“Signs Point to No”
Pariya is a unique character in Otoyomegatari, I think. She’s unquestionably the most recognizably modern cast member – her behavior wouldn’t seem out of place in any cute girls comedy set in a suburban Tokyo high school. She’s also the most frantic and frenetic character in the series, and every chapter she features heavily in tends to have a sharply different feel from the others in the series.
That’s certainly not a bad thing – I like Pariya. Not as much as Amir and Karluk, but I don’t like anyone in the cast (and not many in manga) as much as those two. And it does lead to chapters like this one, which are rather fun and make for a nice leavening agent for the series. Basically, everything centers on Pariya’s rampant insecurity that Umar will come to his senses (as she sees it) and leave her. Mind you there’s been no indication that Umar is actually considering it – this is all a product of Pariya’s fevered imagination.
As this is happening the women and children of the village have been drafted to clear out the clogged and congested canal, a project to which Pariya quite naturally takes like a duck to water. This is a fairly typical Otoyomegatari development, one which allows Mori-sense to draw legions of ebullient children frolicking in their “work”, as well as Pariya’s outsized facial expressions.
Umar happens to come by just as Pariya is making a particular spectacle of herself, naturally. And while the look in his eye is a bit aghast, there’s no actual indication he’s particularly horrified (I really do wonder if the poor boy knows what he’s getting himself into). That doesn’t stop Pariya from convincing herself that the jig is up, but I suspect this is going to work out fine. I’m not as invested in this subplot (or any of them) as the main one, but at least it offers a tonal contrast and keeps the story close to home. That said, I’d like to see Pariya put out of her misery one way or the other and the story shift back to its main thread sooner rather than later.