The angst and dark comedy doesn’t end in episode 8 as the consequences of Gugu’s strange appearance reveal the tragedy of his existence, which makes his bond with Fushi even stronger.
“I don’t know if I’m going to be happy or miserable starting tomorrow”
Fushi is slowly making himself a home in the house of the Booze Man. The walls of the brewery become a place of learning as he grows up more and more alongside his new and unlikely set of friends. There’s Pioran, wise and cunning, who seems to understand that Fushi needs to be more human. There’s the Booze Man, who provides for them while indulging his curiosities. There’s Rean, the newest member who wants to join them there and work with them, for free less of an employee and more like family. And there’s Gugu, the boy with a monstrous face who makes himself Fushi’s ‘older’ brother. And it all seems peachy for them.
But family has fights. Family has misunderstandings. And when one small mistake leads to bad decisions, and when people don’t learn how to understand, things can go downhill. This is what happens when Gugu indulges his curiosity a little too much. Too many questions and not enough sympathy, and he finds himself faced with the reminder that he isn’t exactly a normal human anymore. Not in the way the rest of the world is. And with this comes the realization that he will never have a home, no matter where he goes. And so he decides to do the only thing left for people- no, monsters like him.
“You could say I followed my curiosity”
One of the startling things about To Your Eternity is how often it loves to dabble with dark comedy. It’s hard to remember how the series flip flops from a happy adventure or slice-of-life mood before flipping and reminding you how screwed up the world it created is. This beginning of the episode is no less different.
It's all happy-go-lucky with how Rean admits to wanting to stay with them more. How Rean just wants to hang out and work with them. And that deceptively happy tone carries on to the next moments when Fushi and Gugu are working together and Gugu decided to make some experiments. And even though the stuff happening on screen becomes a tad too uncomfortable, the way it’s all portrayed makes it look like that this was all normal, that this was part of the comedy. It flows much more compared to how during the March arc, March’s exaggerated expressions clashed way too much with the dark atmosphere.
It’s this improved handling of tone when the episode reminds us that Fushi and Gugu are just living in a bubble. Like Rean, they’re just lonely kids with nowhere to go, trying to survive. And when they’re faced with the reality of what they are, it’s going to hit hard. Just like how Gugu realizes how much he lost, what he was turned into in the process, he sets out on his own to try and find a new home. But the bubble has burst, and in came the cruelty of the world.
“Can I not be human without it?”
It goes without saying that the arc so far is mesmerizing. It’s still the same shtick of using the experiences of others to reflect Fushi’s growth. It’s still all about the world being a bad place. But in this dark center lies the heart. That to be human is all about actions taken despite circumstances.
Something that comes as a breath of fresh air so far is how the episode doesn’t actually have a clear villain but doesn’t run out of reasons to make the characters suffer. Despite the March arc having a villain in the invaders that tried to take March and Fushi, and the mysterious creature that can actually rival Fushi in strength, there hasn’t been a singular character that is either pure evil or acts in enjoying evil. It’s a mature form of grey morality. It’s clear that the show loves to play with this idea, seeing as how even good characters make bad decisions, and bad people can learn to be good. There is no one character that is purely one side, most just born out of decisions for circumstances. But it does allow itself to indulge in the danger of naivety.
One thing that seems to jump out from the episode is Pioran’s comment on not spoiling Fushi. That Fushi has to learn to be human as quickly as possible. And it could be linked to the idea that the greatest danger in life is to be foolish. It’s easy to see in how the show doesn’t gift simple dumb actions as simple laughs but as choices that can lead to consequences. In this episode, it all begins with Gugu getting a little too excited and ahead of himself. And then there’s the Booze Man, who let his own desires get the better of him. There’s Gugu’s belief in that he could work hard and still exist in the same place despite seeing the people’s fear. The show doesn’t like the idea of anyone being naïve and unknowing.
It’s not so much of a punishment as it is a reminder about the hard way the world will demand you to exist. Because some characters would want to keep others naïve. Like how Parona was with March. Like how Gugu’s older brother was with him. But it doesn’t end happily for either of them. So the only way to move forward is to learn. And sometimes, that is what helps people become closer. As they learn, they understand each other. And that togetherness brings them closer. At least, that’s one possible theme the show wants to convey.
“I’m scared. But I’m here.”
Fushi is precious. Gugu is a dumb kid that needs love and support. And always make sure of what’s inside your body.
New episodes of To Your Eternity coming out every Monday. Watch Episode 8 on 31 of May 2021 at 10:50 PM (JST).
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