To Your Eternity, based on the ongoing manga of the same name by Yoshitoki Ooima (who also wrote A Silent Voice), was one of the most highly anticipated anime of the Spring 2021 season due to its unique premise and solid pedigree. Now that its first half has just finished up, let’s take a closer look at how Fushi’s adventures have played out so far!
First Episode Spoilers Ahead!
Lovable Characters in a Richly Detailed World
Our story takes place in a pre-industrial world where ordinary folks struggle to survive against both the unfeeling forces of nature and cruel-hearted people who take advantage of others’ fear or naivete. A mysterious god casts an immortal being (later named Fushi) into this environment to see what it can learn from living there. Fushi starts out as a white orb who knows nothing, but possesses the ability to transform into anything or anyone that makes a big enough impression on him—for living creatures, this usually means that he can take their form after they die.
Amazingly, just about every character Fushi meets is complex and completely lovable, even if we only know them for a short while. The nameless boy whose form Fushi usually defaults to is only alive for the first episode, but his doomed journey through the tundra had us crying by the end and drives the rest of the plot forward by pushing Fushi to meet more people, just like the boy wished he could do. March, Parona, Gugu, and many others also have a profound impact on Fushi in their own specific ways, like teaching him language or adopting him as family.
Seeing Life Through a New Lens
By focusing on an immortal alien being who has to learn everything about the world from square one, To Your Eternity can tell a completely different kind of story than one starring a traditional protagonist. He must learn through either the instruction of others or grueling trial and error how to eat, speak, write, cook, fight, love, grieve... everything about what it means to live.
Even then, he still can’t quite grasp the true experience of life because he knows nothing about his own history and can’t permanently die. No matter how close he gets to someone, we know that the relationship can’t last forever—eventually, they’ll either be killed or die of old age, and all that will remain with Fushi will be a replica of their form that he can inhabit until the end of time. And since the mysterious Nokker monsters that attack Fushi can steal his forms from him, a grim shadow begins to hang over the entire series. Each new character that appears isn’t just a potential friend or enemy: they’re a potential new tool for Fushi’s arsenal once he loses that person forever.
This anime may only be halfway over, but its gripping and thoughtful storytelling (not to mention the solid animation and music) have already cemented its place as one of our favorite shows of the year. We’re looking forward to seeing what it throws at us next!
What did you think of our review? How have you been enjoying To Your Eternity so far? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!