One day, an entity, for reasons unknown, threw an orb to Earth. With no emotion or identity, the orb is meant to gather sensations and is able to take the shape of things it encounters as it learns. For many years, it was a rock, and then it became moss, and when a wolf took its last breath near it, it became the wolf. After wandering for some time, it met a boy. After a long struggle, the boy, too, took his last breath. With human form, now the orb sets off on his never-ending journey where he will meet many new people and have many new experiences.
This is one of those series that you watch and have a problem letting go of because it was so good and original that you want more, but you know nothing can ever take its place. Yet, all good things must end, so here are some more anime recommendations like To Your Eternity to help get past this particular post-anime blues.
For Fans of Emotionless Protagonists
In order to become indomitable on the battlefield, a samurai lord barters his son’s organs away to 48 demons and then abandons him. However, his son doesn’t die. Instead, a medicine man saves him with primitive, but lethal prosthetics that allow him to hunt down the demons and regain his organs for an eventual battle with his father.
While the overall plots are heading in different directions, in both shows you have a emotionally muted main character that is slowly learning feelings and sensations, often with the help of their chipper cute kid sidekick.
After the Great War and her time in it came to an end, Violet Evergarden is adrift. Her purpose was once only battle, and now she must find a new one. After recovering from the loss of her arms, Violet takes up a job at the CH Postal Services. Here she transcribes people’s thoughts into what should be emotional letters. However, the “emotional” part seems to greatly escape her, but she aims to learn how to move people with words.
Both anime series know how to curl a fist and sucker punch you right in your feelings. But seriously, both To Your Eternity and Violet Evergarden essentially tell short and emotional story arcs through the lens of a main character that doesn’t always feel the these things. We, the audience, feel them just fine, though. They are also visually impressive, though Violet Evergarden is more so.
Katsuhira Agata is a quiet teen whose ability to feel pain has vanished. One day, he, his friend Chidori, and four other teenagers are abducted and bound together by the Kizuna System. While not physically connected, their pain is. Now if one party member is injured, they all feel it.
In both To Your Eternity and Kiznaiver, you have a white-haired character that doesn’t feel much of anything. In Kiznaiver, he ends up connected to strangers in which their pain is all shared through the link while in To Your Eternity, he really just learns. Regardless, both have interesting plots to follow.
For Fans of Journeys
Accompanied by her talking motorcycle, Hermes, Kino travels through her mysterious world, spending only three days and two nights in each town. The idea is that three days is enough to learn almost everything about a place. This is the story of her journey.
While there is overall more travel in Kino’s Journey, there are moments of To Your Eternity where it is just Fushi wandering around. While he is a more passive force in the story, in both series you are essentially experiencing the short stories that happen throughout.
Somali and the Forest Guardians
With humanity all but extinct after severe prosecution, the world is ruled over by spirits and all manner of strange creatures. One day, a golem that serves as guardian of the forest meets a young human girl. She has no memory of her parents, but the golem decides to at least seek out other humans to return her.
In their essence, both series follow a non-human main character on a journey with a small human character. Throughout, they both learn and grow about the world and have many emotionally—touching experiences. However, there is definitely more of that “parenthood” vibe in Somali and the Forest Guardian.
In this world, there exist Mushi, spirits that often exist with no purpose. However, these Mushi can affect the physical world in countless forms from diseases to more pleasant phenomenon. Why do these Mushi exist? That is the question that Ginko the Mushi-shi, a researcher on the phenomenon, asks himself as he travels the land investigating Mushi-related incidents.
Both Mushishi and To Your Eternity are very often just about experiencing the world and the things that live in it. The main character isn’t so much a compelling character, but rather this allows the stories going on around them to shine quite a bit.
For Fans of the Trials of a Long-Lived Life
After humanity fled a dying Earth, their seed ship crash on a harsh planet, but humanity managed to endure. On this still-developing planet, there is a horrid criminal known as Vash the Stampede with a huge bounty on his head. It is said he destroys entire cities for fun. As such, two insurance agents dedicate their time to following him to try to stop his devastation, but what they find is not what they expect. Vash is actually a buffoonish goofball, but his reputation isn’t all complete rubbish.
While these shows seem very different, and are in some ways, Vash, as a longer-living non-human, finds himself entangled in the lives of people that will live and die long before him. Over the course of these series, you begin to see that he carries on their hopes and dreams not unlike the way that Fushi does for the boy he met in the beginning and many of the characters he comes across.
Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song
In a theme park ran by AI, there is a lonely stage where the first-ever autonomous humanoid sings in order to fulfill her mission of making everyone happy with her songs. This AI, Diva but given the nickname of Vivy by a young fan, has an encounter with an AI named Matsumoto who explains he traveled from 100 years in the future where AI have advanced so far that they rebelled and started exterminating humanity. Together, he guides her to singularity points on a hundred-year journey in order to change the course of history.
While To Your Eternity is significantly different from the technological AI sci-fi plot of Vivy, it shares a similar progression. Both stories happen over a long period of time, allowed by their main character that isn’t human and isn’t bound by a human’s lifespan. You will also notice some similarities between the main characters, despite Diva’s ability to emote more.
With the world over and humanity gone, all that is left is sentient robots. They were supposed to live forever, but as they begin to rust and die, a rumor goes around that eating one called Casshern will stop their passing. Casshern, the target of their intentions, knows nothing of his past, but leaves death everywhere he goes as he is constantly hunted.
While different tales, both explore characters that live forever. It is just that in Casshern Sins, the immortality is running out, and they are starting to panic a bit. They both create intriguing worlds, though.
Do you have more anime recommendations like To Your Eternity? Let fans know in the comments section below.