Anime Movie Review - I Want To Eat Your Pancreas

We all know life is a roller coaster full of ups and down moments. But what happens when you know exactly when the down moment will come? 

In spring, an aloof bookworm Haruki Shiga with no interest in other people comes across a book in a hospital waiting room. Handwritten on the cover are the words: "Living with Dying."

The book is actually a diary belonging to 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 to live.

Finding out the truth

When he reacts unfazed to her plight, Sakura takes it well as she has always wanted to be treated normally. Sakura begins confiding in him into keeping her secret and forcing herself into his life, drawing him into her antics and helping her fulfill a list of her last wishes. 


Sakura and Haruki

Haruki starts off being anti-social and distant from everyone. He's not socially awkward in the traditional sense but rather he simply doesn’t view relationships as a need and chooses to close himself off from his surroundings. His world is his books and himself. 

Sakura, on the other hand, was always the cheery one surrounded by friends. However, it is revealed that none of them knows about her illness and grim circumstances. When Haruki discovered the truth, she just goes along with it and happily inviting him as a partner to spend her precious time with.

Sakura and her friend, Kyouko

Her free spirit and unpredictable actions often cause trouble for the boy, throwing him for a loop of hilariously awkward situations. However, as he spends more time with her while being drawn into her life, his heart begins to gradually change. This eventually led to Haruki opening his world through her unyielding determination to live her life to the fullest until her final moments.

Sakura's bucket list

Their relationship gives us hints of romance at times though it’s never outright shown to us, they truly seemed to value their time spent with each other. Whatever the activities may be, Haruki always hesitated at first but accepts all her invitation regardless of how ridiculous her bucket list sounds. Even knowing that she wouldn’t live long, Sakura becomes the bridge that ultimately connects Haruki with her other friends at the end of the film.

However, time is not on their side and it is heartbreaking to see them grow close knowing they would soon be torn apart by her unfortunate death.


The film was animated by Studio VOLN and directed by Shinichiro Ushijima with music composed by Hiroko Sebu. 

The animation’s overall quality is often mesmerizing with the background contrasting the character's interaction always shows us a brighter day whenever there was an upbeat scene. Though there aren’t any breathtaking visuals in this film, there are however plenty of ‘quiet’ scenes done especially well; the hidden gem of the in-between moments when two characters don't interact with each other and just stayed "quiet" to contemplate about the beauty of life. 

The beauty of life being shown through the scenes of falling cherry blossoms, the visual is symbolically foreshadowing to the audience the outcome of the story. Though the cherry blossoms are beautiful, their beauty is enhanced when they fall and rain but ends when it hits the ground (well hot damn, this is some first-class poetic stuff we have ever written in our articles).

Final Thoughts:

The movie pulls no punches on the pain and weight of loss and tragedy. Though it does skimp on the accurate portrayal of illness, it is forgivable as the illness isn’t the focus of the story; Sakura and her relationship with Haruki are the driving factors of the plot. 

As the audience, we know how the story will end. It is an oncoming calamity that will hit hard when it does. We know this yet we can’t help but feel drawn in to watch their journey and see how it will all unfold when her final moments come.

And then the calamity did hit (it ain't even a spoiler at this point) and it came crashing down much harder than anyone could’ve ever imagined it would. The pain and loss are aching and we see it do what we feared the most, break the boy till kingdom come. He retreats into himself again, running away from reality.

Giving in to the despair of losing a connection he cared so deeply for after a lifetime of choosing to stay away from any. That moment made it a great climax for the entire movie runtime. 

We all knew this scene was coming :(

But, the story didn’t end there. The small cracks of influence from Sakura did breakthrough. It wasn’t empty platitudes that saved him but the impact of their relationship. He chooses to face the pain and honours her memory and wishes, choosing to live not just his life to the fullest but for her too.

The movie is not about tragedy, it’s not about romance and it’s not about the beauty of friendship even though all of these are core themes of the story. By looking past these themes, they should lead us to embrace life and fill our own story to the fullest regardless of when our 'end' may happen.

For these reasons, the movie gets a rating of 4.9 out of 5 from us. It is a definite must-see. Just remember to have some tissue standing by… maybe a whole box just in case (Our Senpai cried a lot in this one).

Written by KittyBoss


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