The first episode of To Your Eternity made a huge impression on me. Aside from one of the biggest cries I have had in a long time, it left me wistful and I found myself checking every couple of days if a new episode was out. Even though I knew full well that it aired on Mondays. One of my readers told me that the Boy’s story was the one that affected them the least so I was a bit scared but still, I needed to now what happened next.
The good news is that I just finished episode 2 of To Your Eternity about 10 minutes ago. And here I am ready to write about it all dried-eyed and together. The bad news is that I’m not a big fan of little kid characters. There are exceptions, tons of them in fact, but much like for child actors, I can be picky with little kid characters. I just find that young children are hard to write and easily feel off to me.
For example, March is a perfectly lovely young lady with an awesome name, but to me, she was just so twee. She never quite felt like a precocious little angel but rather like a character that an adult writer wanted me to think was precocious. I’m not sure if that makes sense. As a side character, I’m sure she would be great and bring a nice break in the tension, as a main character she’s a bit much for me.
I also don’t really like ritual human sacrifice as a hook in fiction. It’s sort of always written in the same way and rarely very interesting as far as I’m concerned. More of a McGuffin than an actual plot point. And there were some inconsistencies that distracted me. The entire village, including her parents, keeps up the charade that everything is fine and happy and being chosen is a great honour. But then at the last minute every single one of them is crying out of the blue. I think a few scenes showing how other people around the village aren’t happy about the ritual would have smoothed this out. And if no one believes this is necessary and joyous in a way, why are they doing it?
On the upside, I think the episode got much better when the still nameless boy got in the picture. Characterizing him as still acting like a wolf was unexpected and I think it was a great twist on the traditional odd couple dynamic. I also really appreciate that we have a lighter and more action-oriented episode after last week’s emotional gut punch. I quite liked the narrator’s line at the beginning “no death is wasted“.
I’m full of questions now though. I thought that by taking the shape of something or someone “it” gained an inherent understanding of it. Guess not. It also seemed o learn much better and quicker when it was a wolf, which seems odd. I’m very curious to find out what it is. I’m quite looking forward to the next episode despite the few gripes I had about this one. The fact that To Your Eternity seems to be settling into a more classic adventure type of anime, is very good for my heart!
5 thoughts on “To Your Eternity ep. 2 – Precocious”
I agree with you that child characters can be a bit awkward. I think the big problem is it can be hard to make them actually feel their age because characters are generally complex, and young children usually aren’t, at least not in the same way. So it’s tough to make them feel natural, I guess?
With that being said, I don’t know if you ever saw Non Non Biyori, but I just watched season one, and I think Renge is a pretty great child character. She’s perceptive enough to be interesting and intelligent, but still acts her age and is treated her age by the cast. I thought she was pretty great.
I don’t know, public face/private face in front of very influential religion seems fine with me. It had the whiff of ritual. It’s not that they have to hide their grief; the troup leader is right there with them when they break down. It’s probably going through the proper motions so as not to soil the ritual. I’m pretty sure that Oniguma that March is going to be sacrificed to is that spiky bear that mauled our protagonist at the beginning of the episode. If so, I wonder if he’ll take his shape at an opportune moment?
There’s also March wanting to grow up, and now she meets a grown-up looking boy (from her perspective) who’s really behaving more like a… toddler. (Pet actually, but that’s really not the connection March’s is likely to make, considering she talks to him in terms of what his mum taught him.)
I really liked the writing in this episode.
As for inherent understanding: he seemed to figure out quickly how to walk as a wolf, but he had to be taught about eating. It seems more like a learning experience, from a very smart… thing?
public face/private face makes perfect sense, I just wonder why they abandoned it halfway through the episode.
If I had to guess March is just gonna be sacrificed. Maybe she’ll chose it herself in order to keep the peace and spare others. That foreshadowing dream and all. She seems to have thought MC how to eat again so he’ll keep that with him and she might get a chance to teach him a few more things – maybe how to talk? I don’t know if this is a one language world though so the speech of a small isolated village may not be that useful if the MC keeps travelling.
***public face/private face makes perfect sense, I just wonder why they abandoned it halfway through the episode.***
Because the ritual initiation part was over? A little like not singing Happy Birthday after the party, but not quite? It’s both hard to explain and just a hunch.
And, yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised if she just gets sacrificed. But I still don’t think it’s a coincidence that our protag had a run-in with the bear.
As for talking, even just the concept of speech would be useful. I’m wondering if the orb new what the boy was doing when he was flapping his vocal chords at it?
It did make noises as a wolf so maybe?