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Otoyomegatari  
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Description
From Yen Press:

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.

Note: Won the 7th annual Manga Taishou Award in 2014 and the intergénérations prize at the Angoulême International Comics Festival in 2012.

Type
Manga

Related Series
N/A

Associated Names
حكايات العروس
قصة عروس شابة
乙嫁語り
姊嫁物語
少女新娘物语
เจ้าสาวแห่งทางสายไหม
신부이야기
A Bride's Story
Aron morsiamet
Opowieść Panny Młodej
The Bride's Stories
Young Bride's Story

Groups Scanlating
Duralumin
IIChan Translation Group
Maigo
PROzess
More...

Latest Release(s)
c.48 by Duralumin (14d ago)
c.47 by Duralumin (55d ago)
c.46 by Duralumin (107d ago)
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
7 Volumes (Ongoing)

Completely Scanlated?
No

Anime Start/End Chapter
N/A

User Reviews
N/A

Forum

User Rating
Average: 9.1 / 10.0 (1322 votes)
Bayesian Average: 9.04 / 10.0
10
 55% (725 votes)
9+
 21% (279 votes)
8+
 14% (182 votes)
7+
 5% (66 votes)
6+
 2% (21 votes)
5+
 1% (14 votes)
4+
 1% (8 votes)
3+
 0% (6 votes)
2+
 0% (4 votes)
1+
 1% (17 votes)

Last Updated
August 16th 2015, 9:13pm PST


Genre

Categories

Category Recommendations

Recommendations

Author(s)

Artist(s)

Year
2008

Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Fellows! (Enterbrain)
Harta (Enterbrain)

Licensed (in English)
Yes

English Publisher
Yen Press (6 Volumes - Ongoing)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #113 decreased(-7)
Monthly Pos #85 increased(+12)
3 Month Pos #101 increased(+1)
6 Month Pos #73 decreased(-13)

List Stats
On 5433 reading lists
On 2101 wish lists
On 115 unfinished lists
On 748 custom lists

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Forum Posts
manga discussion 1584 days, 2 hours, 22 minutes ago

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]
 

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Wonderful Depiction of Central Asia   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by mikako17
July 16th, 2015, 11:07am
I didn't want to review this before I had finished reading the series, but upon seeing AquarianDemocrat's comment I felt like I had to say something.

A few of AquarianDemcrocat's comments make sense if you're looking at this manga through a strictly Western, and modern, sense of ethics/morals and are not willing to keep an open mind about the culture you're reading about. I'm not defending slavery, war, and etc, but Mori is depicting this time, which is 19th century not 12th or 16th, and place as many then would have seen it.

The main point of Otoyomegatari seems to be portraying the culture of the people of 19th Century Central Asia. It is a portrayal that doesn't judge the culture nor does it complicate it by creating problems.

There are issues raised, but they are handled well, the characters are not smiling happily while they defend their homes, nor are they all giggling when they marry, the characters deal with what happens to them and move on. There's no dwelling on lost loves, lost lives, and etc because first of all, realistically, they couldn't and secondly the point of the manga is culture.

I'll admit that there are many happy endings, but that just contributes to helping a reader understand the culture and not judge it. I believe Mori would rather readers try to understand the culture then judge than judge and not try to understand and therefore went this route. And I have to say, she does it beautifully and wonderfully. It is very educational as a previous comment said.

As someone who comes from culture that has bride prices and polygamy who grew up with modern Western values I spent a long time detesting it all before I tried understanding it. And yes, I still have issues with them, especially polygamy in these times, but now that I have learned about my culture I understand it and do not detest it.

So my advice to readers is to give it try, keep an open mind, and just enjoy the lovely art. Also keep in mind that this manga is 19th century, which is 1800's, so not that long ago in our history.
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I know what (AquarianDemocrat) mean BUT...   
Rating: N/A
by calla
June 17th, 2015, 7:49am
At first, when I read the comment by AquarianDemocrat I was a little bit upset, because if you don't like the manga you should state what exactly you hate but not advice readers to throw the whole manga away.
I agree with you that the manga a little bit (maybe a lot) gives this flowery feeling that those people were blessed with happiness and have little in life to worry about. It didn't show any kind of conflict between the family or neighbours (aside of what happened with Amira's family) and you can't see any evilness or someone with bad intentions.. being poor and having rough life is the most thing one would be concerned of in those parts, and they still enjoy it.
I agree with all that, BUT at least you could enjoy what the manga has to offer. It gives you a good idea of countries you know little about, and you would at least know what kind of life they are living which is completely different from the readers lifestyle. And if the manga don't offer anything other than the art I would enjoy it like no other. The art is glorious and detailed so much that you can at least compliment the mangaka for it.
What really ticked me off with it, and made me write this review, was the story of Ankara. I would accept the happy-go-lucky woman who is seeking a friend for life (though that ritual was strange for me, even though I'm from the middle east I never heard of it) I can also accept offering her friend as a second wife to her husband, strange as it is, its still possible as I've heard of similar incidents in our life. But to have a happy ever after to that story is a little bit going over board.. I was waiting for little conflicts, or at least to see some changes in her life after her husband married her friend, but no no no, every one is happy and everything is perfectly great.
In conclusion, this is not a manga about how true life is, it's a manga to show you traditions and lifestyle of rural countries. Enjoy the art and that is enough.
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i have no idea WTH AquarianDemocrat is talking about   
Rating: N/A
by catshannah
June 1st, 2015, 3:10am
this manga is not disturbing in anyway at all. and this is coming from someone from the middle east.
i have know idea what (s)he is talking about.

