I Want to Eat Your Pancreas Review: A fresh coming of age story filled with perfect highs and lows
Telling a fresh coming of age-story, I Want to Eat Your Pancreas is a beautiful anime film that’s filled with heartbreak and an incredibly touching story about self-discovery.
The film follows an introverted teen, only known as “Me” (Robbie Daymond), who only enjoys reading books and imagining what other people think about him. His typically quiet existence is then broken once he accidentally picks a journal titled “Living with Dying” that belongs to a classmate of his, Sakura (Erika Harlacher). Sakura suffers from a pancreatic disease, but find some sort of comfort in the quiet teen and tells him about her condition and that she doesn’t have much life left in her. From here, the two build a connection that not only helps them understand each other’s struggles, but also helps them discover their own issues.
At a first glance, the film may seem like a story similar to other films that tackle similar subjects, like Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, but I Want to Eat Your Pancreas puts a Japanese spin on the story that makes the film incredibly fresh. It was interesting to see how the idea of eating organ meats is thought to makes illnesses less impactful and how the film plays with the idea of people’s soul staying with one another from eating organs. It comes off much less grotesque and much more endearing in the film, but it’s all apart of the film’s more morbid sense of humor.
Rather than having a story about a dying girl comes off as sad and depressing, the film uses more dark humor to give Sakura’s illness more of a realistically positive vibe. Sakura is always shown to be positive and gives an uplifting look at terminal illness, but the film also never forgets to add some tough moments that reminds viewers that what Sakura is dealing with is no joke.
Ironically, Sarkura’s more outgoing personality works really well with Me’s more subtle and silent personality as it leads to some funny and deep moments. What’s interesting about Me is that there isn’t some kind of specific reason that Me is much more of an introverted person, he is just that way on his own and he’s okay with that. Because of this, it came off much more realistically as Me began to open up to people and have a stronger connection with Sakura.
Their connection is easily one of the highlights of the film and it comes with sweet moments of care as well as tough heartbreaks. In most ways, they bring out the best in one another and their relationship builds more like a strong friendship rather than just one that is romantic. I mean, there are clear moments where there is something growing past a friendship, but these moments never just feel like they are there to build a romantic connection and rather bring out what’s important to both of them on a very deep level.
It’s also rare that a film’s title really leaves an impact on you after a film is over, but the phrase “I Want to Eat Your Pancreas” will always have meaning for me now. Because of the way that the story is told, this phrase is told very early on, but comes back at a later point in the film to give the film a truly heartbreaking moment that’s unforgettable. Not to mention, it becomes a real driving force for Me that will have you completely rally behind him.
There’s so much to talk about I Want to Eat Your Pancreas past its strange title as it’s a coming of age film that cuts deep and carries some great emotional weight. It’s a film that definitely feels timeless and that many will easily find a relatable connection to.