With a current rating of 8.66/10 on MyAnimeList, To Your Eternity is a very well-received supernatural shonen anime. Each episode is a new emotional journey that will stay with you the whole week, and likely leave you seeking similar anime to watch. But having followed Fushi’s journey so far, you might have questions about the character’s nature. Each episode starts with a short recap delivered by the omniscient narrator, who doesn’t fail to remind us that our main character started as an orb. So, what is the orb in To Your Eternity?
To understand that, we need a short overview of To Your Eternity. The 20-episode anime, which is based on a shonen manga by Yoshitoki Ooima – also known for A Silent Voice – follows a mysterious immortal being. At first, the being is only referred to as “it” because it has no identity, thoughts, or feelings. His first form is an orb, but he later turns into a stone. Then, he assumes the forms of a wolf who just died, before coming into his signature form, that of the wolf’s human caretaker, a white-haired boy.
In this latter form, our main character embarks on a journey to achieve emotional stimulation, learn about the world of humans, and eventually save it. When he happens by March, a young girl who dreams of being a mother, he still has no understanding of humanity, but she teaches him basic skills and names him “Fushi” which means “immortal.”
March thus initiates the immortal being in a process that will take many, many years, and many tears: a journey to understand humanity, despite being the only immortal in a world where everyone else is doomed to die sooner or later.
But why was our main character initially an orb? This isn’t clear from the episodes we have so far, but it’s likely an indication of how featureless and characterless Fushi was at the beginning. There is not one word to describe Fushi’s nature, since he has a unique set of abilities not found in conventional fantasy creatures.
Later manga chapters reveal that the “orb” was thrown to earth by the Beholder, Fushi’s god-like creator to learn about life on earth and eventually help humans. Although it’s hard to tell at first, this is actually the identity of the show’s narrator, who calmly offers recaps without taking sides or becoming emotionally involved.
For such an enigmatic, god-like character, sending a creature on earth in the form of an orb makes sense: if he had used a more recognizable form, Fushi would have arrived on earth with some implicit understandings of its workings. Arriving with no ties to earth at all makes his journey all the more impressive.