Cover Image: Goodbye, Eri

Goodbye, Eri

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Brilliant self contained story that makes you empathise with it's protagonist in a very short time. It's obvious that Fujimoto loves film as a media and emulates it here in by formatting the story in 4 panel pages. The plot itself is a sort of love letter to film as a means of preservation of our feelings and people in a way that memory doesn't allow.
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Beautifully written story! It was suspenseful and kept my attention until the very end. Chainsawman is one of my favorite mangas so I knew I’d love this. This author never misses!
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This title is shot in a first-person perspective like a documentary of a young man's life. Readers get to see pieces of his life in middle school with a time skip to his adulthood. The ending is left ambiguous, which is somewhat confusing but not out of place. While I personally prefer a more concrete conclusion, the unreliable nature of the first-person narrative is really seen with that ending. While I likely won't purchase the title for my library, I personally really enjoyed it. There are a lot of books dealing with grief and loss, but this one is unique and highlights coping skills some may find distasteful. Which is often how the world really works. It was beautifully done.
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Fujimoto's fantastical meditation on grief, through the lens of a documentary-making fantasist, is a compelling ride. Yuta, a high school boy, is thoroughly mocked and shamed after he ends a documentary about his mother's death from a terminal illness with a scene of him running from the hospital and it exploding. When he goes to commit suicide at the hospital, he's stopped by a girl who demands he make another, better movie that will cause the audience to have a more sympathetic reaction next year.

Filled with twists and turns, and sprinkled with fantasy elements, the eventual reveal of why Yuta added an explosion to the end of his original film is heartbreaking. But Goodbye, Eri doesn't stop there, Yuta's life is filled with heartbreak, grief, and moments of heroic recovery with little bits of fantasy. Yuta is a firmly unreliable narrator, making any of the narrative questionable. Regardless of which parts of the story are true, it's highly thought provoking, and at times, appropriately tear jerking (which also may be one of Yuta's documentary manipulations).
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Calling "Goodbye, Eri" deep, may seem simplistic, however it is both the first thing that comes to mind, and the best summation possible. Fujimoto uses the medium of manga to explore film, more specifically the act of film-making, and its ability to shape the creator, the subject, and the audience. While direct comparisons could be drawn to the works of Satoshi Kon, "Goodbye, Eri" is much subtler than "Millenium Actress" or "Perfect Blue."  
In many ways the protagonist, Yuta, is a cipher; although he wants to be a film maker, he is manipulated and used by the women in his life towards their ends. He has little personality, or agency, however it is hinted that there is more going on that may be obfuscated through "editing". We might not be getting the whole picture because we see what the narrator/director/author wants us to see.
The art is often presented in a first-person style, that either indicates the narrator's perspective, the screen of his camera, or the screen of movie being presented, often in a context that is either initially unclear or completely obtuse. Partnered with the fact that some panels (or frames), are presented as slightly double exposed or blurry can make the whole affair seem a little conspicuous. The overall pacing is excellent, including two modes of repetition; The successive images with slight deviation to indicate the procession of time is reminiscent of a specific style of film montage. However, the willingness to repeat the same unaltered image for several pages, to signify a pregnant pause, is bold but effective.
While this is being marketed to adults, there is nothing that makes this overtly inappropriate for younger readers. Fans of Fujimots's action forward "Chainsaw Man", may find that expectations beget disappointment with this slower paced introspective tale.
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Be still my heart. I love the depth of Fujimoto's manga. I was introduced during Chainsaw Man but then read Look Back and now Goodbye, Eri and he just annihilates me with his thought-provoking explorations on life and living. In this story, Yuta loses his mom but because she was and he is now a filmmaker, all parts of his life he records. He showcases a version of it at his school and is laughed off stage because he added an explosion at the end. He then meets Eri, a girl that thought the short film was wonderful. They become friends and eventually more. But there is something different about Eri from how she acts to how she feels things especially in light of her own impending death... that Yuta also records. 

The cyclical nature of the story where Yuta ends up back in the warehouse where he and Eri spend time was *chef's kiss*. A story taking place over a lifetime of a man who contemplated suicide after the death of his mother. 

