Wednesday, March 14, 2018

To Your Eternity Volume Three Review

Fushi's journey to self-actualization continues this time intersecting with a masked physically deformed boy named Gugu who works as a housekeeper and servant for a disreputable old Moonshiner who repaired Gugu's face. After Gugu is injured by a falling timber poll after he pushes Rean the well to do but smothered daughter of an overprotective and somewhat mollycoddling upper-class couple. Fushi slowly comes to form a bond with Gugu while Gugu has to learn not only to accept himself but also accept help from others and that he is not the self-perceived monster that he has built his self-image up to be. With an insular focus on the interior life of a physical trauma victim combined with a slowly approaching narrative of almost apocalyptic proportions in the background. Oima-Sensei in some ways returns to some of the themes that where prominent in A Silent Voice with this volume having a heavy emphasis on not only the community but even learning to love the often imperfect people that make up your small personal community. while also slowly unraveling Gugu's backstory and the end results of his older Brother's abandonment. It's weighty and dark but also not without small bits of humor like Rean becoming enamored of Fushi while Fushi is completely oblivious to the girl's flirtations. Or Fushi's horrendous first attempts at making boiled Daikon. While also being unafraid to show the sometimes dark and destructive mental places those who feel powerless will go when they find someone else that is weaker than them. in short, the "hurt people hurt people" truism. With Gugu at one point hurting Fushi to test out his regenerative abilities while a single close up shot on Fushi's pain-filled face on the verge of tears says more than any dialogue could. While the few fight scenes in the volume recall the elastic acrobatic fight choreography of Hiromu Arakawa in Fullmetal Alchemist and the tense sense of forbidding of Fake Karakura Town arc era Tite Kubo in Bleach. Making for a dense and thoughtful story that also can tell the story without using dialogue as a narrative crutch and rely on the visual narrative and story as told through panel layout and construction of mood by shading, character design, and as has been said the real story happens between the panels. This is a truth Oima-Sensei has grasped expertly. A continuing never dull and always original emotional kaleidoscope that leaves one both warm inside and speechless at the originality and levels of deeply seeded pain both emotional and physical that runs in the background. Highly recommended for its experimentation and exploration of the human psyche.

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