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Sora wa Akai Kawa no Hotori  
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Yuri, a modern day teenager who had just received her first kiss, is suddenly whisked away to ancient Anatolia where an evil queen wants her for a blood sacrifice. Luckily, the timely intervention of Prince Kail saves Yuri from the queen's grasp. For now. Kail promises to send Yuri back to her home, but the queen's persistent schemes to kill them both, plus their growing interest in each other, keep those plans delayed.

Note: Contains a side story called Orontes Renka that is published in the final volume (28) of Anatolia Story, which is set in the same historic period.

In 2001 this series won the Shogakukan Manga Award for shoujo.


Related Series

Associated Names
Anatolia Story
Dòng Sông Huyền Bí
Heaven Is Beside the Red River
Il Cielo Vicino al Fiume Rosso
Orontes Renka
Pulang Ilog
Red River
The Sky Is at the Banks of the Red River
The Sky Is Near the Red River
The Sky Is the Red River
Красная река (история Анатолии)
하늘은 붉은 강가

Groups Scanlating
Datenshi Blue
Endless Dimension
Friendship Scans

Latest Release(s)
v.28 c.Sidestory 1 by Friendship Scans over 6 years ago
v.23 by Shoujoshare over 10 years ago
v.23 c.1 by Midnight Scans over 10 years ago
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
28 Volumes (Complete)
16 Volumes (Bunkoban)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter

User Reviews

6 topics, 27 posts
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User Rating
Average: 8.6 / 10.0 (1315 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.55 / 10.0
 45% (593 votes)
 19% (249 votes)
 15% (201 votes)
 9% (113 votes)
 4% (56 votes)
 2% (31 votes)
 1% (19 votes)
 1% (11 votes)
 1% (11 votes)
 2% (31 votes)

Last Updated
July 21st 2018, 8:56am PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Sho-Comi (Shogakukan)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher
Viz (28 Volumes - Complete)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #162 decreased(-30)
Monthly Pos #99 decreased(-18)
3 Month Pos #81 decreased(-10)
6 Month Pos #65 decreased(-31)
Year Pos #43 decreased(-16)

List Stats
On 1478 reading lists
On 1320 wish lists
On 2812 completed lists
On 199 unfinished lists
On 668 custom lists

Note: You must be logged in to update information on this page.

Forum Posts
Side-Novel? Gaiden? 9 months ago
Why is it a tragedy? over 2 years ago
Red River Paradox over 2 years ago
D'''= *spoilers* over 4 years ago
What if... over 6 years ago

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]

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Horrible Characters, but Entertaining and Interesting   
Rating: 6.0 / 10.0
by gloriousmangalover
December 26th, 2018, 12:36am
Let's be frank here: Red River was made during a younger, less progressive time in the world, which honestly shows with the genuine lack of basic social decency evident everywhere in the manga.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
In total, I believe it was four guys that tried or did rape Yuri. Her supposedly good love interest, Kail, tried once, and it was completely glossed over. Actually, it was one legitimate time where she was explicitly saying no, but in literally all of their smut scenes (which are scattered but fairly plentiful in comparison to other shoujos), she says "wait" or "stop" or "no", and yet he just completely ignores her. It honestly made me vastly uncomfortable, but I suppose one that the manga just was a product of a time where "no means yes" mentality was common and accepted. However, that doesn't really excuse that he tried to rape her for real, and that time she was very, very strongly against it, but her handmaidens tried to ignore it at first and then she just drops the subject forever after being saved? The entire manga just glided past that moment, and Yuri just kept on stormin' on without any regard to literally all the rapey stuff going on. It sends a terrible message to younger readers (which is why this should be marketed as a josei instead of a shoujo). He even tried to rape her when they first met, but it was written off as "okay" or "excused" when he stopped because she said she liked someone already. WTF? He should've stopped because she said no, not because she already liked someone. That's basically saying that if she was single but still against having sex with him, he could have raped her and that would be the end of it.

