To Your Eternity – S2 13 – Fushi for the People

With Fushi having to build quicker to make his daily quotas, he isn’t home a lot, so Eko decides to bring dinner she made to him. It tastes terrible, but it’s the thought that counts. While everyone else is keeping Fushi on task, Eko and Kahaku don’t want him to forget the little things that make us human. But while Fushi appears to be sleeping in his room, it’s just a dummy; the real Fushi is out rebuilding through the night.

One of Renril’s biggest remaining vulnerabilities is its underground water and sewer system, which has to be completely rebuilt to make it Nokker-proof. During this process, Eko notices the water is dirty, tracks down the source of the fouling, and alerts the proper channels, all without saying a word. She even pitches in with the demo work, one stone and plank at a time.

At this point Kahaku has taken on the role of house husband, keeping an Eye on Eko, cooking meals, and keeping the Booze Man’s house clean. He also continues to worry about how hard Fushi is working. Eko lures him home with a clay pot vision of a feast of all his favorites. While he’s initially disappointed to find hot pot instead, once he tastes it, he gives his complimnents to the chef—in this case Eko. It wasn’t her cooking that was bad, but the city water.

Eko’s hard work spurs Fushi to work even harder. Messar gets the princess to agree to extend Founding Day to a week to keep the bulk of the citizens in the festival area, allowing Fushi to rebuild the network of towering walls one by one. The more he builds, the more sensations—both good and bad—he feels. If he focuses too much on them, they overwhelm him. He realizes he can’t help anyone. There are too many people with too many problems big and small.

Fushi’s in a charitable mood the next day, when he agrees to take the fall for Cam in a fighting tournament so he can impress the girl he likes. However, stuff happens that attract the suspicions of the citizen soldiers and Fushi’s little favor to Cam nearly exposes him. That night, the soldiers decide to head out looking for the one doing all the building, wondering if its the Fushi demon the Church of Bennett condemned.

The soldiers end up catching Fushi in the act…of rebuilding a wall. Fushi accepts that he’s been caught with cool resignation—a kind of do your worst, ya ingrates stance. He also boasts that even if the church captures him again, he knows his way out of molten metal now, and will be free again in two days. But by shifting into various forms the soldiers all know, they realize it was Fushi who helped them and their loved ones all those times in the past days, weeks, and months.

The next day, an adamant Fushi decides to walk out onto the streets in his regular form, whatever slings and arrows come his way. But to his surprise, both royal knight and citizen soldier salute him, and he gets nods of approval and thanks from the other citizens. Bon and Messar flank him as he continues his walk, not of shame, but of honor. The people have spoken: if Fushi is a demon, he’s a demon on their side.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

To Your Eternity – S2 12 – Biting Down Hard

Last week gave us insight into Kai’s past and why he wants to help Fushi. This week we get the same with his other two new allies, Messar and Hylo. Turns out Messar is casual with Princess Alme because they once played that reversi-type game together as kids. Alme promised to give him anything he wanted if he beat her, but he never got to as he was shooed away as a servant’s son.

When Booze Man!Fushi rebuilds the waterwheel building, he gets offers from impressed and amazed citizens hoping he’ll rebuild their houses as well. Because both the new building and Booze Man’s house are extensions of Fushi, eventually the whole of Renril will be of Fushi as well, and thus far easier to defend from Nokkers.

Fushi finds Hylo sparring with the citizen soldiers in order to gain their trust, and Fushi can sense he’s taking and concealing a huge amount of physical punishment. Hylo tells Fushi that as a child he had his teeth pulled and was isolated from the rest of the world, with only his adoptive mother as a companion. The reason for this is that the church believed he was possessed by a demon.

Due to having complete control over his life and upbringing, the Supreme Pontiff made Hylo a holy soldier, but Hylo vowed to free himself from that charge at the nearest convenience, which is why he’s now with Fushi. One of the citizen soldiers, Cam, listens in, and is brought into the fold. He doesn’t like Fushi’s insistence that no one but him fight. The people want to fight and protect what they love.

Fushi now understands Kai and Hylo better, but what of Messar? To Fushi it looks like he just lazes around playing games. But Bon tells Fushi that Messar must have ties to the royal family, as they met and became friends at a gathering of nobles twenty years ago.

The reason Messar is so focused on playing the game (and having Kai teach him how to win) is that he remembered Alme’s promise, and decides to cash it in now. He doesn’t want the throne, he only wants the princess’s trust. So they play. For her part, Alme is happy Messar remembered the promise, and to be able to play with him again.

Messar ends up beating Alme, and she grants him her “trust”, which translates to the crown convincing the population and coordinating demolition so Fushi can rebuild at a faster pace. Still, Alme insists that real trust only comes with time and actions, not won or lost bets. To this, Messar walks up to her and blows her veil away, revealing her beautiful face, much to her chagrin.

