Author Yoru Sumino, Illustrations Idumi Kirihara
From the title, I Want to Eat Your Pancreas, you may think that this is a Marvel comic book about Venom. Alas, it is something completely different. A beautifully touching manga about a dying girl and a true friend.
She has been diagnosed with a fatal condition involving her pancreas. She knows she doesn’t have much time left. Probably less than a year. But she’s still full of energy and vigor. She wants to keep living her life until it’s over. Death can come for all of us at any time. She’s just more aware of this than most others.
She has no shortage of friends at school but she doesn’t want any of them to treat her differently so she’s been keeping her condition a secret. She only writes about it in her journal. Until a shy boy from her class finds the diary and realizes how sick she really is.
She chooses to confide in him and becomes his only friend. The rest of the story invovles them getting to know each other and beoming emotionally intimate.
She sometimes teases about becoming romantic with him and it confuses him to no end. But the romance part is not the important part. Their friendship and their trust is what matters. They have something that goes far beyond first kisses.
He begins to want to be more like her. More open to relationships of all kinds and he starts to grow as a person because of her.
But this is not your average sick kids in love book, and everyone should know by now I have a strange fondness for that specific genre. Without giving spoilers it’s hard to explain how this book ends. It ends exactly like you think it will but how it gets there is surprising.
It’s original and it’s honest. I Want to Eat Your Pancreas will certainly tug at your heart strings. I did not cry at this one but it did make my heart swell to double its size. It’s one of those books that you finish, put down, and then sit in silent reflection for a few minutes before you’re able to move on.
It’s lovely, and it really did get to me. I can fully recommend this manga to anyone who loves a story about all the ways various relationships can touch your life. And how making a friend of the quiet kid will benefit both of you.
5/5 chopsticks with which to eat a pancreas 🥢🥢🥢🥢🥢
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Buy it here: I Want to Eat Your Pancreas (Manga)