Spring time in April and the last of the cherry blossoms are still in bloom. The usually aloof bookworm with no interest in others comes across a book in a hospital waiting room. Handwritten on the cover are the words: "Living with Dying." He soon discovers that it is a diary kept by his very popular and genuinely cheerful classmate, Sakura Yamauchi, who reveals to him that she is secretly suffering from a pancreatic illness and only has a limited time left. It is at this moment that she gains just one more person to share her secret.
Trying to maintain a normal life as much as possible, Sakura is determined to live her life to the fullest until the very last day. As her free spirit and unpredictable actions throw him for a loop, his heart begins to gradually change.
'I Want to Eat Your Pancreas' is a common drama production to this industry. It offers generic school settings with rather superficial teenage characters. The only thing it tries to accomplish is toy with its viewers' emotions to the point of some cheap tearjerking. Those who are okay with this will most definitely see how the movie accomplishes exactly all the thing it wants to. Those who want something more from anime, should look elsewhere.
This movie is a story about death. It starts when the most perfect mary sue on the planet starts randomly talking with a no-life loser dude who happens to be her
classmate. Our characters start frequently interacting with each others and supposedly grow close. They hang out and talk about dying all the time. That's pretty much the entirety of their relationship. It feels random and forced and unnatural.
Our dude is dense and has never had any friends during his pathetic life.. that's pretty much him. Our girl is really perfect and chill and that's also pretty much her. The catch being that she will die soon which further makes these two character - who are the opposites of each others (according to the narration at least) - even more the opposite because the dude is actually alive. Great.
The drama is a separate entity in the work, mainly because it is there constantly whispering to the characters --and especially to its viewers ears-- that shit will go down, just wait and see. Since the great twist is obvious from the start, the whole thing relies on the journey... where nothing spectacular ever happens and the characters feel more like meridians that try to connect the viewers to the emotions.
One could defend most of the events by looking it more from the characters perspective. I found this to be quite hard as they don't feel like real, genuine people at all. If they did, it would be understandable for our heroine to open up to a stranger, as to most people, it's often easier to talk with 3rd parties than to people close to you. Especially the whole fear of death is amazing as a concept, but I don't really see it as anything more than waste of potential in this case.
The whole main dude realizing that people actually die in real life is definitely quite an interesting idea as well.. at least to those who have never experienced this type of thing or considered that all of this could happen to literally anyone. I doubt any person who is aware of how fragile thing person's existence is, can find this specific work do them any further waking up enlightenment, other sudden realization of such things or offer much feels at all. If this movie ever serves someone, it's those viewers who are unaware of how life works, and instead of following our characters for what they are, fall into self-insert. This is one of the rare things with what the author seems self-aware of, as they say "to live is to empathize with someone." And moreover, named the male lead simply "boku" which means "I/me".
There are also several other things I'd want to complain about. Like the claim in narration that our characters are "pure and innocent." Which is really just a try hard attempt on making the viewer accept these thoughts, but the content (teenagers and alcohol) and our characters behavior (random snapping incidents) among several other scenes is the polar opposite of what I'd considered to be either of these things.. which further makes me question the author's ability to even recognize their own work for what it is. I can't say I feel very respected as a viewer when such contradictions exist in the narration.. or perhaps my comprehension of "pure" just differs with the writer.
Our writing is practically a collection of romance cliches. The only remotely original things are the concepts which it deals rather poorly with. Every event, every side character archetype and every moment that drives the story and the relationship development onward, is loaned content. There is not a single thing any romance fan hasn't seen at least 50 times before, and not only that, but the execution is so lame that I would call it offensively bad if the work managed to be less bland, but unfortunately it's not even worth of getting mad over.
If this had been 50 episodes long tv series that offered a real character portray to both of our main characters and their life, connected them, dealt with the same heavy themes. all the copy-pasted events and cliches had been abandon and the story was written by Adachi Mitsuru: this could have been the best drama the anime industry has to offer. Now it mainly looks like a random, shallow past story from any fighting tournament shonen from Nanatsu no Tanzai to Naruto except there is no character depth present in this movie and therefore it is significantly worse than let's say zero arc from Fairy Tail which dealt with rather similar concept.
I'm just your average guy, not an expert in analysis/writing/subtleties such as commentators like Gigguk/SuperEyePatchWolf/the reviews on this page.
It's really easy to get influenced by someone else's opinion or personal experience, and that's why I don't look at the reviews when intending to watch an movie or anime.
Instead of critiquing, which is important in improving anything, whether that be improving major technological developments or more relevantly, anime, I will write down what I experienced emotionally from this movie, because at the end of life, it's not about all the little nit-picking many do, but whether you enjoyed life/the memories you gained/the emotions you experienced.
criticising criticisms, let's get to the main points:
-Cried my eyes out.
-Utterly beautiful and melancholic.
Now for a miscellaneous message as a topping:
I feel so embarrassed because strangers sitting next to me could see me crying. And I also
feel it's kind of taboo for oneself to cry in cinemas. But in reality, I'm just afraid of fully expressing myself, subsequently being judged, and to stop this suffering, I must stop valuing the opinion of others and silencing my own projections.
Hope you relate 😁
A lot of anime watchers seem to be under the impression that as long as some sort of tragedy is featured and said tragedy happens to a cute girl, a show automatically qualifies as a work of high quality with its flaws being dismissed due to its label as a ‘tearjerker’ or ‘feels’ anime. A notable example of this is ‘Your Lie in April’, which has sat comfortably in its position of acclaim in the anime community despite criticism for its characterisation. Kimi no Suizou wo Tabetai, or ‘I Want to Eat Your Pancreas’, is a recent addition
to this label and, while falling into the same traps as many of its predecessors, the movie manages to accumulate even more flaws on its own, resulting in a work that is ultimately underwhelming.
[Note: This review was written following the movie’s showing in Australian cinemas. I have not had any exposure to the source material. Once again, the review is NOT spoiler-free]
Kimi no Suizou wo Tabetai’s story focuses on an unnamed protagonist as he spends time with Yamauchi Sakura, a girl whose days are numbered due to being diagnosed with a terminal pancreatic disease. As the protagonist helps Sakura ticks off her bucket list, he develops a close relationship and eventually falls in love with her. Following her death, the unnamed protagonist breaks free of his introvert shell and learns how to befriends those around him. Upon first inspection, the basic plot is sound and has quite a bit of potential to pull the audience’s heartstrings. In reality, there was a problem.
The story is extremely predictable.
Having lifted tropes from tragic storylines in Japanese and Korean dramas, Kimi no Suizou wo Tabetai is not exactly the most original of works. While the predictability of the plot is not inherently a flaw, the movie appears to be fully set on sapping the enjoyment of the audience through an uninspired presentation. The opening of the movie is hardly remarkable, showing the eventual development of the plot (read: Sakura’s funeral). Given the synopsis, this is something that most people anticipated. The final nail in the coffin of the audience’s hopes for an enjoyable time is the unnamed protagonist’s voice. There is a distinct lack of energy in his narrative, something that is tied to the personality of the character himself (which would be explored further in the Character section of the review). While somewhat mediocre, the story is mostly serviceable up until a certain point of the movie, where the writers decided to subvert the audience’s expectations.
As the synopsis has indicated very clearly, Sakura’s death has been predetermined to happen before the movie even starts. However, the writers of the series had a stroke of genius in subverting the audience’s expectations. Instead of eventually dying from the terminal pancreatic disease following a tearful farewell with the unnamed protagonist like a lot of people might have speculated, Sakura is stabbed by a serial killer while walking on the streets. While there is (a poor excuse for) foreshadowing earlier in the movie and thus the killer does not appear out of thin air, the decision to remove Sakura from the story using such a method is, at best, questionable and, at worst, utterly nonsensical. During the conception of the original work, the writer may have wanted to make a philosophical statement on how “death may come from every corner” but the sheer silliness of the situation completely nullified the intended effect. The suddenness of this development is almost comical, in a way.
Following this “twist”, the story returned to its original course until the end, leaving much to be desired due to lack of originality and uninspired presentation.