of course there was slavery, forced marriages, wars and all the other sad stuff in the middle east (like any other part of the world) but if people believe that they all had happy endings like in this manga then it's their own fault and stupidity. no war has ever had a happy ending for anyone, no slave wanted to serve his/her master, and no woman wanted to marry anyone against her own will. if anyone thinks other than that then it's their own problem. but this manga is a seinen/shoujo, what do you expect?! people to die, rape, and fight? gosh grow up teens are going to be reading this.

and wth is disturbing about happy endings?!

it was a very nice manga, and quite educational actually. as a persian i had no idea about the sisterhood thing but then i read it in this manga and have been bugging my friends to do it with me since (they probably wont, the cold blooded monsters).

the details, god the details. they were beautiful. never had i seen a manga with such gorgeous art *-* seeing all the stuff i see almost everyday in shops drawn so beautifully in a 'japanese manga' made me appreciate it so much XD

fun fact : anis means someone who is very close and dear to you , shirin means sweet. the mangaka actually studied middle east names for this manga and i could not express how happy i was when i read it ^^

anyway, a very nice read. 10/10 (obviously)
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Lovely stories   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by DorkFishOK
April 22nd, 2015, 7:50pm
Really, I don't understand AT ALL what the previous review is talking about. THIS IS ABOUT HISTORY OF COURSE THERE WILL BE SAD PARTS. It's cute and there's a cheerfulness to the relationships between families but tragedy is a part of history as much as comedy is. How is that disturbing? I find the kind of history classes they must have taken disturbing if this is what they pull from the manga.

This story is slice of life, it's multiple stories of people woven with their daily thoughts and moments, and it's these moments, these attention to detail (as can be seen through the artwork) that makes this manga so brilliant. Often in historical manga or books they leave out all the fine details and moment to moment lives of regular people in that period, while Otoyomegatari focuses on the lives of normal, everyday people and taking these little details to make them unique and likable. You see at once the differences and similarities between yourself and them through this.

I think it's easy to have this lense and judgement in our modern day society and often history is filtered through that. The things we find uncomfortable were normal, everyday things for the people who lived before us-and it's easy to get caught up in the age gap and other such things we deem "evil" and unacceptable. However, it's important to remember that these things happened, frequently, and if we put ourselves in their shoes, really, and let go of all biases you start to see the amazing stories and people this manga is about. I would say this is very educational, especially from an anthropological as well as historical standpoint. You have to let go of any biases you have to understand that these are CULTURAL and TIME PERIOD differences, normal in any Anthropology or History class. At this point you can probably tell I'm mostly speaking to the comment below me, but I feel it's important to clarify the difference between being offended based on personal biases and disliking something simply because it is not good quality. THIS is an amazing manga, it's quite a lovely experience.
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My apologies to the people of twelfth century Mongolia   
Rating: N/A
by AquarianDemocrat
April 17th, 2015, 10:48pm
(Against the avalanche of positive reviews, I strongly urge you to read this one before picking up this series. Because I regret ever picking it up, and urge anyone in search of anything this manga purports to provide to look elsewhere.)

Otoyomegatari is a manga about life on the Mongolian steppes. As you may have gathered from the tags, or the description, it attempts to be a "cute" upbeat story. There is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with the premise (well, maybe a little bit -- we'll get to that.) The way the manga is executed however, which may seem innocuous at first, becomes extremely disturbing in later volumes. To explain how and why, we'll need a little more context.

Otoyomegetari has a shifting point of view. It does not just cover one couple, either, or one family, or even one village, but attempts to be a sweeping portrait of different lifestyles across Asia and eastern Europe during this period. The first couple it portrays is a newly arranged marriage in a small village on the Mongolian steppes (arranged marriage may not be a particularly cheerful subject, but they like each other well enough and the respective families that negotiated the marriage are both more or less good people in their own ways, so all in all a pretty cheerful set up.)

