I Want to Eat Your Pancreas – Summary, Review (with Spoilers)

I Want to Eat Your Pancreas - Alternate Title Card
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While I Want To Eat Your Pancreas is a bit heavy-handed about its lead character’s death, at first, it’ll still find a way to leave you in tears.


Director(s)Shin’ichirô Ushijima
Written ByShin’ichirô Ushijima
Date Released2/7/2019
Genre(s)Animation, Romance, Drama
Good If You LikeFilms Which Tell You How It Ends, Roughly, From The Very Beginning

Movies Where A Girl Changes A Young Man’s Life Drastically

Crying

Isn’t For You If YouDislike Someone Talking About Their Pending Death Ad Nauseum

Feel Revealing The Tragedy Early On Kills The Emotional Build Of A Movie

Noted Cast
Male ProtagonistMahiro Takasugi
SakuraLynn
KyokoYukiyo Fujii

I Want To Eat Your Pancreas Plot Summary (Ending Explained on 2nd Page)

For most of the male protagonist’s life, he hasn’t had friends, pursued friendship, or entertained anyone who approached him. However, then comes Sakura, bubbly and for some reason wanting to talk to the boy who goes out of his way to isolate himself. This comes as a shock to everyone and raises quite a few eyebrows. Yet, slowly but surely, due to her persistence, the male protagonist warms up to Sakura and arguably falls for her.

However, there is one major issue: Sakura’s pancreas is rotting. Now, the word cancer isn’t specifically used, but it is clear Sakura’s pancreas, a part of the body which helps regulate insulin and produces enzymes to break down food, is failing. Thus, she believes she doesn’t have long to live. But, rather than worry the friends she has had since she was a child, she approaches the boy who she has seen as her opposite. Though, taking note of her philosophy, it seems all her decisions up till her 17th year have been made so they could meet. Just because the universe knew there would come a time they’d need each other.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Where is the male protagonist’s father?

Highlights

The Last Quarter Of The Movie

A quote from the film I Want to Eat Your Pancreas
All the choices I made were just so I could meet you.

As gone into more below, a noticeable part of the film will be Sakura saying, in nearly every other line, how she is going to die. Now, considering the movie ends with her funeral, you’d think you’d feel nothing by the time it happens since it has been beaten into your head this girl is going to die. Yet, as the male protagonist (a name used since it is significant to the ending) grows closer to Sakura, she grows on you.

Maybe it is because you see her opening the male protagonist up and bringing him from stoic to invested. Perhaps the reason why you come to love Sakura, and her friendship with the male protagonist, is because neither of their personas are rooted in family trauma? While the father is MIA, the male protagonist has a good relationship with his mom, and Sakura’s people are loving, as are her friends.

Thus really making it where Sakura’s pancreas failing is the only issue and it drives you to count the days and hours, until her life is no more. A moment that, even with you know it was coming, is a bit of a shock and with all the time you’ve spent with the male protagonist, you feel connected. So when he finally cries you cry and when he decides to do what Sakura wished of him, it warms your heart in ways the beginning of the movie may have led you to think it wouldn’t.

On The Fence

Sakura Reminding You Constantly That She Is Going To Die

Kyoko (Yukiyo Fujii) crying at Sakura's funeral.
Kyoko (Yukiyo Fujii)

For a good piece of time, I was worried that I Want To Eat Your Pancreas was not going to improve. The primary reason for this worry is Sakura noted, repeatedly, how she was going to die. For the way she put it wasn’t morbid, or even funny. It was so matter of fact, plain as possible, that it was like the film didn’t want you to get emotionally invested.

Yet, as you come upon the ending, you come to realize that maybe you were getting a taste of the male protagonist’s point of view. For hearing this girl talk about dying is what dissuades him from becoming too close. So, in a way, with how she beats into you that she is going to die, you get to feel what he feels and makes it so, when things go left, you are as shocked as he is and as emotional as well.

Overall: Positive (Worth Seeing) | Purchase, Rent, Get Tickets, or Merchandise On (Fandango/ Amazon)

While initially frustrating, by the end of the movie you understand why things played out as they did. And that rush of information, a realization on why the story handled things a certain way, it hits you like the truth hits the male protagonist. Thus aligning you with his emotions and making it so his tears are yours.

Hence the positive label. While this is a wood-burning oven kind of movie, it found a way to recover so well, after seeming like a waste of time for a notable portion, is worth applauding. For while you may not be left bawling to the point of snot, it will still amaze you how you knew this film would be tragic and yet find yourself still emotionally affected.


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