With the Light: Raising an Autistic Child Vol. #06 - Mania.com

Manga Review

Mania Grade: A-

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  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translation Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 and Up
  • Released By: Yen Press
  • MSRP: 14.99
  • Pages: 528
  • ISBN: 978-0316077330
  • Size: A5
  • Orientation: Right to Left

With the Light: Raising an Autistic Child Vol. #06

With the Light: Raising an Autistic Child Vol. #06 Manga Review

By Sakura Eries     June 14, 2010
Release Date: March 23, 2010

With the Light: Raising an Autistic Child Vol. #06
© Yen Press

Hikaru enters middle school -- and faces new challenges!

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Keiko Tobe
Translation: Satsuki Yamashita
Adaptation: Satsuki Yamashita

What They Say
With the Light: Raising an Autistic Child is a simultaneously poignant and heartwarming story of a young mother attempting to cope with an increasingly common affliction. With the Light has been universally recognized for its sensitive portrayal of autism, winning an Excellence Prize for manga at the eighth annual Japan Media Arts Festival.

The Review!

Although this manga centers on the upbringing of a child with autism from his mother's point of view, Tobe-sensei frequently shifts the focus away from Sachiko and Hikaru’s autism in this sixth installment of With the Light. So while it opens with the problems that Sachiko encounters when teaching Hikaru how to behave on the bus, it switches to a completely different dilemma when Sachiko's mother has to undergo surgery. Later, Hikaru has a mini-reunion with his elementary school friends, and Tobe-sensei allots nearly half a chapter for an update on their lives. We also get an interesting perspective on Hikaru from Sachiko's mother-in-law when she spends a morning alone with Hikaru. Grandma Azuma tends to heighten the tension as she is the family member least willing to accommodate Hikaru's autism, but Hikaru's visit to her house winds up mostly a comic episode.
The manga still incorporates different facts about autism and tools helpful in raising an autistic child into the story, but the plot has shifted more to Sachiko's struggles as a working wife and mother of an autistic son and a normal daughter. To heighten this, Tobe-sensei stirs trouble in the Azuma household in the form of a female coworker infatuated by Masato. I found the "suspected affair" arc too quickly resolved and rather unnecessary. However, the guilt Sachiko feels over not being able to give her daughter as much as attention as she'd like is quite compelling. It'll be interesting to see Kanon’s perspective as the younger sibling of an autistic brother in future installments.
In summary:
As Hikaru grows older, his world expands, and he slowly comes closer to living in the world as a "cheerful working adult." However, teaching Hikaru to behave properly in society takes his family extra time and effort, and though it has its rewards, there’s also anxiety and embarrassment as well.
Extras include table of contents; five pages of translation notes; two short essays written by relatives of individuals with autism; and ads for other Yen Press manga.


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