Regarding its art, Kimi no Suizou wo Tabetai is generally very pleasing to look at. With the exception of the unnamed protagonist, the character design of the movie is serviceable. Backgrounds are done to the expected standard of a theatrical anime production, although are nothing exceptional. The same can be said for its animation, excluding two or three beautifully animated sequences. A minor complaint would be the use of several still-shots montages, which somewhat cheapens the audience’s impression of the movie’s production.
Like its art and animation, Kimi no Suizou wo Tabetai’s sound is done to a good standard. The OST and insert songs do their jobs appropriately when required, although no track stands out on its own.
The unnamed protagonist is the definition of plain. From the generic ‘anime male high school student’ design to demeanour, he is completely unremarkable for the majority of the movie’s running time. Whether this is done intentionally to assist the viewers’ process of self-insertion is unclear. Regarding his personality, the unnamed protagonist exudes little to no energy in his speech and interaction with others. While the behaviour is not completely unrealistic considering that he is a lonely introvert, it sets the stage for an unenjoyable watching experience, having to follow an unmemorable lead that almost never expresses his opinion. In this respect, the lack of more extensive inner monologue worked against the movie’s favour, making the unnamed protagonist hard to relate to or like. On the rare occasions that the character vocalises something other than some form of “Yes”, a large amount of his dialogue revolves around the gag that he has no friends. While it was somewhat entertaining at first, the excessive repetition of this character trait got old quickly and only highlights how little the character has going for him outside of his status as the outsider in the class. As a result, the development that the unnamed protagonist later received following Sakura’s death felt somewhat unnatural and forced out of plot necessities. In summary, a completely unremarkable and generic character for a lead.
Now onto Sakura, the romantic interest. Although the movie desperately tries to sell that Sakura was an emotionally fragile girl hiding behind a carefree mask, her character is never effectively explored past her ‘cutesy anime girl’ act. The way the movie examines the more sensitive side of Sakura’s psyche is anything but subtle, with the character telling the audience outright that she was fragile underneath her cheerful demeanour. As a result, Sakura felt more like a caricature of a person close to death rather than a relatable character that the audience can emotionally invest in. In that respect, the failure to bring out Sakura’s character in a poignant way is a major reason why Kimi no Suizou wo Tabetai lacks impact and fails as a ‘tearjerker’.
The relationship between the two characters is nothing short of questionable. By conventional (anime) logic, the combination of a quiet character (the unnamed protagonist) and a lively character (Sakura) presents an ideal environment for them to play off each other’s personality traits. In the actual movie, however, there is little to no dynamic between the two main characters, to the point that one must wonder how the relationship is able to sustain itself without the plot requiring it to. For most of the movie’s running time, the protagonist appears perpetually uninterested in pretty much everything he does, which is somewhat understandable when Sakura’s role in the relationship. She acts selfishly to an increasingly obnoxious degree as the movie goes on, forcing the unnamed protagonist to tag along with her to anything she feels like. The fact that the unnamed protagonist always goes along with her whims despite showing little interest can be explained with Sakura regularly remarking that she was about to die, all the while maintaining a cheerful demeanour. While certainly a valid way of emotionally appealing to the audience, Sakura is essentially guilting the protagonist into feeling bad for her, which is manipulative behaviour. This is elevated to a malicious level in a certain sequence of the movie that takes place in Sakura’s room. While the protagonist’s behaviour is undoubtedly wrong, Sakura’s unnecessarily cruel antics are not at all faultless in bringing about the situation. What is more disappointing is that the conflict, despite its serious implications on the nature of the relationship, is resolved lazily with the intervention of a third party: a side character who serves no other purpose other than uniting the main couple through his douchebaggery (and waltzing out of existence as soon as he accomplishes his mission). Sakura’s selfish behaviour is, once again, played off lightly as part of her being a cute anime girl and the protagonist never stops to think for himself or reconsiders participating in the toxic relationship.
