I have written two articles about hair color in the world of the ongoing A Sign of Affection anime adaptation in my capacity as the internet’s leading 2D anime person hair color anthropologist. The first article examined the overwhelming evidence in episode 2 that the main character in the series, Yuki Itose, began dying her hair a reddish brown when she started attending college. My second article examined a past photo of Yuki’s love interest, Itsuomi Nagi, in episode 5. This photo all but confirmed what I had assumed in my article about episode 2, namely that his silver hair is not his natural color. A Sign of Affection continues to be the most detailed anime I have seen in its depiction of hair color. Episode 7, which I watched on the evening of February 17, 2024, included additional hair color points for Yuki and Itsuomi which were so direct that they do not require us to interpret strong clues. Seeing that there is apparently some interest in this subject (scroll down to “Most-turned leaves of the newsletter week”), I decided to continue my A Sign of Affection hair color sub-series with a look at episode 7.

(See my full collection of posts on hair color in Japanese anime, manga, novels, and games.)

Note: I recommend taking a look at my article on Yuki’s hair in episode 2 and Itsomi’s hair in episode 5 before reading this piece, because my article on episode 2 introduces the series and lays the groundwork for what transpires in episodes 5 and 7. . However, this article can be enjoyed independently because I will reference the key points from my first two pieces on the subject of hair color.

Un-Spoiler Notice

This article contains no meaningful story information about A Sign of Affection. I am strictly concerned with how two scenes in episode 7 address Yuki’s and Itsuomi’s hair color, respectively, and I will refrain from making any unnecessary comments about the story. I would consider it fully safe to read if I had not yet watched the series but were interested in watching it in the future.

Praise for Yuki’s New Hair Color

Yuki’s current reddish hair color combined with her having dark brown hair in her pre-college flashbacks in episode 2 established that she began dying her hair in college. Before considering, let us recall what Yuki looks like when the series takes place.

Yuki Itose in the first episode of A Sign of Affection from the angle of her phone camera, which she is holding above her head.
Screen capture of Yuki from episode 1.

In episode 7, she meets a childhood friend named Mio Ashioki, who is the brother of her long-time acquaintance Ōshi Ashioki. At the start of their meeting, Yuki has a flashback to spending time with Mio as a kid:

Mio Ashioki (left) and Yuki Itose (right) as children in a flashback against a pink background.

Mio used to know sign language and Ōshi still does. As you can see, Yuki has brown hair in her flashback. This is not new since we saw many flashbacks in episode 2, but I thought it was worth including.

Next, we see Mio’s reaction to seeing Yuki for the first time in what seems to be a while – most likely at least since Yuki started attending college. See the next screenshot with Crunchyroll’s English subtitle:

Mio complementing Yuki on her hair color while Oshi looks on. A subtitle from Crunchyroll reads: "You've grown up so pretty! I love your hair color."

You’ve grown up so pretty! I love your hair color.

Mio Ashioki

Mio praises Yuki for having grown up pretty and states that she loves Yuki’s hair color. In light of the fact that we know the 19-year old Yuki only began dying her hair recently, we can take this as proof that Mio had not seen her since she started dying her hair.

There are no further Yuki hair color notes in the conversation. However, there is an additional young Yuki screenshot. After Mio leaves, Yuki and Ōshi have one of their characteristic conversations. After Ōshi notes something as Yuki’s “childhood friend,” the camera zooms in on Yuki’s eye, in which the viewer sees the reflection of child Ōshi as a child, before switching to a close-up on Ōshi’s eye, where we see child Yuki reflected. I will not include a screen shot of little Ōshi since there is no evidence to contradict my view from episode 2 that he does not dye his hair. However, the mini Yuki in Ōshi’s eye has her former natural hair color:

Close-up of Ōshi Ashioki's eye -- in it we see a reflection of a young Yuki Itose.
Young Yuki being reflected in Ōshi’s eye.

