[Review] The Beauty of a Distorted Relationship: “Let Me Eat Your Pancreas” (Sumino Yoru)

I wrote this article in Japanese and translated it into English using ChatGPT. I also used ChatGPT to create the English article title. I did my best to correct any translation mistakes, but please let me know if you find any errors. By the way, I did not use ChatGPT when writing the Japanese article. The entire article was written from scratch by me, Saikawa Goto.



Movies and books covered in this article

(Click This Image to Go Directly to the Amazon.com sales page “Let Me Eat Your Pancreas”: Image from Amazon.com)

I will write an article about this movie/book

What I want to convey in this article

Isn’t one of the reasons for the difficulty of human relationships because they are given names?

Saikawa Goto

I always aim for an unnamed relationship, and I think I have been able to achieve it to some extent.”

Three takeaways from this article

  1. There is no need to be swallowed up by the logic of the “majority”.
  2. A relationship where they do not “depend” on each other despite being “needed”.
  3. Strong feelings for someone can completely change their life.
Saikawa Goto

I envy the “distorted” yet “beautiful” relationship between the two of them.

Self-introduction article


Please refer to the self-introduction article above to learn about the person writing this article. Be sure to check out the Kindle book linked below as well.

Published Kindle books(Free on Kindle Unlimited)

“The genius Einstein: An easy-to-understand book about interesting science advances that is not too simple based on his life and discoveries: Theory of Relativity, Cosmology and Quantum Theory”

“Why is “lack of imagination” called “communication skills”?: Japanese-specific”negative” communication”

The quotes in the article were translated using ChatGPT from Japanese books, and are not direct quotes from the foreign language original books, even if they exist.

Longing for an Unnamed Relationship

A Way of Living that Does Not Follow the “Majority Opinion”

The protagonist has a scene where he thinks like this:

Why do they believe that the majority opinion is correct? They would probably kill people without hesitation if thirty people gathered. If they can believe they have their own legitimacy, they would do anything. Without realizing that it’s a mechanical system, not their human nature.

Saikawa Goto

I thought this feeling is exactly the same as what I usually feel.

Especially in Japan, it seems that there is a strong sense of “doing what everyone else is doing.” This characteristic can work well in some situations. For example, during the pandemic of the COVID-19, everyone wearing masks and refraining from going out as a matter of course is a good example of how this national trait worked positively.

However, of course, the opposite pattern is also possible. That would be exactly how “They would probably kill people without hesitation if thirty people gathered” could happen.


Bullying is exactly like that, isn’t it?

Saikawa Goto

But trying to stop bullying can also make one a victim, so it’s difficult.

Due to the strong silent pressure of “because everyone else is doing it,” people who behave differently from others quickly become outsiders. This is a very difficult situation for people who have a hard time fitting in with what is normal for everyone else. However, in reality, even people who naturally fit in with the majority may not experience much difference in their situation.

”Only You Can Do “Daily Life” With Me”

I want to quote the sentence that forms the basis of the human relationships in this work:

You’re probably the only one who gives me “truth” and “everyday life.” Doctors only give “truth.” Family members overreact to everything I say and are desperate to maintain “everyday life.” Friends would probably do the same if they knew. But you’re the only one who knows the “truth” and still does “everyday life” with me, so playing with you is fun.

This statement is made by a high school girl who has a terminal illness and only has a little time left to live. She has an incurable disease and can only live for a short time. This girl is popular in class with many friends and an excellent student who interacts with everyone equally. And such girl begins a story by involving with the protagonist, who doesn’t have any relationships with anyone and has no presence in the class, due to a certain opportunity.

If there is a girl in front of you who will die soon, what behavior can be considered as “the majority”? Probably, it would become like “maintaining the everyday” as she expected. The girl dislikes that, so she couldn’t have told anyone around her that she only has a little time left to live.

Saikawa Goto

I understand this feeling. I might not say anything either.


It’s really tough to be treated with such consideration, isn’t it.

However, despite knowing this fact, the protagonist doesn’t show any particular interest in the girl or act like being considerate. It’s just the protagonist’s innate nature. Basically, he is indifferent to others regardless of who they are, and just read books all the time. He seems like the kind of person who can’t find any value in interacting with others, and wants to keep others at a distance.

It can be said that the protagonist and the girl live in completely different worlds and seem like a mismatched pair.

However, in reality, they have a perfect relationship.

Saikawa Goto

I really think that it’s great that they both exist for each other.


In the end, they both have felt like they’re an indispensable presence for each other, even if they might not have felt that way at first.

An Unnamed Relationship

The relationship between the protagonist and the girl cannot be described with any specific name. It’s not like “family,” nor is it like “lovers.” Although they are just “classmates,” their relationship is deeper than that, and it feels like it goes beyond the expressions of “friends” or “best friends.”

I believe that this “unnamed relationship” is the ultimate form of human relationships.


You always say that.

Saikawa Goto

I feel it’s valuable to have someone we can involve in a way that doesn’t feel like friends, lovers, or family.

That’s why I feel envious of the relationship between the protagonist and the girl. Using the logic of the “majority,” you wouldn’t be able to understand their relationship. Pressure to fit them into some sort of framework would arise with questions like “what kind of relationship do you have?”

But to be frank, it doesn’t matter. For a girl, the existence of the protagonist is a rare existence that gives her a “daily life,” which any other person cannot provide. Meanwhile, the girl’s existence also becomes very important to the protagonist. I will not discuss her importance to the main character here because it cannot be understood until later in the story. But in any case, being able to interact with the girl in an unusual way was an invaluable time in his life.

