Fumetsu no anata e (To your eternity); first impressions and humanity of something inhuman

{I’ve done a lot of manga reviews in the last few posts due to me being in a sort of anime slump lately, hope you enjoy this one too; spoilers for chapter 1}

To your eternity, also known as To you, the immortal, is a manga that has been lurking in the back of my reading list for a while, don’t worry Oyasumi Punpun is keeping it company. However, today is the day I decided to give it a try after marveling at the cover once more.

The name Yoshitoki Oima should be familiar to anyone familiar with A silent voice, and it might come to most as a surprise that she is the one to create To your eternity as well. This time, however, the story shifts from a now regular and almost ordinary high school setting to something more supernatural and legend like. The main character is a mysterious immortal being which changes its shape into those that have a strong impetus (the force or energy with which a body moves). At first it’s merely a sphere that the “author” decided to throw into this world in order to observe it. At first it took the form of a rock, but later on, as a dying wolf approached it, it first took the form of an animal.

From the very start, we are introduced to its immense regeneration powers

Soon enough it encountered a boy, who’s the actual owner of the wolf. He’s overjoyed at “Johann” returning to him after being missing for two whole months. While he notices it being unusually quiet, he quickly brushes it off, and so, their new daily life begins. Everything seems unfamiliar to the main character, the sights, the smells, but it becomes enchanted and continues to follow the nameless boy living alone in the middle of an abandoned village. Through the boy talking to the main character we learn that other people and members of his family left 5 years ago in search of food and people, leaving him behind to take care of his grandparents.

The main character learns basic things eating through following the boy’s example. The bond between them grows and the boy even expresses the want to go out explore the unknown himself, in order to gain new experiences.

The two set out on a journey, grabbing whatever they can from home, heading south towards a mountain that the boy’s uncle described as a wall beyond which is paradise. They even find a sign on a rock with directions and the boy believes it’s from people who search for the same paradise. They find even more signs, the farther they go, until one day the boy gets injured from the broken ice as he falls into the water. He refuses to turn back even after the main character expresses or the boy perceives its worry.

He can’t accept spending the rest of his life in that rotting house, in his words it’s be like rotting away with it and he has nothing else to do but follow in the footsteps of his family. He even finds excuses for why his family has not returned; the paradise is too fascinating, with all sorts of fascinating foods and fascinating people to meet…

What he finds is rows of graves, he tries his best to stay optimistic and convince the wolf, or rather, himself that they can still make it. For sure, the way ahead of them leads to the mountains. He breaks down soon after that. Expressing how he was talking to himself the whole time but apologizing later nevertheless. They somehow manage to return to the house, but the boy’s wound is getting worse. He promises that they’ll try again once his leg heals.

After all, it’s embarrassing if his family finds him sleeping when they return. He asks the wolf (Johann) to never forget him as he breathes his last breath, still waiting for his family to return for him and imagining Johann greeting him with the rest of his family and other people outside. He won’t be alone anymore, he’ll do his best. “It’s nice to meet you, my name is – “

With a somewhat grotesque scene and flooded with memories of the boy and his excitement for adventure, the main character takes his form and sets out to meet all sorts of people and have all kinds of experiences, just as the boy wished, in search for an even stronger impetus.

Can something inhuman be human? Stories like Houseki no kuni or Eve no jikan come to mind. What even is humanity? Is it empathy for another? If so, “it” expressed it quite clearly at the sight of the boy dying. While it wasn’t the wolf that the boy had lost, but it became his last companion. The first chapter of this manga is strong and expresses a strong characterization of the boy who becomes the main character’s motivation, in a sense it becomes and starts to form its own impetus, adding to the reason to move and search for a stronger and better one. It creates a reason for us to become invested and creates a strong emotional response from the audience. Tissues will be a must for future chapters.

Right from the start, the journey for the main character is clear. What he will find at the end is a mystery, however, the experiences and people he faces will be the gift for us readers.

What are your thoughts on To your eternity? What similar manga or anime do you know? Let me know in the comments below!

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