Goodbye, Eri is a 200-page one-shot manga by the creator of the popular Chainsaw Man series, Tatsuki Fujimoto. Released on the Shonen Jump+ website for free in Japan, Viz Media have translated it into English and also made it available for free on their website/Shonen Jump app. It is also available on Manga Plus internationally. It goes to show Tatsuki’s critical acclaim that the one-shot saw a simultaneous worldwide release, so is this one-shot worth your time?
On his 12th birthday, Yuta is gifted a smartphone by his parents, as his mum explains it is for him to record moments of her up into her death so he can have the memories of her. Putting these moments together, Yuta creates a short documentary film that he shows at his school’s festival which doesn’t go down well. Due to others mocking his film, Yuta decides to commit suicide by jumping off the roof of the hospital where his mother died. However that plan changes as he meets Eri, a mysterious girl who works with Yuta to create a better film.
Despite being a short story, there is a lot to the plot as it develops in a satisfying way. There is a great pace across the 200 pages, which always encourages you to read more. Something only enhanced by the constant surreal vibe as it balances the serious emotions of death, with the stillness of slice of life, sprinkled with some comedic moments. For a short story, the main characters are well developed as it allows a reader to get a real feel for them, particularly Yuta as it is all told from his perspective. This really goes to show the sheer talent for storytelling Tatsuki Fujimoto has as he delivers so much in 200 pages.
Pretty much each page sticks to a consistent 4-panel approach, giving it a film-like quality, with the odd page having just one image to give a moment more impact. Some panels are even drawn blurry to give a camera-like feel in places, also adding to the surreal feel of it all. In terms of the actual art, there is Tatsuki’s distinct flair on the character design, having a more realistic design compared to other characters in not only the facial features but also the poses. It makes the characters dynamic and more vibrant, as well as firmly making his art stand out compared to other series. It is well worth pausing on each page to admire the art, as it is truly incredible.
In every aspect this one-shot is incredible. From the storytelling, art, and character design, all the elements are perfect. It has a distinct style, and works incredibly well. It is even the right length to make readers satisfied at the end, not wanting more or less. It is very much worth giving up 30 minutes of your time to read, manga fan or if you just like a great story. Particularly as it is available for free!