Perhaps there is some symbolism here when viewed with my speculation from episode 2 that part of why Yuki dyed her hair before attending college after having previously attended a special school for the deaf for her entire life was as a new, more independent beginning. But further notes on my thoughts here would go beyond the scope of the instant article, so let us turn to Itsuomi.

Itsuomi Showing His Roots

Itsuomi loves to travel. When Yuki first meets him in episode 1, he is returning from a trip abroad and he leaves for another trip not long after his introduction. Episode 7 begins with Yuki in Japan while Itsuomi is traveling through Southeast Asia and India. We are told early in the episode that his trip, which began at the end of episode 6, was supposed to go on for about a month. Itsuomi returns in the second half of episode 7 and we meet him when Yuki does. To begin, see how Itsuomi normally looks with a screenshot from episode 1:

Itsuomi peers closely into Yuki's eyes on a train in A Sign of Affection's first episode.
Itsuomi looks deeply into Yuki’s eyes in episode 1.

Now see Itsuomi when Yuki sees him again for the first time after his trip:

Itsuomi Nagi is seen smiling outdoors in a black shirt. His black roots are showing, overlaid by his normal dyed silver hair.

As detailed as A Sign of Affection is on the hair color issue, I was still surprised to see that the team depicted Itsuomi with his dark roots showing. Having looked at a photograph of him from three years earlier in episode 5, we already knew that his natural hair color is black. We can see that he had not been regularly dying his hair while he was abroad. Moreover, it appears that he was in too much of a rush when he returned to Japan to refresh his hair color (there could be some story significance to the latter point, but that is beyond our scope). See another shot of Itsuomi from the front:

Itsuomi Nagi in a restaurant using sign language. His black roots are showing underneath is dyed silver hair.
Itsuomi is signing here.

Again, the attention to detail is notable. You can see that Itsuomi’s black hair appears at the roots and its otherwise most prominent at the center of his scalp.

I suspect Itsuomi will return to his normal silver hair going forward – but credit to A Sign of Affection for putting as much thought into his hair color as it does.

Previewing Another Hair Color Case?

The end of episode 7 previews another interesting hair color case that I did not previously address in my first two articles. Itsuomi has a close friend named Shin Iryū. Shin works as a hair stylist. I did not cover Shin in my first article because he first appears in episode 3, but I did make a reference to Itsuomi having a friend who obviously dyed his hair. I assumed that his hair color was artificial simply because there are not too many naturally dark blonde Japanese people walking around, and it was obvious from the early stages of the series that A Sign of Affection takes realistic hair color depictions seriously.

Because I have not yet featured Shin on site, here is how he appears in Yuki’s memory of in in episode 7:

A chibi-fied Shin Iryū smiling with sunglasses and dark blonded hair in Yuki's imagination of him.

I can confirm that Yuki’s memory of Shin is consistent with his appearance in the earlier episodes. Now let us see what Shin looks like in episode 7:

A close-up of Shin Iryū with silver hair on his crown and purple-ish hair lower.

Interesting. His crown is a similar silver to Itsuomi, but the lower parts of his hair have a purple tint. Unlike Itsuomi in episode 7, Shin’s roots are not showing, so we can take this as a sign that this complicated gradation is Shin’s own design. He is a trendy hair stylist, so I suppose it fits. Shin has mostly been a peripheral character thus far, so time will tell whether we learn more about the hair of the series’ bona fide professional hair expert.

I wrote a full follow-up article on Shin’s hair color, which we learned more about in episode 8. He is also discussed indirectly in a subsequent article on Itsuomi’s hair color experiments.

Conclusion

I did not expect to write more than one article about hair color in A Sign of Affection, but now we are on article three and still have several episodes yet to air as of this writing. While it has not yet used hair color as a plot point in the direct way we saw from Ippon! Again last year, a careful viewer of the series can draw inferences from the timing of Yuki’s deciding to start dying her hair and Itsuomi’s not touching his hair up before meeting Yuki in episode 7. I would not be surprised if A Sign of Affection provides more to write about in 2D people hair color studies as it moves deeper into its latter half.