Fumetsu no Anata e

Title:Fumetsu no Anata e
To Your Eternity
Keywords: , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Brains Base
An omnipotent narrator casts an orb of light to the Earth, watching as this entity copies the shape of a rock and then, many years later, mimics the moss on a rock. When a wolf dies beside the moss, it evolves, taking on the creature's shape and gaining movement for the first time. As the wolf, the orb observes the dead wolf's owner, a young man who lives alone on a frozen tundra, and accompanies him on his journey to reunite with the rest of his townspeople, who crossed the icy wasteland years before in search of a more bountiful country. The time the orb spends with the boy leaves a mark on the entity as it observes, mimics, and bonds with the boy and then the other creatures it eventually comes across—all while transcending death and living for time immemorial.
(Summary Courtesy of Anime News Network)

20-episode TV anime that premiered on April 12, 2021.
Animated by Brains Base.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Unevaluated Stretch [series:4302#628]
(12 episodes watched):

A highly original show--in fact, so original that I have a hard time thinking of things to say about it. God (or whoever) creates 'an orb that captures the reflections of many things and changes in response'. He decides to 'cast the orb unto the earth and observe it'. What he's looking for is 'stimulation'. Episode one is set in an eskimo-like culture but episode two will apparently be taking place in a much more green setting. The orb doesn't take on human form until the end of the opening episode and therefore hasn't said a word. Maybe it never will; perhaps the various stories will be about the people it encounters rather than the orb itself. Perhaps this show will be about the trials and tribulations that humans of all sorts of cultures must face. What was clear was that I must watch it.

Episode two didn't seem quite as moving, however. I was annoyed by the portrayal of the central character, March, a girl chosen for human sacrifice, in a superdeformed manner in contrast to everyone else. It seemed to trivialize her and make it harder to take the drama seriously. The orb seems to be largely an observer while the real stories are acted out by humans (though it does get involved now and then). As of yet it doesn't even know how to speak and acts as little more than an animal with a human body. Episode three was pretty neat, however; the thought occurred to me that primitive people witnessing freaky stuff like these did is how new religions could easily get started. Episode one had led me to believe that we would basically get a new story with a new central character in each episode, but it looks like March will be around for a good while--maybe she will die and the orb will replicate her.

I think the thing I like best about this show is that the plot makes sense yet I have no idea where it is going. It is unpredictable in a good way. What do the leaders of Yanome hope to do with Wolf-Boy, March, and her sister (you would sort of think they would show more respect to a seemingly God-like entity)? Is Oniguma really dead? Most shows give you few surprises about how their plots work out, but this one is completely original rather than following some tired framework. On the other hand, episode five was rather confusing. All sorts of crazy things happen and I struggled to piece them together--a high speed chase (at least as fast as horses can go), the Yanome people want to 'capture' Fushi (the orb guy), they discover that carting the body of Oniguma back to their capital city wasn't such a good idea, etc. It felt disjointed, as if the makers of this anime had come to the end of an unfinished story and had had to slap together a conclusion of their own. What should have been a moving event was undermined by the lack of order.

A new arc takes off in episode six--or maybe we take a break between arcs. Fushi now accompanies Shioran, the old woman that was met in Yanome. She had seemed like a minor character, so I hadn't paid much attention to her, but now she's important--or at least she serves as a link between the two arcs. We also meet some being who claims to be the creator of the orb, and some other tree-like being tries to kill Fushi. It's implied that the fate of Earth itself may be at stake. This was all a bit much to handle, and I was left somewhat bewildered afterwards. I was distinctly unsure whether this twist had been a good idea or not. A new character, Gugu, is introduced in episode seven. He's a boy who wears a strange mask because his face got smashed up in an accident (we are not shown the extent of his injury). I wondered why a good deal of attention was apparently being shifted to Gugu and away from Fushi, especially after the mind-blowing revelations of episode six. Maybe he is supposed to replace March as a disadvantaged child who we can sympathize with, but the plotline seemed to have become garbled and confusing to me. I was tempted to drop this show from my viewing roster, and stopped watching for a month or two, but then but decided to carry on after all--in part because there didn't seem to be many outstanding new anime in the summer season. The focus is on the romance between Gugu and Rean, a rich girl he secretly loves and was injured while trying to protect. An ugly pauper like Gugu seems to have no chance becoming her boyfriend; it sort of reminds me of Phantom of the Opera. One problem with the conclusion of the first season (and the Gugu arc) was that I almost burst out laughing at the big fight between Gugu, Fushi and a giant bear-like stone monster(?), and it was not supposed to be funny. Gugu's ability to act as a sort of human flamethrower is hard to believe. Much like the earlier fate of March, it was hard to get emotional about what happens to Gugu; the fact that the show itself didn't seem to be taking things all that seriously made it difficult to do so myself.

This was a show which looked very good in its first episode, but succeeding ones never managed to match it. It had seemed as if the theme would be a moving exploration of just what it means to be human, but in fact it transformed into a battle against some sort of weird monster. I think that's why the first appearance of the tree-like creature seemed like such a let-down--because it felt like a signal that this show had abandoned the last pretense that it would be anything like episode one was.

Last updated Monday, September 20 2021. Created Monday, April 19 2021.

Other Sites
Official Japanese Series Web Site https://anime-fumetsunoanatae.com/

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