Some of you may know that I reviewed the first season of To Your Eternity episodically. The links at the bottom of this post would probably have clued you in. So naturally, I wanted to continue for season 2.
The first season of To Your Eternity was uneven. It had some great highs, a few lows, and some middling episodes. I’m not sure the season as a whole lived up to the promise of the spectacular early episodes. However, there was always something that drew me to this show. A unique sensibility that I can’t quite define. And I always respected To Tour Eternity’s willingness to be a little messy. So I am starting this season off with an open mind.
From the get-go, To Your Eternity throws us right back to where we left off. Actually, that’s completely wrong. I’m not a good reviewer. There’s a 40-year time skip between the end of season 1 and season 2. What I meant to say is that it throws us back into the story. Other than the little voiceover intro that’s in every episode, we get no explanation about what Fushi is or what is going on in this world. If you haven’t seen the first season, you’re probably going to be lost.
Moreover, this was a very dense episode for the start of a season. A lot of talking and implied consequences that you have to scramble to remember properly. But you know what, I found that I actually remembered everything perfectly well. Not only that but my emotional attachment to the show was intact, maybe better than before as I tend to look back on anime fondly in general, and forget the little things that annoy me. I actually teared up during this episode which seems almost impossible even for me.
But let me try to organize my thoughts a little. Let’s see, I liked that they kept the same song for the OP. It really grew on m last season and I find that the odd tempo of it perfectly suits the mood of the series. It also makes me think that the show is going to stay in the same vein for season 2 and that’s not a bad thing.
I also enjoyed seeing the older version of Fushi. This is one of the rare anime where we get to see characters age often and I think they do a pretty good job of it. I’ll get to the second example in this episode a little later. I also still like the hooded man. The nebulous nature of his relationship with Fushi keeps me on my toes and I wonder if he really is this show’s interpretation of god. A distant, unhelpful yet somehow overbearing and frequently frustrating presence. That’s a very cheeky interpretation indeed.
What this first episode of the second season does is reintroduce us to a jaded and demoralized Fushi. He learned a lot in season 1 and a lot of what he learned was painful. Isn’t that just how things go sometimes. And right now, he is running away. But the world will always find you. And the world finds Fushi in the guise of two ladies from his past… more or less.
We are introduced to Hisame. She is absolutely adorable in design. Recent anime have renewed my unease with the introduction of cute kid characters out of the blue and no matter how cute Hisame may be, so far she just doesn’t really capture that innocent charm that March had so I’m on guard. The fact that she is Hayase’s granddaughter could add some interesting conflict but then again it’s a well-worn trope. Introduce a relative of the antagonist as a new ally to add some spice. It could go either way. We’ll see what the show does with it.
I do find it genuinely interesting that she is in a symbiotic bond with a Nokker though. That is something I really did not expect and I think this aspect, more than the Hayase connection, could shake up the story quite a bit. So let’s go with cautiously optimistic for Hisame.
Then we have Tonari. She grew on me in the end but for a long time, I was not very fond of Tonari as a character. They should have just introduced her as a middle-aged woman ’cause oh my, the years have been kind to her! I really liked this Tomari. And every scene with a character monologuing about poisons while knowingly drinking some because they’ve built up a slow immunity, instantly reminds me of The Princess Bride. You can’t go wrong with reminding me of the Princess Bride.
Also, Rigrad is still around? It’s been 40 years, right and he was already an adult. Look, I’m not complaining, I’m just saying Fushi may not be the only one after all.
Do you want to know what made me tear up? It was the scene where Fushi turned into all sorts of different forms when fighting Nokkers. It reminded me how much I love the transformation animation in this show. But also, the entire idea of being able to turn into the people you loved after they die is something I still can’t properly wrap my feelings around. I’m not sure if it’s a hopeful thing or if it’s just a deeply lonely notion. Maybe a bit of both. And that’s just how this show is.
So what are my thoughts on this first episode? I’m not sure yet to be honest. But my feelings are there. Even in such a calm and dialogue-heavy episode, I manage to get tangled up and now I care. I’m not sure about what or who yet but I care. So there!
- To Your Eternity ep. 1 – Forever
- To Your Eternity ep. 2 – Precocious
- To Your Eternity ep. 3 – Manners
- To Your Eternity ep. 4 – Pain
- To Your Eternity ep. 5 – Orphan
- To Your Eternity ep. 6 – Maker
- To Your Eternity ep. 7 – Dreams
- To Your Eternity ep. 8 – Freaks
- To Your Eternity ep. 9 – Home
- To Your Eternity ep. 10 – Flamethrower
- To Your Eternity ep. 11 – Confession
- To Your Eternity ep. 12 – Rebirth
- To Your Eternity ep. 13 – Empathy
- To Your Eternity ep. 14 – Arrow
- To Your Eternity ep. 15 – Return
- To Your Eternity ep. 16 – Freedom
- To Your Eternity ep. 17 – Promises
- To Your Eternity ep. 18 – Mercy
- To Your Eternity ep. 19 – Dato
- To Your Eternity ep. 20 – Happiness