To Your Eternity

Alt title: Fumetsu no Anata e

TV (20 eps)
4.374 out of 5 from 7,275 votes
Rank #69

A lonely boy wandering the Arctic regions of North America meets a wolf, and the two become fast friends, depending on each other to survive the harsh environment. But the boy has a history, and the wolf is more than meets the eye as well…

Source: Kodansha

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The Last One

Episode 1

The Last One

A Rambunctious Girl

Episode 2

A Rambunctious Girl

A Small Evolution

Episode 3

A Small Evolution

A Large Vessel

Episode 4

A Large Vessel

Those Who Follow

Episode 5

Those Who Follow

Our Goals

Episode 6

Our Goals

The Boy Who Wants to Change

Episode 7

The Boy Who Wants to Change

Monster Brothers

Episode 8

Monster Brothers

Deep Memories

Episode 9

Deep Memories

New Family

Episode 10

New Family

Gift From the Past

Episode 11

Gift From the Past

Awakening

Episode 12

Awakening

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Reviews

Rascal
10

Isn't living the reason for life itself? Before I begin, let me preface this by saying that if you haven't seen this anime yet, at least its first episode, then don't read this review. In fact, don't read any review. Just take this first paragraph as a heartfelt reccomendation, to pick this anime up, and experience it for yourself. Because this review WILL spoil the first episode, which for me is necessary for a review of this anime. Now, with that out of the way, let's move on. let's see what's out there I don't want to jump the proverbial gun and say this is the best anime ever made. But I can at least say I'm reasonably sure this is the only 10/10/10/10 review I'll ever make. Anime and Manga are vast mediums with a storied history of creativity, culture, influence from other cultures, and evolution overtime. The sheer amount of creativity that's possible with Japanese comics and animation, with their unique types of storytelling, are perfect for crafting masterpieces of art. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that To Your Eternity, especially its anime, is the culmination of a long period of evolution in crafting a masterful story and presentation. Using novel concepts, a detailed world, brilliantly written characters, and expert sound and visual composition, a work of genius was created. The first episode of To Your Eternity sets the tone for what the rest of the anime will be, and what an astounding start to a journey it is. You'd naturally expect in a shounen to have a main character introduced who has a dream, large aspirations, and an event that kicks off their wild journey into the unknown world ahead of them, but nope! Too bad for people who are more comfortable knowing what to expect, the rug is almost immediately pulled out from under you. The "hero" of this story, or rather, an experiment wrapped in a character, is an immortal entity capable of shapeshifting into and taking on the feelings and abilities of, anything it encounters that makes a strong impression on it. In short, this main character's only goal is to learn, and experience things. This is an important point for later on in this review, so remember that! It takes on a few different forms, including a dead wolf who dies right on top of it, and becomes that wolf. Then, it eventually meets The Boy, who is what this whole anime is about. Nice to meet you! My name is... The Boy is a lonely creature. Isolated from the rest of his tribe, he's forced to try and survive in the icy tundra with nothing but a shack, the ability to catch fish, and his pet wolf... who has died, and unbeknownst to him, been replaced with our Main Character. Through this encounter, we experience the psyche of this lonely boy who has grown up for years wondering when his family will return to him.  So, he decides to set out on a Journey to find them instead, and see the world. To experience things. Of course, taking his wolf with him. But it wasn't meant to be. The boy is forced to give up due to an infection and the harsh cold, and returns to his shack to die. The music goes from hopeful, to somber. The cheery atmosphere put on by the boy's ever hopeful monologues and lively animation, give way to depression and slow, sad movements. That's when you realize how well everything is coming together, and you're forced to feel what the boy feels. Isolation. The brutal destruction of his hope. The realization he'll never get to know what fruit tastes like, or see any of the world besides the icy plains he lived on all his life, or see anyone he knew again. At last, he dies, surrounded by pictures of people he brely remembers, but before he does, he tells the main character, the immortal wolf, to "remember him". The wolf transforms into the boy, and carries his wishes with him, while the nameless boy who had lost all hope, goes off into a fantasy where his dreams come true. The Immortal, having taken on the boy's form, sets out to gain more experience, and explore the world, just as the boy had wanted to do. He would never die, just continue learning and growing. Mondays be like... Now you may be wondering... Rascal! I thought this was a review. Why did you just tell me a summary of episode one? What good does that do? Because Episode One of this anime, is more than just the pilot episode. It is the whole anime, in a sense. That isn't to say there aren't surprises, or that other things don't happen later on, or that it never grows and changes, it does. In fact, that is exactly what I mean when I say episode one represents the anime perfectly. It speaks for itself. It just... is. It's beautiful, from beginning to end, as well as sad, tragic, frustrating, happy, magical, everything. It's the embodiment of all the feelings you don't know how to describe or deal with, in anime form. The feeling of being alive, and the meaning of what it is to live. And it sets everything up that the show will deal with in the future. Ideals of family, relationships, remembering people, life, death, meaning, even simpler experiences that help one find beauty in the small things, like eating good food, or having a laugh. It all stems from this one episode and blossoms into what becomes the whole anime. This anime isn't a tragedy, a comedy, or anything else you think it might be, at least the way I see it. It's a romance. A romanctic ideal of life, death, existence, and deeper questions that nobody knows how to ask. It's... just art. That's giving it a lot of credit, I know. A simple animated TV show can't really be a transcendental experience that perfectly encapsulates life, and its meaning. I mean... can it? I honestly don't know. At least I don't know any objective answer on that. Talking about the quality of this show, if that's all you want from a review, I'd have to say it's pretty much perfect. The music, pacing, narration, animation, character designs, emotional peaks and lows, story, character arcs, realistic and meaningful dialogue it all works well together. Impeccably so, such that every episode feels like a deliberately crafted and meaningful experience. But at the core of it all there's something a lot more meaningful that affects us on a different level than entertainment, and that's proven by its philosophy and how many people get something different from it. I'm going to just straight up acknowledge, that there will be many people, some in the review section of this very webpage you're viewing this review on, that don't really see a point to this anime. They'll think, why does this even exist as a story? There's no goal, there's no actual motivation behind it.  But this anime is the point. To me, the very act of watching it, is akin to the act of just living life. Sure sometimes it's hard to see a point. But at the end of the day, the "point" is to experience it. To live life, is the point of life itself. To seek things out, experiences, a purpose, other people. That's the point of this anime, just to portray that. For some people, that's not enough, they need solid motivations and a clear goal, and I get that. But for me, this romanticized portrayal of life, its beauty, and its fragility, is all I need, and it speaks volumes more than any other anime, movie, or TV show I've seen. Favorite anime as of writing this review. 10/10

