To Your Eternity has been one of the most hotly anticipated anime adaptations of 2021, and we can definitely see why. This atmospheric low fantasy epic is adapted from a manga by Yoshitoki Ooima (who also wrote A Silent Voice), animated by Brain Base (known for their work on ensemble pieces like Durarara and Baccano), and its OP is sung by none other than Hikaru Utada (the musician behind all of your favorite Kingdom Hearts songs). But does this promising series live up to its own hype? Here are our impressions of the first few episodes!
The First Episode is a Feels Trip
It’s rare for an anime to make its viewers cry in the very first episode, but To Your Eternity hops on the feels train as soon as it has your attention. An unknown god casts an immortal orb (later referred to as Fushi) unto the Earth to see what it can learn from its time there. Fushi initially imitates the form of a rock, and then moss, and then an injured wolf who dies next to it in the tundra. It instinctually returns to the wolf’s owner, a boy who lives on his own in an abandoned fishing village nearby. The boy wants to catch up to the townsfolk who left to seek a better life past the mountains, and once his pet has “returned”, he gathers up the courage to do it.
If you’re unfamiliar with the plot of this anime, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s setting up a story about a boy and his dog traveling the world in search of a new home, but it’s actually much darker than that. While following the signposts left by the previous party, the boy slowly runs out of food and a cut on his leg develops an infection. Finally, he stumbles upon the last place the townsfolk reached, which is littered with wreckage and gravestones. He returns home in utter devastation and dies in his chair, overlooking the sketches he had made of the people he had hoped to see again someday... pardon us while we sob inelegantly.
A Breathtaking World Lies Ahead
So where is Fushi supposed to go from here? Well, it has no choice but to continue onward. It takes the form of the boy (injury and all) and wanders off into the wild, where it meets new friends and dangers alike on its journey to learn what it means to be alive. And the world it sees is richly detailed, blending reality and fantasy seamlessly. Fushi can regenerate itself whenever it dies and there’s a massive bear demon that demands virgin sacrifices from the local villages, but there are also cleverly designed ice fishing traps and a bigger village that keeps smaller tribes in line by killing their daughters as part of the “sacred ritual”. It gives us the same wonder and excitement as something like Made in Abyss or Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken—every little element of this universe has been thought through to an insane degree, and it all makes sense when put together. We can’t wait to see more!
From the unique setting to the sky-high production values to brave little March and her protective “big sister” Parona, there’s a lot to love already about To Your Eternity. Don’t miss out on this one—we can tell that it’s going to be something special.
What did you think of our impressions? Have you been watching To Your Eternity this season? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!