Media Reviews

Goodbye, Eri by Tatsuki Fujimoto

Content Warnings: Death, illness, suicide

Tatsuki Fujimoto, the Mangaka behind Look Back and Chainsaw Man gives us a One-shot about death, coping, and home-movies. Goodbye, Eri combines real-life with a taste of fantasy in a unique and quirky way. This one-volume manga follows Yuta, a middle-schooler who was just gifted a smart phone from his dying mother. After being requested to film her illness and eventual death, Yuta does just that, compiling it into a movie for the school festival. When the movie ends with an explosive plot-twist, the entire school turns on Yuta.

Just as he's about to kill himself, a strange girl appears next to Yuta on the roof of Tadami Hospital where his mom passed away. Eri, a film buff with a secret abandoned room she uses to watch movies, encourages Yuta to try again, saying she loved his film. After struggling to find a plot, Yuta finally decides to make a film starring Eri, using both new footage and what he's filmed since meeting her.

The characters are likable, especially Eri who pushes forward the plot with her strange encouragement of Yuta's film making. Yuta is also strange in the weird-teen-boy way. His demeanor reminds me of Denji from Chainsaw Man.

The plot was gripping enough to keep me reading. I would have finished it in one sitting had my work shift not ended so soon (yes, I read manga on the clock, I work at a library and despite being told I read too much I refuse to stop). Had it been longer I feel like it would have dragged on and lost my interest, so it was the perfect length in my opinion. It was well paced and didn't feel like it dragged on at any point.

I adore Fujimoto's artstyle, especially the character's facial expressions. It feels unique with a hint of cringe in the best way possible. Eri is drawn so beautifully, and the repeated panels conveys the emotion of the story very well.

The ending was a surprise, but the way it ties the start to the end was very good. Spoiler: Eri's death was well written and the ending makes it feel like she's still alive, even when a little thought leads you to the conclusion that this is just Yuta's final edit of his Goodbye, Eri . It makes you feel like her legacy lives on in a way.

Also a one-shot about death and coping, Goodbye, Eri resembles Fujimoto's 2021 one-shot, Look Back with a real-life setting interrupted by the main character's fantasies. Both expertly lead you to believe one thing and shock you with perfect plot twists. I highly recommend both one-shots, as well as Chainsaw Man.

Final Verdict!

Art: *****
Story: ****0