Otoyomegatari Manga Review
Love is like a storm, it rages through the clearest sky when we least expect it. Whether we want it to or not.
Prepare to leave for the nineteenth century silk road, the greatest Eastern trade route of the world. It is home to many nomad tribes and their lavish life, rich in traditions and history. You will follow the chronicles of Amira Halgal, a 20 year old woman. She is betrothed to a 12 year old boy of another tribe. The girl will strive to find her place in the new society as stories of love and life get intertwined under an exotic sky. Will this manga be worth the whole journey in these far away lands? Let us find out.
What follows is my exotic review of this unknown gem, Otoyomegatari (aka Bride Stories). A historical/romance/slice of life seinen manga by the artist Kaoru Mori. It’s my intention to make this a more known work as it does deserve that. We’ll analyze Art, Characters, Immersion, Story and Personal Enjoyment of this work
Art of Otoyomegatari
I wouldn’t normally need to explain this point as it is more than self explanatory. I feel very sorry for this guy because he goes insane on all the details and everything beautifully drawn…everything. Kaoru Mori is an artist not a mangaka, only one or two manga I know can compare with such magnificence. Every single human being shown in the series has ethnic robes with unique motifs and patterns, the character design is various and includes what is probably the best diversity of faces I’ve ever seen. I’m not one who values graphics and art too much but in this manga is serious business.
Characters of Otoyomegatari
It’s painfully obvious how Otoyomegatari should also have excellent characters right ? Yes Indeed. Even though we come across archetype characters at times, the way they are developed and characterized is generally likeable. You feel attached to the characters and their stories, their lives and what they are put through. We are not talking of absurd psychological profiles, no it’s the simplicity and realism that the manga fares excellently once again.
Immersion of Otoyomegatari
If half of Otoyomegatari is about the relationships between the characters, the other half is about the immersion in the places where these lives are experienced. We’re talking about one of the most original and inspiring setting I have ever seen, an unspecified country not too far from Turkey. The tribal customs and traditions, foods, robes and artistically production of those people living in nothing more than a group of tents surrounded by an colors and decorations with kids playing, women hunting down the animals for dinner, the husbands trading and managing their families. Everyone is an irreplaceable part of this micro society, in a time and place where simplicity was the glasses they looked at the world through.
Story and Pacing of Otoyomegatari
Otoyomegatari is still ongoing and there is no hint that it’s gonna end any time soon but there is enough stuff for a general estimation. Although it’s more character driven, the story is about the life of the people of the nomad tribes situated somewhere in the Silk Road. As a seinen there are some controversial and mature theme (like the age of male protagonist) but it’s never vulgar or fan service. The way the romance is dealt with is lovable and intriguing, it never bores. Those times were never pacific and the various tribes usually had military quarrels, people died of illness and accidents, love was often a matter of interests and business
Personal Enjoyment of Otoyomegatari
Otoyomegatari is one of those undiscovered gems we can rely on when we we’re out of good stuff to watch/read. It’s overall a unique and highly educational work that gives us a breathtaking art and environment, characters and stories that are pretty easy to get into in their simple yet rewarding progression. If you look for something different and watching Fairy Tail/SAO is not what you think is quality time, then it could give some surprise. I’d like to see more works of Kaoru Mori in the future with his brilliant art and pretty unique stories.
Overall Score 8.5/10 (Waiting for it to end for the real score)
– Humble Reaper from Anime Amino, Italy (Sicily)