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- © Kaoru Mori / Yen Press
- Manga Score: 8.56
- Author: Kaoru Mori
- Publisher: Yen Press
- Volumes: 13
- DB title: Otoyomegatari
- Rating: 16 and up
- Genres: Award WinningRomanceSlice of LifeHistoricalSeinen
A Bride's Story
Acclaimed creator Kaoru Mori (Emma, Shirley) brings the nineteenth-century Silk Road to lavish life, chronicling the story of Amir Halgal, a young woman from a nomadic tribe betrothed to a twelve-year-old boy eight years her junior. Coping with cultural differences, blossoming feelings for her new husband, and expectations from both her adoptive and birth families, Amir strives to find her role as she settles into a new life and a new home in a society quick to define that role for her.
Nov 21, 2010
14 of ? chapters read
179 people found this review helpfulPreliminary
I cant really judge the art, but for sure it has rich details and all look so beautiful, not in a common way, its more like.. noble ish, cant really describe it, beyond outstanding, for me thats 10/10.
The characters are other very strong point, they live in the central asia, and are adept of many customs and a very strict culture, but isnt like thats a problem for them, for example, girls fully accept arranged marriage, they do it happily, they live happily, you cant look at them with your modern mind, you must go back and accept their cultural formation of that time, the manga itself sort of make you do that, in general, theyre all prideful and very honest, and that is what can maybe be the only fault, even when each character have its own uniqueness, theyre all equal in pride for their families and righteousness, you really cant tell who is the main character, the development is amazing for each one, even the small part such as a kid making her sewing jobs for marriage shows so much about her mind, personality and culture, or a brother trying to raid a village to get his sister home, the author put their actions in a way that you can see their souls and minds! I can write about them all night long! so detailed and interesting, 9/10!
I could be misunderstanding but the story does not focus on the initial couple like the synopsis says, it tells their story at first, but as the time goes, they start talking about the surrounding characters, always centering in the marriage subject, its just as the title says, "stories of brides", one story lead to another and it keep going like that, while romance is kind of weak here, the slice of life part is wonderful, it gives the same chill feeling i got reading spice and wolf, definitely a great read if you like to observe things, actions, and if you like to think about human mind affected by culture, idealism, and ideology, 10/10.
For enjoyment, ill say it again, if youre an observer type person, this was made for you, i enjoyed every part of it! 10/10
This is my first review, and i have just read this manga, but i had such a great time doing it, that i want more people to do the same!
overall 9/10 read more
Apr 6, 2013
28 of ? chapters read
Overall Rating: 10
85 people found this review helpfulPreliminary
This manga is all about simplicity conveyed in a subtle, mesmerizing way. It tells the stories of everyday people in Central Asia in the 19th century, focusing primarly on an unusual newlyweds couple and their families. The manga begins with a 20 year old girl that marries a younger groom through an arranged engagement. At first their interaction is a little awkward since there is an 8 year difference in age, but quite soon, Amira and Karluk become fond of each other, forming a strong bond. Amira is soon accepted in Karluk's warm-hearted family. The plot of Otoyomegatari is episodic, showing different aspects from different angles of the towns folk way of living.
There are also a few larger story lines, such as the arrival of Amira's nomadic family that want her to marry another for political reasons, as well as Henry Smith's (the foreign guest of Karluk's family) departure and journey back home, and his encounter with a mysterious, beautiful woman (which in my opinion is the most compelling and heart-breaking story until now).
The degree of knowledge and historical accuracy is as impressive as ever, coming from the mangaka of Emma, Kaoru Mori-sensei. Her portrayal of the culture, the tradition and cuisine is remarkable. The dedication she puts in every detail, such as a complex turkic embroidery, that is passed from generation to generation, in order to accumulate more knowledge of the patterns and make it in your own style. As well as the depiction of a carving master at work, producing real wonders from wood, passing down his wisdom to an interested kid. All those little gems do not drag the story, but enhances its beauty.
Simple things such as a woman singing in a field, the threads of a woman's hair caught by mistake, a gentle hand removing the tangled hair, the making of an embroidery, covering someone up with a blanket or the carving of wood, they are all gestures of kindness and affection towards nature, towards art or the person you love. They are gracefully portrayed by the skillful hands of the mangaka. They all seem like verses from a poem taking lives of their own in sensei's drawings.
In my opinion, the character of Amira is one of the most vibrant, charismatic female characters in recent years. Her mesmerizing, strong-willed personality left a powerful impression on me. Amira may seem the perfect wife, she is talented at embroidery and cooking, she is also caring and loving, but at times out of concern for Karluk she worries too much. Uncommon for women in that period of time, she is independent and self-sufficient, showing talent for hunting, as well as understanding the equilibrium in nature, feeling at home among the wildlife, and connecting with it on a deeper level.
Karluk's character is very mature for his age, showing an adult's wisdom and determination, as well as courage when Amira is taken back by her family. There is also the intriguing character of Henry Smith, who is a traveler and researcher of distant cultures. He is often the comic relief in this manga, but at times he shows another side of himself, a more serious, melancholic side, which makes him more mysterious. His story after his departure showed that he is a profound person. There are also charming supporting characters, such as Pariya, who has a tsundere personlity, which is also the cause of her not finding suitors, since in that period they were very important for becoming a respectable woman in the society. Her reactions are also a comic relief, especially her outspokenness and her embarrassment that follows soon after, which are lovely.
I highly enjoyed this manga, and after reading it for almost 2 years I still can't get enough. It is my type of manga, so I recommend to those who like slice of life and historical mangas, for the action-loving readers it may not be for you, but the quality of the writing may just fascinate you enough not to let the manga out of your hand.
Overall: 10 read more