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Sora wa Akai Kawa no Hotori  
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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 8 years ago
v.23 by Shoujoshare over 11 years ago
v.23 c.1 by Midnight Scans over 11 years ago
Search for all releases of this series

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 (1341 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.55 / 10.0

Last Updated
May 14th 2020, 7:20am PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Sho-Comi (Shogakukan)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher
Viz (28 Volumes - Complete)

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Monthly Pos #204 decreased(-14)
3 Month Pos #171 decreased(-38)
6 Month Pos #130 increased(+13)
Year Pos #144 increased(+6)

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User Comments  [ Order by time added ]
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Tumbling Downhill  
by Latchan
August 4th, 2008, 10:35pm
Rating: 1.0 / 10.0
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 It's very unique in that I've never read anything with a setting like this, and I think the historical references add nice touches of humor here and there.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  
by joiedevivre
December 11th, 2010, 12:08am
Rating: 7.0 / 10.0
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  
by XileDragon
February 19th, 2010, 1:37pm
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
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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Uncaring Male Lead.  
by Lilacs
September 17th, 2014, 7:09pm
Rating: N/A
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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by blackluna
November 28th, 2016, 11:25am
Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
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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by lifelessidiot
March 8th, 2009, 11:27am
Rating: 7.0 / 10.0
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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by chibiPhreek
May 2nd, 2008, 10:03pm
Rating: N/A
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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Horrible Characters, but Entertaining and Interesting  
by gloriousmangalover
December 26th, 2018, 12:36am
Rating: 2.0 / 10.0
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. On that note, I still am divided on what matters more: giving a manga a good review because it’s a long epic with a lot of prestige, or giving a manga a bad review in order to dissuade younger readers from being pulled into a toxic manga? Therefore, 2/10.

... Last updated on March 24th, 2019, 1:04am
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Sometimes great, sometimes not so great...  
by smashinginred
July 16th, 2008, 8:24pm
Rating: N/A
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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by narutomaki324
May 26th, 2017, 10:51pm
Rating: N/A
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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