Manga Review: A Bride’s Story Volume Seven

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A Bride’s Story Volume 7 is set in the Caucasus region of central Asia during the 19th century. The main focus of the series is Amir Halgal, a 20-year-old who marries her betrothed husband who’s eight years younger than her. But sometimes, the series will also have stories focusing on other young women who are brides or who want to become brides.

A Bride’s Story Volume 7
Written by: Kaoru Mori
Publisher: Enterbrain, Inc.
English Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: November 17, 2015

Volume 7 has a focus on Henry Smith, a traveler and researcher learning about the customs, language, and culture of the people in this region. After leaving the hospitality of Amir and her family, he travels and meets people from other villages. His travels have brought him to Persia, where he is the guest of wealthy man.

While we see Henry interacting with his host, this volume actually has a strong focus on Anis, the wife of the rich man. Henry never gets to interact with her, though, because the women in the region don’t show their faces to anyone outside of the family.

Anis is an intriguing character from the moment the reader first meets her. She’s seen in a water garden, interacting with birds. It’s also shown that she’ll interact with the family cat, and that she is the mother of a young son. But through the art, Mori is able to convey that Anis may not be entirely happy with her life before she even says anything to her maid. The maid tells her about avowed sisters, and that Anis might be able to make friends by going to the public bath.

There are quite a few scenes that take place at the public women’s bath, and Mori doesn’t shy away from showing the characters in the state of undress they would be in at such a location. It comes across as natural and really doesn’t feel like gratuitous nudity.

But it’s at the bath where Anis, along with the reader, meets the other major character introduced in A Bride’s Story Volume 7. Sherine is the wife of a poor man and the mother of a son who is a little older than Anis’ boy. Even though the two women come from situations that are as different as night and day, they find they still have commonalities, such as being wives and mothers. But the friendship these two characters forge is very touching, and their unconventional way of going about a couple of traditions makes the two women even more endearing than they already are.

When it comes to the art, it doesn’t include much of the ornate style that Mori is usually known for in A Bride’s Story. But considering the story she was telling in this volume, as well as the particular characters featured in it, that’s actually rather understandable. Also, with the public bath serving as a major setting in Volume 7, there are more characters in a state of undress than in a typical volume of the series. Mori herself even comments on the difference in the art during the author’s note at the end of the volume. According to the author’s note, it sounds like we’ll be seeing more of the ornate art again in Volume 8. But even without the normal art style, there are still some close-up panels of Anis and Sherine in this volume that look very impressive.

A Bride’s Story Volume 7 introduces two compelling new characters who help to make it a compelling read. As I read through it, I didn’t want to put it down until I was finished. Readers who have been following and enjoying A Bride’s Story will enjoy meeting Anis and Sherine and find that they become engrossed in the story of these two women.

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