Messar then reveals to Bon that he’ll never be king, because he and Alme are half-siblings and he’s the king’s bastard son. He’ll never tell Alme this, so Alme may continue to harbor romantic feelings, but if their brother and father die, he’s determined to be the one to protect her, hence his alliance with Fushi. Less than three months remain until the Nokker attack, but preparations are progressing smoothly.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

To Your Eternity – S2 11 – New Pieces On the Board

Fushi arrives in Renril with Eko, Kahaku, and Horse to survey and make preparations to protect it from the Nokkers, who will attack in less than half a year. It’s the biggest settlement yet he’s visited, and Eko clearly gets a kick out of the size, complexity, and vibrance of the place. Fushi, who was looking very inhuman last week when he became one with the vines, feels a lot more human now that he’s in the big city.

Back in Uralis, Bon has his brother Torta ask the elite soldiers assembled a series of questions intended to give them an honorable out from what may be a one-way trip. Only one walks out, but not because he doesn’t intend to join Bon’s cause. On the contrary, the soldier later reveals himself to be an acquaintence: Kai Renald Roulle. He, along with the former Church of Bennett soldier Hylo Rich, accompany Bon to Renril.

The third ally, Messar, they meet in the city. The triad have loyalty, apostasy, and cunning, and Bon believes that not only are they worthy of his and Fushi’s trust, but are the best people to make into the new batch of Immortals. Fushi is upset to hear that the allies Bon gathered are still human, as he has always found using people’s bodies distasteful.

Even so, Bon believes this is the only way to win the battle before them. They all appear before Renril’s Princess Alme, and Fushi, who is in a bad mood, doesn’t mince words about her fate should she refuse their help. Alme doesn’t challenge Fushi’s assertions, but ask that rather be handed the things they need—the trust and cooperation of the people, the castle, the entire city—that they go out and obtain those things for themselves.

Fushi remains skeptical and bitter towards Bon—their first fight, if you will—and the ever-smitten Kahaku even offers to re-take his place as Fushi’s eternal companion in Bon’s place. Fushi is in a hurry, but Messar tells him not to cross the princess, and that there’s a proper way to do things in Renril.

Kai can tell Fushi is restless, so he invites him to play a Reversi-type game with him. While they play, Kai regales Fushi with the details of his background, in which their city was attacked by Nokkers, but he, his father and grandmother all survived.

Kai joined Bon’s army, and eventually his remaining family members passed, but he remained determined to live a life of purpose as long as he could. That’s why he finds the promise of Fushi’s abilities so attractive. If Fushi acquired him, he could live, and serve, forever. Fushi has lost many vessels, but Kai, Hylo, and Messar are offering themselves willingly as new pieces on the game board.

Thanks to Eko, who is very sensitive to change, Fushi notices a collapsed water wheel building on the edge of town, and sees his first opportunity to gain the trust of the citizens of Renril. He restores the building in a single day, and also builds Booze Man’s house behind it, to serve as a base of operations. With the people in awe of his feats, winning over the castle and princess can’t be far behind.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

To Your Eternity – S2 10 – Eko From the Beyond

Fushi has been hard at work training on the beached galleon, but is running into problems replicating something so big and complex. He’s able to summon forth each and every part of the ship, but not the ship in its entirety. The Beholder advises him to develop better “awareness” that the objects he creates “belong to him.”

Prince Bon and Kahaku are also hard at work, defeating Nokkers and warning the crown princess of Renril that a Nokker attack is coming. While the masked, obscured princess refuses to abandon the castle or town, she does agree to an alliance. Taking a break from training, Fushi discovers a town.

There he finds new fruits and vegetables at the market, and pays for them with money. He then finds poor and starving people and gives them the food he bought, but when he tries to give money to a woman and her kid he’s met with resentment and suspicion. The woman won’t let him “control” them with his money.

Fushi then senses intense pain coming from a filthy girl with big eyes who is trapped in a cage in a circus tent. He breaks her and her little brother out in the middle of the night and rides back to his galleon base, but on the way the boy dies and he buries him.

Back aboard the ship, Fushi ensures the girl doesn’t meet the same fate, as he feeds her, shows her his menagerie, sews her a dress, bathes her, and cuts her hair. Since the only word she says is “-eko” in response to the presence of a cat (neko), Fushi decides to address her as “Eko.” She stays aboard while he continues his training.

When she senses her falling after trying to plug a leak, he transforms into her brother, and is able to communicate with her through her clay pot, which is apparently a particular ability of her people. This experience helps him to better understand the Beholder’s advice, and he rejects the idea that he “controls” anyone or anything.

Rather, he has to look at things as having always been a part of him. Everything he sees or has ever seen is not merely a collection of possessions, but his very existence itself. He surrounds the ship with an elaborate tangle of vines from his body, and from his spot below deck is able to achieve a number of tasks remotely.

After a while without any contact, Kahaku and Bon decide to return to the beach to check on Fushi, and find that he’s essentially created his own little mini-world. His face covered and body constrained by vines, Fushi confirms that everything within a 3km radius of him…is him. 

