Adapting Yoru Sumino’s heartbreaking web novel I Want To Eat Your Pancreas, mangaka Izumi Kirihara brings the first-person story of an aloof boy and his friendship with a terminally ill classmate to life.

The main protagonist is a typical high school boy who spends most of his time reading books. He doesn’t make much of an impression on any of his classmates and he’s completely fine with that. However while at the hospital, he finds a book belonging to his classmate, the cheerful Yamauchi Sakura, entitled ‘Living With Dying’. Upon returning it, he learns that Sakura has pancreatic cancer and has been given only a year to live. Both the protagonist (who’s name is continuously hidden) and Sakura begin to spend time together, as it allows Sakura to not hide anything. Their newfound relationship doesn’t go unnoticed around the school, particularly with Sakura’s best friend.

On the surface, I Want To Eat Your Pancreas might seem like a typical shoujo manga with a very strange title. However, the adaptation of the web novel is far more than it seems. From the very first few pages, the manga tackles isolation, friendship and mortality. While the topic of dying and death might not be something an average high schooler have to think about, I Want To Eat Your Pancreas addresses Sakura’s illness in a way that has her wanting to live her remaining life to the fullest, but hinting that there’s far more going on inside. But amongst the drama and the tears, there is plenty of humor and heart between the two main characters. The art provided by Kirihara beautifully brings the characters and the scenes to life, giving each scene the emotion it needs. Without a doubt, fans of Your Lie In April will enjoy this manga, even being called a spiritual successor to it.

The manga adaptation of I Want To Eat Your Pancreas is available to be picked up from Seven Seas Entertainment. Other media also exist, including the original novel, also published by Seven Seas Entertainment. An animated film was created by Studio VOLN in 2018, directed by Shin’ichirō Ushijima and distributed by Aniplex in North America. Finally, a live-action film was released in 2017 with Minami Hamabe (Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day, Meiko “Menma” Honma) and Takumi Kitamura in the lead roles.

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