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

%d bloggers like this: