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Otoyomegatari


Alt Names: alt Arojen Morsiametalt 乙嫁語りalt The Bride's Stories
Author: MORI Kaoru
Artist: MORI Kaoru
Genres: Award Winning Award WinningDrama DramaHistorical HistoricalRomance RomanceSeinen SeinenSlice of Life Slice of Life
Type: Manga (Japanese)
Status: Ongoing
Description: Set in Central Asia in a rural town near the Caspian Sea during the early 19th century, the story revolves around a young woman, Amir, who arrives from a distant village across the mountains to marry Karluk, a boy eight years her junior. The story unfolds among details of everyday family and community life. However, the peaceful atmosphere is disturbed when Amir's family demands to take her back to their village.
Go to Otoyomegatari Forums! | Scroll Down to Comments
The following content is intended for mature audiences and may contain sexual themes, gore, violence and/or strong language. Discretion is advised.


Latest Forum Posts

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Topic Kaoru Mori Illustrating Amir. New Window JTai
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Topic Mr Smith wimps out. New Window truepurple
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Topic Otoyomegatari Chapters New Window Pold10
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Topic Cultural accuracy New Window Tadao
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Chapters

Title Group Contributor Date
Vol.7 Ch.42: If It's For You..
Duralumin Duralumin A day ago
Vol.7 Ch.41: The Ceremony
Duralumin Duralumin 05 November 2014 - 12:48 PM
Vol.4 Ch.20 Read Online
Kotonaru IMC 11 May 2013 - 09:23 AM
Vol.4 Ch.19 Read Online
Kotonaru IMC 10 April 2013 - 07:10 AM
Ch.11 Read Online
Otomeganofansub davibleachero 16 January 2012 - 04:28 PM [A]
Vol.2 Ch.11 Read Online
Kotonaru IMC 05 March 2013 - 08:52 PM [A]
Ch.6 Read Online
Otomeganofansub davibleachero 16 January 2012 - 02:23 AM [A]
Ch.3 Read Online
Otomeganofansub davibleachero 16 January 2012 - 01:56 AM


575 Comments

People also romanticise marriage, relationships and all kind of BS. See many marriages or witness divorce and family courts. Monogamy often is just as shitty.

 

Spoiler

Mmm... The true points you make don't mean forcefully the solution of the starving's clan deserves an arc. Mori could choose to show us how Amir's bro is freed and how they found a way to find food and stuff, all of that or in some few pages or in a dozen of chapters. My guess ... it's going to be, rather, some few pages about it, but not a whole arc; so that the essence of the story Amir and Karluc's will keep being how they defended their marriage against his father attempt to break it. We'll see what decides Mori about it. Whatever solution may be it has to be believable. 

 

Actually, there's a potential solution that could lead to another young bride arc. As far as we know big bro is unmarried. Get him a bride from a clan/village willing to accept the Halgals and share with them. Not that it's likely to happen, but would be nice if it did. 

-USE! SPOILER! TAGS!-

 

Walls of text may be relevant to people participating in the conversation but they are inconvenience to others.

Er, that's what I meant by chickening out. Here's the current situation where Amir and Karluk live:

 

1. Amir's clan invaded not out of greed but desperation. They faced starvation and potential extinction if they can't get grazing land fast. The idea was to steal said land from the village. This failed, so they're STILL facing starvation. Let's repeat that: Dozens of families, potentially over a hundred adults and many children, are going to die.

 

2. The deaths of so many of their menfolk and the assassination of Amir's dad will leave the clan weak and leaderless. Without the protection of their menfolk their herd will be thinned out by bandits and without the manpower to handle the herd they can't recover easily from losses. Their situation will get worse from these deaths, not get better.

 

3. There will be a power struggle. Amir's big bro is still captive in the village and some of the uncles may have survived. His position might be challenged even if he were free because he switched sides BEFORE their former allies' treachery was proven. 

 

4. Said former allies are still secure in their mountain stronghold with their arsenal depleted but still significant. They failed in the invasion and need a new victim to recover losses. Guess what? There's a weak, starving clan nearby with lots of unprotected women and children.

 

In other words, a situation where "Amir and Karluk live happily forever after" without a realistic resolution of these circumstances first is tantamount to saying, "Okay, Amir and Karluk will now achieve happiness by trampling on the bones of Amir's entire extended family; screw 'em, they don't matter, we never got to see any of them anyway," which is never what Otoyomegatari is about. I sure hope Mori-sensei won't chicken out and just ignore the dark implications of her own narrative.

 

Mmm... The true points you make don't mean forcefully the solution of the starving's clan deserves an arc. Mori could choose to show us how Amir's bro is freed and how they found a way to find food and stuff, all of that or in some few pages or in a dozen of chapters. My guess ... it's going to be, rather, some few pages about it, but not a whole arc; so that the essence of the story Amir and Karluc's will keep being how they defended their marriage against his father attempt to break it. We'll see what decides Mori about it. Whatever solution may be it has to be believable. 

The problem here isn't that polygamy is being depicted but that it has been romanticized. It seems that there is a cultural disconnect here between people who live in actual Muslim societies and those who don't. I live in Muslim majority Indonesia, and it's patently untrue that you would have to be particularly wealthy to afford polygamy. THAT IS EXACTLY THE PROBLEM. Three houses from mine live a devout Muslim family. One guy with three wives and seven children. I earn 17 times his income and even at this level it would still be expensive for me to raise two children and give them a decent education. His kids are completely uneducated except for being able to read the Quran. That there is exactly the tragedy of real polygamy: That most of the time, in reality, it creates such poverty as to doom the next generation to the bottom rungs of the social ladder.

 

Which brings us to the problem with the way this manga has depicted polygamy. Being a guy myself, I was also absorbed with the fantasy of this romanticized polygamous relationship even as I myself know what real polygamy - as practiced in the real world today - is like. Just look at my comments. It took the protest of an actual Muslim woman to wake me up from this fantasy and make me realize how wrong that attitude is. Fiction can be very compelling sometimes, and can even turn us into idiots who simply brush off the inconvenient realities we are very well aware of in real life, and there is nothing wrong with that. That's exactly what fiction is meant to do. However, this subject can be dealt with without so much romanticizing, and yes, now that I can look at it with a more objective view, it is quite disappointing that Mori-sensei would treat it this way after portraying so many strong, independent women elsewhere in the same series.

 

The wake up call also reminded me of the case of formerly popular preacher Abdullah Gymnastiar who a few years ago got into trouble for committing polygamy. His second wife is what we in Indonesia call a "flower widow", meaning a young, beautiful widow like Shirin. The excuses he used were so jarringly similar to the setting of this manga: She's a young widow unable to support herself and his own first wife supported the polygamy. The two get along well, so it's okay. Well, let's just say that he's FORMERLY popular because not many people - even in Muslim majority Indonesia - bought into his BS.

 

So yeah, it's nice to be buoyed into escapist fantasy, but there are tragic realities in this world we shouldn't ignore. Don't get me wrong. I'll still read this manga even if I disagree with Mori-sensei's treatment of this particular subject. I just want all of us to be aware of the truly tragic real-world situation that thousands of real men and women and children have to contend with in their daily lives today. It's rare, yes, but here in Indonesia there are definitely way more polygamous families than cancer patients, and the majority of these families are definitely unable to afford this lifestyle. That's just how it is. Sorry to rain on everyone's parade.

 

I agree with your PoV (never thought of it that way). My country of origin, Nepal(mainly hindu/buddist) also had some instances of polygamious families and still does but is reducing. Although illegeal, its not enforced. From my experiences from those families, they work their backs off to provide for their children (but most are rich). It may be attributed the social differences of different cultures. In Nepal, education and children is given the upmost priority for the child because it is seen as the only gateway for the whole family into a better quality of life in one of the poorest contries,  therefore I havent come into contact/heard of families that have unafforable lifestyles. This ifestyle is a rocky slope for argument becuase we can't stop a person from loving whoever but also don't want to put their families in a desperate postiion.

