A Bride’s Story, Volume 7 – Review

I returned to Bride’s Story after some time away this week, reviewing a volume that felt more or less like an intended breather after last volume’s high-stakes drama. Anis’s story was pleasant enough, but mainly just a very warm and fuzzy romance, largely conveyed through evocative floral garnishes and whatnot. It’d have been a stronger story if Anis and her avowed sister actually had some chemistry, but both of them were just too mild people for that. The manga’s art was still beautiful, but this was definitely a less compelling narrative than usual.

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my chapter notes below!

A Bride's Story

Chapter 1

Opens with an absurdly gorgeous shot of a woman tending birds in the water gardens

And great panel flow, as always

Great nearly wordless pages showing the passage of time

The chapter wonderfully describes her peaceful but stifling existence with almost no dialogue

Chapter 2

This area is far more conservative. Women are completely obscured

Jesus, beautiful two-page spread

But the story focuses on their lives behind doors. It’s interesting

“You need an avowed sister!”

Anis is a very immediately sympathetic character

And the moment they get in the women’s baths, all the veils come off and it’s all rowdy banter. The complexity of culture

Wow, gorgeous shots here

Though every woman here is conventionally beautiful (in spite of Anis’s somewhat unique style). It’s a bit immersion-breaking – this isn’t a fanservice series, so why not diversify, considering everything else seems so intent on capturing specificity?

Although I guess everyone in this series is beautiful, so…

And they do have different body types and faces to an extent, and I appreciate how open this whole sequence is about bodies

Yeah, I do appreciate how Anis is gorgeous but distinctive

Chapter 3

Yesss, men’s bath. Okay, here’s the real question

Yeah, the dudes are also pretty as hell. Fair enough

And Ali is uncomfortable in this pointless luxury

I also like how the manga is taking care to illustrate the limits of Smith’s ability to communicate with the locals. These areas are diverse! Many local languages

Lovely panel flow across the last page here

Chapter 4

This fuckin’ cat

She meets Sherine

This is such a change of pace for Bride’s Story. Anis feels like a high school shoujo lead

“After a rainfall, we’ll meet again on the next day.” hahaha yeah, this is some star-crossed love storytelling here

Chapter 5

Some really great interpretive art here – the detail shifts to depict flowering gardens and moonlit terraces of their imagination for the shoujo storytelling

Again, remarkable panel flow

This really sensual depiction of eating a watermelon

Chapter 6

Anis is so secluded from the world. Her concerns are like a child’s

This cat is so great

It’s basically a “love at first sight” story

And I guess a new kind of “bride”

The ceremony is lovely, as always

And Sherine’s husband collapses