Yes, I did skip Chapter 44 – for blogging purposes anyway. The reason being that I simply couldn’t think of any more to say about Anis’ storyline. I never found it all that interesting to begin with, it was supposed to end at Chapter 43, and I was just over it.
Happily, we’re back to basics here, with a return to the core characters and settings of Otoyomegatari. Pariya is the character in focus, and while she’s not my absolute favorite in this cast – she’s probably the most like a typical stock anime character – she’s still a big step up from what we’ve been getting. And we do get appearances by the likes of Amira, Karluk and his family.
This is a pretty simple story, looking at Pariya’s continues struggles in the realm of matchmaking. And they’ve been made worse by the aftereffects of the attack on the village, which has left many families (including Pariya’s) homeless, and forced to bunk in with others (as hers does with Karluk’s family). Of course we can see this is going to be a good thing for Pariya – she likes Amira and thinks of her as an older sister, and Grandma sees in Pariya a bit of kindred free spirit. As a girl in this time and place, there’s only so much freedom of spirit one can get away with and still be marriageable (as we well know in Pariya’s case).
The compromise Pariya must make here it to acknowledge that the art of sewing is an important one for females in this society. She feels no aptitude for it, and her impatience and restlessness work against her – but Grandma helps her understand that it can also be a way for a creative person who’s feeling stifled to express themselves in a socially acceptable manner. As compromises go it’s not the worst imaginable, and Pariya does seem to feel a little spark when she creates a pattern that speaks to her – and seems to bring genuine pleasure to those who see it, especially her family.
Stay tuned for further developments here, because there’s a boy named Umar who seems to have wormed his way into Pariya’s thoughts – and she into his. I wish him strength and resilience – I suspect he’s going to need them.