(Stick with me, I swear this is going somewhere.)

As was mentioned, you might imagine this is not a particularly gritty portrayal of what small time village life on the Mongolian steppes actually looked like -- and you would be *mostly* right. Disease is virtually not existent, the deaths can be counted on one hand (and only happen to villains anyways.) Everyone is sparkly clean, daily village work is portrayed as a fun collective task.

The problem is that this manga does not contain itself to being a happy go lucky story set in some parallel universe sixteenth century Mongolia where everyone is civilized and there are no problems. Very real problems are introduced, such as war, poverty, slavery, the lack of rights for women (in some chapters they're bought and sold like cattle), polygamy, and other issues.

The problem is there is *no* tonal shift whatsoever. I mean that in the worst possible way you can imagine. All these serious issues show up at various points, but never is there the slightest hint that maybe any of these horrible, horrible events could possibly be wrong. The series, impossibly, keeps its upbeat attitude, and ends up portraying all of these ugly aspects of the medieval world as "fun" and "quirky" aspects of its happy-go-lucky self.

I can not stress enough how disturbing I found this in later volumes. Slavery? Oh so fun. Don't you know all slaves just wanted to help and serve their masters, just like all those adorkable manga maids? War? Haha those silly Russians never learn. Famine and disease? Dohoho, look at how cute these people terrified from dying of incurable diseases are. Polygamy and literal harems? Obviously a consensual joy for all involved.

This is like the evil alternate universe version of Leave It To Beaver. I'm half expecting a chapter about how much of a silly fun fun fest the bubonic plague was.

The mangaka's completely uncritical, un-ironic, and upbeat portrayal of the ugliest aspects of medieval civilization (or lack thereof) is extremely disturbing. Some of the things that happen in this manga are horrifying, and should make you step back and gasp but instead are portrayed happily as part of the most f***ed up sitcom on earth. I wish I could go apologize to all the people who lived through these horrors, 'cause this is just complete disrespect.

If you want a happy, upbeat romance let me give you a few suggestions off the top of my head; Akagami no Shirayukihime (look, its even another medieval-style fantasy), Boku wa Hajikko ga Suki, Shiawase Kissa 3-choume. There's tons more out there. Just do yourself a favor and turn around and go read something else. Anything else. 'Cause this is crap.

(P.S. The fact that anyone called this manga "educational" is a huge joke.)

... Last updated on April 18th, 2015, 12:14pm
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Wow...   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by JetGT
February 28th, 2015, 8:48pm
Okay, I admitted. I have not seen a manga that has this much attention to detail. The art is just absolutely stunning and incredibly well drawn. Mori Kaoru is truly an artist, bringing colors to a slice of life story.
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Masterpiece   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by moonmystery
November 18th, 2014, 6:02pm
The art in this manga is simply beautiful... This isn't just a story, it is a piece of art --and an amazing one at that.

Such beauty deserves to be seen, and i would recommend this to anyone, guys and girls alike. The story is grounded in reality, with art that surpasses any that i've previously seen.

This is simply a masterpiece.
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THE DETAILS   
Rating: N/A
by daliagsa
July 14th, 2014, 6:00pm
Ok this is my first review this manga is amazing it really gives you the feeling they used to have at that time and it pictures the struggles between the couple in a cute way the only thing I can say is amir's name... because in arabic it means prince.
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Life on the plains of Central Asia   
Rating: 3.0 / 10.0
by Ed U. Manga
June 28th, 2014, 6:24am
Painstakingly researched portrayal of different lifestyles in Central Asia during the 19th century. Be it marriage, clan resolutions and territorial disputes or hunting, bread baking and needlework - no matter how mundane they seem, Mori Kaoru depicts them down to the smallest detail. And it is this unerring accuracy that brings her work to life. The atmosphere is so rich that one feels like a member of the settled families or the restless nomads.

Highly educational/ non-instructive: ★★★

... Last updated on January 20th, 2015, 9:42am
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Not just a simple manga   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by hurafloyd
May 14th, 2014, 7:58am
I've been holding out reading this manga almost for a year already and today I decided to take it up. If you already knew about middle eastern cultures then you can already acknowledge the unknown beauty and deepness of the story laid out in this manga. I fell in love with this story since chapter 1 and while reading through out the chapters I realized that I've been reading too much crap lately.

When I came to chapter 13 I, a constant traveler as I've been for the past 8 years, felt an immediate connection of those "fated" encounters you have while travelling (and sometimes we sadly disregard as random). This chapter made me stand up and write this comment for other people to read and recommend this manga as a very rare jewel. I have no doubts that, even if the pace is quite slow from the start for some and no "mission to accomplish" can be ascertained while reading, a sense of "reading pleasure" will get to you.
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