Otoyomegatari – 46

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“To the North”

We got a mini-chapter of Otoyomegatari sandwiched in-between the usual releases from Mori-sensei, a short check-in with the remnants of the Halgal clan.  As Karluk’s family sifts through the spoils of war, Azel and his kin have headed north, with Azel now officially in-charge of the clan.  Nothing really surprising here, but it’s nice to touch base with this group – Azel and his brothers made quite an impression during their appearance.

They’re lucky to find a large swathe of good pasture that’s seemingly uninhabited, but there’s a catch – this area is close to the border with Russia, and whoever occupies it will be the first to encounter the Russians when the next invasion, which everyone assumes is inevitable, comes.  Will the Halgal ally with the Russians again, or will they fight for their freedom – the answer is important to everyone in the region.  Knowing Azel, it seems very unlikely he’d see a deal with an invading army as an acceptable or honorable course of action.



  1. e

    Well, my prayers got answered and we touch base with Azel-baby and his merry brothers (cousins? In my Italian hardcopies they're cousins – and I thought this made sense as Azer does not look like the oldest in the bunch. Shoulden't the eldest son become the father's successor? – . I'm calling eitehr a retcon or either tl got that wrong…) at last. Woohoo.
    We're basicaly certain to witness some more Russian or Russian-related action I believe: not only we've been presented their new borderland pastures but there's a whole array of Chekhov's weapons left at Karluk's village now…
    'Knowing Azel, it seems very unlikely he'd see a deal with an invading army as an acceptable or honorable course of action.' At long last. Come to the side of good my pretty***. We have fantasticaly decorated bread, spirited women, sublime embroidery an unlimited food porn :p.
    ***May or may not refer to Azel. 'cause ni my eye he had been already hinted to be on that side for a long time.

  2. I'm not sure I was ever on the other side with Azel. I merely feel his role in helping his father attack the village twice and try and steal Amira from her new family can't simply be dismissed out of hand. Ever if he had reservations he participated. But the flipside is that when things got really ugly, he drew a line and refused to cross it. And with his idiot father dead, he now has no reason not to pursue his own ideals – which I think would preclude selling out his country in a deal with invaders.

  3. e

    Clan loyalty (or social pressure by any other name) vs diverging personal ethics: one meaty evergreen dilemma ;).

    Sure he participated… while also trying some little sabotaging of the clan's plans even in those early chapters and making his disagreement known, mostly off-screen but sometimes on-screen as well —> http://www.lostinanime.com/2013/06/otoyomegatari-30.html?showComment=1372117514155#c2472923946985395145 quoting myself for list of actual moments in the story showcasing this. I'm not disagreeing with you about the fact he followed along his tribe's actions or that he could have done much more… but let's be realistic for him it the main choices were

    a) leaving the tribe for good. His two brother?cousins? are sympathetic but don't have his guts, the elders are aligned with his father's modus operandi and still hung up on the failed raid and betrayal. Let's go with the noble rebellion scenario. He leaves the tribe. To do what? he's still a warrior nomad at heart – the wolves chapter and horses life philosophy… no place for him among the sheep sheperd and K&A's village – but the only other ones left seem to be the oh-so-despicable Batang. Frying pan, meet fire.

    b) play the long game and keep a low profile until he's chief, then shape the clan's policy and politics once he is in power. Thankless methods for a thankless aim and job but he's the only one for the task.

    c) go openly against the tribe's decisions and having tyrant chief father incapacitating him/punishing him/whatever while the tribe carried on daddy's plans anyway.

    He went for b). And even so he could not completely conform to the devoted son and clan member template out of convenience, even before the raid template climax and the 'honorable brother' moment.

    TL;DR: I'm not dismissing a thing. But I find his behaviour plenty subversive already up to and before the last raid given the circumstances and I give him credit for that, possibly more than you do. Talking a bit by experience here… when clan&family loyalty goes bad it does go bad and burning bridges or overt rebellion is not something anyone can or want to do. In his case at least neither option was viable.

    I definitely agree it's unlikely he's going to sell out :).

  4. T

    I agree with everything elianthos80 said!! You have to remember Enzo that the characters in this series are very community centric. I mean everyone lives with their extended families consult with their elders about their problems and overall adhere to clan loyalties. While I don't absolve Azel and his cousins of their actions, really what else were they suppose to do? Its clear that their elders are the final decision makers in their clan and as sons they have to obey them.

    elianthos80 already listed all the things that could have happened if Azel and his cousins tried to speak out or rebel so I won't repeat them here, but at least when they knew things were going to get even more shit they acted and even in the past they did rebel in subtle ways. Since Azel is now clan head its clear the direction is going to be different and folks can at least trust Azel and his cousins.

    If the comment of the random old guy at the end means anything it cool that they know they can believe in his leadership.

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