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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
Красная река (история Анатолии)
하늘은 붉은 강가
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

Groups Scanlating
Datenshi Blue
Endless Dimension
Friendship Scans

Latest Release(s)
v.28 c.Sidestory 1 by Friendship Scans over 5 years ago
v.23 by Shoujoshare over 9 years ago
v.23 c.1 by Midnight Scans over 9 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

5 topics, 26 posts
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User Rating
Average: 8.6 / 10.0 (1292 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.55 / 10.0
 46% (589 votes)
 19% (245 votes)
 15% (195 votes)
 8% (108 votes)
 4% (53 votes)
 2% (31 votes)
 1% (18 votes)
 1% (11 votes)
 1% (11 votes)
 2% (31 votes)

Last Updated
November 28th 2016, 12:47pm 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 #75 increased(+9)
Monthly Pos #57 decreased(-10)
3 Month Pos #41 decreased(-4)
6 Month Pos #32 increased(+3)
Year Pos #28 decreased(-6)

List Stats
On 1457 reading lists
On 1301 wish lists
On 2758 completed lists
On 195 unfinished lists
On 652 custom lists

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

Forum Posts
Why is it a tragedy? about 1 year ago
Red River Paradox about 1 year ago
D'''= *spoilers* over 4 years ago
What if... over 6 years ago
Red River over 9 years ago

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User Comments [ Order by time added ]

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Tumbling Downhill   
Rating: 1.0 / 10.0
by Latchan
August 4th, 2008, 10:35pm
I'm actually stunned I managed to finish this series. I kept telling myself I'd stop soon, because the art was disturbing in proportion and style, and I found myself disliking the main character more and more. But I have to admit that this story does have many redeeming features--none significant enough to bring back what could've been a fantastic manga now, though.

I love the ancient civilization idea going on here. It's very unique in that I've never read anything with a setting like this, and I think the historical references add nice touches of humor here and there. It felt like everything added up to each other, with actual Egyptian royalty as characters and all, but I'm sure if you looked it up to double-check everything, that wouldn't really be the case. But I liked the clothes, I liked the jewelry, I liked the buildings and architecture, and I just really, really liked the culture. It must've taken a lot of research for all that, so I applaud the effort.

On the other hand, the faults just completely overwhelm whatever potential this manga had. Yuri is plain and naive, and the extent of her stupidity just made me wonder what "charisma" drew all these powerful men to her, and why she was often referred to as a "sleeping lioness" when she clearly wasn't, just a girl with one helluva lot of luck. Also, why doesn't anyone seem to notice Yuri seems to have a bipolar disorder? She can't seem to make up her mind about what she's feeling, and most of these pages are filled with her inner turmoil--she goes through the entire emotion wheel in a matter of five pages. She also gets around, if you know what I mean, and really likes to lead people on. In a man's arms--and quite frankly, I've learned it doesn't matter which man--she's weak and bats her eyelashes like a lamb, but in the next moment, she's suddenly on a roll with military plans and is absolutely ruthless. (Yeah, I don't know.) Not to mention that all the men like her. It doesn't matter which man, they've had a crush on her or wanted her at one point or another, but men with authority in particular. Oh, yeah, and they all try to rape her. That's a lovely bunch of men you have there, sweetheart.

So Yuri's plain. Nothing special about her at all. They made that clear at the beginning showing her life. What happened to that? Normal fifteen-year-old girl, riiight. She has to have some super IQ, and you can't honestly tell me she's been living "normally" for fifteen years without displaying any brilliant wit until she's on a battlefield devising battle plans. Not to mention that along with the super IQ comes athletics. "I'm good at sports"--hm, you're good at a lot of things. I think Yuri is too unflawed for a heroine. To be a good heroine, the character has to have flaws. Otherwise, there is no story, which there really isn't one here. No, being too idealistic (a trait that everyone loves and praises her for, even though it gets her into a buttload of trouble) doesn't count. She never realizes that's her problem.