The use of emotion and panel movement was top-notch. I was inside the story and felt like I knew them all from Yuta and Eri to his dad or in the seats with classmates watching the films. Raw and bittersweet.
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Surprised Fujimoto opted to not capitalize on the popularity of Chainsawman with a similar style book.  Goodbye Eri is a moving story of coping with loss and choosing how we remember those we've lost.
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Aah yes, the dark humor of Fujimoto. This mangaka is amazing at making dark topics laughable and touching at the same time. It was done effectively in chainsaw man and it was done pretty well in this first volume as well. I’m not sure that the storyline really has me drawn in at this point though. I will have to see how the next volumes pan out.
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This was an interesting manga. I didn't really like the main character but I think he had a great arc throughout the book. The way that the author dealt with his grief was really interesting.
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Thanks NetGalley, VIZ Media, and VIZ Media LLC for access to this arc

1/5 stars

Honestly I hated this, it really felt like it was just sad for the sake of being sad. Yuta's mom was cruel making him film her illness, degradation, and how she wanted him to film her dying, which obviously this teenage boy wouldn't be able to do. Later on when his dad shows Yuta what he filmed during his mom's death was really awful. Then his reason for living was his friendship with Eri, who turns out is also dying and was kind of manipulating him into doing the same thing for her, sure it seems kind of cathartic at the time but clearly this boy needs some help lol. THEN the icing on the cake, when he was in a car accident and his wife, daughter and father all died from it but he lived?? Eyeroll.
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Well, that was not what I expected at all. The art is simply put, incredible. The story will sit with me for a while I suspect. There is clearly a commentary on the way we record everything we do and that “if we don’t record it, it doesn’t happen.”  Although this is layered and thoughtful, it is also pretty disturbing. However, I think that too, is the point.
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Tatsuki Fujimoto does it again. His writing style is honestly always going to throw the reader through a loop, and every time I was shocked by a new twist and turn. He is truly a great story teller, and I was left in utter awed silence by the end.
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2.5 but rounding up because the idea is really cool! 

I love the idea of this story. But, so many of the places where I see this story lacking... could have been fixed with a different medium. I love graphic novels, but story about the importance of film... feels like it'd be better suited to film. Sometimes I had a hard time telling the difference between what was being shot verse what was really happening. 

Heck of a twist at the end. If you choose to read it as real that is.
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I don't know if I got this at all. The art was good, but the story was not what I was expecting. Perhaps this was because the content was a bit dark: film your mom as she is dying, with the mother wanting the son essentially to watch her die and film it, then share the film at your school with an ending that the MC makes up (rather than his mom dying to her illness), then have a girl (Eri) be the only one who likes the film, then essentially have the MC do the same thing for her (film her as she dies?). Definitely not what I was expecting, not having read anything about it before going in.
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Tatsuki Fujimoto's love of cinema has become apparent in his work, including the recent “Chainsaw Man” intro paying homage to a multitude of cult titles, and “Goodbye, Eri” is an undeniable love letter to the medium. Notably, the series understands the profundity of capturing a life in film, and how it can craft our memories of shared experiences. Furthermore, “Goodbye Eri” playfully captures the eccentricities of young filmmakers that often end up becoming discussion points among cinephiles after the director has found reverence for their filmography. The manga is so pronounced in exploring visuals and narrative through the lens of a filmmaker that it even offers speculation as to whether Fujimoto could have made as big an impact on the medium if he had not settled on manga.

Notably, there is a heavy emphasis on the natural expression of emotions, and it proves wondrous to see how Fujimoto translates a cinematic view of the world into a manga. The concept and execution behind “Goodbye, Eri” would, undeniably, fail under a lesser creator who does not have a deep understanding of film and the nuances that go into crafting an astounding visual presentation in the medium. A prime example that comes via considered pacing, with plenty of panels devoid of dialogue and expressing simple actions, capturing the natural flow of movement. Add in Fujimoto's strong comedic wit to interject humor to keep the tone from being too dour, and the project is an impressive feat that could easily translate into a film almost shot for shot.

However, despite everything “Goodbye, Eri” does exceptionally well, is unlikely to be universally well received, which will rest entirely on how the readers react to the conclusion. On one hand, the ending is a playful poke at what came before it and shucks the (as the manga itself puts it) the ‘dime a dozen' trappings of a tragic teenage romance. Alternatively, it can be viewed as a crude mockery of the sentimentality it brilliantly built up before the sharp shift in tone.

