A Bride's Story

Alt title: Otoyomegatari

Vol: 13+; Ch: 103+
2008 - ?
4.55 out of 5 from 1,128 votes
Rank #415
A Bride's Story

Amira Hergal is a twenty year old woman who has travelled across the mountains near the Caspian sea in order to wed Karluk Ayhan, a young boy eight years her junior. Despite being far from her own village, Amira is a hard working girl who is eager to please and happily adapting to life in her new home. Now she lives a peaceful life with her new family, from going to meet Karluk’s nomadic uncle and baking bread to amazing the villagers with her archery skills. But when her old family decides to reclaim Amira and have her marry another man who will be more beneficial to the village, it seems her happy life with Karluk could be at an end...

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This slice-of-life historical fiction drama series is probably not for everyone, but undeniably it is visually one of the best. Personally, I consider it to be the best art among hundreds of manga series, which I have seen so far. What I really like how visually heavy is the story telling. It has panels where no words are uttered for example, when characters are hunting. The inner thoughts are expressed visually quite often. It’s more like watching a movie than reading book. The drawing is very detailed from various carpentry, embroidery, ornaments and animals – horses, birds, goats, sheep, falcon. In my not so humble opinion when it comes to animals and clothes this series stands above all. It’s the number one. The human characters preserve distinct manga feel still. It’s that good. The story is set in the 19th century Turkmenistan (central Asia) and few other countries. I can’t ascertain how much historically accurate it is, but I’ve heard the settings are pretty accurate. It seems to focus on freshly married couple with unusual age gap, because the bride is young adult woman Amira (20) and groom Karluk is boy (12) just on verge of journey to grow into an adult man. There is also a cultural gap as well, because Karluk lives in a city and Amira is from nomadic clan – skilled with bow, riding horse, different clothing style, etc. However, the story is just not about them. The story includes wider family of Karluk and Amira. There is bit slower parallel story about young English adventurer Henry Smith [1], who is visiting the region. Various additional stories and characters are introduced thanks to him as is he traveling through the area. He is the bridge which connects everything in the series together. The story seems in the beginning to be just about single family, but it’s soon expanded with a story about two lively twin girls Laila and Leily [2], young wife of rich man Anize and few others [3]. While there are parts regarding men, the story shows more perspective of women. Just beware the true last boss of the series is the grandma [4]. Despite the series not being an action oriented it has some conflicts and action segments. There are rumours of war. It also contains some nudity i.e. women bathing. Overall, a superb series, highly recommended. I enjoyed it way more than I initially expected. Well-deserved 10/10. It shows traditional culture and can be pretty wholesome, despite some dramatic moments. At least this is how I see the series. One more important thing. If you are going to collect physical volumes highly recommend to buy “the wide edition*”. It’s very expansive, but totally worth it imho. Release frequency for new volume: expect more than a year waiting. *ワイド片 Japanese difficulty 6/10 (see my profile for details about various difficulty scores) The series doesn’t contain that much text, but it’s adult series mostly without furigana except for some more uncommon words and kanji. It contains lot of theme specific language (horse riding, animals, embroidery, etc.) and some technical terminology concerning producing photography, but doesn’t have old character forms as far as I can remember. I think it’s only slightly above average difficulty 6/10. This review is written after reading 13 volumes (all existing at the time). Spoilers [1] On his way to Ankara he meets widow Talas, which falls in love with him. He promises to marry her. [2] This story follows them as they enter into marriage with two brothers. [3] Socially awkward girl Pariya and her journey towards marriage. Smith’s guide, an ex-soldier and Smith’s friend and even his relatives. [4] She saves child from falling off the cliff and even kills or rather finishes father of Amira after he instigates attack on the city.

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