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Manga / To Your Eternity

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"It" is a lonely traveler that will long outlive you. To those who will someday die, I send this eternal journey.
— Opening narration

To Your Eternity (original Japanese title: Fumetsu no Anata e, literally "To the Undying You") is a manga series created by Yoshitoki Ooima, previously known for the acclaimed A Silent Voice. It began serialization in Weekly Shōnen Magazine in 2016.

The story follows an immortal being sent to Earth with the task of gaining experiences. The being can shapeshift into forms learned from things that have died near to it or that were important to it. Things ranging from stones, weapons, animals, and people. These forms do not come with their own memories so the immortal has to learn everything, even the basics of living, on their own.

Part 1 of the story ended in 2019, spanning the first 12 volumes. An anime adaptation by Brains Base premiered on April 12, 2021 and the second season, now animated by Drive, premiered on October 23, 2022.

Spoilers ahead.

To Your Eternity provides examples of:

  • Achievements in Ignorance: A supplicant nobleman begs for Fushi to save his daughter, but Fushi says he can only transform into her and create a empty husk of her, not bring her back to life, and shows it to her father before leaving. To the father's surprise, the copy Fushi left starts to move and the daughter is revived, proving that Fushi has the power to revive the dead and didn't realize it.
  • Act of True Love: Many of the characters Fushi encounters perform these for those they love, even if it costs them their lives.
  • The Alcatraz: Jananda was created as a prison for an unknown country and, for a while, it was run as such. However, the population grew too big for the administration to handle. Eventually, the wardens left the island and the prisoners took over the land, creating their own rules. The result? The place is a Wretched Hive with More Criminals Than Targets. On Jananda, there are no rules and people are free to do as they please. Killing is accepted and even glorified. However, the only real rule is that prisoners are not allowed to leave the island; those working in the shipyard are kept under strict watch to make sure no one escapes. The only way to legally leave the island is to get permission from the Island Chief. No wonder Tonari hates the place and wants to escape from it.
  • All Deaths Final: Out of some of the many things Fushi can't bring back, the dead is amongst them. He can recreate a husk of a body, but it will remain lifeless. However, this is slightly played with, as the most recent chapter shows him creating a husk of the princess who had recently passed, but soon after he leaves, the king yells that he can feel her body become warm.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Especially Gugu. Because of the disfigurement on his face, he is forced to wear a mask so as not to be mistreated. When Guga tries to live without hiding his face, he suffers discrimination and abuse from other people.
  • All for Nothing: The sad end of the Nameless Boy journey. He was left behind by his family to care for the elderly and sick while the rest of the village migrated south to find a better land to survive on. Five years later, all those he cared for have died, and after finding Jonnah (who is actually Fushi in wolf form), he decides to try to make the journey to go after them. This ends up being in vain because he later finds out they're all dead, hurts his leg and the wound becomes infected, having to go back where he left off, where he ends up dying in his sleep.
  • Annoying Arrows: Oniguma, the bear, is covered with arrows and sticks, all stuck in his body. As March noted, this only gave the bear an even more intimidating appearance, which is why people started calling him the Oniguma despite being just a normal bear who likes to eat human meat.
  • Arc Hero: Most major arcs feature a character who befriends and helps Fushi, and shares the character focus with him. Most of these characters die at the end of their arcs, giving Fushi their form. These include March, Gugu, Tonari, and Bon.
  • Central Theme: What is the meaning of life for an immortal being?
  • Character Development: Almost all of the major characters undergo significant development over the arc of their stories:
    • Fushi has changed throughout the story, from an Emotionless Boy without a name or even a self, but through interactions with other people, he forms his individuality, gradually becoming more human as he experiences sensations and stimuli.
    • Gugu, after being abandoned by his brother and having his face disfigured in an accident, considers himself a monster and hates himself, wishing to be someone else. After his interactions with Fushi, Rean and the others, Gugu concludes that what he has gained outweighs the tragedies that have occurred in his life, and accepts himself.
    • Tonari goes from being a girl Conditioned to Accept Horror who hates Jeananda and seeks to escape from there with her friends, to decide to stay there and turn the island into a better place for its inhabitants.
    • Bon begins as an eccentric prince who intends to use Fushi to prove himself worthy of the throne for his father, changes during the journey and abandons his dream, become a capable leader who genuinely seeks Fushi's happiness.
  • Everyone Has a Special Move: Most of the people Fushi carries has a special ability he uses depending on the situation.
    • In his animals arsenal, Johann allows him to dig, the mole lets him hide, the bear gives him a powerful strike, and Ilgard allows him to fly.
    • For the humans, March is good at climbing trees, Gugu has his Booze Flamethrower (which is especially effective against the Nokkers), Parona has excellent combat skills, and Tonari is immune to poisons.
  • Foreshadowing: Prince Bonchien lives with several people, including a man with one arm who teaches him fencing. His sword passes through the man with one arm, revealing that he can see ghosts.
  • Generational Saga: Fushi being immortal, the series follows him throughout different eras, skipping increasingly long spans of time as he interacts with descendants of people he has known… until we reach the modern era at the end of volume 12.