The problem here isn't that polygamy is being depicted but that it has been romanticized. It seems that there is a cultural disconnect here between people who live in actual Muslim societies and those who don't. I live in Muslim majority Indonesia, and it's patently untrue that you would have to be particularly wealthy to afford polygamy. THAT IS EXACTLY THE PROBLEM. Three houses from mine live a devout Muslim family. One guy with three wives and seven children. I earn 17 times his income and even at this level it would still be expensive for me to raise two children and give them a decent education. His kids are completely uneducated except for being able to read the Quran. That there is exactly the tragedy of real polygamy: That most of the time, in reality, it creates such poverty as to doom the next generation to the bottom rungs of the social ladder.
 
Which brings us to the problem with the way this manga has depicted polygamy. Being a guy myself, I was also absorbed with the fantasy of this romanticized polygamous relationship even as I myself know what real polygamy - as practiced in the real world today - is like. Just look at my comments. It took the protest of an actual Muslim woman to wake me up from this fantasy and make me realize how wrong that attitude is. Fiction can be very compelling sometimes, and can even turn us into idiots who simply brush off the inconvenient realities we are very well aware of in real life, and there is nothing wrong with that. That's exactly what fiction is meant to do. However, this subject can be dealt with without so much romanticizing, and yes, now that I can look at it with a more objective view, it is quite disappointing that Mori-sensei would treat it this way after portraying so many strong, independent women elsewhere in the same series.
 
The wake up call also reminded me of the case of formerly popular preacher Abdullah Gymnastiar who a few years ago got into trouble for committing polygamy. His second wife is what we in Indonesia call a "flower widow", meaning a young, beautiful widow like Shirin. The excuses he used were so jarringly similar to the setting of this manga: She's a young widow unable to support herself and his own first wife supported the polygamy. The two get along well, so it's okay. Well, let's just say that he's FORMERLY popular because not many people - even in Muslim majority Indonesia - bought into his BS.
 
So yeah, it's nice to be buoyed into escapist fantasy, but there are tragic realities in this world we shouldn't ignore. Don't get me wrong. I'll still read this manga even if I disagree with Mori-sensei's treatment of this particular subject. I just want all of us to be aware of the truly tragic real-world situation that thousands of real men and women and children have to contend with in their daily lives today. It's rare, yes, but here in Indonesia there are definitely way more polygamous families than cancer patients, and the majority of these families are definitely unable to afford this lifestyle. That's just how it is. Sorry to rain on everyone's parade.

People also romanticise marriage, relationships and all kind of BS. See many marriages or witness divorce and family courts. Monogamy often is just as shitty.

I want to thank you for all your comments that enlightens my understanding of the story. 

 

I think the story of Karluc and Amir is finished. Sure we will see them again, but in the essence there is no more to tell. The premise has been all the time the conflict between their love and the economical needs of her father's clan. But that was already solved with the intervention of Amir's brother, which clearly points what will be the new attitude of his clan towards Amir's marriage, and with the assassination of his father by the granny, which pretty much left no body to come for revenge. Now Amir and Karluc can live happy for ever.

 

I was expecting no more than that after the assassination, but this arc about the wife-sisters gives me the hope that Mori will choose to keep adding new bride's stories from time to time to the series, so that we will have many more than the 3 that you mentioned. (I'll add the story of the failed bride of Smith who was a very beautiful woman). 

 

Er, that's what I meant by chickening out. Here's the current situation where Amir and Karluk live:

 

1. Amir's clan invaded not out of greed but desperation. They faced starvation and potential extinction if they can't get grazing land fast. The idea was to steal said land from the village. This failed, so they're STILL facing starvation. Let's repeat that: Dozens of families, potentially over a hundred adults and many children, are going to die.

 

2. The deaths of so many of their menfolk and the assassination of Amir's dad will leave the clan weak and leaderless. Without the protection of their menfolk their herd will be thinned out by bandits and without the manpower to handle the herd they can't recover easily from losses. Their situation will get worse from these deaths, not get better.

 

3. There will be a power struggle. Amir's big bro is still captive in the village and some of the uncles may have survived. His position might be challenged even if he were free because he switched sides BEFORE their former allies' treachery was proven. 

 

4. Said former allies are still secure in their mountain stronghold with their arsenal depleted but still significant. They failed in the invasion and need a new victim to recover losses. Guess what? There's a weak, starving clan nearby with lots of unprotected women and children.

