I keep getting anxious when I watch To Your Eternity lately. The last few episodes have been lovely and I just sit there, waiting for the other soe to drop. I almost wish the show would pull a completely unjustified genre switcheroo and become a calm rural Slice of Life with some light supernatural elements. Ok I watched a Natsume movie this weekend, that may have something to do with it.

I don’t entirely mean it. As much as I love seeing Fushi and company happy, I do want to know what happens with the nokkers.

I looked up the word nokkers, wee if it relates to any real words. The closest I could find was Danish in which it’s genitive plural indefinite of nok… Nok means enough. Maybe there’s nothing here.

To Your Eternity just has an answer for everything, doesn’t it? Every time I hit on something where I’m like, let me speculate about the rules of this very detailed and complex universe, the series just goes and answers all my questions the very next episode. So Fushi’s vessels regenerate whenever he transforms, and he hasn’t transformed. Because he wants to be like his brother Gugu. Makes sense. I get it. Mystery solved!

Speaking of brothers, we saw the return of Gugu’s older brother. And he seems like h’s doing great. Last week’s preview made it seem like he would be a much bigger part of the episode and even a potential threat. But not really. Not so far at least. he’s cleaned up and he honestly feels bad. He even held on to the ring instead of pawning it for some quick cash.

We already knew that Shin was a pretty good brother when they were younger. It seems he’s just a nice guy in general. He was in a bad place and became a jerk for a while but that’s not all there is to him. Oh and we meet Rean’s fiancée as well. He seems like a pretty nice guy too. Nice people all around. Isn’t it worse when they’re nice?

I’m going to talk about Natsume again because I do that. There’s a scene that tends to stick with me. A young Natsume that has already been shipped from household to household after his parent’s death is about to change families again. It’s heavily implied that his youth hasn’t been great. He’s occasionally been abused and generally is just heavily neglected. And this kid from school tells him, well isn’t that great, maybe his new parents are going to be nice. And Natsume just says, they were all nice.

And that’s the thing, anybody can do awful things at some point in their lives. Anybody can cause put you in a miserable situation, even if they don’t mean to. And it stings so much more when they’re really just nice people.

I seem to have gone on a tangent again. Well, I liked that they made Shin more than just a bad guy or a junkie. He can be both those things and also a caring brother and decent person. Go figure.

I surprised myself by thinking that Rean and Gugu are in fact quite cute as a couple. In fact, all of Gugu’s family kind of rocks! His current family. The ones that take care of him and love him. I also think it’s great that the author made his characterization so consistent. Specifically, in the way he expresses joy!

I’m beating around the bush. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the latter half of the episode. But oh boy did they manage to capture that particular awkwardness of attending a party where you don’t quite feel like you belong. Of course, it was exaggerated but for a while there, I got some type of contact discomfort. I wanted them to go home almost as badly as when they were in the woods.

And it turns out I was right! because this is not a great party! Poor Rean, her sweet sixteen is not working out like she thought. This said, up until the last 5 seconds I was just sitting there with a goofy smile ooohing and awwing and squeeing all over the place. Gugu revealing the truth to Rean was adorable. And they were smart enough not to make her go tsundere. I would have hated that. But this was perfect. I’m all in. Gugu and Rean 4ever!

And then they make the balcony drop. WTF!?! Oh and the creator is there (always bad news) telling Fushi nokkers are attacking (see told you it was bad news) and fade to black. What?? Who? wwhere, why, huh??????

I was starting to sound almost as baffled and flustered as Gugu’s voice actor when Rean was trying to put that ring on him. Almost but not quite. That guy is a genius at sounding confused. I looked him up and the guy in question is Taku Yashiro. He’s had a few notable roles but the ones I most clearly remember him from are Vulcan from Fire Force and Kouichi from Horimiya. Koucihi was pretty great at sounding like he had no clue what was going on as well!

This has been a tangent-filled review. The bottom line is that I loved this episode once again. And although I feel like Gugu may be out of luck, I also feel like he’s been living on borrowed time for a while and he’s had a few great moments. In the end, everyone gets the same thing. One lifetime.

I’m sounding so brave but watch me turn into a bitter blubbering mess next week…

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20 thoughts

  1. I have little to say other than that the ring made its comeback in a much more benign fashion than I imagined. I’m here for it.

    There’s a very slim chance that nobody dies. Fushi’s been warned to move on, so if everyone still lives, he’d have to make a consious decision to move on rather than to move on because the main stimulus has become empty. I could imagine a scene where Fushi tells Gugu he’ll remember him not in words, but by transforming: a dual Gugu good bye scene would be visually interesting. (I’m not really expecting that.)

