I Want to Eat Your Pancreas is a 2018 Japanese anime from director Shin’ichiro Ushijima. The anime is based on the critically acclaimed novel from Yoru Sumino. I Want to Eat Your Pancreas was released in Japan on September 1, 2018. The film is now reaching American audiences in a limited release from Fathom Events. The anime will see a second screening courtesy of Fathom Events on Sunday February 10th, 2019.
I Want to Eat Your Pancreas Synopsis
Me is a high school student, spending most of his time with his head in a book. Me does not think highly of himself, and believes no one in his class would even consider being his friend. His classmate Sakura on the other hand is an outspoken, social butterfly. She loves life and gets along with anyone she meets.
During a routine visit to the doctor, Me finds a journal titled “Living With Dying”. The journal belongs to Sakura, who reveals to Me that she is dying. Sakura has a terminal disease that affects her pancreas. She has only revealed this information to her parents, leaving Me to be her only classmate that knows her secret. She asks Me to do one thing for her. Never reveal her secret, and be her friend until she passes away.
What I Liked About I Want to Eat Your Pancreas
I Want to Eat Your Pancreas is a touching coming-of-age anime that will constantly pull on your heartstrings. The story is something relatively simple, one we have seen in films such as The Fault in Our Stars or If I Stay. The dying girl trope is a tired concept played out in Western cinema. I Want to Eat Your Pancreas diverts these tropes and creates a heartwarming relationship between Me and Sakura.
The chemistry between the two characters creates something magical through the animation. Sakura and Me are on opposite ends of the personality spectrum. Sakura is very outgoing and loves meeting new people. Me is an introvert, with his only hobbies being reading and fantasizing about what his classmates think of him. The two personalities make for a very fun and lovable relationship.
The art work and style of I Want to Eat Your Pancreas is the perfect compliment to the two leads. The character interactions are lighthearted, yet constantly tug at the heart. The animation style balances these two perfectly. It creates a world both of life and wonder, yet reminding the audience about how fragile life is.
The musical score is absolutely beautiful. Composer Hiroko Sebu delivers one of the most heartfelt original scores in recent memory, whether that be live action or animated. The score helps drive Sakura and Me’s relationship and build up both the comedic and dramatic moments. Japanese band Sumika also provides two original songs for the film, used during the opening and closing credits. The songs help set the tone for both the opening and closing of the film. The stark contrast in these songs balances the film out perfect, much the same as Me and Sakura’s relationship.
What Could Have Been Improved With I Want to Eat Your Pancreas
I Want to Eat Your Pancreas has very few flaws from a film making standpoint. The characters are fleshed out, and the relationship is perfectly realized. The only negatives to be had are the side characters are for the most part one note. They don’t have much character besides their relationship too one of the two leads. The only other negative is this film suffers from Return of the King syndrome.
Much like Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, the film unsure of where it wishes to end. The ending is very heartfelt, and feels like true growth for the characters. It does suffer from having too many great endings (much like Return of the King). That may not be such a bad thing having multiple great endings. But sometimes to much of a good thing can hurt the overall experience.
Final Thoughts on I Want to Eat Your Pancreas
I Want to Eat Your Pancreas is the first GREAT film of 2019. The film is full of heart, emotion, and a great character piece. Shin’ichiro Ushijima delivers on nearly every aspect of this film. Although the ending does get bogged down by too many endings, it does not take away an enjoyment from the film. I Want to Eat Your Pancreas will draw audiences with it’s name, but will prove that the heart is the only organ that will be affected by this film.
Overall Score 4/5
Fathom Events will be hosting an English dubbed screening of I Want to Eat Your Pancreas February 10th. More information and tickets are available on their website.