I think I know To Your Eternity well enough now to know one thing: Tonari’s pretty much as good as dead. She got a ridiculously angsty backstory, they might as well be measuring her for a coffin right now. Not that she’s likely to get something as nice as a coffin. You know what I mean though.

And she was a very precocious 7-year-old. Theatrically forsaking her father as a matter of morals. The characterization is not working for me. I like Tomari as a Peter Pan to her merry band of lost boys. I don’t think there’s any need to create yet one more martyr in this show.

Especially as the lost boys work wonderfully. It’s a completely new type of group dynamic for Fushi to explore and his chance t be among peers, something that has never happened. Of course, I’m using peer very loosely here. Fushi is an immortal of yet unknown powers. He could be a god for all any of us know. He could even be the God. Now that’s an interesting way to learn how to sympathize with your creation…

All this to say, I thought the opening banquet scene was fantastic. The warm light brought across that sense of détente and celebration. The kids were for the most part allowed to be kids. The sun comes from the ocean – there you go, dream accomplished. It’s lines like that that make me love little kid characters.

And on to of that Fushi drugged them all. Not only was that hilarious and a great touch that I would never have thought of adding, it was also fantastic narrative continuity. Fushi did the only experience that particular dish drugged, so that’s the only way he knows how to make it. I’m not sure another show would have thought of that detail. And of course, it was Hayase that had drugged them, to begin with.

Hayase who’s been popping up here and there in the past few episodes. Hayase, who it turns out is responsible for Fushi and Pioran getting dragged to the island in the first place. Well partly responsible, I’m not letting you off the hook tat easy Tonari. I guess she’s pretty much dead so there’s no need to rub salt and all.

Point is, this episode, and potentially this entire arc, was leading us straight back to Hayase. If we can really call this Hayase the same woman we met at the beginning of the show. She seems different now. More importantly, she’s our antagonist. And this changes things.

Now I know I have said before that I really like the nokkers as antagonist(s). I don’t even know if it’s a single or plural entity. And I stand by that. I find the nokkers envigorating. A captivating obstacle perfectly crafted for this story. I think they elevate To Your Eternity. But, they aren’t exactly what I think of when I think of an antogonist. Nokkers are like a force of nature or maybe the loose embodiment of death or destruction. They’re a force.

Hayase, is a person. Someone with feelings, motivations and dreams of her own. And that’s where it gets messy. That’s where you start to draw lines in the sand and start figuring out on which side you want to stand. Fushi hasn’t ever hesitated to kill nokkers. It’s like the thought didn’t even cross his mind. He might not see them as alive per see. But Hayase is different. Having her as an enemy changes the core of who Fushi is.

Moreover, this is the second arc that has her as an antagonist. In practical terms, she’s currently the one person that has known Fushi the longest, maybe besides the Creator. She strings the disparate moments of Fushi’s existence together in a way other characters can’t. I’m also just curious about what she wants. If she just wanted revenge she could have poisoned Fushi in the night instead of licking him. I’m going to need an explanation for that scene.

Hayase had a line in this episode: “Death is Freedom”. Now that’s a supervillain line if I ever heard one. But it’s also kind of meaningful, right? It’s sort of the supreme insult you can throw at an immortal, isn’t it. No matter how much he learns and grows, as long as Fushi remains immortal, he will never be human. That particular freedom will always be beyond his reach. If death is freedom, then what is Fushi’s life?

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8 thoughts

  1. Was it just me or did Tonari and the kids remind you of the Disney Recess kids lol ? I mean they have the same style and bodyshapes lol . Just if the Recess kids were more hardcore and had seen stuff .

  2. I gotta say, I’m looking forward to this arc ending. I don’t get this silly society, I can’t guess what Hayase’s deal is, and I won’t ever like Tonari. The sole highlights have been focused on Fushi’s expanding emotions — his fierce faithfulness to found family Pioran, his annoyance at having his buttons smashed, his all-consuming hatred towards Hayase.

    Speaking of, I can’t remember the last time I felt genuine hatred. It’s a feeling that’s become alien to me — a nice little reminder of my good fortune, or perhaps of my instinct to veer away from strong emotions. Also, I tend to view most perpetrators of evil acts as misguided fools, rather than just vile monsters.

    Similarly, I always assumed the author would attach (at the very least) some mildly redeeming qualities to Hayase. As I wrote on your Ep.5 post, she strikes me as a empathetic storyteller, with a deep interest in strong character interiority. I don’t think she’s interested in stock villainy, which has basically defined Hayase so far. Maybe that was a presumptuous conclusion to draw of me. Still, what the hell is up with that crazy chick, or her newfound appreciation for BDSM roleplay.

    There’s something weird going on, and I’m a little curious to find out what. That said, don’t mind if she gets her brains bashed in by a baseball bat.

    1. I think we might be going down the insanity path. I could be wrong but I’m still stuck on the licking. My guess is that eithe Hayase thinks Fushi really is in some way associated to the divine and this is her reaction to accepting the existance of something like a god. Or everything that has happened, including the fact that Fushi almost killed her has cracked her mind and she’s somethingl ike obsessed with Fushi now.
      I’m also not crazy about this arc. I don’t mind the prison island. I agree it’s senseless and has to b accepted as a plot device since it wouldn’t work even in the To Your Eternity universe but I think there was a way to tall a compelling story in the setting. I have no proof of that.

  3. Loved the drugged food scene, and it even forshadowed the episode’s ending.

    I don’t mind Tonari’s background story; it feels in character. (And it also re-affirmed what I always suspected: if you rule over the island you still have to watch your back. It’s no magic ticket.) She’s still my least favourite character so far. And I fully agree, the kiddy group is fun.

    As for Hayase, her actions make sense to me. She’s likely got no power in Yanome anymore and capturing Fushi without facilities is probably pointless, so engeneering this fight acquires both: Fushi and a place to research. Makes perfect sense to me.

    1. I’m not sure about the no power. The little scene we saw of Parona’s death seemed to show that Hayase was still commanding a group of soldiers at that time.
      And I don’t see why capturing Fushi involves having Tonari bring them to the island. Hayase could have captured Pyoran herself even without any power. I figure that’s a much more direct and less risky way to go. But I guess we’ll see

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