“Need” But Not “Dependent”

I feel that their relationship remained a perfect one without a name because they didn’t depend on each other.

They both “need” each other’s presence, but they don’t become “dependent” on each other. Of course, there are moments where they come close to crossing the line and becoming dependent due to youthful impulsivity and anxiety. This creates good fluctuations in the story, but fundamentally they engage with each other with the stance that they shouldn’t be dependent on each other.

I think the reason they were able to have that kind of relationship was due to the uniqueness of the situation where the girl died not long after. Even though they could feel they needed each other “right now,” they were not allowed to become overly dependent on each other for “the future” from the beginning.

Saikawa Goto

In that sense, I felt it was a “miraculous relationship” that couldn’t exist normally.


Although it also feels a little sad.

I think if one or both of them were to strongly rely on the other, their relationship would be absorbed into something like “friends” or “lovers” that already have names. Most people can’t tolerate the instability of a relationship and try to become something with a name. However, they had no choice but to endure that instability within the absolute condition of “the girl dying.”

I felt that kind of relationship was very “twisted” and “beautiful”.

What Would it be Like If I Were the Protagonist?

As I read, I couldn’t help but think about how I would feel if I were in the same position as the protagonist.

Like the protagonist, I also feel that I could have an unnamed relationship that is “necessary” but not “dependent.” I think I could continue to “live my everyday life” with the “girl who will die soon.”

However, as I become more involved, I also feel that the fear of losing the girl will continue to grow. I wonder if I can withstand the fear of losing someone who can engage in that kind of relationship, precisely because I feel that an unnamed relationship is ideal.

Saikawa Goto

I’m not really good at dealing with things that I know will eventually be lost.


That’s why you don’t really want to have a pet, isn’t that.

So I strongly felt that it was good that the protagonist was the one next to the girl, not me. It’s better that it wasn’t me. I think all I can give is probably a “fake everyday life.” The protagonist has been even more despairing and has given up on life more deeply than me, so he probably has a “strong independence from depending on others” that is much stronger than mine.

And that’s why the main character’s presence was so important. The final scene resonates powerfully because, just as the main character was an irreplaceable presence for the girl, the girl was also an irreplaceable presence for the main character. It’s a moment that makes us understand without question what the girl was trying to convey. The intense emotion the main character expresses, almost like a wail, moved me deeply. And watching what happens next, I strongly felt that it was good that the girl was by the main character’s side.

Content Introduction

The high school student protagonist has lived without interacting with anyone. He always reads books in the corner of the classroom, doesn’t have any human relationships, and of course, has no friends. And he has no problem with that situation.

One day, he finds out a classmate’s secret. Yamauchi Sakura, who is always cheerful and popular with everyone, has a liver disease and will die in the near future. However, even if he knows that, it has nothing to do with his world. She was a person he had no relationship with in the first place, and he has no intention of telling anyone about her secret.

However, an unexpected turn of events awaited the protagonist. For some reason, Yamauchi Sakura, the popular girl who is always cheerful and gets along with everyone in class, began actively interacting with the protagonist. Although the protagonist did not understand why, he was forcibly taken out by Sakura, and ended up spending days that he had never experienced before. Sakura became a student librarian with the protagonist, spent time together after school, took him out on holidays, and even went on a trip alone with him.

The protagonist has always felt puzzled. Is Sakura really having fun being with such a boring person? If she is going to die anyway, shouldn’t she spend her remaining time with close friends…


This is a really great work! Although the characters of the protagonist and Sakura seem to be with little reality that doesn’t exist in real life, it is this kind of character portrayal that allows for a special relationship to develop in this story. For me, it was the twisted yet beautiful relationship that made reading this story worthwhile.

If you only focus on the story, you may feel it seems like an ordinary one, but the characters in the story express their strong feelings for each other in various ways, which is overwhelming.

In particular, the scene where Sakura’s thoughts are revealed is a tear-jerker.

Saikawa Goto

I can’t believe she was able to think about something like that, even though she knows she’s going to die soon.


I wonder what kind of life the protagonist would have led if Sakura wasn’t there.

This story is told from the perspective of the main character, and it’s not easy to tell what Sakura is thinking. Even the main character is left in the dark about why Sakura is involved with him for a long time. However, at the end of the story, Sakura’s feelings burst out, and the main character is struck by their intensity.

As for “to live,” I am sure, we would call it “to live” referring “to communicate with someone” itself.

The protagonist before getting involved with Sakura, was not in a state where you could say that he was “alive,” but rather just “existing.” However, the feelings of a girl who lived through “being alive” until the very moment she died, will end up greatly changing the protagonist’s life.

Their relationship truly feels like “completeness” and it’s wonderful.


It’s unlikely that anyone will find themselves in the same situation as the protagonist or Sakura, and this story is miraculously established by the concept of “death”, so it may not be often that someone’s strong feelings towards another person are properly conveyed just in the same way as the two of them.

However, I still think their story gives us hope that such a beautiful relationship is possible.

Published Kindle books(Free on Kindle Unlimited)

“The genius Einstein: An easy-to-understand book about interesting science advances that is not too simple based on his life and discoveries: Theory of Relativity, Cosmology and Quantum Theory”

“Why is “lack of imagination” called “communication skills”?: Japanese-specific”negative” communication”

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