Queen Nakia is overrated. It's always her, every single time. Evil thing--"Oh, who could've done it?" Nope, look no further, it's the queen. "Poison!" It's the queen, guys. "Why is this happening? Who could be behind this?" Seriously, it's the queen. I was literally rolling my eyes every time they ran through this. She's such a two-dimensional character, and so are all the supporting characters and Yuri herself. They all call her "evil"--no one actually says that if you're trying to be realistic. There's always a motive behind motives, and I'm surprised they didn't think further than, "She wants her son on the throne." Okay, well, why? I really didn't like them calling her evil; the sides of "good" and "evil" differ by opinion, but they just outright declared themselves "right". And honestly, I doubt she could be so evil and still rule over the country without anyone ever seeing what she was up to. Don't her actions look suspicious at all? Flat, flat characters all around.

Another thing I'd like to know is how, with her newfound battle experiences, Yuri can still go on screaming, "I didn't do it!" and look as if she's about to cry whenever someone wrongly accuses her of something like she totally didn't expect it coming and like she can prove she didn't do it. Basically, I think that she's too naive, and by now, she should've learned by now that denying something won't clear your name. But that just proves the lack of character development.

And after making it through twenty-eight volumes, I decided that if I could read it this far, I'd skim through the side story, too. I have no words that could describe this side story. The most appropriate reaction I think I can manage is, this story makes no sense. Don't get me started on everything else. Basically, it doesn't add up to everything else I read in the last twenty-eight volumes.

... Last updated on November 13th, 2012, 12:16am
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Initially addicting but became redundant   
Rating: 7.0 / 10.0
by joiedevivre
December 11th, 2010, 12:08am
It was initially addicting, but became very redundant. Red River definitely wins kudos for being very unique in its conception, having a modern girl be trapped in an ancient society. The main character Yuri is a much stronger character than you average shoujo heroine, however, she's almost too perfect.At first it was refreshing to see a strong female character, someone that one could relate to, but her flawless characteristics subtracts from the reality of the story. Upon her immediate arrival, she is able to suddenly become a master equestrian and sword wielder, and manages to get out of every difficult situation. She manages to get out of hardship through some combination of luck, and every man in power falls in love with her at first sight and are willing to devote their lives to her. She then goes through this endless cycle of falling victim to the queen's plots, getting kidnapped, having the men fall in love with her, suddenly becoming a military strategist, and so forth. While it was enjoyable at first, this theme gets old fast.

The main villain remains the same from beginning to end, and her plots just become increasingly outrageous. She is powerful, but the joint forces of all the protagonists far exceed her, and it's implausible that she could carry out so many schemes all by herself. Additionally, Yuri and her entourage know she's behind everything, yet even after they gained substantial power to counter her, they always wait for the queen to take initiative. It is only after the events are set in motion that they attempt to stop it at the last minute. Honestly, this story could have been shortened by at least a third, it's clear that the mangaka resorted to using the queen as a plot driver. It is apparent that the mangaka has done some research on the period, but many aspects of the story are at times too fantastical and the complexity of the relationships between kingdoms was too simplified.

Overall, it's worth a try. It is entertaining for a while before the weariness sets in.

... Last updated on December 11th, 2010, 12:11am
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Something about this   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by XileDragon
February 19th, 2010, 1:37pm
Shoujo/drama not being my genre (being a guy and all), it is thus quite surprising for me to consider this as my favorite manga. But something about it makes it a very special, and very touching story for me.

First of all, this manga should be appreciated as a coming-of-age story about the female lead. I can understand the complaints about certain aspects of the manga, such as the art, and the sometimes cliche premises and actions. However, those aren't the drivers behind the manga: the character evolution is the true gem here. The range of emotions Yuri goes through throughout the story is amazing, and to see her overcome her obstacles is the ultimate prize. Her character is outstanding: she is strong in spirit, and yet fragile at heart; she is cunning at times, impulsive at others; she stands out as a godlike figure, and yet it is the human in her that is her most endearing feature. The 28 volumes in this manga are really just about her, and her only.

Red River is also the most touching love story I have read to date. As the manga progresses, it becomes obvious that the strength of the love shared between the main characters is unbreakable, almost to the point of envy. Is it cliche? Perhaps. But all love stories are, because the vehicle behind them is the same. The only difference is in how it is told, and Red River does it best.

