This is one of perhaps a dozen graphic novels/manga I have ever read, most of which were read to fulfill a class requirement, the others just so I would know what the heck I was checking out to teens. Suffice it to say that I do not pick up manga on my own free will; it is usually recommended to me by a teen and I oblige their request. A Bride’s Story, vol 1 by Kaoru Mori is the first manga I ever picked up on my own, and I must say that I am so glad I did.
The story is set in 19th century rural Japan follows 20-year old Amir whose arranged marriage to 12-year old Karluck is not controversial or a bother, unlike most of the arranged-marriage novels we read, full of unrequited love, with one spouse detesting the other. No, these two accept their fate and work to get to know each other and build a relationship. But Amir’s family needs her back so they can marry her into a more influential family. This is the story of that struggle.
The story is good enough, but it is the generosity the spouses have for each other and their family that makes it so nice to read. And the images are some of the best I have ever seen. The scenes where Amir is hunting rabbits is quick and precise, and the reader can feel the urgency with which the arrow falls into its prey.
I feel like the visuals in this are more, shall I say mature? advanced? than other manga I have read. The characters are not stock, drawn from a How To Draw Anime Characters book. No, they are all distinct, their emotions real. One could read the book without words and still understand the story line. Nothing is exaggerated, which I appreciate.