Also, about the other rapists, one of them literally could not control his mind, but the other two were in-love-but-not-really with her and tried to express their interest in her by forcing her to have sex with them. Even then, the two, the Prince of Darkness and Ramses (who tried several times, let us not forget), somehow were both regarded by Yuri in the end as a friend worthy of respect. I'm sorry, but what? That's insane. Perhaps that happens for some rapists and victims of rape, but even I, an arguably stupid person, cannot even begin to fathom the amount of destruction and impact that readers are forced to endure. So, yeah, there is a lot of horrible stuff that goes on inside this manga that never gets addressed and is probably only there for dramatic effect. It's a terrible strategy and adds nothing to the plot besides horrifying its readers, but I suppose that one must forgive the times and move on.

However, despite its social issue problems, it still has honestly very frustrating, hypocritical, and badly-developed characters.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Kail is the worst love interest I've seen in a while. Besides being a rapist, he also happens to be only interested in her for sex. I read this manga a while back and just recently re-read it, and now I can see clearly that in every single scene they have together, he ends up trying to pressure her into sex. It's kind of ridiculous how horny he is for her. But I will give him some credit here: He does seem to care quite a bit about her. He wants her to be happy, physically hurts when she isn't there, and constantly pushes her to be her best, even if she isn't prepared for it. I did feel that the mangaka tried to put him on a pedastal too often by juxtaposing Yuri's innocence with his sexual maturity or political savvy, which glorified his worser actions and made Yuri seem like the stupid or wrong one even when she wasn't, but I digress.
Kail, at times, could be cold and uncaring, but he was, ultimately, a pretty solid, moral character and someone strong for Yuri to partner with.

Yuri herself was a pretty emotionally strong female character. Many people have said she's rather unrealistically strong, given her age and her several accomplishments, but you have to consider how she was forced into her situation and still was able to make the best of it. The mangaka handled a lot of the emotional turmoil that Yuri had to go through nicely. However, there were some points that I felt the author completely glossed over and only added in for dramatic or shocking effect when she could have harnessed it to groom Yuri's rapid and ever-changing character development. Nevertheless, Yuri's humble, kind, mature character is a fairly good role model for all female readers to follow.

I did not care too much for the side characters, as there was a large cast of them. Several of their storylines felt unnecessary or rushed at points,
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
especially Rafael's love for Yuri and Ursula's death
. But I will give the author some credit, as she was able to incorporate quite a large amount of characters with ease and still introduce them at appropriate times. As for the villains, the mangaka was really good about giving them emotional backgrounds and histories. Though some smaller characters and 'evil' characters may not have had too much time, they still seemed like real people with emotions and histories hidden within themselves.

Besides some of the complaints I have against the social issues and the characters, the manga is overall a very long epic with really interesting arcs, engaging dialogue, and a hard-to-put-down aura. The mangaka has really amazing storytelling skills, for sure. The bits of history infused with battles, romances, heavy suspense, and a large amount of magic were incredible! Though there are still some points that I felt she could have expanded on
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
(for instance, Kai's magic and the magic system in general)
, it was still a very smooth, almost flawless storyline. For once, I couldn't identify any immediate plot holes or inconsistencies because the author covered it all.

(TL;DR) Conclusively, I cannot recommend this manga in good conscience, especially to a younger audience. Though this is definitely considered one of the most famous, classic staple pieces of historical romance mangas, it has many character flaws that were poorly addressed, several missed opportunities that made for a bad world building and emotionless build-ups, and a horrid view on literally basic human rights. But it does have a very engaging story with several well-executed and enormously interesting arcs, a strong female character (which is a lot more than every single shoujo out there), and very clean art. Therefore, 6/10.

