After a club meeting detailing the next official outing (to involve dressing up in… late Victorian western fashion?), Aoi discusses the appearance of the golden fish when he used Hitomi’s star sand, and the apparent origin of the motif: a picture he won an award for when he was in grade school. After the outing (or at least after principal photography), Hitomi finds Aoi sketching, but is transported to some sort of bizarre dreamscape before she can strike up a conversation.
Initially, Hitomi’s surroundings mirror the picture of fireworks that Aoi has been working on, but as she ventures deeper, she finds a desert with discarded images, a giant fish carcass, and a shadowy figure hunting a smaller fish into an abyss. When she comes to, she wonders aloud about what she saw to Aoi, who becomes defensive and leaves in a huff.
Even after being reassured by Kohaku and Kurumi, Hitomi panics when she next sees Aoi, as he leaves an exhibition by his former senpai. Aoi, having spent the intervening time reflecting on his actions and discussing art as a career with the exhibition-holder, chases after Hitomi and promises to show her his next drawing. On the way home from this encounter, the golden fish brings color back to Hitomi’s vision.
Man, this show just kicked into gear, am I right? Just plot, plot, drama, drama, boom! I was really expecting a longer lead-up to resolving the color issue, though time will tell if it sticks. In particular, I was expecting to delve deeper into Aoi’s trauma and what the fish really represents to him beforehand, though I’m pretty sure we’ll eventually get around to it. We even managed to work a little B-plot in there with Asagi taking a more aggressive stance with Sho – I’m also looking forward to seeing how that turns out.
Couple of other notes:
Character art is pretty good in this episode, though the number of static shots outside the photography club meet suggest that they’re struggling to maintain it. Backgrounds and music are still top notch. The dream world and the streetcar scene make up for pretty much any other shortcomings.
Things are moving a little fast, and I’m not sure what the game plan is from here, but that might just mean that they’re creating an opportunity to wow me (and the rest of the audience). Here’s hoping!