The thing about immortality is that, at some point, you’re left wondering when and where you stopped being human. After all, what is humanity but fleeting and wondrous? Immortality is the stuff of divinity and Godhood and whatnot. Being alive for centuries means you gain so much knowledge and power, and if you already have supernatural abilities on top of that? Well, what’s stopping you from being deemed a God in your own right? I think that’s why fans of To Your Eternity remain conflicted about Fushi.
Because, what else is Fushi if not a God in some manner? But that’s the thing, he isn’t. Fushi is immortal and shape-shifting, but he was created by someone else. He isn’t a God that can influence time and space to create, only morph and adapt to the surroundings he’s in. He observes humanity without any judgment, only to learn. So no, he isn’t a God in any way. But I can’t say the same about the one who created him, aka The Beholder.
But anime is filled with characters that have immortality and more in their arsenal. And we don’t go around calling them all Gods, right? I mean, a God is someone who is worshipped by believers that have faith in Them. And, unless they are explicitly stated to be Gods, most anime characters in fantasy settings like To Your Eternity are just that: Fantastical characters that add power dynamics but nothing more. However, that isn’t what’s happening with Fushi.
If we go by how we understand Divinity works, the character that comes closest to its definition in To Your Eternity happens to be The Beholder. And then, you have humanity itself, that Fushi is observing passively. So, how does he end up fitting into this world he roams? Let’s discuss that and more in today’s segment of Character Analysis – where we take a close look at some of the most popular characters in the Animesphere right now and see what we can discern about them. Today, it’s the lonely passive explorer of humanity.
Fushi: Lonely Immortal, Not A God?
Though his mission is to observe humanity from afar, Fushi happens to be the protagonist of his own story. It’s this look at how he interacts with humanity, going from being this cold, emotionless ball to one with a conscious, all because of the people he met across time.
When Fushi was created by The Beholder, he was just an Orb, calmly looking through as Earth cooled and grew life. And so he descended to experience it all first hand. First, he was the lying moss, then a wolf with one of the very first humans as his companion, and so on. He never really stops living, his existence stretching eons and longer and him losing people he cared about to war, famine, and so much more.
Would that make him a God, however? I don’t think so. Yes, he does have incredible power, one where he can shapeshift himself to suit the environment, he is currently in. In a way, he also impacts the lives of the humans he meets, just like they do his. But he isn’t there to judge, bless or punish. Fushi, like a child, learns and grows with the people he meets. And that’s the entire premise, which is to see this cold and stationary phenomenon meld and twist with experience into something more humane.
What To Your Eternity Says About Humanity To Higher Beings:
To your Eternity is a tale about how the human spirit can be bowed or broken, go through trauma or celebrate victory, and so much more. And yet, it’ll never stop being human. To be human is to change, evolve and grow.
And that just isn’t something you’d see with an all-powerful being like Fushi if he hadn’t decided to roam the Earth as he did. Fushi could’ve been complacent being this immortal that has no opinions, no independent thoughts beyond seeing. But he chose to experience instead. To explore humanity and all it had to offer, then absorb all that he had learned and see himself change like the infant growing into a man.
It’s the metamorphosis that Deities don’t go through since they are ‘perfect’ when they come into existence. Humanity is the only thing with the power to become more. And that’s beautiful.