Thursday, January 15, 2009

Be With You

Written by Takuji Ichikawa, Art by Sai Kawashima and Script by Yoko Iino
Published in the US by Viz

Slugline: For parents, even while dead they still have to do the laundry and remind the kids to eat all of their vegetables.

Takumi has been raising his son Yuji alone after the death of his wife Mio, but to put it kindly there are a few gaps in his parenting skills. Yuji is not too worried, because of a story Mio wrote and read to him, he is under the impression that Mio will visit at the beginning of the rainy season and will leave again at the end of it. Takumi is merely accepting of his son'ss belief, until Yuji and he find an amensiac Mio in the woods. They have the rest of the rainy season to reconnect, with Mio remembering some of her memory, and the entire family relearning to love each other again. No matter what happens to her this time, her family will be better off.

This is an especially strong one-off volume of lost love regained. It undoubtedly benefited from having been a novel, movie and tv series, each showing the way, because the manga hits all of the beats perfectly, switching emotions and grabbing the high points consistently. Despite the subject matter causing one to think the manga could be a little depressing it never drags the story or the characters down. Obviously not everything is happiness and light, but at the end of the story, the experience that the characters have gained makes it all worth their while. It doesn't quite have the doomed love vibe that makes tween girls sigh, but it comes close in a manner that even I, an over 30 guy, can appreciate. In a manly way of course, no sniffling here.

Be With You is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga


No comments: