It seems an odd thing to say about any Mori Kaoru chapter – especially one with so many curves – but as I was reading “Sister-Bride” it struck me that the art wasn’t quite up to Mori-sensei’s usual standard. Or at least that it was different, somehow. Maybe it’s just my imagination, but I didn’t note as much detail as normal for Otoyomegatari. Of course she’s so much better than just about anyone else in manga that even an off month for Mori is still in the 99th percentile art-wise, and she has a remarkable eye for the female body (and a concept of beauty that was – fittingly enough – more in fashion a hundred years ago than it is today).
As for story, I confess I’m still not warmed up to the bird in a gilded cage, Anis. The first time Otoyomegatari left Amira and Karluk for an extended period was for the sisters Laila and Leyli, and that story had a little more initial purchase than this one does. It’s all pleasant enough, but so far there’s not much emotional connection for me. For now it’s just a rich girl who’s a little lonely in her mansion with her adoring husband and beautiful child, but when her path intersects with Mr. Smith (it did briefly here, but he didn’t realize at the time) maybe things will pick up.
The bulk of this chapter is spent inside a proverbial Turkish bath. That’s where Anis’ handmaid suggests she go to meet a “sister-wife” – a married woman with child who enters into a vow of sisterhood with another in the same situation, to act as a support of support system. It’s an interesting notion, and if nothing else it gets Anis out of the house and mingling with other people, which she clearly longs deeply to go. It also gives Mori-sensei a chance to draw a passel of the kind of buxom, rounded female figures she specializes in depicting. And no one can do it like she can.