As a fan of A Silent Voice, I was looking forward to reading To Your Eternity (Fumetsu no Anata e) by Yoshitoki Oima. After picking it up, I fell in love with it. So, needless to say, that when it received an anime adaptation, I was all over it. Sadly, COVID-19 ended up delaying the start of the show but when it finally aired, it hit and it hit hard. This is one of those rare times where I was a manga reader first and an anime watcher second. I already knew what I was getting myself into and still, I found myself captivated all over again! Usually, I ask a question to make you wonder if I enjoyed the show or not. In this case, I’ll just say that, yes… yes I did, and here is why.
To Your Eternity is a story of an unknown entity who drops a sphere into the world that can take the shape of anything that it wishes to. The sphere will then collect data based on whatever shape it takes. At first, the sphere takes the shape of a rock and learns about moss. Then, an injured wolf happens to collapse next to the rock and it takes the form of the wolf.
The wolf had an injury, but the sphere has regenerative powers and within twenty seconds, the wound is healed. The wolf wanders until it stumbles upon a cabin where it meets a boy who is trying to survive on his own. All of his villagers, even his family, have left in order to find “paradise” on the other side of the mountain. He stayed behind to take care of an elderly couple that couldn’t make the journey. The couple passed on some time ago so it was only him left in a run-down shack awaiting their return. One day, he decides that he has had enough living alone and sets off to find this “paradise” on his own. He takes the wolf with him, whom he refers to as Joann. Apparently, Joann was the wolf that was injured that the sphere shapeshifted into and had frequently visited the boy and kept him company over the past five years.
During their journey, the boy ends up falling through thin ice, injuring his leg. He comes across the remnants of his entire village as it was pretty apparent that they never made the journey. The boy tried his best to not believe what he was seeing, but knew deep down that the only option would be to return home… so he does. His leg was severely infected at this point and shortly after returning back to the cabin, the boy dies. The sphere takes the shape of the boy and continues on its journey to find and collect more data.
From here, the show covers a series of story arcs where we meet a huge cast of characters that you can’t help but get attached to. There are three total arcs here in the first season of the anime which cover the March & Parona arc, the Gugu and Rean arc, and finally, the Jananda Isle arc. There are certain elements that carry over between all of the arcs such as the characters Hayase and Pioran. There is also a threat from an unknown race of beings called the Nokkers who aim to steal the “memories” of Fushi which will, in turn, revert him back into being an inanimate sphere.
While I won’t go into each arc to avoid spoilers, the basic story of the show is Fushi’s journey as an immortal. You get to watch him grow and learn about the world all while trying to survive the Nokkers. All the while, he is watched over by the unknown entity that created him: The Beholder (kansatsu-sha).
All right… let’s just dive into this
This is the name given to the boy by March during the show’s first arc. It translates to “Immortal.” Fushi starts off in the most basic way possible. After becoming the boy at the end of the first episode, he doesn’t know anything about eating or even going to the bathroom. He dies several times but the more times this happens, the more it learns that it needs to find a way to survive. Also, the time between death and resurrection gets quicker and quicker. Soon, Fushi learns that he needs to eat. A while later, he learns to speak a word here and there. He learns about other things such as pain and that he can recreate almost anything if he feels the pain from it first.
Later on, Fushi can fully talk and becomes self-aware but he still has a long way to go. There are still things he doesn’t understand like basic human emotions or that people can naturally grow old and die. These are still foreign concepts to him but to watch him grow and slowly learn about these concepts as well as basic human survival is like watching a child grow up on their own. Of course, being immortal affords him the luxury of making crucial mistakes that we humans cannot but it still doesn’t lessen the impact of watching him grow as a character.
She is an elderly woman who was introduced as someone who had been captured as a criminal. She eventually accompanies Fushi as she sees him as her “meal ticket.” She figures that if she’s with an immortal, her remaining time on Earth would be a bit easier. Unfortunately, thanks to the Nokkers and other situations that arise, she soon learns that maybe life isn’t going to be so smooth for her after all. Still, to her credit, she sticks with him and becomes more of a mentor and a guardian for Fushi. In fact, one could even go so far as to call her a parent.
