While pain and sorrow is To Your Eternity’s bread and butter, episode 7 finally gives the audience a much-needed break from all the anguish, introducing us to a cute love story and a new character for Fushi to meet and learn from.
“Why am I me?”
A young boy asks the question as he stares at a tower in the distance. Why was he born in the way he was, always working just so he could have enough? This is how we meet our newest protagonist Gugu, a young boy from Takunaha who dreams of living with riches and luxury. With his trusty big brother by his side, they make a promise to work hard and live a good life of being happy. So they do just that, every day looking for work and finding ways to earn more and more money. It’s their whole routine, their whole life in fact. Just work and be happy together.
But fate doesn’t play for anyone’s goals. It starts with a girl he sees in the marketplace. A beautiful girl that makes Gugu’s heart beat faster and his face red as a lobster. Then his brother doing who knows what. And then Gugu’s life turns itself over when he almost dies trying to be a hero.
In a twist of cruel irony, he finds himself living under the beautifully large tower of a brewer he calls Booze Man. He becomes Gugu’s new caretaker and employer, the man who saved his life. And in this new world that he has to adjust to, he meets Pioran and the mysterious immortal named Fushi. And the seeds of a beautiful friendship are planted as they bond over the mutual chaos of their lives.
“I became some kind of monster that isn’t me.”
Definitely a good reliever, the 7th episode of To Your Eternity starts out as any other episode. There’s the innocent character mixed with a world that isn’t as kind as it seems. There’s the innocent aspirations and desires for a better life, and then the cruel twist of ‘oops!’ by fate itself. Of course, this time, the audience is treated to a lighter story. Instead of a survival war drama elements of the previous arc, this arc begins with what is essentially a romantic comedy.
Gugu is head over heels for Rean, a girl who seems to be from a richer family. He develops a crush for the girl after seeing her in the marketplace all the time and when he got the chance to talk to her by returning her dog. It makes for easy comedy, watching as Gugu bumbles with his interactions and struggles to string a sentence together in the presence of the other. It’s easy set up for a romance that will no doubt pay off in the future. Though whether ‘pay off’ means they get together or they encounter some form of tragedy has yet to be seen. It still wins in the audiences favor, because either future will still be entertaining.
It also doesn’t hurt that Gugu himself is written charmingly. Like March, Gugu’s characterization is all about a pure innocence faced with harsh reality. Whereas March’s arc is all about learning the true meaning of growing up, Gugu’s seem to be leaning towards the ‘family is who we choose’ sort of arc that can easily pull at the heartstrings. There’s also the theme of ‘defined by our actions, not by our circumstance’ kind of vibe that it wants to pull off. Like a sort of reversal, the new arc could be showing a sort of ‘taking destiny to your hands’ kind of situation to counter the nihilism of the previous arc which was all about the ‘inescapability of fate’. Then again, the March arc did start with them fighting to be free, so who knows what this new story could bring. Either more heart ache or a new member to adventure.
“Well, we’re both monsters. Let’s stick together.”
But the other side to the story is the sort of big brother/little brother situation between Gugu and Fushi. With the whole theme of found family in mind, it could be easy to discern that Fushi is going to learn a new aspect to the human experience as part of a family. Gugu is already being prepared to develop together with Fushi. So it isn’t a stretch to think that Gugu’s role in Fushi’s existence is to teach him the essentials of family. While March was the sort of baby steps and birth of Fushi, Piorna the first nursery teacher, Gugu is the new older brother or best friend. Like a baby, Fushi could look up to Gugu as a sort of role model. Though this could also mean that Gugu might be headed for the chopping block if any of the other inspirations of Fushi’s change is to be checked. We can only know in the future episodes ahead.
“Embrace the heartache and become a good man, Gugu!”
All in all, it’s good to finally see something cute and light in the anime that isn’t too bogged down by the undercurrent of melancholy that the previous episodes were. Gugu and Rean are adorable. Fushi is adorable. And things are too deceptively happy. Who knows what carnage will come next?
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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