... Last updated on December 26th, 2018, 7:27pm
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Rating: N/A
by narutomaki324
May 26th, 2017, 10:51pm
at this point i cant helped but be pissed about how many guys fall in love kiddnap and try to rape the girl. i thought the girl would be strong but she NEVER fights back against them. and she even always forgives them. she is SO naive!! a good story with plot ruined as always with naive shoujo girl that everyone falls in love with.
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Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
by blackluna
November 28th, 2016, 11:25am
While Anatolia Story is definitely a classic historical shoujo manga, anyone looking for a strictly historical story will disappointed: the author did use her artistic license. Even ignoring the existence of magic which begets the story and other small factors, there are quite a few things that payed history little to no heed.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Mursili II actually had a mere two wives: a little less monogamous than in the story. Yuri is actually based on Puduhepa, a priestess of Ishtar, wife to one Mursili II's sons, and one of the more influential women of the ancient Middle East. The Ramses occurring in the story is Ramses I, who would have been an aged general on good terms with the pervious Pharaoh and father to several sons. The Hebrews would either have still been slaves in Egypt or the Exodus could have been several generations previous (as early as Thutmose II), in either case their complete absence is conspicuous, though perhaps the author wanted to avoid trouble. However, since prior to archeological discoveries of the nineteenth century, modern civilization only knew of the Hittites through their complementary appearance in the Bible, their complete omission does strike me as a bit... off.
That said, there are plenty of good historical details and it is not as though the changes are coming from no where. (A few quick searches on Wikipedia will tell you a lot, and the single-ancient-world-language thing is to simplify story-telling.) These changes do, however, make for a good story. E.g. instead of the historical Mursili II, Shinohara gives us Kail Mursili. Anatolia Story is more of a tale occurring around the time of Mursili II than anything else.

As for the sort of story it is, this manga is a historical romance centred on the growth of Yuri. All in all, Shinohara did a good job in presenting her growth from school girl to leader, but there are a few problems. (Let's leave the artwork out of this since it works and has a classic feel that's mostly an acquired taste.) First, there is no variation in the source of problems: the antagonist is tediously consistent, which also makes the motives and so on far too predicable (considering that, there is a fair bit of variation, but not in the general scheme of things).
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Then there is the fact that about two-thirds of the important male characters, and even a female character, are attracted to Yuri in some capacity. Considering the size of the cast, it's absurd! And whether it's drug induced or not, attempted rape occurs too many times on her, as though it were away to increase drama, and somehow she never has any psychological mal-effects. And then there's the ridiculous-out-of-the-blue attempt by Kail. Her tantrum after Ursula's self-sacrifice and bizarre way she reacts to Kail's reaction to her pregnancy are a bit much. There was also the unexplained magical way she learns the language, a final and wholly superfluous death, and a second "epilogue" which attempts to tie the story back into a history it was never wholly part of.
To sum the issues up: considering its length, its one antagonist is too few and its reliance on melodrama too great. The only other bone I have to pick has to do with the transitions: there are several points where there was possibly a peaceful time skip, but rarely is any indication provided. Fortunately, the aforesaid aren't so pervasive that they completely drown the story. Overall, Anatolia Story is enjoyable and fairly well done, with a good sense of humour as well, but (as I mentioned) there are not inconsiderable issues.

... Last updated on November 28th, 2016, 12:38pm
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A manga that makes you cringe   
Rating: 1.0 / 10.0
by Welalas
November 12th, 2016, 10:54am
This manga is trying to imply that if a man forces himself on you(force kiss, attempted rape), you will fall in love with this guy. Like how does that even make any sense..? There are much better historical shoujo manga around that are much better to me. Give this manga a miss if you cannot stand melodramatic stories.
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Pathetic Villain   
Rating: N/A
by smily_lois
February 16th, 2016, 4:30pm
Oh my god I hated Nakia a lot. Not just the her character but the very idea of her character.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
I couldn't find any other shoujo manga villain more pathetic than she is. All she wanted is to rule the empire through her son, Juda. But, spending 14 volumes trying to do just that is so pitiful. She wasn't even a rounded character. What I got from the manga was that she was selfish, intelligent and unbelievably immature. I get that it sucks having to marry the one who destroyed your homeland, but is there anything more to her? None. For god knows how many years since then, she didn't develop past a vengeful personality.

