I don’t know how many of you read the comments on my To Your Eternity posts but I promise I didn’t make this happen. It just a coincidence. I swear! Also, if you didn’t watch episode 5 of To Your Eternity, I’m about to spoil most of it, you have been warned. Heck, I might spoil some of it even if you did watch it!
I haven’t read this far in the manga so what I’m about to say is just an assumption. In my opinion, last week’s episode absolutely worked best as anime. It was a fantastic use of all the specific tools an animated adaptation has. On the flip side, I’m pretty certain that I would have enjoyed this week’s episode more in manga form. I think a lot of the cinematic language wasn’t quite there for me and the pacing was off.
For one, the soundtrack really took me out of the moment. It was so present and exaggerated that it made me giggle once or twice at moments where I absolutely was not supposed to be giggling. The acting is good in To Your Eternity, but just the fact that it was spoken out loud, made some of the lines way too obvious. March’s entire speech in the wagon just sounded like “death flag, death flag, Death flag…’ to me.
As much as I really hate to see little girls named March get killed, it just had to be done.
Let’s face it, this episode wasn’t for me. The drama was really drawn out and most of it got narrated which makes it resonate a little less. The tragedy has been telegraphed for so long that we were all just waiting for it to happen. I mean, my readers were, maybe other fans had a more optimistic outlook. For me, it was just an expected unpleasantness.
I also felt that a few moments went on longer than they needed to. The scene of March and Parona arguing over the bear for instance didn’t really have any payoff and slowed down the beginning of the episode but then the action came very quickly. Basically, the pacing wasn’t so much bad as uneven.
I am very picky on drama and part of it depends on my mood when I watch so I’m not the most reliable judge for this type of episode. It was my least favourite in execution but I did like the actual plot. I sound like a monster. I’m not saying I liked that they killed a kid. I’m just saying that it made sense and moved the story forward in an organic way.
And some things were kind of cool. For one, I’m impressed they killed off March alone. They might decide to have Yanome raze the village and kill everyone but for now, we have a single martyr and it takes guts to just sacrifice the cute kid. I also thought some of the animation was great. When Fushi first turned into Oniguma and swiped at the oncoming soldiers, the movement was fluid and just nice to watch. And I thought that Parona losing her mind just a little was well done and poignant.
There was a lot of shapeshifting this week and it’s one of the visuals I really appreciate about To Your Eternity. This effect of unravelling into a new form is something I’m not sure I’ve ever seen before. If I have, I don’t remember it. I appreciate the originality of it. Finally, I was impressed with Parona and Fushi’s escape. More specifically, I was impressed that Fushi actually thought of getting Parona out of there at all, much less turning into a giant bear to do so. His strategic planning skills are really getting a lot better.
All of this said, I’m looking forward to the next chapter of this story, especially as it seems we’re finally going to delve into the supernatural elements a bit more!