An average guy meets a popular girl, and puppy love gradually develops into a serious relationship. But when the girl falls tragically ill with leukemia, the young man must come to terms with what it truly means to love someone.
Sekai no Chuushin de, Ai wo Sakebu was published in English as Socrates in Love by VIZ Media on October 11, 2005. The same company also published the novel the manga was based on. It has furthermore been published in German, Italian, Portugese and Indonesian.
So, what can I say about this manga? It’s short, it’s touching, it’s bittersweet, it’s perfect in my eyes. The story revolves around two main characters named Saku and Aki and the relationship that develops between them. At first glance, the manga feels like your typical romantic slice of life with a normal, average guy falling in love with a cute, outgoing girl. However, this assumption that it’s a generic high school romance quickly becomes wrong as the story evolves into a melancholy, depressing, and heart wrenching tale. Never in my life have I read something that was capable of
evoking such raw and deep emotions. By the time I reached the middle of chapter four and the beginning of chapter five, I felt tears building up in my eyes and a knot swelling up in my throat, leaving my vision slightly blurry with a feeling that I was choking on the very air that I was breathing. Although I’m a guy, I’m not afraid to admit that I was deeply touched by Socrates in Love and that its tragic story has left me with a lasting impression that I will never forget.
The story and layout are really well done. There aren’t any unnecessary fillers and every part felt significant in its own way, positively contributing to the manga as a whole. What really surprised me was the pacing and it should be commended. For a manga that’s only five chapters, it didn’t feel rushed nor did the pace slow down and drag at any point. The story also throws the audience into the mix right away by letting the reader know that Aki dies on the second page and thus sets up the tragic tone in later chapters. The perspective then changes and the plot unfolds from the past to the present as the reader watches Saku and Aki’s love blossom, the time they spend together, the dramatic and painful death, and finally, a resolution after all is said and done. Every piece fell right in place and the flow was consistent throughout.
The art and character designs could be described as pretty simplistic. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of detail put into backgrounds or into the characters’ appearance. The clothing folds are simple and effective and most panels involve only dialogue with a “blank” backdrop. Some may be turned off with this kind of style but I personally loved it. Kazumi Kazui’s art is there to supplement the amazing story that Kyoichi Katayama wanted to tell. The focus didn’t need to be on fancy, complicated, and in depth details but rather what the characters were feeling on each page. Keeping this in mind, the artistic style felt perfect since Kazui did an excellent job conveying what the characters were thinking through their facial expressions.
What I think really makes me appreciate this manga is that the theme is something everyone can relate to. Having lost my best friend in my freshman year of college, I instantly sympathized with Saku’s character and knew exactly what he was going through. Accepting the fact that you will never see someone who was close and dear to you again and understanding that nothing will fill in that piece of you that you lost when that person died can be a traumatic experience for anyone. However, Socrates in Love isn’t just a tragedy about the painful endeavors involved with the innocence of teenage love. Instead, by the end of the story, another theme of accepting what happened, pushing yourself to move on, and letting go of the past emerges. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys slice of lifes with heavy emphasis on romance and tragedy, and I don’t think that any human can read this without having their feelings waver at some point.
+ An amazing story, theme, and resolution
+ Excellent art style, perfect for the type of story being told
+ Characters that one can easily relate to and sympathize with
+ Layout and pacing felt perfect
+ A highly fitting title which is explained in chapter five
This is the first tragedy that I have read that's why I have a lot of expectations. Unfortunately, most of my expectations were not met.
This is a story of two young lovers who tried to fight the impossible. The girl is sick of a fatal disease and as she struggle to live a day at a time, the boy tried his best to keep her smiles. A story that can be considered cliche nonetheless a beautiful and young love.
I did enjoy reading the story, especially the last part. But I'd say that the story is still lacking. Yes, it's heartfelt but not enough to
drive me to tears. Also, the character development is not quite amusing. It seems that during the phase of the plot, the characters are growing backwards.
I do not know if it's bad that I hoped for a lot in this manga, but one thing is for sure reading it is not by mistake.
I've read the book and I totally love it, so after I've read this manga. I don't like it so much. The story is complete, the same as the book, but I don't like the drawings. Although the story is complete, I advise against this manga, because the drawings, in my opinion, don't transmit the same emotions of the book.
Continuing my resolve to review every series I read, here's SIL.
The story is touching, sweet, and heartrending all at the same time. The story is very well done, the characters are incredibly believable. Some of the actions are a little bit of a stretch, but nothing detracts from the story.
The art is good, and the different panels effectively guide the story.
Characters are the strong point of this One off manga. They all come across as believable, and the actions of the characters follow what you would expect the characters to do. Not in a predictable, plodding way, but as yeah, I could see that
The story was enjoyable - as enjoyable as the inevietable end can make it. Overall, an uplifting story, even with the sadness from the main plot.