He’s also able to teleport, after a fashion, by creating an ambulatory copy of himself through the network of vines. He prepares tea and pastries for his friends and introduces them to Eko, whose people Kahaku is aware of. Fushi communicates with her again as her brother, and learns she has no home to return to, so she’ll be accompanying him on their mission to protect Renril. She seems fine with that!

Bon heads to Uralis to try to find “Immortal allies” that will help them, while Fushi, Eko, Kahaku and Horse head to the beautiful and imposing palace city of Renril, where they’ll likely meet with the crown princess and some of her trusted officers.

Considering her prominent presence in the ED, I was looking forward to Eko’s introduction, and was not disappointed. She rivals March and Rynn for cutest character in TyE, and I feel both we and Fushi have only just scratched the surface of her clay pot abilities.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

To Your Eternity – S2 09 – A Horse of Course

The Nokkers attack the city, but as usual TYE has presentation issues when it comes to capturing the scale and complexity of the ensuing chaos. Events come down to Fushi in his various forms warning townsfolk to flee “east”, which seems somewhat arbitrary. People crowd and convene in the head church, only for that to be the location where the Nokkers appear. As Fushi battles, he loses his vessels one after the other.

By the time the sun rises and the dust clears, the Nokkers have been defeated, but untold people have been killed, while Fushi has lost Parona, Gugu, Uroy, Shin, and Ligurd. Bon and Kahaku are rightfully concerned: if he can lose five of his precious vessels in just one battle, he can scarcely afford to lose many more in the next. A kindly holy knight gives Fushi his blessing, but it’s not enough.

While Fushi has gotten a lot better at fighitng the Nokkers, we’ve arrived at a point where they’re a step ahead, hiding in quicksand and capitalizing on his lack of muscle (March can’t really fire arrows, for instance). The Beholder ends up bailing Fushi out with a Horse he created from a piece of Fushi’s flesh. The horse has a mind of its own, and keeps Fushi from rushing back into battle too soon.

While Kahaku shows that he can still fight the Nokkers off with his left arm, that arm Nokker relays a message from its fellow Nokkers who regard it as a traitor: they’ll be launching an attack on the largest human city in a year’s time. If Fushi wants his vessels back, he’ll go to that city and “play the game.”

Kahaku, Bon, and the forces of Uralis will aid the city in preparation and evacuation, while Fushi stays aboard a beached galleon from Uralis that Bon has designated his new base. There, he must learn how to create larger objects in order to gain a new advantage against the biggest Nokker threat yet.

To Your Eternity – S2 08 – Baron Spring Roll

Bishop Cylira is on the ground, as is the entire assembled crowd for the execution. But Bon lies dead, his bloody severed head next to his body, so Ligurd!Fushi was too late, right? Wrong. Bon wakes up in the brick shelter Fushi built, flanked by his dead companions, but he himself is still quite alive, thanks to Fushi.

Appearing as Rynn, Fushi explains that she studied Tonari’s journal and developed an easily-replicated poison that knocked out the execution crowd and gave her time to rescue Bon and replace him with a dead copy. Fushi makes clear that he wasn’t clever enough to come up with such a plan, but his vessels’ assembled knowledge (not to mention wings) aided him.

While the Uralis royal family initially believes their son dead, and Bon watches from on high (a bit like Huck Finn at his own funeral) Rynn!Fushi presents them with the still-alive Bon, and they gang-tackle him with elation and relief. That said, now that the church believes him to be dead, he can no longer carry on as Prince Bonchein.

That’s fine with him, as he cuts his hair and shaves to hide his past identity. He now realizes that he’s happy just to be with his family, and no longer thirsts for the throne. Todo is also reported to have died serving his prince, so the now skinny-from-malnourishment Iris sees no further need to hide her true self.

Meeting Iris, the girl he met at the palace who gave him the flower handkerchief, briefly breaks Bon, due in part to how he treated her when she was Todo. After meeting with Chabo, he sulks in his bedchamber, then chews Iris out, as he can’t believe she and Todo were the same person.

This leads Iris to run to the tea table to scarf down enough food to get fat again, but Bon stops her, apologizes for his harsh words, and asks her to stay at the castle with him and his family.

Fireworks memorializing Prince Bon light the skies, Iris agrees, and the two commit to taking care of Chabo; a new found family of three. It’s a beautiful, fairy tale ending for Bon, now known as Baron Spring Roll, Iris, FKA Todo, and Chabo. All thanks to Fushi.

As Rynn!Fushi prepares to depart for her next destination, Bon mentions how he said he’d reward her for her service. Bon probes her by asking how she’d feel if all her lost friends were immortal. But after asking this, Fushi feels a pang of pain—it’s Kahaku.

Distraught over the fact the Guardians are disbanding due to Fushi’s condemnation as a heretic and how he was rejected by the woman he loved (Parona!Fushi), Kahaku got ruinously drunk in the stables and tried to cut his Nokker arm off, but failed. The Nokker arm then grabs a knife, not to hurt anyone, but to communicate with Fushi.

