Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Diva's Movie Review: I Want To Eat Your Pancreas - Overly Melodramatic But Will Still Make You Tear Up

Before the anime version of Yoru Sumino's novel I Want To Eat Your Pancreas, there was a live action adaptation with a slightly different title. It was called Let Me Eat Your Pancreas, starring Minami Hamabe and Takumi Kitamura in the lead roles. Red Dot Diva caught the tearjerker during a long haul flight, and thought it was engaging even though typically sentimental in that Japanese way. What is it about teens dying from terminal illness in several Japanese tragedies anyway?

The animated film I Want To Eat Your Pancreas directed by Shinichiro Ushijima is no less sentimental. In fact, Red Dot Diva found it overly dramatic, and repetitive in many instances (it seems that the novel was like that too), making the movie longer than necessary. Still, it had its moments, and the odd couple's sentiments about mortality, love and friendship were sincere and heartbreaking.

As you can probably guess by now, the bloodthirsty title, I Want To Eat Your Pancreas is not a horror movie or a film about the zombie apocalypse. Nope, it is actually a romance story about two people of opposite personalities. Sakura, a bubbly girl suffering from a life-threatening illness, decides to make use of her limited time on earth completing her crazy bucket list of things to do. Not wanting to become a shadow of her sickness, she strives to it a secret, and during her journey through life, she decides to befriend a seemingly boring, moody, anti-social guy from the same school that no one seems to like, and whose name remains a mystery till the last few minutes.

After spending several months with Sakura, where both parties interact with each other through brutally honest conversations and games of Truth or Dare, the loner boy later realizes that he has become more in touch with his feelings - a part of him which he has in fact struggled with, by masking them with a facade of indifference.

The anime shines when the usually cheerful Sakura admits about her fears about own insecurities and about dying, and gets alternatively flirty and sexually aggressive with the boy. If you have not already read the novel or watched the live action movie before, by the time the movie provides the catharsis of losing someone important forever, the emotional crunch hits smack-bam right in one's heart, even if you are a cynic like Red Dot Diva. Warning: Most people need tissues at this point of the movie.

It is too bad that Red Dot Diva found the animation itself to be flat and uninspiring. Maybe she had been too spoilt by Makoto Shinkai's Your Name. However, the backgrounds rendered by Studio VOLN were lovely, like the segments filled with fully-blossomed pink sakura trees, or the night sky lit up by sparkling fireworks. The voice actors Lynn and Mahiro Takasugi also did a good job by making both Sakura and the boy come alive.

Even though it runs too long and drips of melodrama, I Want To Eat Your Pancreasworks mainly because of its messages about first love, friendship, self-discovery and the celebration of life. The film opens at local theatres on 3 January 2019.



To join the contest, simply:
1. Follow Red Dot Diva on Twitter and/ or Facebook
2. Share the contest post on your timeline. Please ensure that the post is public.
3. Answer the contest question: Name the writer of the novel which "I Want To Eat Your Pancreas" anime is based on.
4. Open to Singapore residents only, of age 16 and above. Entries are to be submitted by Thursday, 10 January 2019, 9 PM
6. One Lucky Winner who meets the contest conditions will be randomly chosen, and notified via Twitter or Facebook Message/ Comments section by Friday, 11 January 2019, 9 PM.
7. The winner will win one "I Want To Eat Your Pancreas" giant movie poster
8. Winners must be willing to email Red Dot Diva with more information (e.g. mobile number) to facilitate prize collection. Prize collection will be at Shaw Centre during working hours from Monday to Friday, and must be collected within a week. If the prize is not collected by then, another winner will be selected.
9. Red Dot Diva reserve the right to make changes to the contest terms and conditions, as well as replace or change prizes at any time without prior notice.

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