... Last updated on February 16th, 2016, 4:32pm
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A bit melodramatic but pretty good   
Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
by sakirol
December 10th, 2015, 1:25pm
Red River is fairly melodramatic. Characters often have fixations that are awkward. The story is complete and has a sensible timeline with each arc. There's a good mix of smut as well. Quite a good read overall.
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A smut romance drama   
Rating: 7.0 / 10.0
by Akatsubaki
October 20th, 2015, 6:13pm
If you love reading smut manga, you will notice many many of them are short stories and lacking in plot. This is where Sora wa akai kawa no hotori offers a long smutty story to satisfy you in interesting historical background of Anatolia / Turkey. The arts is 90ish style, so some of you need to get adjusted by it. Every bishies will fall in love with the main character and want to have her, often by force. Except for the one she loves. There are some aspects in the story that rise my eyebrow though, when it ignored sensibility for the sake of the story. The girl, Yuri, is very OP. She is just a normal teenager on modern day before being sent to the past, depicted as small and skinny (cute). But without any experience and skill required, she can jump on a running horse and riding it (without a saddle ofc), i know how hard it is to ride a horse as a small asian girl. Then she is able to fight and defeat men on sword fighting, defeat a lion, all without getting hurt, and many more rising eyebrow scenes. Said to possess those qualities to be a queen; leadership skill, wisdom, winning the heart of people, discipline, etc. ...She is flawless. And the antagonist, the queen, is a stereotypical classic antagonist who were there to bully the protagonist and make the story going. It's boring to see this villain keep trying and fail and keep trying and fail again without character development. I can accept all of these because the selling point is the smutty romance drama. So yeah, this is a good manga if you are looking for a long smutty romance.

... Last updated on October 20th, 2015, 6:35pm
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Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by Alita258
April 17th, 2015, 9:01pm
It's a tragic/melodrama kind of manga, enjoyable for shouju lovers. The historical aspect gives it a plus, although the super heroine act is too unbelievable especially because she's 15, who knew that girl that age could handle armies? It's long, but no too long and hard to find in good quality unless you buy it. It has three side stories, not just one. Check Wikipedia for that. So, do I recommend it? He, why not? It's worth a read if just because you'll learn some history too. Just beware, there are main characters death, lots of love triangles, and a power-craze queen. Although good drama, it can get emotionally exhausting, but for some reason the story rarely loses momentum.

... Last updated on April 17th, 2015, 9:07pm
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The one smut manga i like   
Rating: 7.0 / 10.0
by residentgrigo
January 31st, 2015, 11:23am
It is unexpected that i have finished Red River even if it is a clear smut manga that fails history. It has naked military leaders mud wrestling towards the end, at least one multiple days lasting sex session and gratuitous nudity after all. This is the only such manga i can recommend that comes to mind. I blame it on the suspenseful story a lot of good drama and a very decent leads. It is also surprisingly violent. The ending is very nice too and resolves everything I wanted. The clear art has it´s moments but did i mention the endless/pointless nudity?
So girls want to read about contently naked women (and men of course) too i guess.
Some retarded stuff like the multiple rape attempts, the love triangle that anyone can figure out after volume one, some very melodramatic deaths, a cringe worthy subplot about miscarriage and the unneeded time travel stuff did not need to be here but even if the journey is flawed i can still recommend it.
Her next best and very similar Yume no Shizuku, Ougon no Torikago turned into a 6/10 so i kicked it.

... Last updated on January 31st, 2015, 11:24am
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there is a lot of rape but!!   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by hangluu
December 22nd, 2014, 11:39pm
There is a lot of rape scene but it doesn't mean the author think females are weak and vulnerable. Seriously! Whoever make that argument should just.. I don't know.. crawl into a hole. We see the female lead leaps into battle field and become a military commander despised being raped. It shows that no matter what happen, she can still surpass it and come out stronger. Then we see a female character sacrificing herself for the sake of the country. Not to mention the three sisters who are both smart and physically strong. Sure the main lead sometime emotionally break down and cry but that is what normal people do. Not all females are strong and brave, some are weak and dependent, and that doesn't make them any less real (sorry i had a problem when people complaining about a manga character who is weak and cry a lot and how those type of character doesn't represent real "female"). Sorry for the random sentence, but anyway, this is a really manga, and if rape scene bother you, then skip them, and she wasn't really rape.. attempted rape scene might be much more correct.
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