Be With You by Takuji Ichikawa (amazon)
Be With You is a one volume manga based on a novel that has also been adapted into a movie and TV show. At the start of the rainy season widower Takkun and his young son Yuji are muddling along a year after Mio’s death. She left behind a picture book about a planet where people who’ve passed away live as long as someone on Earth remembers them. Mio promised to come back to see her son and husband during rainy season. Takkun struggles with his job at the library and his relationship with Mio’s mother.
As soon as it starts raining Yuji runs to the woods to see his mom. Takkun follows him and they find Mio, but she’s completely lost her memory. They take her home and start living life as a family again. Yuji doesn’t understand why his mother doesn’t remember some of the things she did for him before her death. Despite her memory loss, Mio throws herself into the role of Yuji’s mother, although she isn’t quite sure what to make of her husband. Takkun begins to tell Mio stories about how they met and started dating. They begin to function as a family again, but Takkun knows that Mio will vanish forever when the rainy season ends.
The art is attractive, but not particularly distinctive. Some single volume manga have stories that are cut short, but Be With You seems complete in one volume perhaps because it was adapted from a novel. There are a few details that might have been expanded on, like the role of Mio’s mother and Takkun’s difficulty in coping with life. Be With You is a little different than the typical Shojo Beat title since it focuses on family life, it really is an old fashioned tear jerker. So if you’re in the mood for a little bit of sadness mixed with romance, check it out.
A review copy was provided by the publisher.