 

In other words, a situation where "Amir and Karluk live happily forever after" without a realistic resolution of these circumstances first is tantamount to saying, "Okay, Amir and Karluk will now achieve happiness by trampling on the bones of Amir's entire extended family; screw 'em, they don't matter, we never got to see any of them anyway," which is never what Otoyomegatari is about. I sure hope Mori-sensei won't chicken out and just ignore the dark implications of her own narrative.

Why are people critizing about polygamy?

 

It wasnt till recently that polygamy was frowned up by society. Some middle eastern islamic based countries still have polygamy and was practiced since thousands of years ago. In eastern societies, you hadconcubines while misteresses in western.

 

I would understand the criticism if the setting was in modern times, but it's not, therefore it is perfectly acceptable for usage and also serves as adding to the historical authenciticy. It is no different than tribal conflict was, at those times.

 

The problem here isn't that polygamy is being depicted but that it has been romanticized. It seems that there is a cultural disconnect here between people who live in actual Muslim societies and those who don't. I live in Muslim majority Indonesia, and it's patently untrue that you would have to be particularly wealthy to afford polygamy. THAT IS EXACTLY THE PROBLEM. Three houses from mine live a devout Muslim family. One guy with three wives and seven children. I earn 17 times his income and even at this level it would still be expensive for me to raise two children and give them a decent education. His kids are completely uneducated except for being able to read the Quran. That there is exactly the tragedy of real polygamy: That most of the time, in reality, it creates such poverty as to doom the next generation to the bottom rungs of the social ladder.

 

Which brings us to the problem with the way this manga has depicted polygamy. Being a guy myself, I was also absorbed with the fantasy of this romanticized polygamous relationship even as I myself know what real polygamy - as practiced in the real world today - is like. Just look at my comments. It took the protest of an actual Muslim woman to wake me up from this fantasy and make me realize how wrong that attitude is. Fiction can be very compelling sometimes, and can even turn us into idiots who simply brush off the inconvenient realities we are very well aware of in real life, and there is nothing wrong with that. That's exactly what fiction is meant to do. However, this subject can be dealt with without so much romanticizing, and yes, now that I can look at it with a more objective view, it is quite disappointing that Mori-sensei would treat it this way after portraying so many strong, independent women elsewhere in the same series.

 

The wake up call also reminded me of the case of formerly popular preacher Abdullah Gymnastiar who a few years ago got into trouble for committing polygamy. His second wife is what we in Indonesia call a "flower widow", meaning a young, beautiful widow like Shirin. The excuses he used were so jarringly similar to the setting of this manga: She's a young widow unable to support herself and his own first wife supported the polygamy. The two get along well, so it's okay. Well, let's just say that he's FORMERLY popular because not many people - even in Muslim majority Indonesia - bought into his BS.

 

So yeah, it's nice to be buoyed into escapist fantasy, but there are tragic realities in this world we shouldn't ignore. Don't get me wrong. I'll still read this manga even if I disagree with Mori-sensei's treatment of this particular subject. I just want all of us to be aware of the truly tragic real-world situation that thousands of real men and women and children have to contend with in their daily lives today. It's rare, yes, but here in Indonesia there are definitely way more polygamous families than cancer patients, and the majority of these families are definitely unable to afford this lifestyle. That's just how it is. Sorry to rain on everyone's parade.

Smith is currently the binding thread for the narrative, but he's being passive in the current arc. We keep going back to the original couple because they actually have an amazing story to tell. Plus Amir is still the best young wife in this entire series. There have only been three confirmed couples before this arc: Amir and Karluk, and the twins and their respective husbands. Paraya might be getting married after the chaos settles, and poor Mr. Smith's short crush never went anywhere. Either the series will end soon with Smith reaching India or publishing a book on his travels, or we'll go back to conclude the story of Amir and Karluk. 

 

I do hope for the latter. That couple is incredible in so many ways, given that at 12 Karluk is already manlier and more mature than 99.999999999% of older manga male characters COMBINED. Plus Amir is best young wife in this entire series.