Personally, while I realize the appeal of Tatsuki Fujimoto's willingness to take his stories in an odd direction, I lean into the latter sentiment and believe the conclusion does a disservice to what came before it. However, I would simultaneously not fault anyone who appreciates the absurd twist the tragedy sees as an extension of what makes Fujimoto such a beloved mangaka. The reader is best served to go in blind and draw their own conclusions, as even if the ending disappoints, the moments leading up to it are, undeniably, sublime.

As an artist, Tatsuki Fujimoto excels in action-heavy art, where he can openly embrace chaos and play around with it. For dramatic series, his work is less well suited. While by no means lacking, comparing this kind of content to other emotionally infused pieces by mangakas who essentially stick to the genre of crafting tragic tales of youth, the work just becomes serviceable. However, there is a degree of experimentation that works beautifully in this series when Fujimoto captures the blur of motion that you would see in home movies, which plays a large part in constructing the narrative. There is beauty to be found in the visuals, it is just sporadic.

My experience with “Goodbye, Eri” was slightly frustrating, having gone from utter admiration and an emotional outpouring to feeling dejected and frustrated. While part of me appreciates how Fujimoto is able to play on tropes to craft a unique experience, it is difficult to fully embrace the approach when there is a stopping point I would have been more content without. Regardless, Tatsuki Fujimoto proves he is an immense and diverse talent, and fans should certainly experience “Goodbye Eri” for themselves while cinema fans should consider indulging in this one even if they are not huge fans of manga.
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Tatsuki Fujimoto is currently one of the biggest names in the manga industry, thanks to his Chainsaw Man, but that’s not to say his one-shot stories haven’t also been a great success. We previously discussed Look Back, a story of loss and moving on while losing someone important, and now it’s time for Goodbye, Eri.

Teenager Yuta enjoys making movies and carries his camera everywhere he goes. His home life isn’t currently perfect: his mom is dying and his dad is struggling to come to terms with it while staying strong for Yuta. One day Yuta’s mom makes a strange request. She asks him to record her treatment and initially, Yuta complies. We learn about these events through a series of movie-like panels that make up pages. But then it becomes obvious that treatment failed and Yuta’s father asks him to come and say goodbye. Yuta comes to the hospital but changes his mind last minute and leaves. As he is walking away from the building, it explodes.

Unexpected plot twits like this are somewhat that Fujimoto is quite good at. They leave the reader confused and wanting more. Such is the case with Goodbye, Eri too. Yuta edited his mom’s final months into a movie that he showed in his high school. But much like the readers, his classmates are also baffled and as it turns out not big fans of his directorial talents. Hurt and lost, Yuta tries to commit suicide but is interrupted by Eri, a girl around his age, who happens to be a movie buff. She makes Yuta promise that he will make a good movie while she mentors him. Although he was undecided at first, Yuta eventually agrees. We learn that his mother was abusive and used his interests to benefit her own image, by making him edit only the best of her. Yuta’s dad pushes him toward Eri by encouraging him to try again.

However, we find out that Eri is sick. The two decide to come up with a story that will celebrate Eri if she dies and offer a good story if she lives. What happens next is once again shown through a series of movie-like panels: they spend a lot of time together watching movies, having fun and even starting a romantic relationship. It’s quite difficult to tell if this was just for the filming or reality. But then Eri is also gone and Yuta is once again all alone. The movie they made is well-received by the public and the idealized version of Eri is forever remembered.

Yuta grows up and gets married. However, once again he is faced with tragedy: his father, wife and daughter die. Desperate, he decides to kill himself in a house where he used to watch movies with Eri. Upon arriving there he walks in and finds Eri, who tells him that she is actually an immortal vampire, stuck in a cycle of rebirths. She encourages him to live, stating that her predecessor would want that. Elated, Yuta leaves the house and as he walks away, the house explodes – leading the reader to believe that the final part of the Goodbye, Eri story was probably fiction and part of the movie he recorded with Eri.

It took me quite a bit to decide whether the time skip actually happened. Ultimately, it does not matter but I’d like to believe that it didn’t. Goodbye, Eri allowed us to see Yuta grow through Eri’s eyes. Ultimately, she was the only one who accepted and understood him until the very end. She gave his art meaning and allowed him to do what he loved.

