It is honestly a nice surprise to see that To Your Eternity is now one of those shows blessed with a second season. I didn’t realize how much I missed the series until I watched the first episode, not to mention seeing Hikaru Utada’s iconic opening theme song again! It’s a mix of happiness, sadness, and nostalgia everywhere. Looking back at the journey we’ve had… it’s difficult to not feel conflicted about a lot of parts of the story. However, episode 1 of season 2 has a simple charm to it — reminding us how beautifully unique, melancholic, and wonderful the journey of To Your Eternity is. (Season 1 spoilers ahead!)
To be perfectly honest with you, I was very anxious about the show’s return. (Like Michael Scott’s Oh my God, it’s happening GIF.) It’s been a year since the last season and I still remember the roller coaster ride that it was. Although I felt very lost in the Jananda arc, the finale was so powerful that it made the entire series whole. I loved it very much, which I think is a good enough reason for me to be scared that the second season might ruin it. But if the manga is doing as well as they say, then there’s probably nothing to worry about …well except for the adaptation part that is.
In case you didn’t know, Studio Drive is now animating the sequel under the direction of Kiyoko Sayama. So far, they’ve done a really good job of replicating the same art style and composition from the first season. Hat’s off to that!
But honestly again… it just doesn’t hit as hard as before. The atmosphere wasn’t as mysterious or otherworldly as it was, and it seemed like a lot of things were happening suddenly, one after another. Some parts fell bland too. I remember To Your Eternity was an uncomfortable slow burn, so the quick pacing and the lack of a clear narrative threw me off. Additionally, important episodes in the first season had that movie-quality feel. I can’t help but compare and think that … well, this really doesn’t feel like “a first episode”, if that makes sense.
That, or I’m just not used to the fact that The Beholder’s mouth opens and that Fushi is talking way more naturally than before! I mean, he’s not our innocent boy anymore — he’s basically a middle-aged man now with long hair and a scruffy look. Plus, he eats Nokkers like it’s beef jerky. The last episode gave us a glimpse of the aftermath of his fight with them, but I sort of wish we also saw Fushi in action since he’s grown to have a wider grasp of intelligence. You know, really settle into this new image of him.
It’s fascinating to see him now, but at the same time, it breaks my heart to think about those 40 years on the island, away from people and Nokkers altogether. Some things don’t change though, like how he’s still a sassy teenager toward The Beholder.
Speaking of change, To Your Eternity season 2, episode 1 introduces (out of nowhere) Hisame, a young girl who — I hate to even mention– is Hayase’s granddaughter. She is the present leader of the Guardians dedicated to serving and protecting Fushi. Where do I even begin to talk about this? It’s very disturbing and creepy! To remind you why we hate this witch is: one, she killed March; two, she also killed Parona; and three, she was the crazy lady who messed up Jananda Island really bad, all just to keep Fushi as her own immortal pet, as well as calling it… “love.” (Eugh.) My blood boils for this woman, so the fact that she created a cult, brainwashed this 9-year-old, and then transferred the Nokker to her — it’s just mad.
That said, I’m not very comfortable with Hayase and Fushi together right now. At one point, I wished Fushi just ended Hayase when he could in Jananda, but let’s remember that Fushi is not like that. He is kind, and that’s one of his best traits as an immortal. I like to think it’s what he learned from the good people he met. And so in a shocking twist of fate, a truly badass moment with a reference all the way back to Yanome, we get to see an old friend, the girl/woman from Jananda — Tonari. (Goosebumps!)
There’s a lot more to unpack from To Your Eternity season 2, episode 1, but I also don’t want to overthink much of it. I guess the only one I’m worried about is the pacing problems or the lack of space/time to breathe into the story. For example, the awkward underwater story and the reincarnation explanation felt out of place for me. It’s also disappointing that it feels like a lot of the material was forced to fit into 20 minutes. Honestly, the episode didn’t come out as cohesive or magical as I hoped it would. I’m sure you know what I mean when I say that To Your Eternity has been a wonderful story about living through life, so I only wish that each scene of it is given the thought and heart it deserves.
At the end of it all, I’d still say that I am overall happy with episode 1 of To Your Eternity‘s season 2. Watching it rekindled my love for the show entirely. In fact, I have a lot of feelings for it now that it’s back in my life again. (Hello weekly dose of pain and suffering.) The opening theme is teasing a lot of exciting things to come. I really look forward to how Fushi’s new journey goes, especially now that the plot is driven toward his straightforward battle with the Nokkers.
Well folks, let’s keep our tissues ready. If you enjoyed the episode, don’t forget to vote in our weekly polls!
To Your Eternity Season 2, episode 2 will air on Sunday, October 30, at 7:00 PM JST. It will later be available to watch on Crunchyroll, Bilibili, and Ani-one Asia with English subtitles.
Images via Ani-one Asia
© Yoshitoki Oima / Kodansha / NHK / NEP