I’ve said it already on more than one occasion, but I really think Otoyomegatari is at its best when it’s at its simplest. That’s what seems to suit Mori Kaoru’s writing style best – the action-packed battle arc was brilliant in its own way, but it somehow didn’t quite feel like Otoyomegatari a good chunk of the time.
Of course, the best of the best has been the chapters focused on Karluk and Amira. The other brides have had their fine moments, but none have really compared to the series’ main couple. I include Pariya in that statement – while she definitely has her charms, Pariya is the closest thing to a stock anime archetype in this series.
This was an awfully fun chapter, though – just a celebration of the simple pleasure reading a Mori manga provides. Umar ia back – he’s the boy who visited way back in Chapter 18, and was on the receiving end of a verbal and physical (the latter mostly accidental) knock-around by Pariya. When Umar revealed himself to be quite taken with her in spite of that, it was a given he was going to return sooner or later – especially with all the focus on Pariya rebuilding her dowry of handicrafts, lost in the battle.
Pariya is, as we all, know, a classic tomboy – and a socially awkward one too. I guess opposites attract, because Umar is a well-mannered and studious little fellow, skilled with the abacus and the quill and ink. That makes him extremely useful when he and his father pass through the village in the midst of their tallying up the damages and needed repairs to nearly every building, and Umar is quickly put to work making the rounds of the village.
It’s pretty clear where this is all going to end up, but that’s OK – Mori-sensei doesn’t need false suspense to make a plot like this work like a charm. And happily there are no disasters this time apart from Pariya’s diction (she’s grown, but she’s still Pariya), and the mutual fascination between the two kids seems as strong as ever. Both sets of parents are on-board too, so this one seems like a fair accompli – which is fine, because the two of them are an adorable couple.