It tells her that the Nokker are simply trying to “help everyone”, including their brethren imprisoned by the Beholder. Nokkers are souls, and wish to free the souls of humans from their bodies. “In death you can be free,” etc.  It also says that Fushi can revive the dead, but Bon erases those words from the dirt before they sink in for Fushi.

Finally, the Nokker arm reports that the next target for the Nokkers will be the head church of the Church of Bennett. That means the church’s only hope is the one they just executed for being a servant of the devil. Fushi heads to the church regardless; humans are humans, and they need his help.

Bon prepares to leave the palace for a while, perhaps to help Fushi, and Iris tells him she’ll wait as long as it takes for his return, which is hopefully before Chabo gets lonely. Bon also says that Fushi said he’d be happy if all his lost friends were immortal. If only he knew he could bring them all back if he wanted…

Rating: 4/5 Stars

To Your Eternity – S2 07 – Prince of Principle

Bon and Todo’s imprisonment continues, and Cylira makes it clear he won’t be released until he confesses to consorting with Fushi, a demon and servant of the devil, and begs for forgiveness and mercy of the church. Bon’s…not in a big hurry to do that.

It isn’t until he’s spent a fair amount of time in the cell that Bon even notices he’s not alone: there’s a little boy named Chabo, who is accompanied by the ghost of his mom (Bon tells him his mom is dead, but he doesn’t believe him). When Bon horks down his bread for the day, Todo gives him half of hers, and keeps doing so, because she loves him.

In between inquisitions from the church, Bon, Todo, and Chabo haven’t a lot to do besides sit or lie around. Todo learns that Bon really can see and hear the dead—it’s how he’s able to perfectly recite scripture, and know that Chabo’s mother was murdered by a member of the church. One evening Bon sees Todo’s shadow on the rocks and sees that she’s lost a lot of weight.

As she and Chabo grow thinner and Bon’s beard grows longer, Fushi is still alive, constantly sleeping and waking up. With only a couple of breaths of consciousness each time, he doesn’t have enough time to remember where he is or what he needs to do.

But as the weeks pass, rather than completely forget himself and waste away into nothingness, Fushi learns how to burn red hot like the metal that encased him. He melts the surrounding iron and begins to ascend from his cell, delighting his devotees but angering the followers of the church.

They douse the molten iron with water, resulting crude statue of Fushi frozen at the top of the metal cell. Cylira laughs and declares a great victory has been achieved by the church that will go down in the annals of the city’s history. He didn’t notice that Fushi actually escaped in the form of Tonari’s owl, Ricard.

Fushi flies to Bon’s cell, where Chabo has already wasted away and Todo is quiet on the other side. Once he burns through the bars and puts the gators to sleep, Bon tells him to take Chabo and Todo but create lifeless copies that will remain with him.

He’s decided to stay put and get released by the Church. He gets Fushi’s leave to confess to him being a demon, since that’s how he’ll stay alive. If Bon goes with him now, he’ll be a fugitive and the church won’t stop chasing them. He tells Fushi to tell Todo when she awakes that he’s sorry he didn’t make the right decision.

Of course, when morning comes and the church asks why a demon visited and killed Todo and the boy but not Bon, he claims that God protected him, proving he has God’s blessing. Cylira doesn’t quite buy it, but he does offer Bon a chance to confess and pledge allegiance to the church. But Fushi can’t do it. He won’t. He loves Fushi too much.

If that means he has to die, so be it. And so Bon is taken back to the capital to be publically executed by guillotine as a heretic. Bon is not alone on the walk to meet his end. The kind, gentle ghosts he’s seen and spoken with for years are right there beside him, assuring him death’s not so bad. Bon also meets his death with gratitude that he got to meet and spend time with Fushi.

No matter what the church says or does, It wasn’t able to destroy his faith or love in Fushi. Maybe his noble death will start a larger anti-Bennett uprising; maybe it won’t. But like Hayase’s will in Kahaku’s Nokker, Parona’s will in Fushi, and his ghostly friends, death most likely won’t be the end of Bon.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

To Your Eternity – S2 06 – The Church of Heavy Metal

When Parona!Fushi mentions how they’ve been reading up on the concept of marriage and the “fluffy feeling” she gets from Kahaku and others, he embraces them, and that’s when Fushi becomes nauseous. As it happens, even if Fushi were open to becoming Kahaku’s wife, that’s not something Parona would tolerate. The very touch of Kahaku repels Parona, who was murdered by Hayase. Bon orders Kahaku to stay away from Fushi for the time being.

The campaign to gain Fushi followers continues in the next city, but this time many of the townsfolk have heard rumors that Fushi can now resurrect the dead. While true in the case of Anna, this comes as a surprise to Fushi, since Bon never told them. Fushi is shunted off into an alley, where a Bennett priest warns them that Bon is to be arrested and executed for heresy, but if Fushi surrenders willingly, their friends will be spared.

