Overall Rating: A+
Synopsis: Also known as "Crying Out Love, In the Center of the World" in Japan, this manga is an adaptation of the Japanese novel written by Kyoichi Katayama. The story follows Sakutaro "Saku" Matsumoto as he looks back on his relationship with Aki Hirose. From the beginning, we know how the story ends, with Aki's death, but the journey there is compelling and touching.
The two meet in junior high, and from the beginning have a clear connection to each other. Everyone else thinks they're dating, and it's pretty clear they both want to be with one another. They share audio diaries, go on excursions together, and enjoy summer vacation. In High School, they finally give in to their feelings, and start dating. Unfortunately, it's then that things start going wrong, Aki develops Leukemia and it doesn't look like she's getting better. Can young love survive this tragedy?
Socrates in Love made me cry. I'm struggling to describe why I like it so much without sounding cliched, but the characters and story felt real, and the relationship between Saku and Aki reminded me of how it felt to be young and in love. Despite the weighty subject matter (like I said, you know that Aki is going to die from the beginning of the book), I wanted to find out more about the characters, and found the story very engaging. This is an excellent manga, and I highly recommend it, but be prepared and have some tissues ready.