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!

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14 thoughts

  1. I’ll admit I was pretty sappy when I watched this . Me and my fiancé were like wow that’s pretty sad 😢. I mean I kind of wondered if there were going to kill March , but I honestly thought the older lady was going to die first . But to kill of March was pretty risky of the show and I liked it . Also loved the scene where spectral March is welcomed into the afterlife with Onigumo . Or at least that’s how I saw it . Overall I like this anime , it’s pretty unique for what it is this season , and I can’t wait to see the rest of Fushi’s journey .

  2. I think I’m an outlier, in that I found the premiere conceptually intriguing, yes, but also emotionally manipulative. We’re introduced to a kid we barely get to know, but what we do know is that he’s gonna die in a sec, and the show decides to bury us with fake smiles & self-pep talks until then. “Please cry for this poor soul, whom we gave zero chance to begin with, but he sure tried his best!”

    This episode’s, much less graceful in its execution, was eliciting a similar response from me — conceptual interest coupled with emotional distance. But when March gloriously returned, as a crying *ghost*, to heap on the SADNESS OVERDOSE… I just couldn’t help chuckling. That was the instant when contrived drama turned into farce, which conversely helped me digest the episode more easily.

    My personal highlight was Parona’s last line. She notices Hayase aiming at Fushi in a last ditch attack, so she takes a bow to ensure his escape. We get a look at her determined eyes, as epic adventure music starts swelling. This is it, it says, this is finally Parona’s moment, what months of shoddy practice were leading up to! And she manages to pierce Hayase’s hand, what a crucial hit! The music hits its crescendo, and her fellow villagers round up to praise Parona’s amazing archery… Only for her to interject that she was going for the head. And then she cries.

    The mismatch was absolutely hilarious.

    1. I actually would have loved if Parona missed entirely. Like nowhere close. She’s been established as a really bad archer so she could have nicked Fushi in the shoulder or something. I know it would have ruined the heavy tone but I still would have liked to see that.

      1. Speaking of heavy tone, I just had a look at the cast. Not too familiar with the director, but the mangaka also did Voice’s Shape / Koe no Katachi. Dunno if you’ve seen it, but it explains a few things for me.

        1. I saw it in theaters but I never read it. I also don’t remember it much. I know most people loved it but I just remember the character designs really. Maybe I should rewatch it.

          1. It’s been a while, but I remember beautiful visual direction, strong character interiority, and a empathetic storyteller that wants to redeem all her characters. I also thought a good chunk of the school setting was true to life — the insecurity, the pettiness, the search for a place to belong. That being said, I felt alienated by the movie’s many emotional outbursts, and while I logically understood the deaf girl’s outlook — her fear of being a burden, her self-blame over the bullying, how her self-loathing leads her to always turn the other cheek — it often felt to me like we were shown a nice puppy getting kicked over & over again, just to make us cry. I can see some parallels.

  3. I’d agree with you about the drama, except that I have a higher threshold before I drop out, but this episode was emotionally eaiser to watch than episode 1. I did like the scene about cutting up oniguma, though. I thought it was nice character work. The one scene that did emotionally hit me as probably intended was March’s ghost witnessing the suicide attempt but not being able to do anything about it. That did work on me. Also, I love how it was capped off with Fushi’s silly expression (copied from March, but not on a child).

    I did like that they didn’t forget to animate dust clouds in the background during the drama scene. That’s one thing that’s great about the show; it includes details that aren’t the focus of a scene, and thus open up the scene to the show’s world. The scenes never feel “closed”, if you know what I mean.

    Also, I thought things went a tad too smoothly in the village. Parona riding home on Oniguma should have caused a tad more confusion. The image, though, was great.

    All in all, I’d agree this was probably the weakest episode so far, but it was still one of the best episodes this week.

    1. I completely agree. I think ghost March was actually a very touching scene and it resonated well. Because they insisted on it less. And the entire sequence of Parona riding on Oniguma was beautiful; I was looking over the screencaps again today and it really was well done. The colours were great and the framing was brilliant. It’s a very well made show.

  4. Good perspective as always. We agree on that transition from jumping wolf to attacking bear. That’s another thing that’s been anticipated since the fight with the bear, and it appeared in such a flashy way finally.

    I thought this was one of the episodes of anime I’ve ever seen. Between the animation and the role this plays in the story and the evolution of the characters and their roles, not to mention the tragedy and by its effects, were all superb. Yes the tragedy was predictable. But for one thing, it delayed a long time. March’s life was saved what, five times or so up to this point? Then finally for tragedy to strike, even if it’s predictable, I found myself less prepared for it. But anticipating something doesn’t make it bad when it happens. I don’t know how you feel about YLiA, but the viewer pretty much knows how that story will end as soon as they start watching, and it’s still powerful at the end.

    Heady, dramatic anime like this that aren’t shounen never reach the top tiers of popularity, but I think this show has top 10-20 all time potential. We’ll see how it plays out, but from my view, it’s getting better each week and more and more people are taking notice. It’s becoming on me of those shows that makes me think “This is why I watch anime.”

    1. Well I found Your Lie maudlin. I really am not the person to judge drama…
      I do agree that just because an element is predictable it doesn’t make it bad. And I figure a lot of viewers found it touching. I had pretty much decided to treat the character as dead man walking since a while ago so it hit me more matter of factly. That’s not the episode’s fault but it was my experience with it.

      1. I thought you might say that about YLiA, even if I couldn’t predict seeing the word “maudlin” for the first time in 2021! But I totally understand. I like all the difference in opinion, as you know.

        Now that we basically know every new set of characters isn’t going to last long, we’ll see how I react to the next round of characters in this series. It’ll be interesting.

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