Otoyomegatari – 48

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“Umar’s Visit”

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.

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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.

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6 comments

  1. e

    Gotta love the chapter opening with a shovel of brick mud :D.
    Umar seems one solid but sensitive intelligent and rather educated fellow. WIN. Rather amusing the way he reacts so calmly and to the point while his lady-to-be is getting all flustered about him too. And she got busted smiling by the little kid again too, ahah.
    Karluk is growing up steadily growing by the glimpses we get. Score for horse management skills levelling up :p. Still it feels like Mori is teasing us like this as she takes us from bride to bride, enjoying the little and not-so-little detours…

  2. K

    I really wanted Pariya end up with Amira's brother and then they be all on better terms. But this current power couple looks good too haha.

  3. That would have been a massive age difference – even bigger than Karluk and Amira. Aren't they all her older brothers?

  4. e

    @Enzo: Azer is her brother, the other two lads are (t)he(i)r cousins.

  5. Which would make the age difference even more gigantic.

  6. e

    @Enzo: oh dear. I was just adding the family degree of closeness based on my hardcopies freetalks, ship-wise and age notwithstanding I can't even really picture Azer and Pariya clicking as a couple but hey to each his/her own. ***Olga and Hibito send their blessings :p***
    Yet if you really are focusing on their age gap as an adverse factor
    – we don't know how old Azer is exactly if I remember correctly… we suppose he is older (than Amira) because of his status in the tribe, his demeanor, and because she defers to him. But in truth this has (even) more to do with him being male and her brother. Amira's birth tribe is all about the menz and their father was an a**hole patriarch on top of that.
    – ditto on the two cousins. The design and behaviour of the taller one might suggest he's the oldest, the other one looks like the pliant wide-eyed and youngest of the trio but in truth we don't know. Mori might simply draw them that way to suggest personality, body type and face range, and to better offset Azer's character inside and out. General animanga design clue tropes vs mangaka's skills/storytelling aim basically.
    – I had the impression Pariya is older than Karluk actually (closer to the twin brides in age rather than a tween), although he's definitely the mature one.
    TL;DR we have some cultural/interaction and artistic clues but they're not 100% fail-proof age-wise unless it was stated somewhere how old each of the involved parties are.
    Hence the actual P-A's age gap compared to Amira-Karluk's one is not that easy to quantify – and be raised as a negative point in itself as a consequence – objectively . If we're talking personal compatibility on the other hand there's lot of space for one's subjective opinion and in this case I stay my case: not seeing it. As much as I really like Azer for me it's Umai Umar all the way to Miss P's tribal altar <— rhyme!

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