Fushi agrees, but neither Kahaku nor Todo buy what the Church is selling. Bon, when approached by Bishop Cylira, he grudgingly agrees to give Fushi up in exchange for a recommendation from the Church that Bon ascend to the throne of Uralis. It’s not what he wants, but it’s what’s best for his kingdom, and also what he’s been working for his whole life.

Todo whips up the crowd, and a town guard captain seemingly has Team Fushi’s back when he insists the church prove Fushi is a demon and not a servant of God. Cylira does so by giving Fushi a test: if they can’t revive a recently-deceased bishop, the church will have its proof.

Fushi, who at this point is still convinced they can’t revive anyone, copies the bishop’s corpse but is unable to revive him. They’re seized, and when Bon, Todo, and Kahaku try to intervene, Todo is stabbed by a sword and Bon is knocked out.

Bon comes to in an open-air cell suspended above a canyon, stripped of his gramps’ heirloom armor. Fushi is arguably worse off, as they’ve been sealed in a solid iron box. Fushi transforms into Gugu and breathes fire on the circular hatch, but can’t quite get it hot enough to melt the iron. After several attempts, Fushi starts to feel winded and nauseous.

The Beholder tells him he’s missing something they need (I’m guessing fresh air), and no matter who he transforms into, the bad feeling doesn’t subside. Then the hatch opens and molten metal starts to pour on them. The Beholder starts counting to see how long Fushi can last in a constant state of immolation and regeneration.

Of Team Fushi, only Kahaku and a handful of Guardians remain free. When they try to free Fushi from the cell in the dead of night, Pocoa emerges from her barrel and urges caution, and asks Kahaku to have faith in Bon and Fushi’s luck.

She might not be wrong, either! Todo, at least, survived the sword strike thanks to her embroidery stopping the blade before it could pierce her. Bon and Todo realize they’re in adjacent cells; perhaps they can work together. And even after over 100,000 seconds (over 27 hours), Fushi the immortal’s body still has form. All we can do is wait and see if that’s enough.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

To Your Eternity – S2 05 – Good Fortune is Fragile

En route to the village of Libu from the capital of Uralys, Parona!Fushi prepares explosive arrows for use on Nokkers, but also demands that the prince stop using poor Todo as a chair. When Bon says that’s what Todo was hired for (chair is an “elite position”), Fushi insists, spilling the beans that Todo’s in love with him.

That gets poor Todo demoted to the sock department. Fushi learns from Todo that sometimes it’s painful to love someone, as he doesn’t expect Bon to love him back, he just wants to be near him. We also learn that Princess Pocoa, starved for excitement, stowed away to join her brother.

In Libu, Bon demonstrates Fushi’s ability to replicate weapons, and when Fushi says he can’t replace a villager’s leg, Bon shows him the prosthesis he had made for one of his soldiers. Fushi’s able to replicate that and Bon’s team adjusts it to fit the villager.

When a Nokker finally attacks, Bon notices it almost as quickly as Fushi, due to the face Fushi makes. Thanks to Kahaku’s Nokker arm Bon doesn’t lose any soldiers, while Fushi goes underground and blows up the Nokker with a bunch of explosive arrows. You can tell Bon loves all of his men, and knows them all by name.

In one city, the lord’s daughter is deathly ill. When Boy!Fushi visits her, he can feel her death approaching and has to flee the room. Bon follows him out and finds he’s transformed into March to climb a tree. Later, they see the lord’s attendants carry the daughter’s body out of the manor.

Fushi goes back at Bon’s urging to show the lord that he can only make a lifeless shell of his daughter, not resurrect her. But what Fushi doesn’t witness is that later, that lifeless shell … comes back to life. Fushi can resurrect the dead (or at least the recently deceased), he just doesn’t know it.

Bon wonders why the Black One, who surely knows Fushi can do this, has kept it a secret all this time. He then tests whether it’s a good idea to tell Fushi himself, by asking what he’d do if those companions of his came back to life. When Fushi answers honestly: he’d go with them, not stay with Bon, Bon stays silent.

When a bored Pocoa demands they visit another city, Fushi asks Bon on her behalf, and to the city they go (with Pocoa arguably more conspicuous as she hops about in her barrel). Kahaku is hoping to spend some time with Parona!Fushi, but she ends up hanging out with Todo and the barrel instead.

When Fushi spots an adorable doll in a shop window, she asks the shopkeep if she can touch it, which enables her to create a copy. It’s love at first sight. Speaking of which, we meet Todo’s family, and learn that he’s actually a girl named Iris, who concealed her true gender so she could serve as Bon’s chair. The things we do for love.

Fushi is snug as a bug in her tent as she reads a novel Kahaku gave her with her new doll in her arms. When she tells Bon the doll is her lover, Bon explains that a lover should ideally be a human being. A lot of Fushi’s adoration of the doll seems to come from the fact she knows March would have loved it as well.

