Title: To Your Eternity Vol. 2
Author: Yoshitoki Oima
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Publication Date: December 19, 2017
Volume two of To Your Eternity shows Parona, The Sphere (known now as Fushi) and March escaping with Hayase to the village of Yanome. Accompanying them is the shaman who chose March for the ritual in which she was supposed to die. When they arrive in Yanome, Hayase treats them all to dinner, but it turns out that their food was drugged. Hayase’s true intent is to have Fushi all to herself so that she can fetch a price for him. Fushi undergoes torture to see if he really can regenerate and not die.
Meanwhile, Parona comes up with a plan to escape, but as she does so, Fushi has his own plan and digs a hole in wolf form, allowing himself and March to escape from their cell. They discover that they also have the bear, thought to be Oniguma, imprisoned there. March decides to help the bear by pulling out its spines, which turn out to be simple arrows that were stuck in its body. Her willingness to help the bear gets her and Fushi caught and they’re right back in their cell. Parona executes her escape plan and tries to take a part of the bear back with her, but March doesn’t want her to do that even though the bear had already died.
Parona eventually agrees and they rescue the shaman and steal a carriage, but it’s not long before Hayase learns of their escape and gives chase. In the middle of a crossfire battle between the two of them, March is hit by an arrow. Fushi transforms from wolf into the form of the Oniguma bear and seals their escape. Unfortunately, March doesn’t make it and her wounds claim her. Parona contemplates suicide for her failures, but Fushi stops her from doing so. They arrive back in Ninannah, but Hayase has also made it to the village. Parona tells Fushi to make a run for it so he does.
While Fushi wanders, he runs into the shaman after taking the form of March. He shape shifts back into the boy again and the shaman finally realizes who it is. She has Fushi follow her and she even begins to teach him how to speak and recognize words/characters. Because of her teachings, Fushi can now loosely talk and say basic words and phrases! She even teaches Fushi her name with his Pioran. They decide to embark on a journey to meet up with Pioran’s lover when, all of a sudden, Fushi is stabbed and his boy form is ripped out of his body. An unknown person shows up and asks what its like to lose a part of himself. He instructs Fushi that inside of the body of the boy is a core that he wants him to retrieve as the core is designed to steal from Fushi.
Fushi overcomes the doppelganger and steals its core, regaining the forms that were stolen from him during the battle. The mysterious man tells Fushi that he is his creator and that there are forces at work that wish to disrupt their mission of preserving everything.
Fushi’s growth was pretty huge in this volume. He was actually named in the first volume by March, but I was unsure if the name was going to stick, but apparently it has. Fushi has begun making more and more sentient decisions… especially when it came to protecting March and Parona during their escape. Fushi is beginning to appreciate and understand the bonds formed between people and that they are worth protecting. Pioran, though, made a huge leap in his development by teaching him how to speak and recognize words and characters. While he is, by no means, completely fluent, he’s starting to understand more and more what it is like to be human!
March’s character was more adult-like in this volume than the first. She finally understood grown-up decisions and even acted like an adult (well… about as much as a small child can) in key situations which really showed her growth. Her death was a sad moment, but it caused a reaction within Fushi that made him experience a non-physical pain. Even though Fushi never cried, or fully understood the meaning of death, he just knew that March, someone he formed a bond with, was injured and the person who did it was right in front of him. In a way, March’s death played an integral role in Fushi’s development in the sentience department.
Parona’s grief over failing to protect March was the final straw for her. Even back in volume one, you felt that she wasn’t going to amount much to anything given the fact that she had poor skills as an archer. Her failure here to save Parona was just another tick in the loss column for her and after her constant failures with a bow and arrow (heck, even failing to successfully escape on her first attempt), justified her decision to take her life. Even though Fushi stopped her and she decided to live, you can even say that she failed at suicide. That’s not something to admonish her for, though as it teaches us that sometimes it’s probably in your best interests to fail. Once Fushi fled from Ninannah, we didn’t really get to see Parona again. I wonder what became of her after Hayase’s attack had been thwarted?
Speaking of Hayase, her backstabbing wasn’t really all that much of a shocker… especially when Pioran flat out told them how the people of the Yanome village operated. How they planned to use the sacrifice and “tradition” as a smokescreen to later invade the village because that is what they do. Despite hearing all of this, it made me wonder just why in the hell they didn’t get off the carriage right then and there? When they were drugged and imprisoned, I simply shrugged my shoulders and said “should have listened to the shaman.” Hayase is determined to get Fushi back so it won’t surprise me if we end up seeing her again in the future… even though she can probably only use one hand now thanks to Parona!
Pioran ended being an interesting character. Even though she took part in Hayase’s scheme to sacrifice March, she ends up being a kind old woman who ends up helping Parona escape from Yanome. Later she helps teach Fushi how to speak. I think she only did this because she was afraid of being left alone… especially after her mules ran away after the escape from Yanome. I can already tell that something is going to happen to Pioran in volume three and that she will be the next shape that Fushi will transform into.
Another very solid volume of To Your Eternity! My only qualm is the supernatural aspect that they introduced at the end of the volume. I loved the idea of a sphere traveling the world and learning about different things, but now they introduced the sphere’s so-called creator and stated that there’s a force out there that could threaten the world. I don’t really know how I feel about all of this… especially this early into the series. It feels like Oima wants to change the direction of the series early on. I just don’t really know how I feel about that kind of a decision.
Saying that there is a grand objective to preserve this world makes me wonder if the sphere wasn’t sent there as an experiment to see how it could learn and grow, but to collect as much information about the world before it is destroyed. The fact that preserve this world was put into quotations suggests that Earth is beyond saving and that this immortal sphere will be the only thing that will exist post-apocalypse that will preserve any evidence of life on the planet.
Whatever the case may be, I still have mixed feelings on it. I think I would have preferred it if the story didn’t introduce the possibility of a plot line like this so early on. I was perfectly happy with just watching Fushi grow and continue to learn and experience more about the world around him. I guess we will see what volume three brings.
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