Book 52: A Bride’s Story, vol 1 by Kaoru Mori

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.

I will definitely recommend this book to girls and women who read manga. Or, those who don’t read manga. Perhaps this could be their gateway into the genre.

3 Thoughts

  1. I as a man, would recommend this to anyone who appreciates great art and good story. There is just something so warm and inviting about everything in this series, that makes one long for closer communal bonds, that have gone wayward in many developed countries, such as the united states in which I live. Baring major issues with our education system, I would say that the degree of singularity in technologically developed society has become one of our greatest issues to date, and these books are like a window to how beautiful a community can become in trusting one another and being closer. I would admit that I was not instantly attracted to this manga, because it was very feminine looking in nature, but I quickly got past that, almost immediately upon reading just the first few pages. I especially love the interaction of the woodworker and the little boy, that section of the first volume was both a great juxtaposition of two generations in the sharing of art and tradition, and an absolutely amazing piece of eye candy. The attention to detail shown in these pages are jaw dropping and I would say I have never seen anything like it. I finished the first two volumes and am dying to get my hands on the rest.

  2. Ryker, Thank you for the comment. Funny you began with “as a man” because I have put that manga into the hands of a couple boys in my Teen Center and at first they balk, but then I open it and show them the detailed illustrations. More often than not, they take it home with them.
    The woodworker pages were the most stunning for me, as well. Do you know of any manga similar to this?

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