Aside from the romance, there are so many other emotions involved in the journey that it amazes me. Yuri's character is the ultimate story vehicle, because the numerous choices that she makes, right or wrong, never fails to bring her to a new place, to a new meeting, and of course, to new emotions. The readers are taken along for the ride, and for a surprisingly short 28 volumes, we are there with her, facing her obstacles, experiencing her love, and living her adventure.

While there are many mangas I like, this is the only one that I have read and re-read countless times. I would certainly recommend giving this a shot, for 5 volumes at least. Then you can decide whether or not it is, as I believe it, one of the most charming and captivating stories you have ever read.
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Rating: N/A
by chibiPhreek
May 2nd, 2008, 10:03pm
This series is one the best shoujo manga I have ever read! After reading the first volume, it compelled me to keep reading, and because the U.S. only translated a volume a month, it was pure torture to know what happened next. This is a MUST READ for all those manga lovers who love shoujo because this is a rose among weeds!
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Uncaring Male Lead.   
Rating: N/A
by Lilacs
September 17th, 2014, 7:09pm
The male lead, Kail, thinks and says he loves the female lead, Yuri, but his actions say and indicate the opposite.

Spoiler (mouse over to view)
1. He doesn't want Yuri get back to her world, so, he become anxious about it; and, what does he do? He tries to rape her. She constantly tells him to stop, but he's only focused in HIS desires, his want. She was terrified, and calling for help, but, nobody went to help her, because just as he says, "I rule this country. I am King! I can have anything I want!". So, Yuri starts to call Hadi and fortunately she goes to help her and, begs Kail to do not do that. He insists in Yuri is his concubine, etc. Hadi keeps begging to Kail to please do not do that. Yuri shouts "Hadi!", and then Kail realizes how much Yuri is terrified from him (she was crying and shivering).

2. After Yuri got back to where Kail was, after she had the miscarriage and was taken care of by Ramses and his doctors in Egypt (the ship where she traveled was sunk by Nakia's schemings and Yuri nearly dies), the first thing Kail does is trying to have sex with her.
She just lost their baby! And Kail behaves like that. :/ :(
So, she stops him, and asks him for his forgiveness because she lost their baby. He says the gods fell in love with him (baby) and wanted him back, and now he's wishing them happiness. Then, Kail says: Translation 1: He's happy she came back to him / Translation 2: the greatest sorrow would have been to lose her.
After that, they have sex, and he asks her why Ramses didn't force himself on her.
Super inconsiderate to be asking that after she was suffering and crying because of her miscarriage. :/
Honestly, I had thought that the moment Kail saw Yuri again, he would ask her how she's feeling after all she went through. Emotional support. Not sex.

3. Several times when she's worried or scared about something; for example, if she would be a good queen or not, and talks about it to Kail, he only says: "When you're alone with me you don't have to worry about such things. [...] Right now I don't care about territory, or treasure, war or politics". But, she does. She worries and cares about it. She's just a teenager in another time and place, away from her country, family and friends.
The times when she talks and express to Kail something that worries her, he just kisses her, and they have sex.
It seems he doesn't like to address her thoughts and worries, he just evades them.
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Rating: 7.0 / 10.0
by lifelessidiot
March 8th, 2009, 11:27am
WAY too smutty. the heroine is too perfect, but at the same time she completely stupid. the male lead is also a pervert who pretends to care about the female lead, but we all know what he's really looking for. EVERYONE either loves or hates the female lead with a passion. my point? What is with this story?
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There's something addicting about it...   
Rating: N/A
by saphiric
November 11th, 2008, 3:01am
I personally am not a fan of old style art-work manga (except Inuyasha, Doraemon, and a few other classics). So I was particularly hesitant in starting this. Once I finish the first 3 volumes though, I couldn't wait to get the next one. I am now almost finish with the series and my views on it still haven't changed.