ThatAnimeSnob
4

PROLOGUE When the first episode of this anime aired, it was instantly labeled as a masterpiece for making everyone cry with how sad it was. Extra hype came in by mentioning the author being the same as in A Silent Voice. It used all the classic tricks of cryporn, such as a tragic backdrop story, an unfair death, and a blank in personality protagonist that looked like a cute doggie. It did its job perfectly for that one episode, and if it ended there it would be remembered positively. PROBLEM #1: REPETITION Unfortunately there were more episodes and more arcs, and in every arc the exact same thing was happening. The protagonist met someone with a tragic backdrop story, spent some time with him, and then he died. No matter how good the execution may be, the repetition alone was making each time to be less impactful than the previous one. PROBLEM #2: LACK OF CONTINUITY AND CLOSURE Constantly killing the support cast had the issue of not giving catharsis to anyone, since they died without resolving their problems. They tried to make it seem like the protagonist was transforming into them for continuing what they were doing, so there wouldn’t be any actual closure. That never happened, since he was not trying to bring closure to whatever they were suffering from. He only assumed their form, moved to a different place, and assumed the form of the next person who died. Basically there was no continuation to the stories. They were just cryporn that went nowhere. PROBLEM #3: LACK OF TIME INVESTMENT Furthermore, latter characters didn’t even spend that much time with the protagonist before dying in order for the audience to care about them. Not even the plot cared about them after awhile which is why it was killing them in a hurry just because it has to. PROBLEM #4: IDENTITY CRISIS On top of that, a quest to save the world from monsters was eventually introduced which caused a major identity crisis. What began as a fantasy drama had now become a sort of shonen action adventure. Fight scenes with superpowers became more frequent, it completely changed the tone of what the show was at first and alienated most of the audience. PROBLEM #5: MESSIAH COMPLEX Because of that change, the protagonist turned from a powerless wanderer to a super powerful messiah. He was no longer a sad nobody in a harsh world, he was now a special chosen one destined to save it by thinking and feeling more and more like a human being. It didn’t have the same vibe as in the beginning of the show when he was just a powerless nobody. PROBLEM #6: MESSY CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT There was also no way to like him for gradually turning from a nobody to a messiah. The transition was either too fast for happening in the span of a few days, or out of screen through lengthy time skips. He gets rewritten into a different character without ever showing you how. PROBLEM #7: MISERYPORN Furthermore, some of the characters the protagonist met didn’t even die by something bad that was happening in their lives. They kicked the bucket because they were interacting with the protagonist, so evil monsters and mean people wanted to make him suffer even more by killing his friends. What began as tragic coincidence eventually became deliberate miseryporn. Hey, mister protagonist, you suffer because we want you to suffer! Be miserable all the time. This is after all the only hook of the show. PROBLEM #8: LACK OF STAKES If the protagonist could die during all this mess, it would ruin everything he is going through, so at least there could be tension regarding his success or failure regarding the salvation of the world. But the thing was, he couldn’t lose because he was an immortal who always healed instantly no matter how many times they killed him. There was nothing to worry about; you were just waiting to see when he was going to win instead of if he wins. PROBLEM #9: EMPTY VICTORY Since everyone else around him was dying, there was also no sense of accomplishment regarding his inevitable victory. What kind of a victory would he achieve if nobody was left alive to enjoy it with him? Can you imagine going through all this suffering for the sake of saving the world, and eventually nobody is left alive at the end? Who thought this was a good idea? It’s just more suffering for the heck of it. PROBLEM #10: DROP IN PRODUCTION VALUES As if all these issues weren’t enough, the production values got worse as the show went on, and what began as a polished cryporn through the use of proper cinematics, became a typical to bad looking fantasy action adventure. And as simple as that, the initial hype for the show evaporated and now very few care for another season. EPILOGUE Once again it was proven why hype is bullshit and why you should only judge something after it’s finished. To You Eternity belongs to the bulk of anime that don’t use well their good ideas and end up being forgotten as soon as they are over. Which, ironically enough, this was supposed to be what the protagonist was trying to prevent by turning into his dying friends.

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