- Mangaka : Nikaidou, Kou
- Publisher : Kodansha USA
- Genre : Comedy, Slice-of-life, Seinen
- Published : November 2021
When it comes to reading manga, variety is the key for long lasting enjoyment. After all, you can't keep on reading fast-paced shounen or emotionally taxing seinen all the time, right? There will be a time when all you need is just a slow and sweet manga to soothe your weary bones. And that is what "With You And The Rain" has to offer.
While going home from work in the middle of a rainy day, a woman encounters what appears to be a dog left inside a box on the side of the road. She isn't actually sure whether it's a dog or not, but it certainly looks cute.
Unfortunately, she doesn't have the time for pets right now, but just before she moves on, the dog holds out a paper and starts to pitch himself to her. "I'm easy to care for," says the sign and then the dog hands out a folding umbrella to the woman. "Wow, you're a talented pup, aren't you? Wanna go home with me?" she finally asks. He is actually a Tanuki, but none of that matters to both of them. After all, neither of their lives will be lonely from now on.
1. Short and Sweet
The first volume of With You And The Rain has 23 chapters in it. The reason why it has so many chapters is because each one is only about four to five pages long. The story in every chapter is about the interactions between the smart Tanuki and his owner.
They visit the vet together, she lets the neighbor's kid play with the Tanuki in the park, they go to a festival and watch beautiful fireworks together, etc. This manga is filled with nothing but sweet and wholesome moments that are presented in a short and direct manner.
2. Beautiful Art With Lots of Humor
Every panel in With You And The Rain is beautifully drawn. That allows you to clearly see every delicate detail in the scenes. The story may sound simple and sometimes even hard to believe, but the amazingly realistic art is there to ground it back to reality and make everything seem believable.
The art needs to do that job because the best and most hilarious part of the story is actually quite unbelievable. And that part is the fact that the tanuki can understand what people are saying and then write down his replies. His owner will give him a snack and he will write down "Thank You" on the notepad with a marker. Not only that, he can also ask her what she actually does for a living.
And the way the woman simply brushes the whole thing off with, "Wow, you're talented," is just hilarious. Not only that - the way both the pet and the owner are so insistent that he is actually just a mixed-breed dog instead of a Tanuki every time anybody asks what kind of animal he is leads to just pure chaos and hysterical moments.
1. Nameless Protagonist
You may notice that this review always refers to the owner as "the woman" - well, that is because both of the main characters in this series have yet to reveal their names. They simply call each other "you" all the time.
Don't get us wrong - it adds its own unique charm to the story, but it also creates a kind of disconnect with the reader. Because instead of reading about someone we care about, it ends up feeling like looking through the daily life of a stranger.
2. The Lack of a Continuous Narrative
Every chapter in With You And The Rain contains its own moments within the daily lives of both the woman and the Tanuki, but there's no actual continuous narrative that ties the whole thing together. Everything is just random events in their daily lives.
Not to say that it is bad; after all, that is pretty much how "The Way Of The Househusband" works and it has been quite successful to this day. But it would be nicer if there was something that linked the individual chapters together. That way, the readers would have something to look forward to other than just a collection of wholesome moments between a Tanuki and his owner.
With You And The Rain offers a thoroughly enjoyable reading experience that will fill you with smiles and giggles when you read it. This is the kind of manga that you should read if you want to simply relax and enjoy your down time. Sure, there are things that could be improved upon, but that is something that can be easily fixed in the future releases. Overall, this is a very solid first volume.
And there you have it, folks. Have you read With You And The Rain? If you have, what do you think about it? Did you enjoy it as much as we did? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.