The episode ends with a proposal—from Kahaku to Parona!Fushi, asking if she’ll be his wife. Observing her during this expedition has apparently convinced him that Fushi is truly a female who is gradually discovering her femininity, but the reality is that Fushi can be whoever (or whatever) they want to anyone they encounter, at (and in) any time.

To assign a single form or gender to Fushi is to limit Fushi, but Fushi had been limiting himself for many years as the older version of the Boy. We’ll see how he feels about the first leader of the Guardians who didn’t immediately try to seduce or possess him suddenly wanting to marry him.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

To Your Eternity – S2 04 – The Prince of Ghosts

The morning after their little talk, Parona!Fushi is still not sure what to do, so she decides to stick around for the time being—but only for a day. She conjures a bed to lie on out in the wastes, but a concerned Prince Bon brings builders to help her build walls around the bed (she conjures the bricks, they provide the grout and grunt work).

While construction proceeds, Prince Bon asks “Mister Black” (i.e. the Beholder) what he’ll do once Fushi accomplishes his mission. The Beholder appears to say he’ll give Fushi his “freedom.” Bon isn’t sure what to make of such a vague promise. “Freedom” could mean anything, after all … and not all of it good!

The next morning, Parona!Fushi wakes up in her makeshift house and Bon’s sister Pocoa accompanies her to the stables to find a horse to ride for their  ensuing travels. They hear screams of anguish from Bon and come running to find that his handkerchief was caught by the wind and came to rest on a pile of shit in the cesspool. One intrepid attendant fishes the hankie out of the shit, and Fushi learns his name is Todo.

Having been told to find friends and a lover by Bon, and seeing something fly out of Todo’s “essence”, she asks if Todo is in love with Bon; him running away and denying it says it all. Fushi then asks Kahaku if a boy can love another boy; Kahaku says whatever needs to be said to stay in the lover running. Though he previously said he wouldn’t try to seduce Fushi, that was before he met Parona!Fushi.

One thing that’s certain about Prince Bon is that he commands the unswerving love and devotion of the vast majority of his father’s subjects. He’s even able to spin the Church’s tack about Fushi being a menace, using the kingdom’s press to build him up as a holy warrior and savior against the Nokkers. As they ride out in a grand parade, Bon reminisces on how he got to this point.

Bon’s ensuing backstory, while somewhat shoehorned into this episode, is nevertheless fascinating—and also quite sad. Bon has always been able to see people no one else could. Whether these people were ghosts, spooks, specters or shadows was immaterial; they taught him a lot and made him who he is.

As for his precious hanky, we learn it was sewn by a girl who doesn’t appear to be one of the ghosts he sees, judging by the fact she doesn’t glow white like them, and the hanky is a physical object others can see (even if she slipped away before anyone else could see her).

Pocoa assumes the girl was just another instance of Bon’s “usual thing”, which is seeing dead people. His mother, who doesn’t like this one bit, hires some kind of “healer” to cure him of the malady through bloodletting. Bon’s usual ghost companions are joined by Tonari, who tells Bon bedside stories about Fushi, the immortal one, and tells him how he’ll find him.

One day Bon finds his father the king’s will stating his little brother will usurp him for the throne. When he demands an explanation, his father’s is relatively reasonable: Bon spends all his allowance on trifling things like clothes and accessories, while Torta selflessly gives to the people.

Not being the kinslayer sort, Prince Bon instead resolves to change his father’s mind and name him the future king. He eventually decides he’ll be able to do that by finding and capturing the wanted Fushi. Tonari told him to look for someone with an “enormous shadow”, and sure enough Bon finds Fushi walking through a city with the ghost of Oniguma-sama lumbering behind him, as well as ghost March, Gugu, Tonari, and others.

Prince Bon’s “affliction” isn’t mere schizophrenia, but something real; the ability to see all of the departed companions Fushi has absorbed into his being. He may be an insufferable fop, but there’s no discounting the fact that this ability is truly wondrous, and the very reason they were drawn together. If anyone is going to help Prince Bon regain his throne, it’s Fushi, and if anyone is going to help Fushi take the next crucial steps towards humanity, it’s Bon.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

To Your Eternity – S2 03 – Everything’s Peachy

Tonari told Fushi to find friends, and Kahaku claims to be one. As the first male of Hayase’s successors, his sole interest in women means Fushi doesn’t have to worry about being seduced. He also brings warning to Fushi that there’s a bounty on his head from a Church that considers both him and the Guardians as heretics.

Kahaku encourages Fushi to join the Guardians on their travels through towns and cities, showing himself to the people. It’s basically a PR junket, and the first of the villages is full of those who regard Fushi as a savior. He acts the part, producing both coin and food out of thin air for his followers.

When some not-so-friendly villagers attack Fushi, the Guardians protect him, though he does get hit by an egg. Kahaku suggests Fushi travel to the next city in a different form. When Fushi settles on Parona, Kahaku develops a crush, but for the journey Fushi shifts to Joan for better mobility.

