Manga Monday #5: With the Light by Keiko Tobe

With the Light: Raising an Autistic Child by Keiko Tobe (Amazon) (Goodreads)

Sachiko Azuma lives a comfortable life with her wonderful husband and gives birth to her first child, Hikaru. Soon, she discovers her son is autistic. New challenges stand before Sachiko raising Hikaru  and society’s inept solutions to handling autism with care.

With the Light is part of genre of manga called josei. Unlike shojo manga (aimed towards young teenage girls), josei targets females in their late teens to adulthood with stories about  post-grad life, marriage, and so on. I was recommended this manga by a co-worker (a fellow manga fan). It piqued my interest because I heard many things about autism in real life but I didn’t know what it exactly was.

Author Keiko Tobe created a definite illustration of autism with her character Hikaru. Autistic people are born with a sensory system far from normal. Common sounds like people clapping may scare them and abrupt changes in repetitive routines confuses them.

Tobe gained the inspiration for With the Light after learning about her own son’s autistic classmate. She has won an award for her manga series and the story has been made into a TV drama. Eight manga volumes of With the Light made it to America. Sadly, Tobe passed away from an illness in 2010 before more volumes could published

Thankfully, I know more about autism since I’ve read this series. With Tobe’s artistic expression, she has given awareness and  a voice to the autistic community.

With the Light is a touching, thoughtful story.



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