  • Idiosyncratic Cover Art: According to Word of God, each manga volume cover represents a character's dream.
  • Immortality Hurts: Fushi still feels pain. One of his forms includes recreating the dozens of arrows the original thing had embedded in the skin, which Fushi describes as causing constant pain while in said form.
  • Immortality Through Memory: Fushi is physical manifestation of this trope. When someone important to him dies, he earns a vessel that allows him to assume their shape and abilities at the time he last saw them. However, the Nokkers can steal the vessel form he is in by killing him in that form. This also gives Fushi a partial Death of Personality with regards to who that vessel once was. Only by defeating the Nokker who took his vessel can Fushi regain the vessel and his memories of who the vessel was. If Fushi loses all of his vessels, he ceases to be and The Bad Guys Win.
  • No Conservation of Energy: Fushi doesn't seem to be bound by Conservation of Energy. He can transform into larger or smaller forms with ease and can create seemingly unlimited amounts of objects.
  • Nostalgia Heaven:
    • What most of the people Fushi interacts with see after they die, before noticing that what they're seeing isn't reality and they have passed on.
    • It is revealed that the Nokkers kill people so that they can go to this heaven, not understanding why humans would prefer to live.
  • Remember the Dead: When someone dies who is important to Fushi, he—who himself is a physical manifestation of Immortality Through Memory—earns a vessel that allows him to assume their shape and abilities at the time he last saw them and effectively grants them immortality through this trope.
  • Resurrective Immortality: Fushi can die, and takes on the form of things in the state they were in when they died mortal wounds and all, but will heal. It is implied he heals faster after each death of the same type.
  • Scatterbrained Senior: Pyoran, the closest thing Fushi had to a mother figure, the old and kind woman teaching him to write and live among the human doesn't get to die of violent death. Instead, growing old with an immortal Immo, goes increasingly senile, develops dementia and Alzheimer-like symptoms until the active, lively mother hen becomes a broken, depressed and sullen shell of her former self, unable to care for herself and plagued by small moments of lucidity spent bemoaning her lost youth and health and begging the Beholder following Fushi around to let her go remembering those happier times. In her Nostalgia Heaven she's fully aware of her death, she just happily enjoys being freed of her failing mind and body, while Immo, during her last days, he's brought to become a saddened Stepford Smiler and after her death mourns her passing for decades and how helpless he felt around her. A fate known by most people in their shoes.
  • Shapeshifter Default Form: Fushi usually walks around as Johann's owner, the first human he ever met.
  • Shapeshifter Showdown: Fushi encounters a plant based being who is able to steal his active forms, preventing Fushi from using them again until they're stolen back. This leads to a Shape Shifter Showdown as forms are stolen and stolen back.
  • Socially Scored Society: In the "Future" arc, everyone is implanted with a chip at birth that extends their life and allows them to do things like shapeshift or instantly order and receive goods. Starting with a rating of three out of five stars when they turn eight, they can advance their rating by receiving good points from others and gain even more abilities, but it takes a long time to collect the points necessary to go up a star. Bad points will make their star rating go down and they'll lose even the baseline powers and privileges as it drops. Fushi's friends, existing outside this system, have been targeted with the reward of an instant promotion to five stars for their capture.
  • Spontaneous Weapon Creation: Fushi learns, with the help of Gugu, how to use his shape shifting abilities to create duplicates of things used to attack them. While he could always do this, as seen during his time in prison, it was not consciously done until Gugu began testing what makes him able to generate a form.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Gugu and Rean are this, due to his disfiguration and her arranged marriage, along with Gugu's death
  • Technically Naked Shapeshifter: Fushi's true form is a tiny orb that shape shifts into forms with the source's clothes, and other objects, they had on when they died. These clothes can be removed, but they were described as being sticky and weird.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In order to face his enemies, Fushi initially needs to obtain vessels that are suitable for battle and the Nameless Boy's body, which he uses by default, is not particularly useful for combat when compared to Oniguma, Gugu or Parona. A Time Skip of decades and season one ends with a mid-age Fushi laughing after defeating a Nokker, meaning Fushi has managed to spend decades battling Nokkers without having to transform.
  • Unfinished Business: Through Bon and his Spirit Advisors, it's revealed that when the dead pass on, they're given a chance to reach what's referred by the nokkers as "paradise." Those reluctant to move on instead becoming lingering spirits. When March, Gugu, and Tonari die, they're greeted by images of their loved ones, which begin to crumble when they choose to stay behind with Fushi instead. Bon later realizes that Fushi is able to resurrect those who refuse paradise, which is later weaponized by Kai, Hairoh, and Messar to allow them to fight nokkers without fear of death. However, Fushi is unable to resurrect those who have passed on or been otherwise reincarnated, as is the case for Pioran, who asked The Watcher to reincarnate her as a horse, Princess Alme, whose soul Bon noted was no longer present, or Kahaku, who presumably re-entered the cycle of reincarnation that Hayase's descendants are a part of.
  • Virgin Sacrifice: Fushi is named by a young girl who finds him en route to the sacrificial location.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Fushi can shape shift into the dead, provided he's had prior contact with them.