While in this larger city, as in all previous settlements, the Guardians raise their banner, bearing the symbol of Jananda: three crossed swords representing the three major churches coming together as one. It’s a nice idea, but it’s not currently a reality, and Fushi starts to question if he’s truly “doing what he wants” (as Pyoran urged), and whether Kahaku is really one of the friends Tonari told him to make.

One day while walking in the woods between cities, Parona and Kahaku are suddenly caught in a rope trap, and the other Guardians are captured by strange purple knights. An extremely eccentric and flamboyant man in elaborate finery introduces himself: Prince Bonchien Nikolai La Tastypeach Uralys, their captor.

Bon talks a big game and even has an attendant he uses as a chair, but when Parona!Fushi frees herself and brandishes a sword, Bon goes to pieces. The chair-attendant explains that Bon sometimes talks to someone who’s not there.  Fushi is intrigued by this strange fellow, and allows herself to be captured, as long as Kahaku and the others come to and are not harmed. Bon agrees.

Bon is voiced by Koyasu Takehito, who is always an absolute hoot and often plays these kinds of out-there, over-the-top characters. Bon is no different, and Koyasu’s performance is a big reason why I found myself taking an instant liking to Bon. Another is that he’s quite unlike any other character in To Your Eternity thus far.

The capital of the Kingdom of Uralys is as whimsical as its prince: towers of pink, purples, and other pastels rising out of fissures in the earth. Despite the somewhat barren landscape the city is bustling and prosperous, and the smallfolk love their flashy prissy prince. The use of mimicking birds as microphones is a nice touch, as is the fact Bon’s father the king is tiny and adorable.

Bon orders ninja-like fashionistas to pounce on Fushi and give her a glow-up for dinner, as well as wash the stink of the road off Kahaku. Bon introduces his brother Prince Torta and his sister Princess Pocoa, who are excited and curious about Fushi. While technically captives, Fushi and Kahaku are treated well, and even share the table with the royal family, who pepper Fushi with questions about his orb-y origins and “the black one”.

Fushi’s mood sours when she learns Tonari’s diary was published, meaning one of Kahaku’s ancestors dug up her grave to procure it. She leaves the table, goes outside, and attempts to scurry off in mole form, but Bon follows and catches her. Kahaku joins them, and asks Bon to provide an army to Fushi and the Guardians so they can properly fight the Nokkers.

Bon considers it, but their talk is interrupted when representatives from the Church of Bennett (the ones who issued the bounty) come for Fushi. Bon shoos them away, saying Fushi isn’t going anywhere for the time being. The Bennettans leave, but they’ll surely be back, and possibly in force.

It’s after that encounter that we learn from Bon’s father the king that he’s not actually the crown prince; that’s the far less flashy Torta. Apparently his father believes him unfit to rule, but he’s determined to convince him otherwise, and capturing Fushi is a big part of that. But Fushi has apparently had his fill of all of this, and is considering letting the Nokkers absorb him entirely.

The Beholder appears to tell him even if he does that, he’ll simply return to being an orb and have to start over from nothing. Fushi claims not to care, as long as he’s not sacrificing any more of the living. To the Beholder’s count, over 13,000 people have been killed by the Nokkers, which isn’t much compared to natural disasters but still too many for Fushi’s taste.

The Beholder sees there’s no reasoning with Fushi, so he descends into the ground, but Prince Bon tells Fushi he’ll create “a new world” for him, so he should at least wait until after that to decide whether he wants to surrender to the enemy. While Fushi has value to Bon as a tool (like the Guardians), there’s also a chance, given time, that Bon could become a real friend. I want to see that friendship, and that new world. Then there’s the fact Fushi’s eye briefly changes from yellow to purple.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

To Your Eternity – S2 02 – Going to Town

With everyone else out cold, Tonari and Hisame have a little chat, but it quickly descends into violence as Hisame’s arm has a mind and will of its own (specifically Hayase’s). Once it gets its Nokker tendrils into Tonari’s hands, I knew it probably wasn’t going to go well for her. Her trusty owl Ligard knocks Hisame out with her poison talons, but the Nokker arm isn’t affected and drags Hisame into the night.

Tonari loses consciousness, and when Fushi comes to as an honored guest of the village elder, he finds her already on her death bed. There’s nothing her companion can do. All Tonari asks is that Fushi stay by her side until she “croaks”, and also show her all of the friends he’s made.

Fushi proceeds to transform into everyone from the original Boy to Tonari’s dead family, noting that his friends Tonari and Sander are still alive (he’d know if they weren’t). But what he doesn’t realize is that the two of them are right beside him, though Tonari soon dies and Sander says goodbye without revealing their identities.

It’s only when Fushi takes Tonari’s form and finds her journal behind her back that he realizes it was her all along, and that it’s always better to have many arrows than one. Now Tonari is part of his shapeshifting quiver. He soon runs into Hisame in the woods.

He wants to remove her Nokker arm, but she refuses, even when he transforms into Tonari. That night after wrapping her arm, she tells him that is her and her predecessor’s dream to have a child with him, which she hopes can happen if they “sleep together”. Both of them take this literally, which is obviously for the best!

The next day Fushi finds Hisame’s minders and returns her to them, and there’s a moment of levity as the Beholder tells Fushi that his reproductive organs work just fine, so he can “go to town” whenever. Again, Fushi takes this literally to go into town to make friends, and the Beholder doesn’t comment further, leaving Fushi to either figure out things in that arena to himself or not.

He travels from city to city, never staying longer than a couple of days lest the Nokkers have time to show up and take root. He has little luck making new friends, largely because whenever they seem friend-worthy he worries about watching them die, and breaks things off.

His only constant companions in the ensuing years are leaders of the Guardians, starting with Hisame’s Daughter (who was born many years after she and Fushi parted ways). Then her granddaughter, great-granddaughter, and so on for a few more generations show up, the latest being Kahaku, the first male successor. One would hope at this point in time that Hayase’s fye has mellowed a bit.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

To Your Eternity – S2 01 – Building Immunity

My first concern was that this second season of To Your Eternity wouldn’t feel quite right if the OP changed. Fortunately, the creators thought the same thing, and kept “Pink Blood”, just as House of the Dragon wisely kept the Game of Thrones theme for continuity’s sake.

When a village is suddenly attacked by Nokkers, there are those who come to protect the villagers, but Fushi isn’t one of them. He’s isolated himself on an island for forty years (two of them in the sea as various creatures), using his various forms to kill Nokkers as they come … and turning their dead cores into jerky.

Fushi thought the Nokkers were only interested in him, and so would only come to him, leaving the rest of the world safe from them. But one day the Beholder tells him that’s no longer the case. They’re attacking a village on another island, possibly to lure him out.

Fushi thought he was protecting humans by staying put, but now that he knows they’re still threatened, he doesn’t hesitate to make preparations to head there at once. But before he does, strangers arrive on his island, led by a nine-year-old girl with familiar eyes and hair.

She’s Hisame, the granddaughter of Hayase and a leader of the “Guardians”, a group that for the last forty years has been devoted to revering and one day supporting the Immortal One. While Hisame is a perfectly nice little girl, Fushi finds himself repelled from her, no doubt due to her connection to his former tormentor—not to mention the murderer of March and Parona.

Fushi keeps his distance, but one night when Hisame tries to sleep beside him, her grotesquely veiny arm reaches out as if outside her control. Turns out there’s a Nokker core within her arm, which was passed down to from her grandmother to her mother and now her. The Beholder explains that it contains the “fye”, or soul/spirit, of Hayase—and with it her will.

Fushi is weary, but he feels bad about regarding Hisame so suspiciously when it’s only that growth in her arm—a separate entity—that troubles him. He also can’t deny that he could use all the help he can get against the Nokkers. The Beholder suggests he get closer to Hisame little by little, building up an “immunity” to the negative feelings.

That night he builds boats for him, Hisame, and her party to take to the island where the village is being attacked by Nokkers. Hisame and the Guardians head into town first to get the lay of the place. While Fushi sits along from a high vantage point, he encounters two adult doctors who are there for the same reason he is: to help.

They also know Fushi the Immortal One well, as he’s become legendary throughout the land these last forty years. The female doctor closes in and warns him to stay weary of the so-called Guardians, who are only interested in one thing: possessing him, as Hayase did.

Hisame arrives in time to hear that and disputes it, and everyone heads into the village for dinner. There, Hisame insists the Guardians only want to help Fushi escape his “emotional prison” and aid him in defeating the Nokkers. She then asks her servants to serve everyone tea. The female doctor launches into a monologue about building up an immunity to the poisonous “silver bat”.

In the middle of her talking, both Fushi and her fellow doctor pass out, the result of poisoned tea. But she is still conscious, and even identifies the poison as morning glory. She asks for another cup of tea, which contains a different poison, but she’s immune to that too. Hisame calls for her comrades to seize her, but they’re all knocked out … by an owl.

Hisame then realizes who she’s dealing with: Tonari, who is now in her fifties and even tougher and more resourceful than her 14-year-old self when she first met Fushi on Jananda. She won’t let the reincarnation of Hayase and the Guardians have him so easily.

This second season had be excited for many reasons. First, Fushi can finally speak and act like a normal human due to all his past experiences and the benefit of time. He’s also a lot shrewder with his shapeshifting and better at hunting Nokkers.

I also like the big time jump. It makes sense that a forty years would hardly feel like anything to an immortal being, and I look forward to seeing how the world has changed since his absence, and who else besides Tonari may still be alive and well. And while the end theme did change, it’s very similar to, and just as trippy and weird as the previous one. I’ve missed you, TYE.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

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