Jan 22, 2019
Kimi no Suizou wo Tabetai (I Want to Eat Your Pancreas) is predictable, heavy-handed, unoriginal, and, yet, I still love this film. I do not love the movie in any sort of guilty-pleasure way either; I unironically think Kimi no Suizou wo Tabetai is one of the best anime films I have ever seen. Why, though? Well, the film uses its predictability, heavy-handedness, and unoriginality to craft a message that is so unbelievably powerful, and it struck a chord with me and left my emotions in absolute, complete shambles. I honestly doubt most people could misinterpret the themes of Kimi no Suizou wo Tabetai, so I also want to try and dig into why this movie hits so hard, for so many.

Spoiler Warning: I am going to spoil the entire movie (but so does the movie itself). If you choose to opt out here, know that I highly recommend this film.

There are two main themes of Kimi no Suizou wo Tabetai. The first is spelled out on for us on the heroine’s, Sakura’s, dairy, “Living with Dying." Sakura has a pancreatic illness that will eventually cut her life short. As anyone would be in this predicament, Sakura is terrified. She tries to come to terms with her situation and live her remaining days as the same carefree girl she was before. Everyone’s time will eventually end, and, unfortunately for Sakura, her time will end a bit earlier than most. No one knows when they will die though—not even Sakura. Before her illness can even take her life, Sakura is stabbed in the streets and dies at the age of seven-teen. The film clearly sets up Sakura’s death to be an abrupt one, but this was the one event that even caught me slightly off-guard. The first scene of the movie is Sakura’s funeral, so, just like Sakura, the viewer is supposed to enter the story with the acceptance of her death, but, just like Sakura, we struggle to. No matter what, death will always be sudden, frightening, and sad. The way the film handles Sakura’s death should have be obvious to the viewer, but even if you see it coming, it still somehow catches you off guard, just like Sakura. Kimi no Suizou wo Tabetai weaves Sakura’s feelings into the viewing experience itself and forces the viewer to empathize with her situation. If the movie did its job, the viewer will be sobbing by the end of the film, just like Haruki.

Without Haruki, Kimi no Suizou wo Tabetai would be a hollow experience. Sakura’s story might be powerful, but it is Haruki’s that is truly moving. Prior to meeting Sakura, Haruki is a shell of person. He has no personality, no emotions, and he shuts himself off from the rest of the world. Sakura is the first person to really open up to him, and throughout the time Haruki spends with Sakura, although reluctant, he slowly starts to open up to her. For the first time in his life, Haruki makes a connection with someone else. Haruki knows that Sakura will not be around for much longer, but just like everyone else, he cannot handle losing her. After her death, Haruki starts to close himself off again, but he is not the same person as before he met Sakura. Haruki starts to realize how difficult being alone really is and starts pursuing other relationships. Although Sakura is gone, her impact on the people around her, especially Haruki, will remain. Haruki is meant to be a surrogate character for the viewer, and, because he so basic at the start of the movie, he is extremely easy to project yourself onto. At the emotional climax of the film, Haruki breaks down into tears alongside the viewer, strengthening the bond the two share and makes the following message of “the importance of connections” hit even harder.

No doubt, the story of Kimi no Suizou wo Tabetai is constructed with the main purpose of eliciting specific emotions and sending home simple, but still important, messages, and the production does more of the same. The film has strong animation and direction, but the real standout is the music. Although the OST has a few solid tracks itself, the most memorable part is definitely the handful of songs done by Sumika. They do the OP, ED, and an insert song during a pivotal scene, and all of them hammer home the emotions being felt by the viewer and adds even more to an already great experience.

I recognize that Kimi no Suizou wo Tabetai is not the film some people want it to be. The movie is certainly a shallow one: predictable, heavy-handed, and unoriginal. Although the movie might be simple, it is still effective. Kimi no Suizou wo Tabetai is not the type of movie that is supposed to spark discussion (even though I am still doing it lul), it evokes a feeling and leaves impact. In my opinion, two movies that tackle similar themes better are Colorful and Koe no Katachi, but both of them are certainly more flawed than Kimi no Suizou wo Tabetai. Actually, I consider both those other two to be in my top-ten anime of all time, so hopefully by me considering Kimi no Suizou wo Tabetai to be their equal, you can understand how much I truly do love and recommend this film.
Reviewer’s Rating: 8
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