Otoyomegatari – 26

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“The Feast – Part III”

As always, the wedding is for the family, not the brides and grooms.  But there’s something of the discrete, at least, in the fact that the ceremony itself takes place behind closed doors with only the close family present.  Much to the disappointment, I might add, of Mr. Smith – deprived of his chance of seeing a marriage ceremony first-hand.

What strikes me about these last few chapters is how little changed the four children at the center of the story are by what they’re experiencing, and about to experience.  Saahm and Sahmi are quiet and responsible, already (especially Sahmi) brooding a little at having to indulge the whims of their spoiled brides.  Leyli and Layla are resolutely as self-centered as ever, showing little concern for how the events transpiring impact anyone but themselves.  In sort, they’re the same kids as they were before – they’re just about to be married and nothing in their lives will ever be the same.

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This chapter serves also to remind us that in many ways these sorts of marriages were harder on the brides, because they become part of their husband’s family – and in the process, are no longer a part of their own.  This fact hits the girls hard as the goodbyes start to flow, and they take to sulking – finally hiding under blankets as their hapless grooms try to talk them back into the light, not realizing that the little hellions have actually fallen asleep.  This brings back memories of all the abuse Saahm and Sahmi have suffered over the years, and in a hopeful sign – for them, anyway – they get a little back by showing Layla and Leyli that they can be dangerous, too.

The story ends with “And they lived happily ever after” – bringing us back to the reality of just what Mori Kaoru is trying to do with Otoyomegatari in telling many different stories.  And it’s easy enough to believe the kids will indeed have a good life – the boys are a good fit for the girls, probably just patient and sensible enough to see the humor in their situation.  Mori-sensei teases the next chapter with “Next Time: The Couple You’ve Been Waiting to See!”  I wonder who that might be – I’m certainly hoping it’s a return to Karluk and Amira, but could Mr. Smith and his seemingly ill-fated romance be returning to center stage?

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4 comments

  1. e

    Oh, you were quick! XD
    The boys have all my respect for not losing their marbles and putting ups with such a handful so graciously all things considered. Just a little harmless prank in retaliation and that was it.
    And seeing the girl's father getting all weepy sort of got me.
    About the next chapter(s)I'd be fine with either couple. While Amira and Karluk are THE couple here and are just so engaging to follow, Tarasu is quite a tragic figure and I'd wish to see her and Smith having a chance at happiness together.

  2. A

    My guess is that its going to be … Emma and Will!

    Or maybe Mr. Smith is going to get another crack at it … maybe …

    ''This chapter serves also to remind us that in many ways these sorts of marriages were harder on the brides, because they become part of their husband’s family – and in the process, are no longer a part of their own. ''

    I agree, though I guess a case can be made that marriage in general was just hard on everyone involved, and the brides had to endure the additional load of being separated from their families (though that would be different from case to case, since it is not like they are to never see their parents again). I guess that's what I love about this story so much, it certainly shows just how wonderful love is, but it doesn't hide the pain and difficulties it causes to the parties involved. From family feuds and dead newlyweds, to women unable to make their own choices and to little girls not even aware of the major changes that are about to happen in their lives being separated from their parents … I guess it all leads to this:

    ''bringing us back to the reality of just what Mori Kaoru is trying to do with Otoyomegatari in telling many different stories.''

    Love is a truly wonderful and a truly cruel thing to experience, and anyone regardless of who they are or where they are can come across it. And most of the time, it ends up working out for the better here.

    On the whole, I liked this story this time around. I haven't warmed up to the couple as I did with Tarasu/Smith or Amira/Karluk, but it was a cute story that Mori-san had managed to make it come across as natural and respectable without being the slightest bit creepy in the least.

    Sometimes, I wish historical manga would be more popular.

  3. e

    Arabesque: this is a nice comment :,)

    'Love is a truly wonderful and a truly cruel thing to experience, and anyone regardless of who they are or where they are can come across it. And most of the time, it ends up working out for the better here.

    On the whole, I liked this story this time around. I haven't warmed up to the couple as I did with Tarasu/Smith or Amira/Karluk, but it was a cute story that Mori-san had managed to make it come across as natural and respectable without being the slightest bit creepy in the least.

    Sometimes, I wish historical manga would be more popular. WORD.
    And about your last sentence, word again. Out of the 6 manga I'm buying 4 are historical and a few more I'd like to buy if they were ever licensed, other historical titles I was able to buy in French or Italian editions luckily… but overall they're are a minority, even more so on extra-Japanese markets. Pity.

  4. A

    I had to suck back a huge grin of total delight when I realized that chapter 26 had been posted. Thanks for the great review; I'm quite fascinated by the ways in which those two little, little girls reacted to their huge life-changes, but I would be SO GLAD if the next chapter were about Amira and Karluk. I really like those two!
    ~Riley

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