Written by Takuji Ichikawa Art by Sai Kawashima Viz Media, 2008 ISBN 1421513862 216 pages
3 (out of 5) STARS
When Takumi's wife suddenly returns from the grave, he can't believe his eyes. As he starts digging deeper and deeper into the mystery of her sudden reappearance, he discovers a secret that is somehow linked to the past...and the future. Is it possible to experience first love for a second time? Without question, the answer is yes! (www.goodreads.com).
This manga was first a book, then a movie, then a TV series and finally adapted for manga. It is a bit of a ghost story because when the rainy season begins the wife of Takumi returns from the
dead. She can only stay through the six weeks of the rainy season and then she must return to the land of the dead. I enjoyed this book. It was sweet and tender although, of course very unrealistic. As an avid reader, I am very skilled at suspended reality when I read. However, on some level it still must be believable. Although I did not have any trouble with Mio returning for a visit from the dead, I did have trouble believing her husband and son were not emotionally traumatized. Moi had only been dead for one year which really is not a very long time to recover from losing a wife or mother and yet they seemed so at ease with Moi’s return. So I had some trouble with reality suspense with this book.
Like most mangas the front and back covers are printed in cover but the book inside is drawn in black and white. This manga actually contains a lot of illustrations on the gray scale. It is a ghost story that occurs during a cloudy, rainy season and the numerous gray panels add to the mystery of Moi’s return and the emotional ache of when she will leave again.
I found a good review at http://www.bitsandpieces.org/blog/2011/03/31/book-review-be-with-you-by-takuji-ichikawa/. It is not a "professional" review but I liked what the reviewer had to say.