And we’re back on the manga train, with the second-to-newest installment of one of the many excellent series I’ve been covering. This volume of Bride’s Story applied all the manga’s usual strengths to exactly the kind of dramatic peaks I’d been hoping for, and the results were absolutely spectacular. The hardest part of reviewing this volume was trying to think of something bad to say, and in the end I just couldn’t. This volume was basically perfect, and certainly one of the single most beautiful volumes of manga I’ve ever read. Great work, Kaoru Mori.
You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my notes below!
Some great Pariya faces in this chapter, and nice arguments between the characters
Another chapter focused on the classic disconnect between the way our two protagonists see each other. Amir loves Karluk, but she also sees him as someone she has to protect – their age difference makes it difficult. Meanwhile, Karluk wants to be treated as a man, and is having enough trouble assuming his responsibilities without being pampered by the woman who’s supposed to be his wife. How the two engage with this issue, and come to a variety of compromises with each other throughout their life together, is one of the central strengths of the manga
A chapter with Azel, Amir’s brother. It’s a slow, landscape-heavy one – full of full pages of horses and hunting, it almost feels like Mori is deliberately either stretching her abilities or showing off. It ends with Azel heading back, possibly to go to battle in order to get more land for their horses. Their clan is desperate
Azel and his clan go to meet with their new allies, in order to plan a raid on Karluk’s village. Their allies have clearly joined with the russians, and Azel wants no part in this alliance – he knows his people are just being used as pawns. But his father reigns supreme. This is pretty much exactly the kind of upscaling conflict I was hoping for, with the added bonus that it makes Azel himself a more compelling and multifaceted character. He’s still a hard man, but he has clear values
Joruk warns Amir about the attack. Then we get a badass sequence of Amir detailing the attack plans to Karluk, talking about how they must plan their defense
We’re now getting exactly the drama I was hoping for. Amir gets lots of moments to shine, more gorgeous and terrifying spreads of horses and battle, and when the new clan betrays Azel’s clan, we even get to see a tense standoff between Amir, Kalruk, Azel, and Azel’s father break down into panicked cooperation
More dramatic battle, well-paced and full of awesome highlights. Azel gets a last stand, and then Amir turns her scarf into a sling to knock down a horseman