A volume full of the heart and soul of being alive.
To Your Eternity is a manga filled with emotion. It’s a story about life, living, and the tender nature of humanity. The main character Fushi is some kind of experiment sent from the heavens to learn and experience all the ways of life from laughter to slaughter. In this latest volume Fushi must escape capture, fight a war against a new kind of monster, and say goodbye to many more friends.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Fushi remains on Jananda with Hayase, and by doing so, frees Tonari and the group. But Tonari returns to the island to save Fushi, where a grave danger awaits them yet again. When the lives of his dearest friends and the island’s inhabitants are under threat, it’s up to Fushi to take the next step…
Why does this matter?
Through five volumes Yoshitoki Oima has captured a sense of spirit that makes the reader feel the loss, regret, and purpose of the main character. It’s a powerful manga that has managed to make me think about life and death, which I wasn’t expecting. To Your Eternity can be both exciting and refreshing at once.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This volume does a lot to set Fushi on a new path. It wraps up his capture, sets Fushi to task in fighting a war on his own, and eventually steers his journey into a brand new direction. Oima accomplishes a lot making this volume feel rewarding and dense with content. That includes developing the mysterious figure in black who only Fushi can see, and who also shares insight and advice along the way. There’s plenty of action, but as with previous volumes the quieter, more introspective parts are the most interesting.
There are a few key scenes that take this quieter route but pay off in big ways. A sequence later in the volume involves Fushi saying goodbye to an old friend. It’s told in a way that will remind anyone who has seen a grandparent slow down and eventually pass in old age. It’s sad for Fushi, and it’s particularly upsetting if you can relate to these moments. Oima does an exceptional job making these moments feel genuine right down to Fushi smiling even when times get tough. It’s an example of how this manga shows the purity of one’s emotions in difficult times. There are also major losses in battle and elsewhere which further develop Fushi in interesting ways.
This manga continues to be rendered in high detail, further grounding it in reality. The backgrounds are incredibly detailed and layered, looking like photographs at times. There are a lot of emotions throughout the volume from cries of passion, to rage, to tears of joy, but what always gets me is the warm, happy calm of Fushi. He’s a character that sucks in the experiences around him and you can read the gratefulness on his face.
It can’t be perfect can it?
I can’t say I understand Hayase, who is a villain and won’t let Fushi rest in peace. She seems insane and hasn’t had much development, thus serving as just a crazed loon that Fushi can’t shake. It’s a strange thing how flat this character is given how complicated even the simplest supporting character can be.
Is it good?
Another great volume in a series that’s always interesting and ever-touching. It’s capable of making you think about life, and living it, in ways most fiction simply can’t match.