While Pioran is very brash and outspoken, you can tell she cares for Fushi. She is definitely a tough and brazen old woman but that also becomes part of her charm. She only wants the best for Fushi and that in and of itself becomes an intangible bond between the two of them! Of all of the characters in the show, I would have to say Pioran was my favorite. She added so much to the show no matter if the moments were serious or comedic!
Aside from the Nokkers, she is the main antagonist of the series. She is introduced in the first arc as a woman from Yanome. She is always surrounded by her guards and acts as sort of an ambassador. At first, she wanted to sacrifice March to carry on a needless old tradition but when March escapes, she hunts her down only for Parona to come to the rescue. Fushi intervenes but they all end up getting captured anyway. After breaking free from Yanome, there is one last battle with Hayase in which we believe that she had met her end.
In the Jananda Isle arc, she resurfaces, and… well… you’ll just have to see what she has become. To say that she had become infatuated with Fushi would be a gross understatement!
I would touch upon the other supporting characters such as March, Parona, Gugu, Rean, Boozeman, Tonari, etc; however, going too deep into them will end up spoiling a lot. I will say that even though that they come and go throughout the arcs, the show finds a way to keep them around and make good use of them!
Art, Animation, and Sound
I felt that Brain’s Base did a pretty good job with this show. The backgrounds and visuals are absolutely top-notch while the character designs, expressions, and animation were pretty good as well. When it came to the fight scenes, there really wasn’t much to them, though. Granted… this wasn’t your typical action show where there was hand-to-hand combat or superpowers flying off left and right but the battles against the Nokkers weren’t anything to really write home about.
Instead, they used sporadic action to generate drama and suspense. Once you saw what the Nokkers were capable of, you ended up getting chills whenever you were told that they were in the vicinity. Even during the Jananda Isle arc where they held the arena matches, the action was very limited. Then again, this isn’t that kind of show but what was shown did what it needed to do. The rest of the time, the animation was spent mostly on people walking around or just environmental effects… all of which were pretty nice to look at.
As far as the soundtrack goes, it is absolutely superb. It really does a great job of drawing you into the world and truly enhances each and every moment on the screen. As far as the opening theme song goes, I have to admit that it wasn’t what was I really expecting but after a few listens, “Pink Blood” by Hikaru Utada really began to grow on me to the point where I just couldn’t stop listening to it. I gained a deep appreciation for the song and just how absolutely smooth it is from beginning to end.
Of course, I loved the show. I thought that it did a great job of adapting the manga and it didn’t really leave out too much. I do know that there are some people who didn’t care for the show, stating that it declined after the first episode but I would beg to differ. I just think that maybe people who were unfamiliar with the show didn’t truly understand what it was about.
This show is a journey… nothing more… nothing less. Well, okay… it’s a journey filled with a lot of science fiction but it is a journey nevertheless. There is one complaint that I do have about the show and it is the same complaint that I have about the manga and that is the usage of death.
I think the story uses it too much and while it does draw emotions out of you at first, you quickly get the Akame ga Kill vibe where you shouldn’t really attach yourself to any particular character. The difference here is that even though the show uses death a bit too much, they actually throw some emotion in there and make you care… even just a little bit… even when you know it’s coming. Still, I wish it were used more sporadically because no matter how much emotion you try and build to it when you know it’s coming, it makes each subsequent death less impactful.
Outside of that, I would definitely say give this one a watch. There is a second season coming but (as of the time of this writing), it is well over a year away so there is plenty of time to marathon this and catch up!
To Your Eternity
An anime that is nothing more than a journey with a sci-fi twist. You get to meet some interesting characters along the way that help absorb you into the world and the overall story. Just don’t get too attached to them
- Fushi is an amazing character
- As is Pioran
- Great visuals
- Great soundtrack
- Very compelling story
- Overusage of death
- First episode might mislead some viewers