A Bride's Story, Vol.1 - Throwback Thursday [Manga Review]

I briefly reviewed this gorgeous manga series during my 2014 wrap-up.  But for this Throwback Thursday, here is my full review of A Bride's Story, Vol. 1 written originally for my Special Topics in Librarianship: The Graphic Novel class in December 2014.

Throwback Thursday review of Kaoru Mori's "A Bride's Story" Vol. 1.  A lush, detailed historical manga set in Central Asia in the late 1800s
1. I'm in love with Mori's detailed penwork!
Title: A Bride's Story, Vol. 1
Creator: Kaoru Mori (English translation by William Flanagan)
Published: 2011 by Yen Press (English), original Japanese in 2009
Rated: "Older Teen" by the publisher

About the Book:
"Acclaimed creator Kaoru Mori (Emma, Shirley) brings the nineteenth-century Silk Road to lavish life, chronicling the story of Amir Halgal, a young woman from a nomadic tribe betrothed to a twelve-year-old boy eight years her junior. Coping with cultural differences, blossoming feelings for her new husband, and expectations from both her adoptive and birth families, Amir strives to find her role as she settles into a new life and a new home in a society quick to define that role for her.

Crafted in painstaking detail, Ms. Mori’s pen breathes life into the scenery and architecture of the period in this heartwarming slice-of-life tale that is at once both wholly exotic, yet familiar and accessible through the everyday lives of the rich characters she has created."
The Artist Librarian's Review:
A Bride’s Story is a lush, historical graphic novel with beautiful, detailed art. I admit, when I first read the synopsis, I thought, “Oh no, this might be awkward,” regarding the ages of Amir and Karluk. However, they both have a sense of maturity to their characters --especially Karluk-- and Amir has a sense of fun and a lighthearted playfulness that often made me forget about the age gap.  To me, the age gap is especially minimized when paired with the manga style of art (other than a few panels that visually emphasized the difference). Though this manga was assigned in our class as an example of an "Adult Graphic Novel," based on the first volume (and the rating), I’d be willing to recommend it to older teens also.  However since there were a couple of what I’d call artistically nude/topless images, I’d only do so with families I knew really well.  I personally will be continuing this series because I am absolutely in love with the gorgeous artwork and the characters! Both the main and supporting are fleshed out in their respective roles –Karluk’s nieces and nephews are adorable and I want to learn more about Grandmother!

For manga readers, if they’re interested in lush historicals or even fantasy (the cultures explored are so foreign and unfamiliar to western ideas that I felt like I was reading a fantasy at times, especially when Amir’s family came back), I would definitely recommend A Bride’s Story.  Actually … some parts kind of remind me a tiny bit of Aang’s crush on Katara in the Avatar: The Last Airbender animated series (but the "Kataang" relationship is a little less "squicky"). But if they are "Kataang" shipper/fan, they might be enjoy this series as well.

For non-manga readers, I think historical fiction fans like myself would enjoy it. Those interested in drawing or pen work (or even intaglio or printmaking) might also find the series interesting to read and study Mori's amazing work.

Brief content notes: Some slight language [e.g. bas--rd] and artistically nude/topless images, but most of the situations come across as more innocent rather than typical hyper-sexualized graphic novel/comic book art.  Feel free to contact me for more details.

Do you like reading about unfamiliar cultures or customs (historical or contemporary)?  What are some titles (books or graphic novels) you'd recommend that explore those subjects?1. - A Bride's Story, Vol. 1 cover image (c.) Yen Press


A Bride's Story, Vol.1 - Throwback Thursday [Manga Review] A Bride's Story, Vol.1 - Throwback Thursday [Manga Review] Reviewed by The Artist Librarian on 10/15/2015 12:18:00 PM Rating: 5

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