Otoyomegatari – 41

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“The Ceremony”

I’ll be honest – I’ve pretty much run out of things to day about this arc.  This pictures are gorgeous, the story is a bore, and how many times can I say how great the cat is?  Though the cat is pretty great – one of the all-time best grumpy cats

The one thing I found sort of interesting here is that Anis quite openly told her husband that loves the woman she’s just met more than she loves him – or their son, for that matter – and seems not to have a clue as to why he’s upset by that, or even that he’s upset at all.  I’m not sure how we’re supposed to take that, to be honest, especially in light of the left-field drama at the end of the chapter with the husband collapsing.

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6 comments

  1. J

    He seems more bemused than hurt. I guess we'll see if Mori presents him with the possibility of a second wife.

  2. He definitely seemed hurt to me. And he had every right to be.

    I hadn't thought about the possibility of a second wife – it's interesting, though I don't know if Mori-sensei would go there. In a sense, it seems fair enough – if Anis can begin a relationship with someone that's more emotionally intimate than the one with her husband, shouldn't he have the same opportunity? He seems like a perfectly nice guy – he deserves to be in a loving relationship just as much as she does.

  3. e

    Ah Enzo, I'm almost as bemused at your thoughts on this chapter as Anis' hubby was at her gushing in a way :p.
    I can see and even agree he seems a nice fellow. But even so arranged (and often also not arranged) marriage do not necessary imply, start or develop into romantic or passionate affection for both parties involved. And in this specific context he's in theory more entitled and has more chance to be in a loving relationship than Anis simply because he was born a man and he can travel and speak at his leisure with people in the big wide world out there. If she didn't happen to meet Shirin and the sisterhood 'marriage' weren't there to offer a genuine emotionally rewarding output she would still be the vaguely empty, lonely, uneasy soul in the perfect little garden we were first introduced to some chapters ago.
    It sucks for the husband but I have the impression you're not empathizing much with the wife here – mind you I'm talking about her situation. You or anyone else (me included XD) don't necessarily have to like her – and… well the heart wants what (or whom) it wants. Also not every woman is cut to be a mother or feels a strong undying affection for her own children just because she bore them.
    The impression I got is that for her Shirin is a package deal: she's a new element in her life, their bond formed freely and naturally in the (only?) one environment where women allowed to regularly wander mingle and talk outside of their houses. Unlike marriage the sisterhood here is something that can be chosen. And basically she is her first friend. The freedom, the excitement, the choice! And I'm not even bringing potential lesbian tendencies up – just not to plant a nail in the coffin of mr. Nice Husband who's so in love with an ideal willowy beauty… basically some ethereal creature from a dream world. Poor guy – .
    On the 'how were supposed to take that' for now I think it's showing another possible outcome for a bride's story. We have seen the tragic (Tarasu), the messy and playful but ultimately lucky arrangement (the twins), the growing up together and the delicate evolution (A&K), and this might be the 'unsettling the settled' marriage scenario. Talking of which… enter cliffhanger with oh such juicy possibilities.
    Also while Im not particularly fond or interested in these arc's characters per se I'm fascinated by how deceptively simple this tale is turning out to be. Plus glorious cat and glorious cleavage. Hence not bored on this side XD.
    Btw I had to laugh at Anis' proposal plate overflowing with food. The road to one's heart…

  4. On the contrary – I certainly take no issue with Anis' right to find an emotional connection she can't find in her marriage. As I said, the hubby as "as much" right – not more.

    I think the issue here is that the husband clearly wants the kind of fulfilling relationship he can get from a partner – not the sort of thing he can get from the social mobility a man in his situation enjoys that his wife doesn't. So my take is that since neither of them is finding it in their marriage (though I have my doubts about whether Anis really looked) they both have a right to find it elsewhere with no complaint from the other.

    The one thing I take issue with is that my modern sensibility is somewhat taken aback that Anis has so little concern or regard for her child. But that's a function of the time and place, and my own prejudices,

  5. e

    Oh that's clearer to me what your issue was now, thank you. Not that such style of parenting isn't still present even in modern time and places too.
    On the fulfilling relationship bit I find it quite ironic that 1) both him and her seem to be prone to idealization when it come to their respective SO. His goggles are being nudged by the whole sisterhood development… we'll see what the cliffhanger will bring now. 2) those lofty ideals are cursed not to match within their match by virtue of the same cultural framing that made their marriage happen. <— I could picture hubby and Anis being good friends if they belonged to the same sex…

  6. The main issue for me, truthfully, is that compared to every other arc so far I find this one to be stultifyingly boring apart from the fanservice and cat porn.

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