Ok, it’s my fault. I knew what I was getting into. I’ve read the manga for To Your Eternity (by the same author as A Silent Voice) almost to its present chapter. And yet, Episode 1 moved me almost to tears.
Great stories have thematic phrases that sum up a key element of their tale, and we had several of them in this episode. “Can we… make it?” “I want to go home.” “Remember me forever.” These are arch-words that shape the destiny of the entire saga of To Your Eternity, stretching through centuries and millennia as the main cast witnesses the rise and fall of children and empires. Relationships are forged, then broken by time.
I’ve not given a lot of details of the story: To Your Eternity is best experienced rather than described. But here’s a bit of setting to help orient the new viewer: An unidentified voice casts a mysterious orb to Earth. The orb has the power, under the right conditions, to take on the form of other beings. At first, it becomes a rock, then moss. Eventually, it is able to take on the form of a wolf and gain some kind of consciousness. The wolf had been the companion of a young man, and when it dies, the ‘orb’ takes its place by the boy’s side.
We gather that the young man is the last person in what was once a thriving village by the sea. Most of the other villagers have set out for a better place to live, perhaps because of the risk of starvation. The boy and the faux-wolf set out together to find them. It is a short journey that sets the stage for, and in a way symbolizes, the long the journey that is To Your Eternity.
You can legally break your heart watching To Your Eternity on Crunchyroll.