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To Your Eternity Vol. 2 review: prepare for answers and feels!

Prepare for a ride that offers something a little different.

Yoshitoki Oima and Yoshitoki Oima
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To Your Eternity instantly captured my interest with its compelling story of life and existence. Not only drawn beautifully, the manga does a lot to capture the delicate nature of time and life. Its second volume is out this week and not only does it continue to bring an emotional tale, but begins to reveal answers.

So what’s it about?

The official summary reads:

March, the girl who was chosen as a gift for the Oniguma gave It the name “Fushi.” Parona, who once escaped a similar fate, plans to save March yet again. Fushi witnesses their struggles and begins to learn, taking Its first step toward agency…

Why does this matter?

If you’re interested in comic storytelling that some might deem “indie” — stories that have a deeper meaning and aren’t just an action entertainment — this is for you. If you’re interested in contemplating life and why we’re here this will appeal to you.

Fushi transforms! Courtesy ©Yoshitoki Oima/Kodansha, Ltd. All rights reserved.

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

This is one of those reads where you close it and realize the cover has way more meaning than you first realized. There’s an emotional rollercoaster in play in this volume, and it creeps up on you due to it mostly being an escape story. There’s a spiritual journey that takes place at the end of the second act which is reminiscent of the powerful emotional moments of reflection, death, and life that occurred at the end of the first act of the first volume. It’s in this portion the manga separates itself from a fantasy manga and into something more meaningful and touching. There’s a sacrifice made that ends up allowing the protagonist (now named Fushi) to grow and change, which is a truth about life as well.

Speaking of action, the first volume lacked it, but this volume has it in droves. From the planning and execution of the great escapea to a final scene that comes as a complete shock (in a good way!), there’s a lot of fighting and plenty of high-speed scenes. Possibly the most striking and poignant scene of the series so far takes place during a high-speed chase. Yoshitoki Oima reminds us it’s not all about violence though, and in the quieter moments we see March show kindness and love towards others. She’s just a little girl, but through her, we see pure good and thus a bit of hope for humanity in the eyes of Fushi.

It’s still unclear what Fushi is, but Oima thankfully begins to explain things near the end of this volume. There’s a clear statement made, and a mysterious character introduced, which is enough to go on to set your imagination aflame. It’s nice to see rules starting to formulate on how Fushi’s powers work and the characters’ bigger purpose.

March is a kind soul. Courtesy ©Yoshitoki Oima/Kodansha, Ltd. All rights reserved.

It can’t be perfect can it?

The art is for the most part excellent, but transitions in action scenes can sometimes be confusing and kill the pace. Oima has managed to use various layouts, which is something you don’t always see in manga, but there are cases where the panels are stacked in a way that stifles the flow of a scene. Take for instance a key scene late in the volume where Fushi is fighting, and then on the next page the environment scenes to have changed completely. I honestly flipped back and forth to make sure I hadn’t missed a page.

The last third of the volume ends up packing in a lot when it comes to the supernatural elements of the series, making the chapters before it seem slow in comparison. Blame the chapter based format of manga, but it’s clear the direction shifts dramatically in this last section, which hurts the flow of the manga. I was also left scratching my head as to what was going on in the opening scene. Not a lot of explanation is given as to where the characters are and what is happening. They’re sort of hanging out as prisoners, walking up to shopkeepers and acting as if they aren’t in any kind of danger. Maybe this was Parona’s attempt at keeping March calm, but that doesn’t become apparent until later.

Is It Good?

To Your Eternity is a manga that’ll make you reflect on the deeper meaning of life via an intense supernatural story. There’s a slow game going on here, which is rewarding for readers who will get sucked into its story.

To Your Eternity Vol. 2
Is it good?
A deeply meaningful chapter that offers some answers.
Much more action in this volume
Real answers by the end
A deeply emotional moment reminds us this story is about life and death
The transitions between panels can sometimes be confusing and not very clear
The last third changes things dramatically and almost reads more like the start of another volume

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