I Want to Eat Your Pancreas review
People are clearly looking for a variety of portrayals with both men and women. While I won't say it's a sexist thing on why we seem to have a limited view of characters, I think it's more of a factor in that we simply don't know how to write personalities we don't understand. Let's say you were the loner geek in high school who always wanted to be an acclaimed novelist. You'll certainly know how to write geeks, lonely people and maybe the people you dream of being. But chances are that if you were asked to write about the loud jock, you'd be stumped to make them as engaging as you would for the ones your more confortable with.
I wanted to bring this up as the main characters seem to be people that I've seen, but don't often see in a lot of media…or at least in this fashion. We've seen people who are lonely and want attention, but we don't see those that like to be alone. We also see a lot of bubbly, outgoing people, but not as interested in those that otherwise wouldn't attract attention. Both of these people meet in the sweet but sad I Want to Eat Your Pancreas.
A high school boy, only known as "Me" (played by Robbie Daymond) is quiet, reserved, and would rather keep to himself. He doesn't have friends, but isn't asking for them either. In fact, he seems happy to be living within the books that he reads and puts away at the library where he works. That changes when a girl Sakura (played be Erika Harlacher) suddenly wants to make friends with him. He tries to reject it, but not only does she keep wanting to talk to him, but she even gets a job at the same library.
She gets him to hang out with her having tea or going to the park. Though still reserved, he does talk about the joy he gets from his books. In turn, she reveals that her pancreas is rotting and has a limited time left. She has latched on to him and not told her friends, as she wanted to confine in someone that wouldn't treat her differently. The two continue to hang while he understands how her cheerfulness has gained her a lot of friends and she starts to understand how stories like The Little Prince can be more appealing then the real world.
I'll say first that I Want to Eat Your Pancreas is a bit of a downer…but not for the reasons you may think. Without giving it away, we do find out why what happens to the main characters is more tragic, but how much it builds onto "Me". I Want to Eat Your Pancreas is also a great story about human connection, especially with those who don't want the connection. "Me" is the kind of loner I wish major studios would focus on. Not the ones that are too cool for school. Not the ones with a tragic past. Not the ones who are edgy. Simply the ones who find enough substance within their selves.
The movie is not negative about those that like their own company. The script is more about how this affects those around them and the personalities that are there to reflect those ideals. It’s a good thing that "Me" and Sakura are interesting people. Sakura is another example of something that can be very warm and bubbly, but isn't asking for a romance. She's looking for different kinds of friends that she doesn't already have. I could see these kinds of people making friends in real life.
To top it off, the animation is really good. It wasn't produced by Toho or Studio Ghibli, but it is showing that not only has it been shown that you don't need either studio to put out good anime, but that it can also look spectacular. It's style could have been done in live action (to which I understand it already has), but I still think I'd rather see it in this style only.
I'll give this five journals out of five. It may be a really good anime film, but again, this is one that ends very bittersweet. But it'll make you think about how you've treated others and just what effect it has on them. Never take a moment for granted and look at this if you want a movie that understands friendship, depression, and of course, the pain of death.