    1. That’s a good point, on Fushi bringing danger to his loved ones, whether from humans or from Nokkers. That being said, I fully expect Gugu to die next episode, after a heroic act of self-sacrifice, followed by a romantic moment with Ryn. I don’t think they will resist themselves. And then we might even see his “ghost”, for some extra tear-jerking. Only after that, Fushi could question his choice to stay put during those past few years. He has developed enough to do that.

      1. I’m with you, I think Gugu’s been living on borrowed time for a while and I don’t see him making it out alive. And I completely expect him to be come a vessel. I wonder if Fushi/Gugu will have the mask?

      1. Thanks for the condolescnece. Thing is I didn’t even know they were playing; that’s how much attention I pay. It does explain why I got slightly loud outside a while ago. (If I were watching sports I’d probably have a favourite team based on playing style rather than nationality.)

        1. I can see where you’re coming from, not being the most tribal guy myself. But I sometimes find it alluring, this intense feeling of shared identity, this yearning for a common goal. Do you?

          1. The closest I get is rock concert sing-alongs, but if those take an ideological turn it can get awfully scary (it happened once). I don’t like crowds to begin with, and when synchronised over a goal they can become scary.

            Come to think of it, it’s similar to going out for a drink (where drink means alcohol). I don’t drink, and you learn there’s a sort of expectation you’re violating here. At best “drinking alcohol” is opt-out, with people saying “well, that’s okay, too”. It’s an opt-out norm, not an opt-in norm, and not everyone accepts that. I feel “cheer for the home team” is a similar situation. You don’t want to be the odd-man out when emotions fly high. And I’m always the odd-man out. (This is an exaggeration, but I hope it gets the point across.)

    2. That would be quite a subversion of the structure so far. We’ve basically been exploring the backstory of the vessels. I’m actually a bit surprised that Parona didn’t get killed, I figured she would have been a candidate considering the character design and characteristics. Athletic young woman would be useful. Still, Gugu seems like perfect vessel material and I would be super impressed if they passed up the opportunity.

  2. Hey guys, see how cute this puppy is? How kind, how gentle, how determined to bring joy to his family.

    Let’s have a truck run him over.

    I love how this show serves us some mono no aware, with a side of Happy Tree Friends.

    1. I have to admit I love Gugu but I’m very ready to move on. I’m sort of a huge softie so I’m digging that except for the first episode, To Your Eternity has been pretty good at really telegraphing he sad bits so I don’t get depressed.

      1. That’s a lovely view. Personally, I think it would rub me the wrong way, if I wasn’t such a desensitized douche. I highly respect this mangaka’s skill at character interiority. But I can’t engage with her one-note, overwrought brand of drama — regardless of the beautiful point it’s meant to service. I find that its manipulative nature frequently veers into a kind of perverse farce. Anyhow, I’m nitpicking.

        Most importantly, I hope you had a good night’s sleep on Wednesday, what with the crazy celebrations!

        1. I see your point. Although I personally think all drama is manipulation. Actually, now that I think about it, all fiction is some form of emotional manipulation as pretty much all of it strives to elicit an emotional reaction from the audience. I don’t hate that!

          1. I agree, all storytelling is manipulative to a degree. But I think there’s a spectrum running from drama you feel is “earned”, and what you might perceive as cheap attempts at buying your sympathy. And of course, we all have varying mileages.

            In my view, this show isn’t as blatant an offender as, say, Clannad. But I don’t enjoy this systematic process I keep seeing so far, where cattle are fed until they’re deemed plump enough, only to get sent to the abattoir. Us consumers do need our daily dose of tears!

            Anyway, it doesn’t really bother me — little in fiction ever does — and I still like this show. (Loathe the meat industry, though!)

            1. Fair enough. I’m currently watching Noein so I most things are less maudlin by comparison. I’ve been offering kit kats to every character in that series.
              Mind you, I also might be a little emotionally off as I think Gugu dying due to his injuries from the balcony or from a confrontation with the enemy wouldn’t be sad. I’m not even sure the series wants me to see it as sad. I guess I’ll see next episode.

            2. Noein

              Damn, you just gave me Vietnam flashbacks… I think the show was fine, but good luck navigating that angst!

              I remember feeling intrigued by the visuals… The character designs were unusual to me, especially the faces & eyes. I also loved how frequently the animators would twist them out of shape…

              I wonder if I’ll ever try a re-watch. Will wait for your post on it first!

            3. Oh yeah, Noein has a lot of things going for it but man, the feeeeeeelings

  3. I said the same thing in my post about to your eternity how you always feel anxious and unsettled knowing the happy moments won’t last! I loved seeing Gugu’s brother back and hate how it’s always Gugu almost dying like why 😭 but anyways great post!

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