To Your Eternity Season 2 doesn't waste any time getting back into the swing of things after taking a week off for New Year's. Bon searches for the immortal allies he promised to find in the previous episode as Fushi and Kahaku continue to get ready for the upcoming battle in Renril City.
It was a significant commitment for To Your Eternity to make, especially considering how unique Fushi is. Only the Beholder, according to what the series had established, is capable of creating immortal beings, so Bon's vow to discover more likely had a catch.
The New "Immortals" Give Fushi Good Character Drama
Exactly what Bon meant is revealed in Episode 11 to be true. As backup vessels for Fushi in case the immortal loses their other vessels, the former prince of the Uralis Kingdom enlists the help of three men: Church of Bennett member Hairo Rich, Uralis soldier Kai Renald Rawle, and an enigmatic man by the name of Messar.
It's kind of an anticlimactic reveal, supported by a definition of "immortal" that is incredibly flimsy. However, Bon's plan does make sense. Fushi has been rapidly losing forms in battles with the Nokkers, and Bon specifically chooses each man for his distinct qualities: Kai for his loyalty; Hairo for his apostasy; and Messar for his cunning. As a result, Fushi will have a special set of skills in the event that they die.
Fushi, who dislikes Bon for being dishonest and for willingly laying down three men's lives that are not his to give up, finds the development to be fairly dramatic. The fact that the group voluntarily offered their services doesn't do much to ease the immortal's conflicted feelings, and by the episode's conclusion, it is obvious that Fushi's inner conflict isn't going to be resolved anytime soon. The Fushi are depicted in the episode at their most venomous, giving the immortal some compelling character drama to work through going forward.
The Newest Additions To Your Eternity Are Two-Dimensional
The three characters aren't fully developed yet, despite the intriguing concept. It's disappointing that To Your Eternity's newest cast members don't get the opportunity to make a memorable first impression because the show usually does a good job of doing so. In the episode, Kai is the only one who receives any kind of definition when he tells Fushi about his past.
The Uralis soldier wanted to die at the hands of the Nokkers because his father had mistreated him when he was a child. However, when the Nokkers do manage to attack Kai's hometown, he miraculously survives. At first, Kai was angry about his survival, but as it allowed him to reconcile with his father, he eventually learned to be grateful for it.
The backstory is described in very general terms, and any attempts at profundity are unsuccessful. There is no catharsis in seeing Kai's father apologize to his son because what little is shown of him depicts a cartoonishly monstrous character. Kai has a fairly flat personality, and the episode's attempts to evoke emotion fall far short of the previous tearjerkers from To Your Eternity.
The second season of To Your Eternity has been dragging its feet for a while, staying in the same era and concentrating on the same small cast of supporting actors. This appears to be an attempt to be corrected by the introduction of Kai, Hairo, and Messar in this episode, as well as Eko in the previous episode, but it isn't entirely successful.
How Effective Was the Strategy for Season Two?
The first season was incredibly hyperfocused in its storytelling, with each arc spotlighting a different character and their relationship with Fushi. This pared-back approach worked wonders in making To Your Eternity the emotional powerhouse it was lauded as, but it's clear that its second season has different ambitions, boasting a long-form storyline and a larger, more persistent supporting cast.
While the series' refusal to rest on its laurels is admirable, this new approach sadly does not play to To Your Eternity's strengths. Forced to compete for the spotlight, Eko and the three men Bon recruits are less immediately striking than previous companions like Gugu and March, while Bon and Kahaku are fast wearing out their welcome.
With the next episode preview promising a focus on Hairo and Messar, hopefully To Your Eternity will find something compelling to say and do with its newest additions. With Season 2 more than halfway over, however, the window of opportunity for it to be as emotionally resonant as its predecessor is rapidly closing.