The positives:

The story plot is highly developed and entertaining to a fault. The main plot (modern Japanese teen stuck in ancient Hittite empire) is interwoven with intricate side plots about the supporting characters and interesting historical details about the time period. This makes it refreshing because you're not just given a mere narrow scope on only 2 main characters and the problems they face throughout the storyline. Chie Shinohara does a wonderful job of creating a sweeping scope of the ancient world, not only of the Hittite empire, but also of Ancient Egypt and small kingdoms often overlooked in history texts. (This is great if you're interested in history, but even if you're not, the fiction Shinohara employs to make her storyline flows is very creative and enjoyable.)

The negatives:

The cliche, soap-opera moments and redudant battle plots did turn me off at times.
It also seems that many people bash about the whole mary-sue heroine thing, but understand that this is a fantasy/historical fiction manga. If you're looking for a story with a more realistic, relatable main character, then you should look in the slice-of-life category (hana yori dango and the likes).

Despite its flaws, this manga is a must-read.
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Sometimes great, sometimes not so great...   
Rating: N/A
by smashinginred
July 16th, 2008, 8:24pm
There are many pluses to this story. An intelligent heroine, interesting characters, an exotic setting, lovely art and what was at first a great storyline. However, there are way too many problems for me to adore this manga as much as other people do. While, yes, it's wonderful to have a strong female lead who doesn't wait for a prince to save her, Yuri's character ends up being too improbable and "perfect," for lack of a better word.

She learns excellent swordfighting in a couple of months because she's done gymnastics before? She's able to lead armies into battle after two years (most of which was NOT spent at war), she's naturally gifted, I guess? Guys (especially princes) keep falling for her because she's so capable and perfect...? (And it seems like each one of them aaaalmost rapes her but she always gets rescued right before it happens.) In the end, she turns out to be a very one-dimensional character--righteous, loyal, not an evil thought in her head, kind, generous, blah blah blah... and that's really very boring.

But what probably annoys me the most (more than the modern day peace sign the Hittite girls made in 14TH CENTURY ANATOLIA, sheesh) is how the political plot gets incredibly stale after a few volumes. If you don't like reading about political machinations, this might not be the story for you, since they end up dominating the series after a few volumes.

From the story summary and the very first chapter, you know the villain is the Queen. She tries over and over again to seize power from Kail and to kill Yuri. It's NOT a secret! The main characters all know she's trying to kill them!

And what do they do? Foil her plots at the last minute, then almost kinda sorta try to prove she's behind the evil plans, then fail to convince other people of it (because the Queen denies all accusations and then walks out of the room in a temper and that, like, totally somehow proves she didn't do it), then they just sit around and do nothing while she comes up with more schemes to kill them!

Where are the attempts at bringing her down before she kills them all? Ugh! But I understand why the mangaka keeps the Queen going--it strings along the plot, even though the series could deeefinitely have been chopped in half without missing any new plot developments. I just eventually got tired of the continual "Ah hah! Yet another twisted scheme for me to set into motion!" plot pusher from the Queen. She also became incredibly one-dimensional, when every bit of her energy is set to making her own son king. 18 volumes later and there's STILL no character development.

That being said, I did cry during some really sad moments (you'll know them when you read 'em!), I did cheer when Yuri kicked ass (no matter how improbable it was) and I did enjoy Kail's character. Though I can't get myself to like the series (or even get past volume 18), it's worth trying out.
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Why haven't I read this before????   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by mythcom
September 14th, 2012, 8:29pm
It was incredible from the start I loved it and I loved everything about it
Don't be disappointed by the art you will get used to it after the second chapter
I didn't get bored for a second
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Predictable and Repetitive.   
Rating: N/A
by hxoxolalala
June 26th, 2012, 10:02am
This manga was a little on the annoying side. I say this because Yuri always made stupid mistakes. When someone told her not to do something because it will cause problems, she did it anyway and some times got people killed. This manga was good i liked the fact that as the manga developed she became stronger and stronger and not so helpless. Another problem I had with this manga is how it became repetitive. Yes some mangas are repetitive and we can look past it, but this manga drew on for soooo long I found myself skimming the pages because i knew how they would end. All in all I did not favor this manga but i know some people will like the way the story develops. This wouldnt be my first choice to recomend but i would recomend it none the less. I say give it a shot but if you get bored half way through, I say skip to the end because the story wont change. You really wont miss much and you can put it together easily.
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