Reviews | Written by JAMES "MAGIC" PERKINS 06/01/2020

I WANT TO EAT YOUR PANCREAS

DIRECTOR: SHIN'ICHIRO USHIJIMA / SCREENPLAY: SHIN'ICHIRO USHIJIMA / STARRING: LYNN, MAHIRO TAKASUGI, YUKIYO FUJII, YUMA UCHIDA, JUN FUKUSHIMA / RELEASE DATE: JANUARY 27TH

If you only had a few months left to live, how would you spend it? This theme and more are explored in the deeply moving and heartwarming tale of Sakura in I Want to Eat Your Pancreas.

Contrary to what you may think this title ensues, this is not a story about cannibalism, but instead about finding the true meaning of life when faced with the adversary of unavoidable death.

Sakura is a young schoolgirl who has an infectious personality - always smiling and laughing, but deep beneath this outer shell lies a deeply sad secret, she has pancreatic cancer. In the months leading up to her inevitable and tragic end (confirmed in the opening scene), she befriends an introverted bookworm known for the duration of the film as "me" - a boy she has had eyes for but is not one for social interaction. After he discovers her illness that she has kept a secret from her friends during a chance meeting at the hospital, the two set off on a journey of self-discovery, one that changes both of them for a better with a friendship that blossoms - and a bond that is forever unbreakable.

This particular plot is nothing entirely original, both in Western and Japanese culture, but what sets I Want to Eat Your Pancreas apart from its peers is its powerful message, sublime animation and writing and deep profound focus on the development of its characters resulting in one of the most heartbreaking yet hopeful endings in recent memory.

The two protagonists connect in such a way that their personality has a lasting effect on one another (and the audience) - Sakura unlocks the true beauty of the world for "Me" and changes him for the better and he provides a semblance of normality for Sakura during the most difficult of times and doesn't treat her differently because of her illness which is what she wants and needs.

Director Shin'ichirô Ushijima also knew exactly how he wanted to tell this story from a visual standpoint - each scene is picturesque, boasting colourful yet bleak surroundings for our characters to traverse accompanied by a subtle yet charming score that bursts into life at the perfect moments.

The other wonderful thing about the story is that there are multiple ways to engage with it - it's based on a light novel of the same name and also has a manga and live-action adaptation, so you have no excuses to miss this.

I Want to Eat Your Pancreas is devastatingly beautiful - a gut-punch of a romantic drama that will leave you broken and have you crying your eyes out by its ending with its respectful portrayal of dealing with and accepting loss and finding wonder in the world during the short time we are on this planet for.

Special Features:

  • Trailers & Commercials (Japanese & English Versions) [9:21]
  • Textless Opening Theme [1:40]
  • Opening Theme Song "Fanfare" Anime Film [3:12]
  • Theatrical Release Special [11:42] - A Special Look at the Premiere Screen Event on July 24th 2018 and the Opening Day on September 1st 2018 that was attended by the Cast and Crew
  • English Dub Bloopers "We Want To Eat Robbie's Pancreas" [2:48] - Behind-the-Scenes bloopers from the English Dub Recording
  • Madman Trailers [5:27] - Trailers for other anime films