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To Be a Monster | To Your Eternity Episode 8

What makes us human and what makes us monsters? Perhaps both are intrinsically linked as if two sides of the same coin, only a flip away from one becoming the other. This week’s episode of To Your Eternity explores this thought in great detail, as we see Gugu continue to come to terms with his new existence as the monster beneath the helmet.

Things kick off with a rather strange turn of events with Rean, the wealthy girl that Gugu had saved from the falling log randomly, asking to move in and work at the brewery they are all living in. The old man who runs the brewery quickly accepts her request. Why she has asked to move in and work there remains a mystery throughout the episode.

Gugu and Fushi later have somewhat of a fight when Gugu is testing the extent of Fushi’s abilities, which causes him pain. However, things take a turn when Gugu realises the extent of which the old man had altered his body when he saved him. Other than Gugu now having some kind of monstrosity of a face (which we haven’t yet seen), the old man had also implanted some kind of alcohol distillery device inside of him as some sort of twisted experiment. Gugu, upon learning this, decides to leave the brewery and return to his tent he once shared with his brother.

Fushi having had the fight with Gugu earlier on refuses to look for him and tries to take on Gugu’s duties and tasks at the brewery, to disastrous results, and without Gugu he begins to fall into a depressive state. Meanwhile, Gugu has returned to his old life and tries to continue his farm work and selling vegetables in the local marketplace. However, the young boy who was once welcome in these places is now treated as a monster by the townsfolk. The only person who, after seeing his true face, doesn’t push him away is the farmer who employs him. However, due to the bullying and hostility of his fellow workers and the farmer’s son, Gugu is run off from the job as well.

Stranded with no job and no money, Gugu is stuck on the streets of the town begging for work of any kind. In desperation, he tries to sell the ring that Rean had given him in the previous episode but ultimately decides against it. After some more wandering, he finds his brother that had abandoned him drunk and passed out in an alley way looking like he is on death’s door. Gugu gives him the ring in hopes that he can sell it and become a better man. He reflects that selling that ring won’t do any good for a “monster” like himself. This is a moment of kindness that Gugu extends to his brother who had shown him nothing but pain; who left him alone to fend for himself. It shows that Gugu, despite his appearance, isn’t the real monster, it is the people who judge him and treat him cruelly that are the true monsters.

The episode reached its climax with Gugu being kidnapped by some of the guys who bullied him earlier in the episode. They are planning to sell him to some kind of “monster” collector, that is until Fushi appears and saves Gugu. Fushi admits that he can’t grow up and learn without Gugu, and the two brothers make amends with Gugu remarking that they are both monsters and that shared trait is what bonds them.

Overall, this was a nice episode exploring the tragedy of Gugu’s existence that did a great job at portraying how crucial he is, and will be, to Fushi’s development. Where the plot goes from here is anyone’s guess, as there wasn’t much hint at a direction following that final reunion moment. I am still concerned that Gugu may not be long for this world considering the series’ history; but, regardless of that, it’s clear that this monster boy has made his mark on Fushi.

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