To Your Eternity

If you had to live the rest of your life knowing you couldn’t die and had the ability to turn into anyone that you were emotionally connected to after they passed while fighting off weird shapeshifting creatures that can steal your forms along with your memories of them, how would you describe your life?

To Your Eternity tells us the story of Fushi, a coming-of-age tale of an immortal forced to bear the burden of existence and learning to grow in a rather unorthodox way or path as compared to the average person’s cycle of life. Born or rather created as a rock and placed into this world to endure all seasons until, on its last breath, a wolf finally came to lay on it allowing him to have his first experience as a living being. Though that description might make it feel like that’s the whole show, we’re only a few minutes into episode one. 

At the beginning, he or it, is described as an orb that captures the reflections of the things around it and changes in response. It was cast unto the earth to be observed and spent its initial time as a rock that eventually grew moss as the surroundings became warmer. Fushi isn’t born aware of his state. He just exists unaware of the events taking place around him and unable to express himself. The fact that it’s animated makes you perceive the events of the show with less impact of their severity but nonetheless has its fair share of tear-jerking moments. Of course, what would you expect from the writer of A Silent Voice, a show that deserves its own segment. But not to get too distracted, Fushi braves the snow trying to familiarise himself with what it’s like to walk, he finds a small home with a boy living alone that recognises him. You inevitably realise that the boy thinks he’s talking to his pet wolf, that passed away a few minutes ago, while Fushi is still trying to comprehend he’s sudden consciousness and at the end of the episode, you discover how this being came to be called Fushi and thus begins the adventures of our non-dying friend.

I can’t give out too much so as not to spoil the show more than I already have done but what makes it interesting is how it lets us view life and death from a new perspective. Immortality alone is its own weight to bear on top of navigating human emotions and how to deal with them as a demigod so to say. Fushi goes through plenty of adversity like having to learn to walk, being taught table manners by a 10-year-old, the complexities of making friends, the dangers of having enemies that could hurt your friends, enemies that could steal your memories. Though the first problems might not seem as serious, they all play a part in summing up into this holistic difficulty of being human or growing up like one. 

On this journey we meet plenty of side characters that act as anchors to our main character slowly keeping him sane and showing him that there’s more to life than just running.

You’ll start to sympathise with the characters you hated and bond with some that you probably shouldn’t for the sake of your own mental health and all this comes together to tell a beautiful and heartwarming story with amazing scores by Ryo Kawasaki that enable to capture the emotional essence of each scene fully immersing you into each episode and character.

Anime is often poorly perceived due to the ideology of animations being for children but they, in their own way, tackle the issues we deal with in a manner in which even children can perceive. They tell stories for everyone with an expressiveness that can not be achieved with movies because live action lacks the flexibility of facial expressions that an animator can create with a pencil and paper. There’s a whole new world waiting for you outside the comfort of realism. All you have to do is read a few subtitles and open up. To Your Eternity is just one step on a staircase to heaven and like Fushi, you’re just one step away from changing your life. 

Source of tillustration: Netflix