Today I finished the manga series ‘With The Light’.

With the Light is the touching tale of Sachiko Azuma, a new mother who names her infant son ‘Hikaru’ because he came to her with the morning light. (Hikaru translates as ‘light’ or ‘to be bright’ in Japanese for those unfamiliar with the language) Sachiko starts to notice differences between her son and other babies his age. She talks to her doctor and soon comes to learn her son is autistic.

With The Light, complete set

Sachiko faces many trials and tribulations while raising Hikaru, but as often as the story is sad it is also moving and beautiful and filled with triumph. If you want to read my reviews of each volume please check out my Goodreads account. Volume 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.

Finishing a series is always a strange feeling. Once it’s done you can’t imagine what you’ll read next. You wonder what happened to the characters after ‘the end’. It’s like you’re lost and not quite sure where to go.

This series end was particularly daunting for me since I learned before reaching the final volume that the manga-ka(the author and artist of the manga), Keiko Tobe, passed away before completing the series.

In the first volume Tobe-sensei created a moment where Sachiko is asked what does Hikaru want to be when he grows up. Due to his developmental level he is unable to express this himself so Sachiko wonders and eventually decides she wants Hikaru to be a ‘happy working adult’ when he grows up. Those words stick with you and one of the first things I thought when I learned of Tobe-sensei’s demise was that I may never get to see Hikaru become a happy working adult.

As it is, Tobe-sensei did her best to try and finish the story, roughing up some storyboard pages on her sick bed. She managed two full chapters, bringing us to what appears to be the conclusion of junior high. She does it with beautiful resonance with the beginning but we still never reach adulthood. While it breaks my heart to not see him as a happy working adult, the ending is still beautiful and all of this does nothing to diminish the marvellous tale.

With the Light is a story that touches hearts and moves you. Even though Tobe-sensei never had the chance to write it to its true conclusion it is a story I really wish everyone could read.

Are there any stories/series that have moved you like this? Also, look out, because my next post is going to be talking more about the series.