Fushi finds himself separated from Pioran, stuck on an island where violence is law. Will they survive?
“He was like an arrow without a bow”
When Fushi and Pioran took a journey across the sea, they went in search of a land of monstrous animals that can provide the necessary challenge to Fushi. A step closer to being strong enough against the Nokkers. But while they are looking for a ship, they are tricked by a bunch of rogues into climbing onto a prisoner's vessel. One that is headed for an island where criminals are sent to live and die. Fushi must learn to survive in this lawless land, find Pioran, and escape. But the island has a lot more to its surface than it seems.
Beware for spoilers!
This new arc begins with violence. Like, the beginning of the episode starts with Fushi waiting for the start of the arena where the rest of the prisoners are meant to fight to the death. There’s a tournament of sorts, to determine the future leader of the island Jananda. Tonari, the one who tricked Pioran and Fushi, and her gang all want Fushi to join. After seeing him survive a deadly fall, they believe him to be the best champion. And if he were to become the leader, he can find and save Pioran, he agreed.
And before the match even started, blood had started to spill. In an arena of murder and mayhem, Fushi is faced with a startling side to humanity that he hadn’t seen before, or he hadn’t remembered. A world of cruelty where the death of others is the best form of entertainment. Fushi is a gentle soul who learned the value of people and refuses to kill. But he has a hard decision to do if he were to achieve his goals. And in this moment of desperation, the episode reveals its point.
“If you win, you win all rights on the island. They’ll let you do anything.
Thematically, this arc of Fushi in the prison island allows the show to explore how Fushi can develop his humanity in the face of victims of tragedy who became part of the system of cruelty. Less action, more moral philosophy. Fushi is faced with the islanders, all of which could have been brought from their crimes, or born from a family forced to live there. They live in hardship and squalor. The people all live in a state of poverty, and it creates a cutthroat world for them to survive in.
Unlike the previous friends Fushi has made, all of which who lived in relatively peaceful lands despite their hardships in life, Fushi has no understanding of the desperation people face when the world is against them. And with the only other memory that can help him understand, the one with March, having been stolen by the Nokkers, it’s all even more difficult for him to wrap his head around.
Essentially, Fushi is born to a privilege where he doesn’t understand the need for bloodshed. Seeing the people murder without remorse can really rattle anyone who believes in that. Tonari is a person who wasn’t like that, instead being born in hardship and understands that living by the blade is the only way to live. This disconnect between their morals and privilege creates tension between Fushi and her gang. And he doesn’t like how they can just act normal when horrible acts occur around them. But the episode seems to be aiming for this disconnect. For Fushi to understand horror and sympathy.
“That’s why you could save Rean. Right, Gugu?”
Two things stand out here. The clash of Fushi and his ideals in their dangerous society. And the people that latch on to him as their savior. Fushi absolutely refuses to kill. His decision to win was to just not die. Which is easy for him, since he’s immortal. And he uses these powers to avoid the system of cruelty in his way path to victory. It’s a very shounen approach, a typical stance of non-violence as a rebellion against the world. It makes sense the most for Fushi since he’s an immortal who can take the hits without end. It’s uplifting to see Fushi still retain his budding humanity despite all the dangers that push him otherwise.
But he’s committed violence before. In his earliest moments of existence, he’s killed as a response to pain and anger. And he refuses to acknowledge this. It creates a stain of hypocrisy on his character that he has to face since he can only get stronger from the death of others. People die if he is weak, but he has to kill to save those precious to him. And his absolute refusal to play the game of life versus his very existence creates dramatic tension. It even makes a sort of ironic twist since the people that forcibly want to associate with him are just like him, people born to bad circumstances and just making the best of their situation.
“There is no reason you should choose to suffer over those who have chosen their own time.”
There’s the idea of violence in the episode that is also connected to a theme of desperation. Tonari seems to have grander plans rather than just dragging two random people to fight to the death. If anything, she’s just doing her job, like everybody else. She’s dragged into the monotonous cage of her existence, and she wants to get out. She’s seen how the island has fallen because no one came to help them, and she’s banking her hopes that Fushi could provide the key to their peace, or their escape. She’s cold and calculating, both it’s made obvious that she’s that way out of need. She understands the necessity of underhanded methods because she doesn’t have power. And when faced with this, Fushi cannot accept their way of life. Something that even the man in black calls him out on.
Because Fushi is faced with the difficult acceptance that death and violence is natural and sometimes unavoidable. He’ll commit violence again and again, not just as part of the world of mortals, but as consequence of who he is. It’s a difficult truth that he refuses to face. Though that might be because he’s also the person who’s strong enough to overcome it. Like every other protagonist in shounen, the upholding of non-violence and peace is a common trope that elevates the main character to a different moral standard. Like a spotlight of good. To Your Eternity seems intent on doing the same treatment with Fushi. And it makes for really good, if derivative, drama.
How long can Fushi last as a good person?
New episodes of To Your Eternity coming out every Monday. Watch Episode 15 on 26 of July 2021 at 10:50 PM (JST).
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