 

I do hope Mori-sensei won't chicken out and do a timeskip, now that we have the clan war to resolve. Amir's family and clan have been reduced to a state of desperation, their treacherous former allies are still around and heavily armed despite losing their leaders, and big bro is being overly stoic and stubbornly stupid throughout all this, given that unlike his own nomadic brethren his sedentary captors are more likely to forgive him with a little intervention from Amir and Karluk's family. I want to see that resolved before the end. Oh, have I mentioned that Amir is the best young wife in this entire series?

 

I want to thank you for all your comments that enlightens my understanding of the story. 

 

I think the story of Karluc and Amir is finished. Sure we will see them again, but in the essence there is no more to tell. The premise has been all the time the conflict between their love and the economical needs of her father's clan. But that was already solved with the intervention of Amir's brother, which clearly points what will be the new attitude of his clan towards Amir's marriage, and with the assassination of his father by the granny, which pretty much left no body to come for revenge. Now Amir and Karluc can live happy for ever.

 

I was expecting no more than that after the assassination, but this arc about the wife-sisters gives me the hope that Mori will choose to keep adding new bride's stories from time to time to the series, so that we will have many more than the 3 that you mentioned. (I'll add the story of the failed bride of Smith who was a very beautiful woman). 

http://raw.senmanga.com/Otoyomegatari/43/1

 

Well, now with the series on break until February, it seems a good opportunity to begin a new arc (or revisit an older one). 

Why are people critizing about polygamy?

 

It wasnt till recently that polygamy was frowned up by society. Some middle eastern islamic based countries still have polygamy and was practiced since thousands of years ago. In eastern societies, you hadconcubines while misteresses in western.

 

I would understand the criticism if the setting was in modern times, but it's not, therefore it is perfectly acceptable for usage and also serves as adding to the historical authenciticy. It is no different than tribal conflict was, at those times.

I think it bears mentioning that in most modern Muslim countries, especially secular Turkey, polygamy is frowned upon (IIRC it's even illegal in Turkey?).


  Most muslim countries have very restricted rules for polygamy, the most common being that there is a need for the wife's permission, whether it is a clause at marriage forbidding another marriage, or forbidding the husband to take another wife at the time. 

In history, polygamy in the muslim world is pretty rare(common enough for very high class society, but almost nonexistant for normal plebs) . 

You pretty much have to be so rich, that the woman cannot find a husband that is going to provide for her just as much. (The polygamy husband would have to divide his riches by how many wives he has) 
 
Anyway, Anis is really trying to push it without thought. Shirin could easily marry someone else, I would not be surprised if the Husband himself asked that question.

I think it bears mentioning that in most modern Muslim countries, especially secular Turkey, polygamy is frowned upon (IIRC it's even illegal in Turkey?). I imagine real Muslim women from these countries would be disappointed by how Mori has essentially romanticized what to them is a backwards and unpleasant tradition. ForeverYoung, sorry if any of my comments are disrespectful. I tend to forget that there are people in the world for whom this sort of thing is still very real and in the present.

I think my corrupted English caused some misunderstanding. Sorry for that.

I didn't mean that we should cover it with Yuri. What I meant was; while we were waiting for this second wife plot from the start, the Westerner friends in here never thought of it, instead they thought it would be Yuri kind of plot. That's because their culture doesn't contain that sort of thing. I haven't suggested it skipping with yuri.

 

What I'm disappointed with is, the mangaka chose this corruption to be drawn. You know, it is so oriental and cathcy, ' wow men have two wives just because they want it ! '  It is so cliche also.Just like some Hollywood movies, when Turks are mentioned, they put a belly dancer on the screen. Well actually, we don't have belly dance thing outside of touristic areas :)  I always thought Japanese anime and manga was genuine in a way its own. 

 

And Melcyna, nowadays this second wife thing is not happening as innocent as in this manga, as you said it better.

'Oh la la, I have a lifetime friend <3' NO.

This is not a way to protest/make a note of this abusiveness. This is why I'm upset about.

Well, I'm not gonna hide that this is a sore point for most of Muslim women like me living in the modern world. Maybe that's the whole issue :)

Sorry for the long post, hope this time I was able to express myself.

 

And @maffa, you can ask me anything anytime on pm. Coz I'm not sure what you meant by 'explaining it better.'

I get the feeling the husband will not be... displeased with the arrangement.

