The color theme in this show should be pretty apparent to you by now. I’ll start this post with some Ep1 follow-up, and some examples of symbolism in this show.
Rose vs Gray
The connotation of “rose color” in Japanese is almost same as the meaning “rosy” in English. It’s same in that it represents an optimistic and cheerful view, although it doesn’t have the naivete commonly associated with being “rose-colored”. In addition, the color also represents a fulfilling or colorful life. The hustle and bustle of the opening scene represents what it means to have a “rose-colored high school life” pretty well.
Although fulfilling high school life is often described as “rose-colored” in Japanese and you see roses blossoming in shoujo anime and their parodies, “rose color” is in no way the first thing that comes to mind for an average Japanese viewer and vice versa.
High school is more commonly associated with cherry blossom for new encounters and partings, as well as the starting point of a person’s adult life (spring and “seishun”). On the other hand, “rose color”, especially when paired with a lifestyle, is more often associated with glamor of and fame of celebrities and people living to their life to the fullest with successful careers etc.
For this reason, the producers must have chosen to add cherry blossom in the very first scene to associate its pink color of sakura cherry blossoms with the “rose color”, and possibly to retain the “optimistic” meaning of “rose color” rather than simply a fulfilling high school life.
I didn’t include this whole color theme in last week’s post because it seemed so obvious to me, but even after some initial confusion, and decided to wait until this week because I wanted to perfect the lyrics before posting screenshots of it.
The OP, in fact, screams of color symbolism and depicting the colors added to the main character’s life. It’s practically all “colors” in forms of actual saturation or a characters adding meaning and fulfillment to Houtarou’s “gray” view of life and world.
“Rose” in Japanese text appearing out of monochrome textbook in OP. This anime is clearly about the cynical and lazy Houtarou who found school boring (“gray”) finding joy from even the littlest events (“rose”) as his life will probably filled with colors by end of this show.
Saturation boost by characters everywhere.
I had to add “color” in the first screen here because unless we’re translating shallow pointless lyrics, songs must always be translated with high LS-scale for them to make sense.
This section of lyric and video is clearly another metaphor for finding colors (rays of light) in the gray (gloomy cloudy sky) world.
I find this sequence in Ep1 to be particularly intriguing because Houtarou actually painted an entire story originally painted in shades of red (“rose”) into gloomy gray.
I think this is an indirect depiction of his view of life, and repeating the exactly same scene with less saturated colors and gloomier dialog makes these scenes particularly powerful.
I tweaked this line a bit for v2. They were talking about delaying Chitanda’s question, either that same music room one, or the fact that he successfully solved two cases in her eyes will lead to more work in the future, as seen in Ep2. That was mostly likely explanation for his little epiphany.
On to Ep2.
Japanese characters jump out of gray paper and leads Houtarou to an eventful high school life. The letter from his sister is significant in that it started everything. Without this letter, the main character wouldn’t have met the heroine (at least not in a situation where he would’ve been persuaded to actually join this club).
Yes, it’s a really bad pun. 「不毛」 (“waste”) is written as “no-hair”, while 「二毛作」 (“double-cropping”) is written as “two hair production” in kanji.
Also notice the Chitanda Family is supposedly “wealthy farmers” according to Fukube, and it’s a waste if you don’t double-crop a field. I thought it was actually a pretty funny joke.
I like how he’s consistently lazy, but unfortunately, he miscalculated the extra effort that would’ve ensued from actually staying in the library and listen to their mystery.
And of course, there’s no escape once our princess gets interested in a mystery.
Godly execution in this line. I laughed pretty hard at how she just kept invading his personal space. It was also a nice surprise, because I (and I suspect most viewers) expected another entangling charm scene like in Ep1, but he just gave up.
They really like bad puns.
As mentioned in last week’s notes, “The niece of time” appeared in the end is a homage to The Daughter of Time and possibly the line “Truth is the daughter of time, not of authority.” I wonder if his opinion would change by end of this series.
SHAFT-tier text animation going on. Basically 「某」here is “someone” and 「本」 is book etc, and what he’s saying is animated by kanji instead of pictures.
Usually “asazuke” don’t need elaborate, heavy sealing to press it down, but things like nukazuke do.
He wants to choose the lazy gray life, but Chitanda forces him toward the rosy one.
I like how she’s constantly smiling and looks creepy as hell. It’s Houtarou’s internal image of her, as well as the sheer pressure and charisma of her smile that causes him to obey.
Phew! Being Tsundere saves the day.
“I-It’s not like I chose the rosy route or anything… I just have some spare energy left!”
Oh noez, two interested girls now. You’ll be solving school urban legends for rest of your high school days.
Well done, KyoAni. She’s invincible now.
If I were to venture a guess, she or her family has some mystery that need to be solved. “Oreki might just be [capable of solving X mystery].”
Maybe she’s in the Black Widow Society or something, and “Oreki might just be [smart enough to join us]” or maybe even “Oreki might just be [the chosen one in the prophecy]!” are possible… I guess we’ll see in the next episode.
The second screen can either be what I had, or “I don’t belong in this place” depending on interpretation. This scene is another obvious use of color to describe two very different worlds. Judging from his monologue asking why they’re different, it appears like he does want to have a fulfilling and promising rosy life.
Something is wrong with her reaction… Did Houtarou notice too?
She’s way too surprised by it IMO. Maybe she’s a former member, or she has reasons to conceal the archives from them…
This is meant to be a rhetorical question with the edit. It doesn’t imply she has more mysteries for him to solve.
She implies that she did gain something from today’s trip to the library. From what I can see, this mystery only served to confirm his intelligence, so most likely she has a really tough case to be solved by someone trustworthy and smart enough. Trying to recruit him to a secret organization is another possibility.
Apparently it’s going to be repeated a lot. Girls are always so unreasonable.
Cliffhanger ending. I really hope whatever she’ll say will explain her mumbling soon.
They launched Polaris into the sky?! Polaris’s position is supposedly fixed in the sky, so even if time passes, it’ll stay in the same position when seen from Earth… Polaris somehow caused the universe to spin???
I found the show pretty enjoyable after many repeated viewing for the first episode. It seems pretty interesting to me so far, and I hope they can keep it up without having this show degrade into fanservice like the ED.
Episode rating: 8/10