Friday, November 3, 2017

To Your Eternity Vol. 1 Review

A sentient life form is placed on earth by a supernatural being and the being slowly learns to mimic other creatures at first as a rock than as moss and finally as a wolf using the wolf's consciousness to lead him back to a young boy in an abandoned village. Who sets out to find the fabled paradise the other residents set out to find. Only to have the boy die from exhaustion and an untreated wound. The intelligence than takes on the form of the boy but has no grasp of even basic bodily functions and dies several times only to resurrect at shorter and shorter intervals. Until it makes the acquaintance of a young girl who has been chosen to be the sacrifice to a tribal deity. While thematically similar to Oima Sensei's much-lauded A Silent Voice with it's emphasis on isolation and the importance of community and friendship. Story-wise this is a completely different series and adventurous look into folklore the meaning of what it means to be human and the sometimes dark elements of tradition. While essentially two different stories with two different protagonists the unnamed boy from the village in the first story and March a young girl from a Tribe that looks loosely modeled after the Ainu. Each has an overall feel of alienation be it the isolation of the unnamed boy or March both wanting to be an adult and also forced to participate in an ancient blood rite to spare others. It's in places extremely grim with our unnamed intelligence Wich March names Fushi being torn asunder by a bear to a sickening level of detail. Wich I guess is a testament to Oima's improved draftsmanship and eye for detail while the action scenes toward the end have a brutality that is at times stomach churning but so expertly shaped by the eye of the camera in the panel that it feels like one fluid movement from panel to panel. At times savagely naturalistic and others filled with warmth that belies it's sometimes strange premise To Your Eternity marks the growing artistic sophistication of one of the bright new voices of Manga making for a haunting read.

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