The Azumas are so pleased with their newborn baby, Hikaru, and they delight in their little boy. But his mother, Sachiko, soon notices that her son doesn’t behave like the other babies, and this begins her struggle to cope with a special-needs child in a society that doesn’t understand—or, seemingly, want to understand—autism. Coping with the magnitude of Hikaru’s disability is hard enough, but Sachiko must also become an advocate for her son for his schooling, health care, and even social interactions.
This is a Japanese manga unlike most others you’ve seen: this is not a slapstick gender-bending fantasy adventure, but rather a realistic, family-based story for adults. Don’t be put off because it reads “backwards”—as you get absorbed into the Azumas’ story, you’ll forget that you’re even reading it right to left.