The movie within a movie within a movie is quite an interesting concept and I’d like to see how it would carry over in an adaptation. MAPPA CEO, Manabu Otsuka, recently spoke about his desire to adapt all of Fujimoto’s works (the studio worked on Chainsaw Man). Goodbye, Eri has just enough material for a movie of a decent length and it’s already made to work for the format. Either way, if you enjoy Fujimoto’s works or unusual coming-of-age stories or even just movies, definitely give this short manga a go.
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I am burnt out on watching films and shows about filmmakers, but a manga about a budding filmmaker? Sign me up. I remember when they said that Tatsuki Fujimoto was going to release another one-shot (after Look Back). A 200-page one-shot. Okay, just Fujimoto things, I guess. This is another example of Tatsuki Fujimoto's mastery of sequential art. If you know Fujimoto's work from Chainsaw Man, you already have an idea of what to expect, but if you know someone who couldn't quite get into Chainsaw Man because of all the blood and guts, this might be a way to ease them into Fujimoto's work.
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Tatsuki Fujimoto will forever be known as the author of Chainsaw Man, one of the best-selling manga series of recent years with over 24 million copies sold. Whilst that title is ongoing, Fujimoto still has time for other projects, such as a couple of one-shot web manga including Look Back and Goodbye, Eri – the latter of which is finally getting published by Viz Media for Western readers.

If you have read the short stories that Fujimoto was doing before Chainsaw Man (and even Fire Punch), Goodbye, Eri feels more of a kind with some of those narratives where youthful outsiders are going through a coming-of-age journey with a hint of fantasy.

Shortly after receiving a smartphone as a birthday present, Yuta Ito’s terminally ill mother assigns him the task of filming her and compiling a movie about her in the event of her death. After she dies, Yuta premieres the movie at his school but is met with heavy derision over his decision to end the film with him running away from an exploding hospital. Bullied and ostracized, Yuta decides to commit suicide, until he is stopped by a girl named Eri, who reveals she actually loved his movie and urges him to make another one. 

If Look Back was Fujimoto’s way of exploring what it means to be an aspiring manga artist, Goodbye, Eri is his weird love letter to cinema. Fujimoto has previously acknowledged his love of cinema – the opening credits of the Chainsaw Man anime is a montage of film references. As the story is directly driven by the dynamic between Yuta and Eri, you have the former with no real understanding of how a movie should communicate with someone, whilst the latter has the filmmaking knowledge to help instruct her Padawan. Though you don’t see any of the various movies that are watched for inspiration and education, Eri’s filmmaking advice is enough for any young aspiring soul to get into the medium. 

Due to Yuta’s reckless decision on how he ended his documentary “Dead Explosion Mother” which left a bad taste to anyone who watched it, the element of fantasy plays a huge role in the narrative, where truths are revealed whilst providing enough ambiguity that can cleverly trick the reader. Although the central duo eventually decides to make a semi-documentary about themselves, albeit with various exaggeration and fictional elements, it reveals a warmth towards these characters, including Yuta’s father who felt initially distant due to his son’s recklessness and learns to open with honesty and positivity. 

There are plenty of touching and witty scenes where Yuta and Eri bounce off one another, but the story is more impactful through the many silent pages. With nearly every page presented in four wide panels, the manga could have been an artistic exercise through panel division and other effects such as the video footage jitter. Fujimoto’s work (along with the number of assistants involved) is incredibly detailed from the expressions and little actions of the characters, to the mundane surroundings they inhabit.

Although Chainsaw Man remains as entertaining as it is popular, Tatsuki Fujimoto is at his best with the one-shot format as Goodbye, Eri is a masterful coming-of-age story that plays with reality and fantasy through its discussion of filmmaking.
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I liked this but I am also confused that I did like it? It's an odd story that I certainly thought I understood where it was going in the beginning, however, it's more than that. It's circular and weird and I still like it. 

Yuta is tasked with recording his dying mother during her final months, end eventual death. He does record her but runs away from her final moments and in the movie he made about her he makes the hospital explode. The movie isn't really well received and he plans to kill himself jumping from the very same hospital. However, he meets a girl on the rooftop named Eri who steals him away to watch movies. Recording people in photos and movies is a way of remembrance and dedicating them to immortality. 

It's difficult to tell where the movie begins and ends in the story, which is part of the fun. 

Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.
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I reviewed this title for Booklist. Please see Booklist for the complete review and full feedback regarding this title.
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