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RIGHT TURN ONLY!! - Black Jack of All Trades




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pachy_boy



Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 744

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:18 am Reply with quote
So everyone knows, I'm the one who wrote the review for With the Light, and I submitted it literally a week before the announcement of Keiko Tobe passing away.

Quote:
and to adult in future volumes,


So this part of the sentence feels awkward, and continues making it heartbreakingly sad. I just got the 6th volume, and according to Right Stuf, it seems there will be a 7th volume, which may be the last one. While this series may be incomplete (hopefully its 'ending' won't be too much of a cliffhanger), it's still a wonderful manga that shouldn't be missed for all the reasons I've stated.
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vashfanatic



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 3319
Location: Back stateside

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 7:51 am Reply with quote
GAH!! I drag my feet and somebody else already sends in a review I was working on!

Well, let me add a little to what you said:

With the Light is a rarity in American licenses, since it falls into the category of manga that's meant to educate as much as entertain. In this case, it's teaching about autism via a family drama. It is filled with facts about autism and tips for parents and teachers of autistic children. Every volume ends with essay from parents of autistic children or advocates for people with disabilities. Seeing the obvious, Yen Press opted not to advertise other manga at the end of its releases, but rather books and materials about autism and autism-spectrum disorders.

This isn't to say that With the Light is a didactic bore. As you said, it's a family drama, and it's absolutely a great, heartwarming tearjerker. The number of times I had to stop to wipe my eyes in the first volume alone makes it a guaranteed recommendation from me. That it highlights a misunderstood disorder is a bonus. If you are a manga reader who works with children (as I am) you must pick up Within the Light.

Tobe Keiko's passing was a tragedy not just because of her age but because the story ends with her. Yet this is one that I could see someone else wanting to continue, especially if she's left notes behind. Because yes, Volume 7 is the last, and Hikaru isn't yet the adult we all want him to become.
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Earth_Wyrm



Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 505

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 7:58 am Reply with quote
pachy_boy wrote:
So everyone knows, I'm the one who wrote the review for With the Light, and I submitted it literally a week before the announcement of Keiko Tobe passing away.

Thanks, I'd never heard of this title before now, but I just ordered the first volume.
My younger brother is severely autistic and is physically coming up to his teens now, a concept that I personally find hard to wrangle into a kind of sense, since I still can't help but think of him as a much younger child. The fact that the manga follows Hikaru's growth may be something that I can relate to on a very personal level.
Autism is usually handled in media in a way that I find borders on offensively superficial ("D'aw, look! He has trouble expressing himself, adorable!"), when the reality of living with an autistic person is quite different. I'm hoping that this will be a more realistic portrayal, and it seems like this may be the case. Thanks for the review, and for bringing it to my attention.

It's an awful shame to hear about Tobe Keiko's passing though. Sad
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wandering-dreamer



Joined: 21 Jan 2008
Posts: 1711

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:52 am Reply with quote
I only heard of With the Light recently but I really want to pick it up now. My brother got diagnosed with Aspergers (which isn't as sever as Autism but still makes for difficulties) and since then I've been noticing how rarely those characters appear in literature. And it's really depressing to hear how the manga-ka passed away, hopefully someone will be able to give the story a good closure in their stead.
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Hagaren_Otaku726



Joined: 16 Mar 2006
Posts: 135
Location: California

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:04 am Reply with quote
I definitely love With the Light.

I picked it up on sort of a whim, just because I had a passing interest in the subject.
I've never had any family connections to autism, but there was a kid I had passing knowledge of in school, who had very severe autism. His parents either weren't capable of taking care of him, or just didn't care, as there were several times where he would be wandering around town at midnight and later alone.
A family friend also has a child with autism, although his wasn't nearly as severe, and his parents were very supportive.

I think the manga definitely gives me a better understanding of the difficulties the parents themselves face in raising their children to be "cheerful, hard-working adults", and also, the stress the children must face everyday in their worlds.

I hope someone else is able to continue and finish the manga, and allow Hikaru to become that "cheerful, hard-working adult" we've all been looking forward to.
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everapril



Joined: 24 Apr 2009
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:26 am Reply with quote
Was your editorial inspired by previous ANN contributer Rob Bricken's: 6 Undeniable Similarities Between Nerds and Sports Fans http://www.toplessrobot.com/​2010/​03/​6_undeniable_similar​ities_between_geeks_​and_sports.​php?

If you ask me, it's a pretty valid argument!

Edit:
I could not get the URL tag to look pretty, and I'm in a rush or I would take more time to fix it, sorry!
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UtenaAnthy



Joined: 27 Oct 2006
Posts: 688

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:07 pm Reply with quote
Earth_Wyrm wrote:
My younger brother is severely autistic and is physically coming up to his teens now, a concept that I personally find hard to wrangle into a kind of sense, since I still can't help but think of him as a much younger child. The fact that the manga follows Hikaru's growth may be something that I can relate to on a very personal level.


As someone with aspergers, I want to make sure you grasp that he will be going through puberty and having sexual feelings just like other teens (unless in the extremely unlikely possibility that he is asexual, and even then he will experience and have to deal with physical changes) even if he does have difficulty with understanding some things that most other children his age can. I'm not saying you don't understand this, but a lot of people still seem to think that disabled people are not sexual or shouldn't be so I'm trying to counter that assumption.

