Goodbye Eri, the 200-page one-shot from Tatsuki Fujimoto, mangaka of Chainsaw Man and Look Back, was released today by Shueisha. The manga is a testament to Fujimoto’s slightly obscure, subjective story-telling, backed by his characteristic fluid art style.
Fujimoto plays a homage to his love for cinema and videography through this manga while also capturing the different aspects of death. the manga features triggers such as mentions of suicide, long-term illnesses, and death. Therefore, reader discretion is advised.
Tatsuki Fujimoto delves into the depths of perception and memory in his one-shot Goodbye Eri
Goodbye Eri is 199 pages long, with one cover page. It is a one shot, meaning that the entire story is told in a single volume or chapter. The manga is available for free reading on Viz, Manga Plus, and the Shonen Jump App. Since it is a one shot, the entire story can be availed on these sites, bypassing the usual three-chapter rule.
Note: Minor spoilers from Goodbye Eri ahead.
Goodbye Eri follows a boy named Yuta, who films his dying mother’s everyday moments at her request. After her death, he turns it into a documentary, receiving a terrible backlash and deciding to jump from the top of the hospital she was admitted to. It is here that he meets one of his schoolmates, a girl named Eri.
Eri encourages Yuta to follow his passion regarding movies, and the two decide to make another film. The rest of the manga chronicles Yuta’s journey with Eri, how he slowly learns how to capture the right moments of someone’s life, and how he comes to deal with his mother’s death in the process.
Fujimoto’s Art style
Tatsuki Fujimoto is known for his fluid, organic art-style. His paneling and shading have garnered praise even before Chainsaw Man was published. However, Goodbye Eri is distinctly different in the paneling department because Fujimoto adopts an evenly spaced, symmetrical panel system with parallel edges, as opposed to the customized asymmetrical paneling style used in regular manga.
Additionally, dialog-less panels, often full pages, dominate the one-shot. One double-spread is filled with just eight black, evenly spaced rectangles, as shown above. This page, in particular, conveys the break in the story, a time skip of sorts.
The facial expressions of the characters are incredibly expressive, but one thing to note is the lack of screentime for the protagonist, Yuta. True to its name, the manga focuses on Eri, seen often through the screen of a smartphone. Fujimoto fleshes out Eri to the fullest, and in contrast, leaves Yuta, more often than not, out of focus or framed in a long-shot.
It would be imprudent to read Goodbye Eri while expecting something similar to Chainsaw Man. This one-shot is far more experimental and nuanced, and leaves the reader thinking about it long after the manga is finished. The story is told in an intentionally choppy way, with subtle notes of character study and psychology thrown in.
The art style complements the plot and vice versa. Tatsuki Fujimoto has been perfecting his hand at telling unique, abstract stories that rely on the reader’s interpretation since well before his magnum opus, and this one-shot might be the pinnacle of that. It is debatable whether this is Fujimoto’s best work, but it is definitely worth reading.