I have to say To Your Eternity is shaping up to be one of the best anime the season has to offer. I went back and finished the first volume and I should say that I might like it a bit better in manga form. Mostly because of the pacing. This is super rare for me. But I’m not entirely sure yet. The adaptation is very good and this episode was great. Seriously using cinematic language.

I didn’t mention it in my past reviews but I was a bit let down by the character of Parona. Not that she was a bad character, not at all. But her motivations were really not well established and it made her seem like more of a plot device character. Someone to move the story along or change the course of events so that it can go the way the writers want it to without much explanation. As far as I had understood she was very close to March and had known her all her life but that’s all. It’s as if she was a beloved babysitter. I get that she was sad but I wasn’t quite understanding that she would go that far for the little girl. Especially when no one else would.

Giving her a backstory in which her own sister was sacrificed made everything so much clearer. The guilt and need to prove something or redeem herself would drive her to be more passionate than she might otherwise be. And it adds a very personal and emotional side to her relationship with Hayase as well. She sees her as her sister’s killer. Of course, she hates her more than the others do. It’s a small thing but I found that this bit of character development really brought a lot of the story together for me and I enjoyed it much more for it.

I was a bit less convinced with the entire scheme of enforcing the sacrifices for the sake of monetary gain but it’s as good an explanation as any. And it adds this whole layer of political intrigue which may prove to have a great payoff. I really liked the idea that the village is so isolated they have no notion of maps or how many other settlements there are. It’s interesting.

To me, there were two things that made the episode work particularly well as an anime. The first is the pain. To be clearer, it’s Fushi endlessly repeating it hurts throughout the entire episode. I hated it! I hated it so much and really wanted him to stop and I think it was brilliant. Hearing him, both as a boy that I really wanted to see happy and as a wolf that looks like a big dog, actually audibly say it hurts in a small whiny voice over and over again without knowing exactly why was infuriating. It was frustrating. It made me feel helpless.

Was he actually hurt? Had Fushi developed the ability to feel pain? That’s a bummer for him. Was he somehow tapping into the pain of those around him? In that case who is hurting? Is it the bear, is it March, Parona, the other prisoners, everyone? The emotional resonance of something like that isn’t the same on paper. Hearing it, not being able to gloss over it. Having the insistence of it forced on the viewer. It’s really interesting direction. Directing(?)

The second aspect were the colours. To Your Eternity is cycling through colours. The first episode was white, 2 and 3 were green and now it’s ochre and a little blue. The palette is getting progressively warmer and i’s creating a suffocating atmosphere.

However, the very last scene was splendid. March is in her cell and a disguised Parona is telling her that they are leaving. March is scared and doesn’t know what to do, she cowers a bit in her cell sticking to wolf Fushi. Then Parona removes the mask and a relieved March breaks into a smile. The back of the cell is dark but a window is letting moonlight in. The colours are dark and very cool. March looks desaturated. The front of the cell has a lot of torchlight coming through the bars. It’s extremely bright and warm. However, this light has permeated Yanome. It’s nice but it cancels out the cooler tones, restraining the colour palette a lot. In that last second, as March moves from the dark back of the cell to the bright front, she passes through a more neutral white light for a second and her face is in full shining colours. Her eyes a warm brown but the flush in her cheeks a delicate cool pink and her hair shining. It was the most expansive colour palette of the entire episode and it really hit me. I thought it was a fantastic visual.

These were supposed to be short reviews, weren’t they. Uhm, I really liked this episode.

Previous Posts

17 thoughts

  1. For me this is without a single doubt the anime of the season, and it’s got the potential to be the best anime since winter 2020 (which had Hanako-kun). Well, in terms of how much I enjoy the show. To put things in perspective. There’s the absolute favourites tier, which houses shows like Uchouten Kazuko, Kyousogiga, Shin Sekai Yori, and Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju. This show, so far, is in the tier just below that. That’s pretty good, I should say.

    I fully agree with Fushi repeating “Itai” over and over again. It’s so hard to gauge the scene, when you might understand better than the character in question. It’s one of the things the show does exceptionally well: to portray an utterly alien perspective.

    Also, Parona’s plan feels like such a pipe dream. There’s so many ways in which it can go wrong, and only one in which it can succeed. But it’s also so plausible for her state of mind. And it does escalate the plot. Curious where they’re going with this.

    1. Irina will accuse me of pessimism, but I think Parona’s running on borrowed time. Now that her core motive has been fleshed out, I fully count on the story to harvest it for maximum pathos. And after learning about physical pain, feeling grief through March seems like the logical next step for Fushi.

      1. You know, I take it back. I think you might be enjoying the thought of having the nice anime lady torn to shred. So not pessimism….

        1. Haha, truth be told, if it were up to me I’d kill off the little girl instead… Fushi loses his mother, Parona her raison d’etre, the audience its sanity. So I suspect you’re onto something! XD

          My younger self was such an evil prick in GTA San Andreas, perfecting the art of killing innocent passersby in creative ways.

          1. awwwww, me too! We both want to murder children! I do think that both Parona and March will bite it. In a way I kind of hope so. I like the characters but as long as either is around, Fushi is tethered and I just want to find out more about the alien aspect

    2. We’ve gotten a few ex machinas already and Fushi is such a wild card I find it hard to properly figure out odds.

  2. Phew, that was edge-of-the-seat stuff. Unit 731 wasn’t called in, thank goodness! I half-pictured brutal experiments being conducted, in order to artificially induce Fushi’s immortality in disposable human captives.

    That being said, I think it would’ve been too early to have Fushi boiling with rage & hatred, without being swiftly consumed by them. Metaphorically speaking, the story doesn’t seem interested in going full nuclear meltdown.

    Honestly, despite the brutal world he fell in, Fushi’s fairly lucky insofar that his formative moments are being shaped by kind-hearted souls. Should this trend continue, it ought to contain the darker impulses that extreme, blinding empathy can cause.

    All that to say, please inject the “mono no aware” into my veins.

    1. Where do you figure this story is taking pace. I’m thinking an analogue of America. Almost like a mix of North and South America at once…

      1. They showed a map in this episode. It did look to me like a bastardized version of America, what with two landmasses connected by a thin strip.

          1. After your Algonquian plug the other day, Indigenous groups have been scrambling to get a shout-out from you. But I don’t think this is the right show for that XD

            1. You think. It’s rather similar to a number of first nation legends…

            2. Legends, and also rituals… I’m being facetious, but if I were an Inca descendant, I’m not sure I’d want to be reminded of their rich religious history of child sacrifices!

              I came across the Llullaillaco mummies yesterday, and I really wish I hadn’t…

Leave me a comment and make my day!