To Your Eternity Episode 4

To Your Eternity Episode 4

Yanome’s Influence

Surprisingly, To Your Eternity Episode 4 answered almost all of the questions I posed in Episode 3’s review. I honestly didn’t think any of them were going to be answered. And yet, here we are with the answers just one week later.

The first question that was answered was “why is Yanome involved in the rituals of Ninannah?” The obvious answer was that Yanome wanted to control Ninannah for some reason. However, we didn’t know what that reason was, so I couldn’t definitively say that was the case.

We now know that Yanome got involved in the ritual sacrifice to Oniguma-sama as a way to gain favor with the people of Ninannah. By being the ones to carry out the ritual, they were showing the people of Ninannah that they shared the same beliefs.

Parona hiding from the Yanome envoy as a child from the anime series To Your Eternity
Parona hiding from the Yanome envoy as a child

However, Yanome doesn’t share the same beliefs as Ninannah. That much was clear from the previous episode when the Yanome soldiers expressed disbelief at the existence of Oniguma-sama. They just pretend to be believers so they can eventually take control of Ninannah’s fertile lands.

Now, there is still an issue here. As I mentioned last week, we haven’t seen that Yanome taxes Ninannah or anything. All they do is carry out the yearly sacrifice. So how exactly are they gaining control of Ninannah’s resources?

Considering how much more advanced Yanome is than Ninannah, wouldn’t it be easy for them to simply seize control of the region by force? They could easily slaughter all of the people of Ninannah and take the land that way. I really don’t see a downside of doing that for Yanome.

Sure, genocide is bad. But they’re already killing children of Ninannah for no reason. Might as well go all the way.

Dividing and Conquering

If Yanome’s method of “taking control” of Ninannah by killing a single child every year didn’t make sense, just wait until you learn about the other things they do in the region. They also apparently keep all of the villages across the region divided.

The thing is, that’s a great way to take control of the region. By dividing the various villages, Yanome is stopping them from coming together and creating a force that could stand up to Yanome’s influence. It makes them easier to suppress.

But, and of course there was going to be a “but” here, they’re not capitalizing on it. What’s the point of dividing the villages if you’re not also conquering them? The more I learn about how Yanome is suppressing Ninannah, the less it makes sense that they don’t already dominate the region.

A Yanome courier holding a map of Ninannah from the anime series To Your Eternity
A Yanome courier holding a map of Ninannah

So, how does Yanome divide the villages of Ninannah? It’s simple: They hide the locations of other villages so they can’t contact each other. They’re also probably told that they have to remain within a certain area around their village so they don’t accidentally come into contact.

My guess would be that they use Oniguma-sama for this. For example, they may say that beyond a certain natural boundary near the village, such as a stream, is Oniguma-sama’s domain. To people who believe in Oniguma-sama, that could work.

But how do we know they keep the villages separate? Because when the Yanome courier displayed a map of the villages in the Ninannah region, Parona expressed sudden interest and Hayase quickly rolled the map back up.

Parona clearly wasn’t aware of where her village was located in relation to the other villages. And Hayase’s immediate cover-up tells us that the people of Ninannah aren’t supposed to have this information.

Long Live Oniguma-sama

I was surprised to learn this week that Oniguma-sama was actually still alive when they transported it to Yanome. I thought they were simply transporting its corpse to Yanome to prove that it existed at all. It never moved after it was taken down, so I assumed it was dead.

However, Oniguma-sama does die at the end of Episode 4. It’s not killed by anything in particular, but rather seems to have succumbed to its many injuries. And, those injuries actually answer some of the questions I had last week.

The main question I had regarding Oniguma-sama was, “why is there a giant demon bear when all the other plants and animals we’ve seen in the show have been relatively realistic?” Well, it turns out Oniguma-sama wasn’t a demon bear after all.

Oniguma-sama dies from the anime series To Your Eternity
Oniguma-sama dies

We still don’t really have an explanation for why Oniguma-sama was so large. But we do now know it was a “regular” bear. The spikes that covered its body were actually the shafts of arrows embedded in its skin. This also explains why its eyes were bleeding — they were injured as well.

One other thing I want to mention about Oniguma-sama is that thanks to it, we learned that Fushi can understand and express the feelings of other life forms around him. When March was tending to Oniguma-sama’s wounds, Fushi was saying “it hurts” over and over.

Then, when March finished taking care of Oniguma-sama, right before it dies Fushi says “thank you.” Fushi was expressing what Oniguma-sama was feeling. And later in the episode, Fushi also randomly says “it hurts” when Parona falls.

I think that’s going to be quite an interesting ability once Fushi actually has the language to express everything he feels through others.

Conclusion

What do you think of To your Eternity Episode 4? Are you as confused as I am about Yanome’s apparent lack of actual control over Ninannah? And how do you feel about Fushi being able to understand and express the feelings of other living things? Let me know in the comments.

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There’s no review of Episode 5, but my review of Episode 6 is available.

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