|English Publisher||Yen Press|
|Original Run||October 2009 - Present|
Sum it up in a Sentence
A unique tale of arranged marriages on the Silk Road, with some of the best artwork in you'll ever see in a manga.
Otoyomegatari is a historical romance manga that takes place in and around a rural city near the Caspian Sea in the mid 19th century. The main characters are Amira Hergal, a free-spirited 20 year old woman, and Karluk Ayhan, her 12 year old husband. The manga mainly focuses on the daily life of Amira and Karluk's family, along with the culture of their people.
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This manga is pretty much the most adorable thing ever. All of the characters are enjoyable, the story is really well written, and the artwork is fantastic. Seriously, this is some of the best artwork I've ever seen in a manga. Almost every character wears rather elaborate clothing and it's always amazing to see the level of detail the artist puts into her drawings. There are entire chapters about woodcarving or weaving and the backgrounds and set-pieces are all just exquisitely drawn.
Karluk and Amira make fantastic main characters, I never thought I'd read a romance manga with such a large age gap between the two main characters and actually enjoy it. Recently the story seems to be moving away from the two of them for the moment and focusing on their family, friends, and the society that they live in. Where in most manga moving away from the main characters for such a long time would weaken the story, Otoyomegatari still manages to remain a compelling read.
Otoyomegatari is ludicrously amazing. Like... goddamn. First, the setting is an incredible and highly accurate portrayal of Central Asia during England and Russia's "great game". The culture is extremely well portrayed and manages to be extremely balanced. The clothes, how people act, what they eat, the customs and so forth, they're all extremely accurate. The story is pretty fantastically written as well. It's a rather taboo subject for us in many ways, but that's the period. The author tells the story well without glorification and denunciation. Of course, Amira and Karluk are fucking adorable so it's not entirely impartial, but still.
And Jesus Christ the fucking art, THE FUCKING ART. This lady is absolutely insane in how detailed and good she gets this art. The quality of art here is almost sexual in just how detailed it is.
All in all, read it. Is funny, cute, inspiring, depressing, and overall HIGHLY entertaining.