How i want to eat your pancreas ruined its potential

While there’s no doubt that thrilling shonen titles dominate the anime industry, it’s also undeniable that the use of sadness has permeated the art, with tragic shows and movies becoming staples of the anime. community, sometimes using emotion alone to make themselves memorable. One such story, told first in manga form and later becoming a light novel, live-action movie, and animated film, tells a powerful story of life itself through sadness and loss. . I want to eat your pancreas is memorable for more than its odd title. However, a shocking twist in the story, no doubt meant to be a heartfelt message, prevents it from being as powerful a story as it could have been. In the end it stops I want to eat your pancreas to join the top tier of sad stories that have become so popular in recent years.


I want to eat your pancreas combines a classic high school romance with a story about coming to terms with death and dealing with grief. One day, an anonymous male protagonist with no real human connection leaves the hospital when he finds someone’s diary, titled “Living with Death.” The diary turns out to belong to Yamauchi Sakura, the most popular girl in class. Sakura has pancreatic cancer and will die in a few years but hasn’t told anyone. She starts hanging out with the protagonist, attracted to the fact that he doesn’t treat her any differently once he knows her secret. She tells him that in ancient cultures people ate the part of an animal if they had a particular disease, hoping to cure it, so she wants to eat its pancreas. It is also an expression of wanting to keep a piece of someone with the other forever.

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The two teenagers grow closer as Sakura tries to complete her to-do list. She reveals to the boy that her idea of ​​life is all about making connections with others. After Sakura has a long stay in the hospital and has to meet the protagonist at a cafe, he texts her, “I want to eat your pancreas”, but Sakura never shows up. It is revealed that she was stabbed on the way to the cafe and died.

The protagonist is unable to attend Sakura’s funeral, and it takes him time to visit Sakura’s mother, who is able to give him “Living With Dying”. In the diary, Sakura left a will for the protagonist to read, revealing that she thought she loved him but didn’t want to use words like “girlfriend” or “boyfriend” to make their relationship so cliché. She was grateful to be the first person he had chosen to make a connection with, and she ended the diary with the same message: “I want to eat your pancreas.” The protagonist finally reveals his name as Shiga Haruki, meaning “Spring”, to complement the cherry blossoms that were Sakura’s namesake. History is definitely tearful. However, the shocking murder that ends Sakura’s life instead of her illness takes a lot away from her, not only cutting it short, but also making the central themes less impactful and weakening the characters, especially Sakura.

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Sakura’s appeal as a character is that she truly lives with death every day of her life, choosing to keep it a secret so people at school don’t treat her differently. As the story builds, viewers learn more about Sakura outside of her illness, and she comes across as a character who realistically deals with her issues. She takes it out on her family and her actions cause Haruki to get hurt when she disregards her feelings. However, that only makes her more real and likeable. Suddenly killing her off-screen via a random assault trivializes what she’s been going through due to her illness, and therefore, all suffering viewers know she’s been through throughout the story. It sounds like a cheap way to bypass the stages of pancreatic cancer in order to argue that technically everyone lives with death, goes through their days with no certain guarantee of surviving them.

Since pancreatic cancer is so often diagnosed too late and Sakura had a long stay in the hospital before her death, it wouldn’t have been unrealistic for the disease to suddenly worsen and for Sakura to die this way. . The most common visible side effects of pancreatic cancer – jaundice, weight loss and vomiting – may have finally appeared then, while she was out of public view. As it stands, the story uses pancreatic cancer without ever really considering the reality of the disease, killing Sakura before that reality sets in. that using Sakura to sell him in another story is simply an insult to her and the strength she shows.

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The fact that Sakura does not die of pancreatic cancer also lessens the impact of the love story between Sakura and Haruki. The phrase “I want to eat your pancreas” not only signifies that they want to keep part of each other with them forever, but also a sign of complete acceptance. When Haruki told Sakura that he would eat her infected pancreas, he said he would consume the best and the worst of her. However, since the random aggression means that the reality of pancreatic cancer is never shown in full, the teens only have four months together to build their romance. The true potential of this story was actually in allowing Sakura to live longer. The tragedy within them of having more time to fall in love and figure out what they will never have with each other would make the knowledge that Sakura is definitely going to die even heavier.

Selling audiences something they knew wouldn’t last, then allowing for a slower, more grief-filled decline would have combined the best points of other sad films in the most effective way. For instance, Ride your wave spends a good chunk of the film selling the central romance before tragedy strikes, and Studio Ghibli The wind picks up does not hide that Naoko is going to die, making her moments of life much more precious. There’s nothing sadder or more meaningful about Sakura’s sudden death by assault, only more shocking.

As it stands, there have been so many adaptations of the work that it’s best left alone. History will never be perfect, but the industry continues to use loss and mourning as a way to reach audiences, so viewers can all appreciate I want to eat your pancreas for how imperfect she is and what she manages to do right.

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