Title: To Your Eternity Vol. 3
Author: Yoshitoki Oima
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Publication Date: March 13, 2018
Volume three of To Your Eternity introduces us to Gugu. He tends fields in order to sell their crops in hopes that one day he and his brother can make enough money to move into a mansion. Each day he’s on the streets selling, a girl walks by that he becomes infatuated with. One day, she feels sorry for him and gives Gugu a ring, telling him that if he sells it, he will never have to sell vegetables again in his life.
One day, he returns home to find that his brother has left him behind, stating that he wasn’t going to wait for fate to happen, thus taking it into his own hands. Now alone, Gugu continues to work; however, while he is away a cart carrying some massive logs has an accident. Noticing the girl that gave him the ring is in danger, he pushes her out of the way and ends up having his face being crushed by one of the logs. Despite the serious injury, Gugu didn’t die. Instead, he is rescued by an old man who knows a thing or two about medicine but he’s mainly a brewer of moonshine.
Fushi and Pioran end up showing up on the old man’s doorstep and Gugu quickly takes to Fushi. Due to his injury and reconstructive surgery, Gugu ends up wearing a mask to hide his scars. Gugu thinks of himself as a monster and when he learns that Fushi is immortal, he bonds with him even more since the considered to both of them as monsters.
One day, the girl that Gugu liked shows up to the shop. We discover that her name is Rean and that she ran away from home because she’s tired of living the rich life and constantly being pampered and protected by her parents. Gugu thinks that this is a chance of a lifetime but becomes a bit sour when Rean shows more interest in Fushi than himself. This ends up driving a bit of rift between Gugu and Fushi and causes Gugu to leave home. Fushi goes out to look for him eventually but is attacked by that mysterious shape-shifting monster again.
Gugu realizes that he needs to save Fushi and rushes back home and convinces the old man to fill him up with alcohol. Reason being is that while the old man was saving Gugu, he decided to carry out an experiment and put an extra pouch in Gugu’s stomach where alcohol can distill and ferment. He wanted to know what it would be like to brew alcohol inside of a human. Gugu hated the man for that but realized that it could actually save Fushi. Once Gugu filled himself with alcohol, he ran back and vomited it back up into a torch, burning the monster alive and saving Fushi.
The volume ends with Rean’s parents tracking her down and dragging her back home. A time skip of four years passes after Fushi decides that he wants to continue living with Gugu. Rean comes back to visit and wants to know where Fushi is. We see Fushi coming out of the bath with stubble on his face. They remark that he’s growing up into an adult.
This was a nice change of pace this volume. While Fushi was still relevant, Oima took the time to build up some new characters and it looks like they’re going to be sticking around this time. Gugu’s story was pretty in-depth and I had a bit of a scare at one point in the volume where it looked like something ha happened to him but that wasn’t really the case. Still, that moment showed that Fushi is becoming more and more sensitive to his emotions. He also learned how to create food which, in turn, allows Gugu to understand that Fushi can create anything as long as it affects him in an emotional way. Whether it is through physical or emotional stimulus (either positive or negative), Fushi can recreate things perfectly as long as he feels strongly about them.
Fushi didn’t get as much attention in this volume than in the previous ones.
With Fushi growing some inkling of facial hair, it means that whatever he copies can age. That’s an interesting aspect since that shows us that Fushi doesn’t just shift into a 1:1 copy that’s static. Whatever he copies is something that will continue to live and grow starting at the point from which he copied it.
The big focus in this volume was put on Gugu. When his brother Shin left, he was strong enough to try and make it on his own. Even after his injury, Gugu still tried to work menial labor jobs to get buy but it was incredibly difficult while wearing his mask. People were afraid of him, called him a monster, and most didn’t even want to bother helping him out. Even a friend that knew him and Shin for a long time tried to take him in but his son and the rest of his staff detested him simply for his looks. Even when a group of guys stole his mask and threw it away causing Gugu to accept who he was, he still couldn’t bear to show his true face to Rean.
Gugu is a pretty strong character. To put up with so much and still have the determination to carry himself forward is a noble quality about him. It doesn’t mean that he didn’t have his doubts. His character was a symbol for overcoming adversity and sticking to overcoming it against the odds and how others perceive you. I think there’s a little bit of Gugu in all of us… especially when we decide to have a few drinks! (Sorry, couldn’t resist).
The old man (simply known as Booze Man… a name given to him by Gugu) is way off of his rocker. He brews really bad alcohol that only eccentrics find a liking to and even went as far as to see what it would be like to distill alcohol inside of a human body by putting an extra body part in Gugu’s stomach. The worst part is that he doesn’t think it was a big deal since Gugu was about as good as dead when he found him crushed beneath that log. It doesn’t matter how you slice it, Booze Man was a character that you simply couldn’t help but hate. Given Pioran’s nature, it’s no wonder that she would associate herself with someone like him.
Another very solid volume of To Your Eternity! The supernatural aspect that bothered me last volume still seems a bit out of place but it does add some overarching mystery to the series as a whole With the first two volumes, characters were introduced and then faded away without so much as a hint to let us know if we would see them again (outside of Pioran). Here, it looks like we’ll be seeing more of Rean and Gugu unless volume four starts off with Fushi, once again, moving on to another location. Given the fact that To Your Eternity is about this mysterious orb going on a mission to sample the world, it wouldn’t shock me at all if we embarked on, yet another, story arc.
I’m highly enjoying this series as it’s becoming more and more about the people Fushi encounters more than himself but at the same time, those who are looking to hunt Fushi plus his own experiences with the people he meets remind us that he’s very much a part of this story, too. More often than not, a series where the main character learns based on supporting character interactions, the main character won’t seem as prevalent or the center of focus, making the reader relate more to the supporting characters. To Your Eternity doesn’t have that problem whatsoever. Not only are you made to care about the supporting characters but you’re also aware that Fushi still exists and that you care about him just as much. To Your Eternity really is a manga that is balanced nicely and, thus, is highly enjoyable!
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