The side characters of Kimi no Suizou wo Tabetai are unnecessary and completely insignificant in the grand scheme of the plot. Kyoko, Sakura’s best friend, incessantly harasses the unnamed protagonist for hanging out with Sakura. Worse yet, she never attempts to sort out their differences, perceiving the protagonist in an unjustified overly negative light. Takahiro, a character formerly associated with Sakura, serves no purpose but to resolve the climactic conflict between the two main characters, appearing in a total of two scenes in the movie. Nothing about his character is explored to a meaningful degree whatsoever. Without exaggeration, he disappears and is never heard from again after he fulfils his role. The most mindboggling side character is, without a doubt, Miyata, not for any of his personal intrigue but for the sheer pointlessness of his inclusion in the movie. For anime with a school setting, the dumb sidekick character has traditionally been a staple. With that said, Miyata does not even satisfactorily fulfil that role. He has nothing resembling a relationship with the unnamed protagonist, only occasionally offering him gum and getting refused. While his character’s action can be interpreted to mirror the unnamed protagonist’s growth as a character, what is presented to the audience falls short, resulting in a pointless, random and unnecessary husk of a character. In summary, none of the side characters has any business being included in the movie considering their (lack of) characterisation and nothing would have changed in the grand scheme of things if Kimi no Suizou wo Tabetai only revolved around the unnamed protagonist and Sakura.
Having initially approached the movie with few expectations due to my lack of exposure to its content, I left the cinema feeling wholly disappointed. From feeling bored at how cliché everything was since minute one, I was aggravated by how in-your-face the movie got as it went on, treating the audience like complete idiots who could not think for themselves. The philosophical statements on life and death from the main characters are ultimately shallow, bringing nothing new to a topic that has been done to death already. From an emotional perspective, Kimi no Suizou wo Tabetai falls flat, its supposedly climatic or shocking moments eliciting little due to how unrelatable the main characters are. All in all, I had a very unenjoyable time, wondering when the movie was going to finish as it trudges through a tired, uninspired narrative.
TL;DR: Cliché, uninspired plot with a questionable twist. Weak characters that are hard to empathise with. Serviceable sound, art, and animation. A wholly unenjoyable time.
With the misleading title turns out to be a comedy/romance/drama anime. Well, the trailer pretty much gave it away that it doesn't involve Tokyo Ghoul like scenario. The story focuses on a popular girl (Sakura) utilising her last moment with a guy (Haruki) that found out about her disease. At this point, the story kicks on with those two spending time together, but with no romantic feeling around it.
The protagonist was drag into her selfish request to tick-off her lists to experience before her death, as well as holding onto the secrete from everyone else including her best friend. This pretty
much covers 50% of the movie and quite a relaxing atmosphere as they spent their time going on dates, field trips to Hakata and even spent the night together and played drinking games. However, with all these couple activities he still showed no interest in her only sympathy for the fact she is dying, and his suspicion grew when he saw her night bag in the hotel.
Despite being faked lovers, the news of them hanging out together does not sit well with everyone at school, including her best friend and ex-boyfriend. At one point the ex-boyfriend showed hostility to this situation and was told off by her.
As the story progresses, the ever faked relationship slowly starts to end as he was fed up with her jokes as they spent time together, like faking a kiss. But soon, after the confrontation with her ex, he rapidly grew more interested in her and soon became a couple for a short period. Not long, she was hospitalised as her condition develops and want to experience her last moment watching the fireworks. Eventually, she was discarded from the hospital, but things got worse.
This story pretty much has the same vibe as 'Your Lie in April', but her death was predetermined from the start of the movie. But this movie focuses on an introvert person, who only reads with no friends, develops as a person and become more open to people. As much as I want to say its a sad movie, I didn't feel much of the emotions as it was hinted her death was near the latter half of the episode. But the written diary of her last moment was the point where the audience starts sobbing.
The animation was great especially the animation of the sea and water; the music was played with a cheerful tone and a balanced well with heated moments. Regarding character development, covers the majority of the story. But it's worthwhile to enjoy this movie to experience some emotions, but directed in a way, I didn't feel as sad. Awarding this movie with a score of 7 is quite generous of me.