Being such an eager beaver, I’ve decided to blog straight away on Takuji Ichikawa’s Be With You. I chose to read this book first since I needed something light after 3 months of heavy academic readings on Communists, dictators and Communist dictators. Fun.
It should be said that I already knew some of the plot. Being a manga junkie, I had read a preview of the manga adaptation of the book in Shojo Beat magazine (yes, censure me, I read shojo manga) and found the plot to be very unique seeing that it didn’t involve drama-laden high school romances. Instead, Be With You is about a man and his son whose wife/mother died a year ago. One day she reappears and that’s what I’ve gotten out of it so far.
So… my first impressions. If it weren’t for this blog, I would’ve abandoned this book and gone on to Up by Banana Yoshimoto, the next book on my list. Why you ask? Well, let’s just say that the main character of Be With You is an aggravating douchebag who has issues and knows it, but is too apathetic to solve them. Personally, I find these types of characters the most annoying along with characters who complain despite having the power to change their lives or characters who know their loved ones have issues or are deluded but does nothing to help them. *Points to the entire Loman family in Death of a Salesman*
In any case, the main character, nicknamed Takkun by his son Yuji is an apathetic man with anxiety issues. He gets too stressed out on public transportation and he can’t control his urges to speak when he’s in a place which demands silence (ie, a lecture, movie etc;). Since the death of his wife, his house is in complete disarray, he and his son have been eating curry rice for about a year and they’ve been wearing dirty and stained clothing for a very long time. In other words, he’s the type of guy that girls want to avoid if they don’t want to spend the rest of their lives in the house, making dinner, cleaning and taking care of the kids. Furthermore, Takkun is an inept parent – he lets his elementary-school-aged son go to the movies alone because of his problem with staying silent – and all in all, he’s barely surviving without his wife. The only redeeming quality is that it seems that he really does love her, but that really doesn’t make up for the fact that he’s unable to smarten up and get his act together for his child who’s depending on him for survival and growth.
So far, I think Mio’s (Takkun’s wife and Yuji’s mother) appearance is rather interesting as there’s this fascinating circumstance which she remembers nothing of her life before her death. However, I can just smell Takkun’s sappy transformation from a douche to a better person coming up and I can say that I’m NOT looking forward to it for some reason. I just hope that this book is less cliche than a shojo manga, although honestly, I should’ve expected it.
Hoping that this book isn’t complete and utter waste of my time,