Sean Stephenson’s words “Communication is merely an exchange of information, but the connection is an exchange of our humanity.” Do you agree with these words? Whether or not this quote fits perfectly with the beloved anime To Your Eternity by Yoshitoki Ōima.
The anime has the power to hook its viewers from its very first episode and make us realize how human connections can create something magical and eternal beyond ephemerality and existence.
If you are into some hard-hitting shonen anime with a bit of drama, a bittersweet but enthralling storyline, heart-stirring moments, and flawed yet unforgettable characters, then “To Your Eternity” is just the right pick for you.
This article will cover what makes this shonen anime a masterpiece of its genre while analyzing our protagonist’s personality and its journey.
Fushi, An Emotionless Entity and its journey among Humans
The anime begins with our protagonist being an emotionless sphere created by an enigmatic deity and sent to defeat Nokkers. In its initial years, the emotionless orb mirrors its surroundings, turning itself into a rock and later draping itself with moss.
Later an injured wolf collapses near it, and so as the wolf breathes its last, the snow-covered rock transforms into the white-furred wolf. From here, the orb starts to walk for the first time and stumbles upon a cabin in an isolated tundra. We see a lone boy inhabiting that abode coming out of the cabin calling for his sole companion “Joanne”.
Despite living for a brief and an emotionally wrenching period, the boy imprints our protagonist with emotions such as companionship, loneliness, and loss. Fushi embarks on a journey among humans, transforming into the boy, the very first human it met.
It later meets multiple flawed and lost humans, who play a significant role in its journey. These characters help Fushi develop its emotional capabilities from a mere orb to someone who can bond and feel like humans.
The Uncanny Theme of To Your Eternity
The anime conveys a contemplative message that life’s journey is all about creating important bonds with others that influence our growth, discernment, and time. We can see how all the characters are mortals with their short lifespans, yet they strive to give their best to the ones they unconditionally love.
The way this anime states its themes of fleeting mortality, the fragility of life, the bitterness of loss and how we humans, mere mortals, create eternal relationships is a treat for the eyes. Fushi’s immortal body acts as a vessel and can transform into the people he once met and connected with.
This indicates that although Fushi is eternal, the mortals who stood by his side had an indelible impression upon this being. On the other hand, we witness the protagonist grappling with loss again and again as he meets new people, only to experience their departure from the mortal realm over and over.
Valuable Emotions in To Your Eternity
Although most of the characters in this anime have minimal screen time, they often end up dying a bitter and unexpected death, leaving Fushi heartbroken and lonely. But these characters have left some of the most valuable emotions and memories for our protagonist. Some of these emotions that the characters display throughout their screen time are;
Fushi’s very first emotion was understanding the value of being a companion to someone, especially when they feel alone and at times of utter desperation. The nameless lonely boy taught Fushi how to remain a companion to someone in times of hardship and sheer emotional wreck.
It was at that time when Fushi started to feel the pain of the boy only to discover he had left the world and his Joanne behind.
We see all the characters in To Your Eternity going throw this particular emotion of loneliness from time to time. Sometimes it’s Gugu and his loneliness against the people of the village who love to bully him for his looks. His inability to fit within the ordinary people plagues him throughout the arc.
Other times we see this loneliness on the face of the giant bear Oniguma, longing to be free or yearning for freedom from human-induced sufferings. Moreover, we also see Pioran feeling forlorn when she is away from her so-called new grandchild, Fushi. And this certain emotion is then mirrored by Fushi itself, echoing in the absence of those he loves.
It is no secret that this anime has overused the death of characters only to shatter the feeling of viewers. Each time Fushi and we take a good interest in a character, the next moment, they die a brutal and shocking death, leaving both Fushi and the audience heart broken and teary-eyed.
If there was one thing that caught the attention of many people, it was how cleverly the anime presented a message of treating and giving value to people beyond their physical appearance in the arc of Gugu. This one is by far the sweetest yet sad arc of To Your Eternity.
We see Gugu being mistreated by people around him, and Fushi, on the other hand, treats him not by his looks but by the love and unconditional friendship he has for Gugu.
To Your Eternity indeed has a lot more than meets the eyes. The anime has a flexible budget along with great animation which is a must to watch if you love to experiment with different genres. It not only has a great story but also discusses specific topics that are often overshadowed.