YMMV: With the Light
- Americans Love "With The Light": "With The Light" manga seems to be exceptionally popular among American fans due to The "Autism and Special Needs" theme throughout the series.
- Anvilicious: With works of this didactic nature, it's hard not to be. Especially when the story revisits some concepts explored in previous chapters. It's difficult to ignore when the English publication jams two volumes into one.
- Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Even in this day and age, the amount of ignorance and misinformation concerning Autism is surprising. It's very hard for autistics to be properly accommodated in many places, and their treatment in Japan is even worse.
- Crowning Moment of Funny: For such a melodramatic series, there are a few moments that stand out, but the Kaleidoscope Incident (where Sachiko finds herself scrambling to keep Hikaru from hurting himself or Kanon with the glass bits inside of the toy, while everyone keeps giving Hikaru more kaleidoscopes) tops them all.
- Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: When Hikaru first says "Mommy".
- When Masato is transfered to a job where he was basically waiting to be fired, but used his extra time to help disabled children (specifically autistic kids) because he wants to make Hikaru's life easier. D'awwwwwwwww.
- Aoki-sensei's wedding most definitely counts: Aoki himself was reduced to tears when his students performed the Mouse March. Then, he joined them.
- Kanon standing up to the kids who make fun of her and Hikaru. A true sibling standing up for her brother.
- When Hikaru saw his mother crying after realizing he will not be 'normal', he gave Sachiko a few wildflowers that snapped her out of her despair.
- Ho Yay: Happens a lot in Volume 3 (Volumes 5 & 6 in Japan). Nobuaki blushes when he leans on Hikaru's desk, saying "I hope he can stay forever!" Kanata lays on a P.E mat next to Hikaru, and they just kinda nudge each other. And for a class play, Kanata plays a female role. Very well. See also Toy Ship.
- Jerkass Woobie: This may be a bit of a stretch here, but Masato's mother definitely qualifies. Even though she frequently berates Sachiko and Hikaru on a regular basis and favors Kanon, even she had her own problems (like not being congratulated when she gave birth to a girl, as her family really wanted a son). Oki and the kid who bullied him in the orphanage also apply.
- Mrs. Katakura also qualifies. She and Sachiko fell out after she'd once badmouthed Hikaru behind Sachiko's back, then later indirectly put the boy in danger twice: once by deliberately giving Sachiko the wrong time for the school students to meet up, and when Sachiko confronted her on it, acted callous and indifferent; and later through her eavesdropping daughter Eri, who chose not to inform the teachers that Hikaru was in a locked shed where he suffered an accident. However, Katakura's attitude toward Sachiko stems largely from jealousy that Sachiko appears to have a better life than her despite caring for a disabled child; we're soon shown that Katakura's (older) husband is abusive, chauvinistic, and disaffectionate toward her, and had refused to let her return to work after she had Eri.note After confessing to Wakabayashi-sensei of the state of her home life, she breaks down in tears once she returns home, scared of her husband, and thinking no one loves her.
- Nightmare Fuel: Sachiko's mother-in-law blaming the poor mother for Hikaru's outburst in the funeral, complete with a shot of her raw hate.
"It's all your fault!"
- The bullies robbing Hikaru on his way home, taking away his GPS while Hikaru panics. Not for victims of bullies, especially autistic victims.
- Tear Jerker: If this book doesn't pull at your heartstrings, then you need A LOT of help.
- Values Resonance: With subject matter like this, you'd think it was made just recently. But nope! This was written in 1999, years after Autism finally got to be recognized as a neurological disorder. Not only does it treat its subject well, it also addresses (and berates) common Japanese stereotypes related to Autism, such as the Japanese's words' meaning.note This manga's messages become more and more relevant with each passing year, especially now that the majority of people with Autism are becoming adults who may very well need support in a world that feels they either need to be fixed or that they're incapable of anything.
- Woolseyism: The Japanese children's songs were replaced with ones that would be familiar to Western readers, like "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star".