Concerned by Asagi’s avoidance of her since Sho’s confession, Hitomi follows Asagi and basically asks her if they can still be friends. Asagi, who had been operating mostly on reflex, is relieved that Hitomi reached out, and shares her feelings with her over parfaits.
Sho remains completely oblivious.
Shortly afterwards, Kohaku convinces Hitomi to try to replicate the magic that allowed her to enter Aoi’s picture at the dress-up photo-shoot. Once the pair reach the limits of training with paper airplanes, they invite the club into a picture that Aoi has been preparing in parallel for this purpose. While most of the club explores apart from each other, the golden fish appears again – this time bringing Aoi into Hitomi’s mindscape, where he discovers her trauma.
This episode features two scenes containing enough drama to move the characters in them to tears. They’re well-done, and only serve to solidify the recommendation to watch this show if you’re into that sort of thing. Instead of talking about those things in detail, however (because I am an emotionally stunted nerd), it’s time to go off on a tangent. Who wants to learn about colors?
Much as Levar Burton once urged the viewers of Reading Rainbow to experience books firsthand, I encourage our readers to not take my word for the following rainbow-related trivia (though I’m sure some of you have come across this before): Ao in Japanese does not correlate directly with the color that Americans think of as primary-color blue. It’s much closer to the sky-blue sea-foam kinda color visible in the top-most paper airplane in the above shot. This produces an interesting quirk regarding our two cultures and Newton’s theory of the visible spectrum (bear with me).
As a reminder, Newton interpreted the color spectrum as analogous to a musical octave, and, as such, he assigned names to seven colors seen in the band produced by white light refracted through a prism. Unless something has changed dramatically since I was a lad, all schoolchildren are still told at some point in their youth that a rainbow has these same seven stripes: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Six of these colors serve as the two basic tiers of RYB color theory, with indigo being left out – however (see Wikipedia), some commentators on Newton’s work believe that what he meant by blue at the time would be classified as cyan today, with indigo being the closer analogue to modern blue.
At one point in 2009’s GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class, one of the characters lists the colors of the rainbow as aka (赤), daidai (橙), ki (黄), midori (緑), ao (青), ai (藍), & murasaki (紫) while holding open an art textbook. I find daidai to be interesting in that it takes its name from a medicinal, and—indeed—orange-colored citrus fruit cultivated in the region (Wikipedia again – might’ve been the closest thing they had at hand when Newton’s Optics was translated into Japanese), while ai is simply the local word for the indigo plant, which was already a thing. A six-color graphic further on down the page reveals that ai gets the same short shrift as indigo does here, except that Japanese didn’t evolve to use ao to refer the to color of the dye like English did with blue.
This is all a really roundabout way of noting that the color of moonlight – which is written the same way as Hitomi’s & Kohaku’s surname Tsukishiro (月白), but read as geppaku (for some reason) – is very similar to the lightest practical shade of Japanese indigo, aijiro – written as indigo-white (藍白). This region of color, is, naturally, the same area as Hitomi’s hair and the seventh paper airplane/umbrella. The aijiro connection may not be intentional, but the moonlight one certainly is.
Also, I guarantee that at least one of everyone else’s names are color puns, with Aoi only being the most obvious (according to here, Kurumi = walnut, Kohaku = amber, Asagi = light yellow, Yamabuki = gold yellow, and Chigusa = a kind of teal called Thousand-Herb), and I can’t even begin to wrap my own head around the significance of how Hitomi’s given name is written (瞳美).
Other fun moments are Aoi’s use of Not-National-Geographic as artistic reference, and the brief shot from Hitomi’s perspective inside the picture where everything from the real world (which is to say, her classmates and their uniforms) still register as gray-scale to her even though the environment is fully colored.
I’m eager to hear more details about Hitomi’s early childhood to get a better gauge on the level on contrivance going on, but, otherwise, color me impressed.