WARNING: The following contains spoilers for To Your Eternity Episode 5, “Those Who Follow,” now streaming on Crunchyroll.
Whether this was done on purpose, or it just so happened that this particular episode aired a day after Mother's Day, Episode 5 of To Your Eternity is just too cruel to watch. March is saved not once, not twice, but three times, only to end up not living out her dream of growing up and becoming a mother. Fushi wasn't the only one who lost a mother in this episode, either: Parona also lost her family -- for the second time.
Just before the four prisoners make their escape in To Your Eternity, Parona decides to bring back evidence of Oniguma's death to Ninannah by cutting off a piece of its body. Horrified, March begs Parona to stop. No amount of wheedling will make March change her mind, even though Parona reasons that this is the only way to stop the rituals and prevent the sacrifice of more little girls. But March makes Parona see that using one life to save others isn't right.
As the four of them travel by cart, Parona distracts March from the firefight that's broken out outside the cart by asking her what she wants to do when she grows up. March has so many dreams: she wants to learn how to cook, make dolls for her future children, read and write. And sweet March also wants to bring Fushi along on the journey. They'll learn and grow up together.
But first, they have to evade Hayase and her troops, who are hot on their heels. Hayase offers a deal: leave Fushi and the other three will live. Parona and March know it's an obvious ruse and the former prepares to defend against Yanome's attacks. Parona puts up a good fight but it's one against four. Hayase shoots an arrow at Parona's unprotected back but March launches herself at her sister and is shot instead.
March's wound is much too deep and there's little that Parona can do other than stay with her. March leaves Parona with her dream: to become a mama in her place. When March asks if Fushi is there -- a mother asking after her child -- Parona lies even as they hear the destruction that Fushi as Oniguma is causing across Yanome. But March, hearing that Fushi is safe beside her, smiles one last time before she breathes out her final breath, tears running down her face. Parona carefully wraps her up and she and Fushi leave for Ninannah.
The two of them arrive back at Parona and March's home where the villagers rush out to meet her. Parona, holding nothing except March's clothes, tells March's parents that there was nothing that she could do. She gives her parents March's letter with her handprint. At first, they're nonplussed but Parona, with a quivering smile, tells them that it's March's way of telling them that she is doing well. And March's parents realize what happened to their daughter.
What makes this episode of To Your Eternity feel worse is that we got a taste of what could've been. In the opening, there are glimpses of an older March being a mother only for the episode to reveal it's just a snippet of March's dream after she has died. In that dream, older March joyfully takes care of her stuffed toy children -- but she wakes up from her dream when she remembers Fushi and what happened to her.
When March was a little girl, she played family with nothing but her fingers while Parona watched from afar. As Parona watched this little girl who pretended to be a mama, she started sewing a little gift for her: a stuffed toy that could become her baby. One day, March went up to Parona and asked why she was always alone. When she heard that Parona had no family, March offered a solution: they should become a family! The two became inseparable and the memory explains why Parona was so desperate to save March.
In the short time that Fushi got to know her, March became a mother in every right: taking care of him, teaching him how to take care of himself and loving him unconditionally. March is, and will always be, the best mom anyone could ask for.