Oh man. I was praying inside that the story wouldn't come to this, since I read the chapter Shirin and Anis met. I bet every Middle Eastern reader like me predicted this second-wife plot from the start. I was gigling inside when I read the 'ooh, may be Yuri??' comments. 

 

Mori sensei, you've dissappointed me. Just, no! It's just disgrace, nothing else.

Predicted not just by you, but anyone with a clue of the condition of the area at the time.

 

Let's face it, women at the time in those area, and even now for that matter... were not given much of a chance to do anything that will allow self sufficiency...

 

Their options in similar circumstances... aren't many... and each not pretty to even consider.

 

But honestly? that is exactly what should be shown, now the question of how Mori handles it from THIS point onward would be interesting since polygamy is considered dysfunctional in developed world and banned in most of them for a good reason.

 

I'd rather something shown to be for what it is... rather than just pretending that we can cover it with yuri and skip it.. as much as i love yuri materials.

Oh man. I was praying inside that the story wouldn't come to this, since I read the chapter Shirin and Anis met. I bet every Middle Eastern reader like me predicted this second-wife plot from the start. I was gigling inside when I read the 'ooh, may be Yuri??' comments. 

 

Mori sensei, you've dissappointed me. Just, no! It's just disgrace, nothing else.

uh this is interesting. mind explaining better?

My feels never asked for this.

I do hope Mori-sensei won't chicken out and do a timeskip, now that we have the clan war to resolve. 

 

If memories serves me right, in an interview that she's done recently ( under a year ), she's mentioned that she knows where the story is going all the way to volume 12. Considering we're only in volume 7, I think the story won't have a time skip that spans for too many years.

Is this just a series of different stories? So is the english guy supposed to be the one who "binds" the different stories together? Will we never get to go back to previous characters?

 

Smith is currently the binding thread for the narrative, but he's being passive in the current arc. We keep going back to the original couple because they actually have an amazing story to tell. Plus Amir is still the best young wife in this entire series. There have only been three confirmed couples before this arc: Amir and Karluk, and the twins and their respective husbands. Paraya might be getting married after the chaos settles, and poor Mr. Smith's short crush never went anywhere. Either the series will end soon with Smith reaching India or publishing a book on his travels, or we'll go back to conclude the story of Amir and Karluk. 

 

I do hope for the latter. That couple is incredible in so many ways, given that at 12 Karluk is already manlier and more mature than 99.999999999% of older manga male characters COMBINED. Plus Amir is best young wife in this entire series.

 

I do hope Mori-sensei won't chicken out and do a timeskip, now that we have the clan war to resolve. Amir's family and clan have been reduced to a state of desperation, their treacherous former allies are still around and heavily armed despite losing their leaders, and big bro is being overly stoic and stubbornly stupid throughout all this, given that unlike his own nomadic brethren his sedentary captors are more likely to forgive him with a little intervention from Amir and Karluk's family. I want to see that resolved before the end. Oh, have I mentioned that Amir is the best young wife in this entire series?

Oh man. I was praying inside that the story wouldn't come to this, since I read the chapter Shirin and Anis met. I bet every Middle Eastern reader like me predicted this second-wife plot from the start. I was gigling inside when I read the 'ooh, may be Yuri??' comments. 

 

Mori sensei, you've dissappointed me. Just, no! It's just disgrace, nothing else.

Is this just a series of different stories? So is the english guy supposed to be the one who "binds" the different stories together? Will we never get to go back to previous characters?

lol wow i could never, ever do that. i don't even like sharing my food.

 

it seems sweet and all but i just don't find it so. it does however fit with the setting, so i can't really complain about it.

I'm quite happy with how things are developing so far... But sad... And conflicted. It needs a strong woman to do what Anis did, since she loves her husband. And Shirin is considerate of Anis' feelings when Anis said she'd ask her husband to take Shirin as his 2nd-wife. I mean ;A; man. This reminds me of my aunt ;;A;; but sadder... Because a person died.

 

Me: Mori-sensei, how could you!?

Mori: Because I can!

I'm sure they will become what we think of as sister wives now and her friend will become her husband's second wife.   It's quite a shame since he really loves her. 

 

^ Nice call!


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