The Jananda Island Arc has honestly been an absolute mixed bag for To Your Eternity. There were some genuinely great moments at times but, for the most part, this arc has been a mess. The pacing has been all over the shop and, while I felt previous arcs really allowed time for character development, I left this arc caring very little about any of the characters introduced in it. So it is a rather ironic moment when the Maker asks Fushi at the end if he liked Jananda Island, because I must echo his sentiment of, “Dunno.”
This episode begins with pretty much the entire zombie-Knokker horde of the previous episode wiped out off screen. While I couldn’t care less about these zombies, it felt very anti-climactic to end last week’s episode with hundreds of zombies surrounding—and even killing—some of our heroes, only for this week to skip past how they escaped from that with pretty much the entire horde dead. It is these moments of skipping the connective tissue that has made this arc overall weak in comparison to the Gugu Arc or the March Arc, for example. Whereas those arcs would allow for contemplative and slow-paced scenes that just let you soak in the character moments, Jananda Island ain’t got time for that.
Without recapping beat for beat the way this episode wrapped up this arc, it was pretty disappointing seeing what should have been the biggest character moment for Fushi of the series thus far completely botch the delivery. The entire series thus far we have seen Fushi fail to save the people he cares about. However, he finally does manage to save someone in the form of Tonari and her friend whose name I forgot. The episode treats this as a trivial note when I feel it should be a true moment of triumph for Fushi, but it just feels like another thing happening in this arc where a lot happens but nothing really feels like it matters.
The episode ends with Fushi leaving the island and Tonari deciding to stay and help make the island a better place, which she seemingly does by delivering a message to the island folk. What is her ground-breaking and inspiring message that changes this island of criminals into a better place? She tells them that killing is bad and they should work together. Seriously, that was all it takes to stop these people who were just a few episodes ago indiscriminately killing announcers at the tournament for being boring. I just don’t buy this turn of events at all.
Anyways, we are left with Fushi on his little boat sailing away with Hayase, who he has tied up and taken with him. She ultimately confesses to being in love with him and wanting to “spend a night with him” to show him her love. He declines, manifests a separate boat, and leaves. We then see a Knokker materialize and seemingly take control of Hayase’s body. We then see Fushi arrives to shore and he is onward to whatever he next destination may be.
Overall, I felt this Jananda Island Arc was a bit of a misfire. The ideas behind the arc were intriguing and at times truly captivating; however, it was the rushed delivery and lack of emotional resonance that ultimately made this arc fall flat compared to previous ones, and with only one episode remaining to wrap things up for the series, I feel if they had possibly made this a twenty-four-episode series rather than a twenty-episode one, Jananda Island may have been able to tell its story a bit better. Unfortunately, it is what it is and we will see how To Your Eternity exits stage left next week in its finale.