them on earlier. Now, this is where I started having a lot more respect for Kohaku as a person and as a character. While Hitomi scolds Kohaku for doing a magic prank, Kohaku points out that because of it, everyone is finally all together and having fun. Which is very true. If she hadn’t gone and scared Kawai and Fukazawa, they would have never gone up to where everyone else was. Kohaku wants to bring happiness to those around her using magic. Throughout the episode, it is shown that she’s actually pretty perceptive to how people are feeling and will do her part in trying to lighten the mood around them. The best examples being when her classmate was being wary of her, she personally came up to him and gave him one of the souvenirs and then with Asagi where she went up to her and gave her a pocky when the girl was starting to get jealous of Yamabuki and Hitomi, successfully cheering her up and bringing back her happy smile.
Overhearing Kohaku refer to Hitomi as her granddaughter, the group questions them about it. And with some encouraging words from Kohaku, Hitomi finally tells them that she’s actually from the future. I was actually pretty shocked how early this reveal the group came. I expected it to be maybe mid way through. But either way, I was 100% they’d accept her and I was right. They all agreed to keep it a secret from the school since they knew Hitomi would definitely be targeted by curious classmates everyday. Good call.
But man, am I also loving Hitomi and Kohaku’s relationship. It’s super adorable like really close sisters. While it was a small scene, I really loved how she fed Hitomi a pocky and the way she hugs her while reassuring her everything will be okay… UGH MY HEART. It seems she knows exactly what to say and do to help calm Hitomi’s anxieties. Though it also seems to reflect how despite how hyper and crazy her grandmother acted as a teenager, on the inside, she really hasn’t changed much and has always been such an emotionally supporting and encouraging person. Whenever Hitomi says something negative like how she isn’t sure about what she’s going to do or that she doesn’t like magic, Kohaku always spins it around into a more positive thought. Though I’m kind of worried at the same time since it was shown throughout the episode that Hitomi feels a bit envious of how easy Kohaku has with connecting with people. Unlike Hitomi, Kohaku was almost immediately able to spin her classmates’ view of her by giving them souvenirs and then integrating rather seamlessly into the Photography Club’s group. Please… please don’t break this pure sisterly relationship they got going on… I’ll be so heartbroken if that happens.
Hitomi and Kohaku then work together into bringing a railroad and train to life in the sky using Yuito’s drawing, capturing a pretty awesome photo. Afterwards, Kohaku teases Yuito on him refusing to call Hitomi by her first name. Though Yuito ends up asking the real questions about how and when Hitomi will have to return to her timeline. Which caused me to wonder if Yuito is actually Hitomi’s grandfather. You don’t just casually bring up who the grandfather could be and not be addressed later (well if the story isn’t done well). But then there’s also the problem with Hitomi not recognizing Yuito and it would be weird if they started developing feelings for each other if he is her grandfather in the future. I’m sure the three of them are connected somehow considering how the opening has the three of them running (with Hitomi and Yuito running in the same direction but Kohaku is running the opposite way). So this theory is probably wrong but I might as well just throw it out there.
The episode ends with Kohaku joining the club as another add on as the only member in the Magic Club, since she caused some problems that caused the club to be disbanded. So the club has expanded once more to become the Magic Photography Arts Club. That is certainly a mouthful.
The one thing I just can’t understand is that it feels like not a lot happens in this series and yet I have SO MUCH to talk about. There is so much underlying meanings in the dialogue and shot composition that they don’t even have to say what characters are feeling or thinking for viewers to pick up on it. It almost seems like this is such a technical constructed show that the characters are just kind of there to present the ideas. So this series is definitely not for everyone. However, I’m enjoying the heck out of it as there is so much foreshadowing going on and a lot of groundwork for future events that are slowly being laid out.