Sunday, February 11, 2024

REVIEW: Goodbye, Eri (manga) by Tatsuki Fujimoto, translated by Amanda Haley

Goodbye, Eri is a one-shot manga by the creator of Chainsaw Man. The genre? Well, I'd say that's up to the reader to decide.

I bought my copy of this volume new.


On his twelfth birthday, Yuta is given a smartphone. His mother's request is that he film her as much as he can - she's dying of some sort of illness, and the video recordings will give him a way to see her again. We see a bunch of snippets of his video - his parents end up gifting him a computer as well, as his smartphone runs out of room for all that footage - but then his mother has one final request: she wants Yuta to film her until her dying breath. It's a request that Yuta can't/won't fulfill, and his decisions afterward result in him being ostracized by most of his classmates. Except one - Eri is fascinated with Yuta's documentary of his mother and becomes determined to help him make an even better movie that, rather than provoking everyone's disgust and/or outrage, will bring everyone to tears. 

The cover art for this is so effective - beautiful, and yet kind of unnerving as well. As for the story itself, I'm not sure what to say. When I started the volume, Yuta repelled me. As I neared the end, I felt horrible for him. What he managed to do was impressive and sad, but hardly anyone around him had the background knowledge necessary to recognize what he had done, so the only thing that stuck out for most people was the cheaper shocker moment he tacked on for "a pinch of fantasy." Really, though, it was all fantasy.

I have no idea what to make of the ending. It's a mindfuck, if you take it as is.

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