With a first episode that pulls at the heartstrings, the adaptation of the critically acclaimed To Your Eternity instantly delivers all the goods fans of the manga and of Yoshitoki Ōima were expecting, jampacked with atmospheric existentialism and bittersweet drama.
"In the beginning, it was an orb"
The show begins with a disembodied voice narrating the story of creation. Rather, the creation of “It”, an orb-like being that is sent to Earth by the voice as part of an experiment. “It” has the ability to reflect the forms of any and all creatures, and requires only to be stimulated into something new. There, we see the beginnings of “It” as a rock, simply existing as a rock for a long time. Until a new sensation triggers it to take on another form. This time, “It” becomes a large white dog that roams the snowy mountains until it reaches a new place and a new sensation. A being that lives in structures that stand against the wind and creates fire from wood. A being that makes fish appear from the water. A being that stands on two legs and smiles and makes sounds that catched its attention. That was its first encounter with a human. And so the story of this human becomes the center of the first episode, and the center of its first new experience.
In the very beginning, To Your Eternity already brings out its best. Kenjiro Tsuda (voice of Nanami Kento of Jujutsu Kaisen and, more recently, Tatsu from The Way of the Househusband) begins the episode with a soothing narration of “It” and its beginnings, a treat for simps of Kenjiro Tsuda’s voice. The visual game of the show is on a different level. The show chooses a mixture of smooth animation balanced with the calm and homey atmosphere it would create along with the pale color palette that accentuates the splashes of color. The production team behind the animation did not pull any stops, and the audience is treated with visual poetry that perfectly matches the story.
"This was an alluring space"
The story of To Your Eternity is what really takes the cake. Yoshitoki Ōima’s writing shines through the animation as her visual ideas and words are given beautiful life. The potential to be an emotional rollercoaster is very apparent with every quiet word and exchange between the main character and “It”. It’s expected of the mind behind A Silent Voice, bringing genuine heart and emotion within the very beginning.
Fans of A Silent Voice’s raw emotion and drama, or maybe fans of Makoto Shinkai’s mix of romantic pessimism will find enjoyment with the first episode. There’s its mixture of atmospheric storytelling, relying more on a quiet approach to unveil the emotions of the episode’s character, an unnamed boy with white hair who lives alone in an icy tundra. “It” takes form of this character’s dog, and learns the harsh life the boy lives and the smile he carries through it all. Bittersweet doesn’t even begin to explain the underlying emotions of the story. The audience gets to watch the unnamed boy live his life while silently being introduced to the world of loneliness that seems to be a theme in this episode, and possibly the coming episodes too.
The beauty of the episode, and in the writing of Yoshitoki Ōima, lies in the unsaid and spoken. The visual storytelling mixes well with the subtle approach to unfolding its story. Most of the episode is with the unnamed boy smiling through the harsh cold and sharing stories with his beloved dog Joaan. But there's a lot of untold things that bubble beneath, revealing a greater sadness that gives even greater depth to the emotional content. And it makes for a wonderful and unpredictable flight of emotions that will no doubt leave viewers breathless and excited for what comes next.
To say more risks spoiling, but it’s easy to summarize To Your Eternity as the most unique and exciting show to come out of the season, an experience that will hopefully leave audiences in tears yet happy. A philosophical journey of discovery and a tale of humanity, the show promises to pull at heartstrings and make you ponder on the nature of life. And To Your Eternity is willing to make us experience all the ups and downs and bring us on a wild adventure of emotions.
WATCH THIS NOW! And prepare some tissue and drink water for your tears.
New episodes of To Your Eternity coming out every Monday. Watch Episode 2 on 19 of April 2021 at 10:50 PM (JST).
Official English website: To Your Eternity
Official Japanese website: To Your Eternity
Official English Twitter account: To Your Eternity