I've been meaning to read With the Light for quite a while, because the subject is relevant to my experiences and because it has good reviews. It's nice to see that people are interested in reading about life on the autistic spectrum.
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Earth_Wyrm



Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 505

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:38 pm Reply with quote
UtenaAnthy wrote:
As someone with aspergers, I want to make sure you grasp that he will be going through puberty and having sexual feelings just like other teens (unless in the extremely unlikely possibility that he is asexual, and even then he will experience and have to deal with physical changes) even if he does have difficulty with understanding some things that most other children his age can. I'm not saying you don't understand this, but a lot of people still seem to think that disabled people are not sexual or shouldn't be so I'm trying to counter that assumption.

There's a whole barrel load of implications to do with that that I've already fretted about, and you're not remiss to try to increase awareness of such. Such considerations are, in fact, the principal reason why I need to stop thinking of him as a child.
Man, time sure has a way of sneaking up on you. Confused
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Chrno2



Joined: 28 May 2004
Posts: 3829
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 3:26 pm Reply with quote
Great review. I'm holding vol. 6 in my hand right now. We just got it in. Another student has a hold on it but I want to take it and read it first. Ever since the first volume I've truly enjoyed this series. We've come to know the main protagonist 'Hikaru' and the people around him. From his peers who we followed from the time they were in nursery school all the way to JHS while incorporating new additions. I found myself constantly saying, "Oh, I remember her/him!" or "Wait that's little girl/boy from..." or "Man, haven't seen person 'A' in a good while." It's a huge cast of characters that takes a bit knowing who's who. And just like real life they're in and out of the picture. Life goes on. The only criticism you probably could say about the series is that it sometimes reads like a afternoon special. But I think the main part of this series was meant to put things in a "drama-like" fashion while educating it's readers as well. After all it falls into the "josei" genre. But it's still the best thing to come along in a long time. I'm glad to have had a chance to see it released here.

I'm still deeply saddened by 'Keiko Tobe-san's passing. It was such a blow to me to wake up one morning, turn on my laptop, tune into ANN and see a headline like that. But I'm sure she knew and was happy that her work had been well received worldwide. She will be truly missed.

*I had been thinking about the last volume up until now before this review came about. Feels like coincidence once more. I was wondering if Yen Press will do some type of entry in memory of her. As for 2009 there were 14 volumes released in Japan. Since the deluxe ED that we are getting cover 2 volumes each vol. 7 will most likely cover 13 & 14 since vol. 6 covers 11 & 12. It states how many vols. are contained in the back section.
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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
Posts: 2842

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:45 pm Reply with quote
New to With the Light, but now I definitely want to pick it up.

Chrno2:
So vol. 7 really is the last one? There are no plans to continue it after her passing I presume?

Has anyone seen the TV drama series btw?
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Kakalini



Joined: 05 Feb 2005
Posts: 12
Location: Middle Georgia

PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 12:48 am Reply with quote
With the Light is an excellent manga, so I was excited to see it recommended. It's so different than what you usually think of, but definitely one of the best stories I've read.
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marie-antoinette



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 4121
Location: Ottawa, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:18 am Reply with quote
I definitely will have to put With the Light on my list to check out, given all the recommendations for it here. Also, this column definitely solidifies my desire to check out Ristorante Paradiso, which I did already intend on picking up.
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UtenaAnthy



Joined: 27 Oct 2006
Posts: 688

PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:02 am Reply with quote
Earth_Wyrm wrote:
UtenaAnthy wrote:
As someone with aspergers, I want to make sure you grasp that he will be going through puberty and having sexual feelings just like other teens (unless in the extremely unlikely possibility that he is asexual, and even then he will experience and have to deal with physical changes) even if he does have difficulty with understanding some things that most other children his age can. I'm not saying you don't understand this, but a lot of people still seem to think that disabled people are not sexual or shouldn't be so I'm trying to counter that assumption.

There's a whole barrel load of implications to do with that that I've already fretted about, and you're not remiss to try to increase awareness of such. Such considerations are, in fact, the principal reason why I need to stop thinking of him as a child.
Man, time sure has a way of sneaking up on you. Confused


Good on you for working to change your thinking.
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Chrno2



Joined: 28 May 2004
Posts: 3829
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:10 am Reply with quote
configspace wrote:
New to With the Light, but now I definitely want to pick it up.

Chrno2:
So vol. 7 really is the last one? There are no plans to continue it after her passing I presume?

Has anyone seen the TV drama series btw?


It's definitely worth reading if you're into these types of genres or want to try something different. Don't know if there are any plans to continue her work. Personally I don't think anyone could continue it as well as she did. I could be wrong. I just finished vol. 6 this morning after taking it home last night. I'm definitely going to have to collect them all for myself now. I have to admit this is the one series that I found myself reading (speedily) straight through upon it's release. I must say that I've thoroughly enjoyed each volume.

I'd be interested in seeing the drama. I'm surprised no one ever tried adapting this in an anime or something. It just occurred to me today. But I really hope that 7 won't end on cliffhanger like someone previously posted.
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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
Posts: 2842

PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:12 am Reply with quote
Thanks. I'm always hesitant on cliffhanger endings (which frustrates me because the majority of anime is like that nowadays, being adapted from ongoing manga) but there's no helping that in this case of course. So I'll probably wait until the next vol releases then buy 1-7 altogether since I too go through manga very quickly.

I do wonder though if vol7 lacks resolution, that there could be a final vol8 from her notes or something. (even though yeah, i'm also skeptical about postmortem works..)
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