Episode 2 of To Your Eternity Season 2 was a difficult episode to watch. A big part of my reason is that it was a deeply sad episode, while the other part goes out to the discomfort I feel about its overall adaptation.
To be honest, it’s a lot to process and while I’m appreciative of the emotions enveloped in this episode, it just doesn’t feel as powerful or as bittersweet. My heart cries for Fushi, and at the same time, I also grieve for the anime’s loss of its distinct melancholia. I feel like Fushi and season two are somewhat lost, and now, I’m also a big bundle of a mess left to pick up the pieces of the story. The same goes with the episode last week — I don’t even know if this is intentional or not. The only moment that probably pulled me back together was when Fushi realized that his reunion with Tonari had quickly come and gone. I love the To Your Eternity soundtrack with all my heart, and hearing that particular tune brought back my feels for it.
The episode “Beaten Will” tells about the inevitable death of Tonari, a beloved friend from 40 years ago, and how Fushi endures the same familiar pain again. It reminds us again that death looms around those close to the immortal, something Fushi is always so afraid about. For example, recounting his vessels and discovering that Rean is now among them is another heartache. (A shock to think that she died young.) However, this time is a little different because Tonari leaves Fushi not only words of strength, but a vessel useful against poison. He grieves and then tries to carry on with his journey.
If you take a moment to look separately at parts of To Your Eternity Season 2, Episode 2, it is actually quite thoughtfully written out. Tonari and Fushi’s reunion was not ideal, but she did pass with a proud and peaceful smile on her face. Fushi was also reminded to live a life worth living for everyone else and stopped his self-isolation. On the other hand, (pun very much intended) Hisame’s time was short-lived but it also goes to show how kind Fushi is. To be honest, their conversation about having a child was very innocent and sweet, and it was probably the rawest moment we’ve had in the season so far. (I was very nervous about where it would lead.) After that, Fushi went on to live in between cities and as the years passed on, he also immersed himself in learning knowledge. People came and gone, as well as generations of the Guardians (very weird people) who eventually fought Nokkers for the immortal. (Making him a bit chubby, it’s funny.) In the end, though, Fushi didn’t find any more”friends” that he so badly wanted.
A lot of events happened in this episode — too many small and big things, in fact. But all in all, whether the adaptation delivered it right or not, the writing behind the episode shows how Fushi endures. Tonari’s death is devastating, but Sandel also said, “Your friends didn’t live to make you sad”.It shows how they don’t want Fushi to carry the burden on his own — that more arrows are stronger than one — and he should journey to find companions who understand.
I don’t think it’s about the Guardians (never forget Hayase’s craziness), but it is interesting that the male version of the descendants has appeared. It’s also curious to know where this might go soon because Fushi is getting wiser by the year, not to mention his ability to utilize his vessels. Will things be different, or will they stay the same? It’s both confusing and exciting. I’m also trying to look at the episode fondly like before, but we should probably also mention a few things.
To Your Eternity season 2, episode 2 was not … delicate at all. To be fully honest, the rough pacing, especially with Tonari’s final moments, makes the scenes difficult to follow. I mean, I actually read up to this part of the manga last year and I remember at the time that it was despair… waiting and knowing that we couldn’t save Tonari. I think that’s what is missing in episode 2. You see, To Your Eternity doesn’t hide its sufferings — the pain comes from the suspense of it, just as it is in real life. Although the transitions and passage of time mellowed in the second part, I can’t help but feel robbed by it a bit. My only comfort is the soundtrack, Fushi’s voice, and the fact that they still manage to have nostalgic shots like this one.
This is just me saying it but, for a story to be well-received, the visuals should at least hit the marks and allow its viewers enough time to breathe into it. It’s frustrating, and unless the studio addresses this paper-to-television translation struggle, the series is going to continue to suffer. I guess at this point, I also call this turn of events quite… bittersweet.
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. Don’t forget to vote in our weekly polls!
Images via Ani-one Asia
© Yoshitoki Oima / Kodansha / NHK / NEP