Manga Mondays may or may not be a thing, but it’s interesting to read Chihayafuru and Otoyomegatari back to back because they could hardly be more different. Mori Kaoru’s series couldn’t be less stressful to read – if anyone one might complain that not enough happens. I mean, this was basically a chapter with a bunch of girls sitting around sewing for an entire day – and even they admit it’s boring.
Still, somehow, it works – works without contrived drama of any kind. I won’t say this last stretch of chapters has been Otoyomegatari‘s finest by any means, but there’s really no one in the manga world I’d rather wile away time doing nothing with than Mori-sensei. She does have a point to all this, to be sure – she’s showing us what the lives of young women in this time and place were like. And frankly, there was a lot of this kind of stuff to wade through – I mean, this is a ridiculous amount of fuss to be made over embroidery, but that was the social expectation. Just let those poor kids get married and fool around already ready before they pop, for crying out loud.
Since that’s not going to happen, I suppose we’re likely to get more chapters like this one – though with the local girls helping out perhaps Pariya will get there a little faster. It’s nice to see her bonding with her cousins and neighbors anyway, because Pariya has obviously been a pretty misunderstood child – the aura she gives off is not exactly welcoming. I would still argue that there’s a bit too much sameness about the most recent run of material, and I do think the series would be better off if Mori-sensei hit the fast-forward button and moved this arc along. But even if she doesn’t, the worst-case scenario with Otoyomegatari is still pretty darn good.