I regularly write articles about understanding hair color in Japanese anime, manga, light novels, and games. This article, which will cover the hair color of a 17-year old young woman named La in a visual novel called True Remembrance, will be a unique entry in the series. True Remembrance explains why La’s hair color stands out from the rest of the cast, but I will not share the full explanation because (1) I cannot discuss it in a spoiler-free way and (2) True Remembrance is a great freeware visual novel so you should read it and learn the answer for yourself. But despite this self-imposed restriction, I will be able to discuss La’s silver hair in a meaningful way.

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

Before we get to La’s hair, I will offer a brief introduction to the novel. True Remembrance is a freeware doujin visual novel that was first published in Japan by Satomi Shiba in 2003. In 2008, Mr. Shiba worked closely with Insani, an English visual novel circle, in producing an official English-language version of the novel, which was first released in 2008 and remains free to download and play. I wrote a full review of True Remembrance on February 29, 2024, and I had previously designated it as an honorable mention on my list of video games that left the biggest impression on me.

In my first article on understanding hair color in Japanese media, I argued that we must first understand the world in which the media takes place to understand whether any unusual colors are meant to be taken literally. True Remembrance takes place in a nameless walled city in a world that is ravaged by pandemic depression called The Dolor. The city is occupied by Mnemonicides, special people with the power to remove or suppress memories of the Dolor-afflicted in order that they can return to the outside world and live reasonably healthy lives. There is no indication in True Remembrance that the walled city is in Japan or that the characters are all supposed to be Japanese. In fact, I suspect that Mr. Shiba’s aesthetic inspiration was European.

The novel’s story begins with Blackiris, a powerful Class Alpha Mnemonicide, who is tasked with the care of an unusual patient – a 17-year old girl who goes by La. But we are not interested in the particulars of Blackiris’ job – we are interested in hair color. Below, see Blackiris, La, and a third character named Rook.

Scene in True Rememberance featuring Rook, La, and Blackiris in a cafe. Rook, whose name is indicated as Young Man in the text box, says: "Welcome. The name's Rook, and the honor's all mine. Don'tcha be forgettin' me now, okay, little lady?"
Left to right: Rook, La, and Blackiris. Rook is the speaker.

Blackiris has dark hair – it appear as black but it could plausibly be dark brown. Rook has rusty brown hair. In light of the fact that there is no indication the characters are necessarily Japanese – Rook and Blackiris have plausibly real hair colors. La, on the other hand, appears to have silver-gray hair. While many people in the world have silver-gray hair, most of them are not 17-year-old young women. So, we can file this away as unusual. I recently reviewed one case of a character in an anime series with a Japan-setting whose hair is dyed that color, but I will submit from the outset that nothing about our initial impressions of La or the depressing walled city in which True Remembrance takes place would lead one to think La is a likely hair dyer. But before we jump to conclusions, we should see if True Remembrance introduces additional characters.

Blackiris and La meet a boy named Mar:

A pensive Mar next to a smiling La in La's home in True Remembrance. La says: "The more powerful the Mnemonicide, the more bizarre he tends to be. An Alpha like Blackiris here will almost always be a royal pain in the neck ... or so it is written."
Mar (left) and La (right).

Mar appears to be blonde. Because True Remembrance does not suggest the characters are Japanese, there is no reason to believe that Mar is anything other than a natural blonde.

We then meet a young woman named Irina:

Scene featuring Irina, La, and Blackiris in Blackiris' and La's home in True Remembrance. Both La and Blackiris have normal expressions, but Irina looks pensive. She says: "Huh...? Obviously, in order to be cured. Whyever else would I...?"
From left to right: Irina, La, and Blackiris.

Irina has brown hair. Another character with an apparently natural hair color. One may begin to suspect La is unique.

I will not go through all of the characters who make appearances in True Remembrance, but I will share the next character who has a portrait:

Blackiris outside with a woman in True Remembrance. The dialogue reads: "We walked along for a while. We said nothing to each other."
Woman with Blackiris.

This woman has light brown hair. Of the first six characters who appear – everyone has normal hair colors except for La. There are a few potential explanations for La’s hair color:

No one comments on La’s hair in the earliest chapters of the novel. But I was on the lookout and made sure to capture the first La hair reference, which occurs some time after we meet Rook, Mar, and Irina:

A blushing, irritated La stands next to a normal looking Blackiris in a mansion. The dialogue, reflecting Blackiris' internal thoughts, reads: "It looked kind of ominious, to tell you the truth -- those slender legs piercing into La's silvery hair. I made as if to brush the butterfly away, but stopped when La started trembling, violently."
Blackiris describing a butterfly perched on La’s head: “[T]hose slenderlegs piercing into La’s silvery hair.”

Blackiris definitively describes La’s hair as silvery. You may wonder why I think that this is significant. After all, we can all see that La’s hair is silvery. Blackiris acknowledging that La’s hair is silvery is important because it tells us how characters in the world of True Remembrance see and take note of her hair. One reason I started the hair color project was because many anime series, manga, and games give characters unnatural or unusual hair for artistic purposes – see for example my discussion of unusual hair colors in the recently completed first season of The Apothecary Diaries where peculiar hair color is used to distinguish important characters. We have also seen cases where a character’s hair color is not what it appears – see for example Mami Kagawa, who appears to be bleach blonde but is described as having light brown hair, in A Dream of Summer. However, when a character confirms that he or she is seeing what we are seeing, the author is establishing clearly and beyond doubt that the hair color is unusual and should be understood literally instead of artistically.

At this point, we know that most characters in True Remembrance have natural hair colors (assuming arguendo the characters are mostly Western or at least Western-inspired) and La is understood by these characters to have “silvery” hair. This leaves us with one additional question: Is there any significance to the 17-year old La’s having silvery hair? A survey of my past articles establishes that literal unusual hair colors are sometimes, but not always, significant. The silver hair of the main protagonist of The Raven of the Inner Palace anime is significant to the story. So too is the white hair of the albino protagonist of Red Shift (visual novel). Conversely, the in-world acknowledged pink hair of a character in MYTH (visual novel) and the green hair of the heroine of My Senpai is Annoying (anime) have no significance to either story.

True Remembrance makes it obvious from La’s introduction that there is probably more to her character than what the novel is initially willing to disclose. Both Blackiris and Rook concur that there are odd points regarding La as a patient and her being assigned to Blackiris’ care. Having noted that much, I will confirm that La’s silver hair has significance to the story, but True Remembrance takes its time in getting around to address it. Is La albino? Does silver hair run in the family? Is she having her hair dyed by a hair stylist friend?

True Remembrance CG scene of La looking nervoous with a blue butterfly in her hair.

I thought about recounting La’s whole hair color story – but I decided against it because to do so would be to veer too close to actual story spoilers. Instead, I will confirm two things in this article. Firstly, La’s hair is actually silver. Secondly, La is not coloring her hair. Having established the rules of hair color in the world of True Remembrance and confirmed two key points about La’s silver hair – I conclude by giving True Remembrance, an excellent freeware piece, free advertising that will neither line my pockets nor Satomi Shiba’s or Insani’s. I encourage you to read through the novel yourself and discover the truth of La’s hair. If you read the novel and somehow miss it, I suppose I can point you in the right direction.

(Note: There is a hair color hint among the images in my True Remembrance review, but I leave that to you to figure out.)