To Your Eternity’s Newest Character Is Hindered By Disjointed Pacing

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for To Your Eternity Episode 15, “A Girl Named Tonari,” now streaming on Crunchyroll.

Fushi has encountered many living beings throughout To Your Eternity, learning more about humanity as he goes. He first met the Nameless Boy, then March and Parona, and finally Gugu. Although Fushi's time with each of these characters was short -- lasting between one and six episodes -- they have left a lasting impression on him. It was easy for fans to fall in love with them as well, even if it was only for a short period of time.

To Your Eternity's current arc on Jananda Island, however, has felt different. The narrative, and consequently the newest cast member Tonari, feel like they were dropped out of the sky. The pacing in this arc has felt significantly faster and is even more noticeable in Episode 15, which feels like a lot is happening and not happening at the same time.

to your eternity tonari sad

The newly introduced Tonari is the girl who tricked Fushi and Pioran to board a ship to Jananda. Unlike many past episodes, where viewers have had time to get to know characters more gradually, To Your Eternity has been jumping straight into the action recently, shown most glaringly in Episode 15. A plethora of events happen in rapid succession: Fushi has another battle in the arena and makes an unexpected friend, the villagers come to pick a fight with him since he refuses to kill anyone, and the Nokkers launch a random attack. It all leaves viewers little to no room to process what happened.

On top of that, Tonari is quite different from the other characters, utterly unrepentant in her attempts to get close to Fushi. At one point, Fushi is grieving Parona's death but Tonari is extremely clingy and cannot read the mood. Although she does apologize, bursting into tears at one point, it doesn't feel convincing because her motivations are unclear. Her apology doesn't feel genuine and, so far at least, it feels like she's using him. She's known to be crafty -- at one point she tricks Fushi into leaving Pioran in jail, but then reveals she didn't say she was going to show him the useful information she'd teased.

to your eternity teamwork tonari fushi

Although Tonari's backstory hints at tragedy -- with her conviction that her father is a killer and there are some people in the world who deserve to die -- it is largely glossed over in favor of action scenes that seem out of place. Previous To Your Eternity episodes that featured March, Gugu and the Nameless Boy also had action scenes integrated, but the main focus was always about who these characters were, what their stories are and Fushi's relationship to them. The Nameless Boy gave him his first name and was his first friend. March became his mother and Gugu was his brother. Tonari, however, doesn't have that type of connection with Fushi because she hasn't given him a reason to trust her yet.

Right before a Nokker appears, the villagers confront Fushi about his lack of killing, claiming he didn't really win his matches because no one died. Yet they're all suddenly willing to band together with him against the Nokker. The end of Episode 15 sees Fushi reunited with March and Oniguma in Parona's form, which is extremely touching since Parona had loved March and March in turn had cared greatly for Oniguma. As Tonari points out, Fushi only got them back because he had help, thus teaching him the value of teamwork -- but he's already learned that lesson before with Gugu. The emotional pay-off from Fushi working with new characters just isn't as satisfying when it hasn't been properly built up.

Dragon Ball: Eternal Dragon
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