I Want To Eat Your Pancreas
Choosing To Live
By Casey Lee
Is it better to live life just going with the flow, or to choose how we want to live, when we will never even know if we made the right choices? But is it even worth to make a choice at all, if everything it leads to won’t matter in the end anyway? That is how Haruki chose to live his life. A loner who prefers his books over making friends. He distances himself from classmates because relationships are a pain, and he adopts a stoic outlook at life, rather than taking risks. While on a medical check-up at the hospital, he stumbles upon a diary, only for its owner to come running in. That owner turns out to be Sakura, his popular classmate who is constantly surrounded by friends and love, but little does anyone know except for Haruki, that she is living with a terminal disease that could kill her at any time.
Adapted from a sensational web novel, it has since turned into a manga, a live-action film, and finally its final form: an anime film. As a feature length anime, it is probably the better of the cinematic adaptation; lavished with serene art and vibrant colours that the medium has to offer compared to its live counterpart, coupled with soft piano pieces that elevates the moments. Despite its cannibalistic title and cliché premise, I Want to Eat Your Pancreas is a mild coming-of-age story that takes a bittersweet approach, with some subtle subversion, to impart life lessons rather than a melodramatic romance.
As her secret confidante, Haruki is dragged along Sakura's (mis)adventures through her bucket list, learning along the way that what we do is a product of our actions, and also inaction. I Want to Eat Your Pancreas is less for the cynic than for the stoic, which makes it harder for some to see its shocking transition as purely a dramatic effect rather than a twist to sustain its thought line of cherishing each day we live in, and the people we choose to have in our lives. Not all relationships have to be borne out of adolescent affection, but perhaps it is about making connections from a deep-rooted zest for life that propels us to be braver, much like how Haruki and Sakura did.