Tatsuki Fujimoto, the creator of Chainsaw Man, is back with a 200 page one-shot called Goodbye, Eri. The story follows Yuta Ito who is given a smartphone for his twelfth birthday with the request that he films his mother as much as possible, as she’s dying. He captures moments of her in every situation leading up to her final moments, where despite her wishes, Yuta can’t film it and runs away. After her death he turns the footage into a film to show at a school festival, ending with him running away as the hospital explodes in the background.
Almost everyone in the school mocks Yuta, with other students and even a teacher telling him that he’s disrespectful towards his mother. There’s no thought to how he is dealing with his grief and the mocking pushes him to want to kill himself. As he’s about to jump from the hospital roof another student, Eri, stops him and explains that she really enjoyed the film. Eri and Yuta become close friends and start working on a new film to show at the next festival to get revenge on the mocking of the first one.
Goodbye, Eri is a very quick read. The art is great and easy to follow, while also feeling unique with Tatsuki Fujimoto’s style shining through. The story itself if emotional and leaves an impact, even though it’s relatively short compared to a lot of manga. It’s something that will sit with you after you finish it and creep back into your mind time and time again throughout the days after you’ve finished it. It feels very personal and authentic, capturing the grief that Yuta is feeling while also distorting it through the films he makes.
Through his films Yuta is able to filter his memories to only remember what he wants to about his mother and his own past. He’s dealing with his grief in his own way and filters the world around him through his smartphone. Most of the manga is drawn from the perspective of what the camera picks up, with everything else forgotten. We only get to see what Yuta films and there’s a sense that there’s more to the story than what we’re seeing. It feels very heartfelt, raw, and poignant.
Going into spoiler territory, so be warned and don’t read further if you don’t want anything given away, this is a manga that hits you with emotional gut punch after emotional gut punch. There are a few curveball moments in the story, with each one hitting hard. The film that Yuta made about his mother is very edited only showing the positive sides of her. She initially wanted him to film her recovery from the illness to make a documentary before things turned to the worse. Yuta’s father filmed her death in place of Yuta and when he shows Yuta the clip, it’s heart-breaking to read.
Goodbye, Eri is an excellent manga. It’s a very short read, with only 200 pages and a lot of that is light on dialogue. It can be read in about half an hour. Whether you’re a manga veteran or never picked up a volume before, this is really worth checking out. It’s very accessible and emotional. Tatsuki Fujimoto is writing great story after great story and this certainly eases the wait for the second part of Chainsaw Man.
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