Manga Review: A Bride’s Story Volume 11

A Bride’s Story Volume 11 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 is 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 11
Written by: Kaoru Mori
Publisher: Enterbrain, Inc.
English Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: August 27, 2019

Volume 11 focuses on Talas, a young woman who had met Henry Smith earlier in the series. At the beginning of this volume, she has come to realize that she is in love with Henry and wants to be with him. But her family has arranged a marriage for her with a man who has been married before. When she explains her feelings for Henry, Talas’ betrothed agrees to help her locate him.

Talas and her betrothed travel together, and they finally find Henry in Ankara. While Henry is glad to see Talas, her arrival causes problems for him, especially when it comes to Mr. Hawkins, the man that Henry reports to during his travels in the area. Talas wants to travel with Henry, and he tells her he would like her to be his wife. They don’t get married in this volume, but there is potential for them to actually marry later on in the series. I hope it happens, because Talas deserves some happiness in her life after what’s happened to her in the past.

Before continuing his journey, Henry is given a newer, smaller camera to take pictures with as he’s traveling. Mori takes the time in both the manga and in the afterward to explain the process that Henry is using to take and develop his pictures. You would think having something educational like this being thrown in would make the chapter a boring read, but it doesn’t. We also get to see the very beginning of Henry’s journey, and how he has to adjust to having Talas traveling with him.

There’s also a hilarious story involving a watch that Henry lost earlier in the series. Someone finds it, and as it passes from person to person, a “legend” surrounding the watch grows bigger and bigger. It ends with Henry seeing someone wearing it across their neck, and hearing about the legend that has grown around it. His reaction was rather comical.

Amir shows up briefly in a quick montage of events that takes place in the first chapter. After that, Amir doesn’t show up again anywhere in Volume 11.

Mori’s art continues the ornate style that A Bride’s Story has come to be known for. This is especially evident in the clothing that Talas wears. The style that Mori has utilized for this series has given it a very distinct look and feel that works for the story that she’s telling.

A Bride’s Story Volume 11 is a wonderful continuation for the series, and I’m looking forward to what else Mori has in store for the characters in future volumes of the series.

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Yen Press Announces Digital Releases for Kaoru Mori’s Manga Releases

Yen Press has announced that that Kaoru Mori’s A Bride’s Story, Emma, and Kaoru Mori: Anything and Something will be receiving a digital release.

A Bride’s Story Volumes 1-5 and Anything and Something will officially be available on September 25, 2018. Pre-orders are also available for A Bride’s Story Volumes 6-9 on October 30, 2018. The entire series of Emma will release digitally on November 27, 2018.

Source: Yen Press

One-Punch Man Is Top Selling Manga in the U.S. for September 2016

According to Nielsen BookScan, five manga titles appeared on their Top 20 Selling Graphic Novel list for September 2016.

  • One-Punch Man Volume 8 by ONE and Yusuke Murata (#5)
  • Monster Musume Volume 9 by OKAYADO (#8)
  • Tokyo Ghoul Volume 8 by Sui Ishida (#11)
  • Tokyo Ghoul Volume 1 bu Sui Ishida (#15)
  • One-Punch Man Volume 1 by ONE and Yusuke Murata (#20)

Source: ANN

Manga Nominated for the Eisner Awards

The 2016 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award panel of judges has announced its nominees for the best work in the comic industry. Six manga titles have been nominated for the Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia award:

  • Assassination Classroom Volumes 2-7 by Yusei Matsui
  • A Bride’s Story by Kaoru Mori
  • Master Keaton Volumes 2-4 by Hokusei Katushika, Takashi Nagasaki, and Naoki Urasawa
  • Showa 1953-1989: A History of Japan Volume 4 of Showa: A History of Showa Japan by Shigeru Mizuki
  • A Silent Voice by Yoshitoki Ōima
  • Sunny by Taiyo Matsumoto

The results in all categories will be announced in a gala awards ceremony on the evening of Friday, July 22, 2016 at Comic-Con International in San Diego.

Source: ANN

Manga Review: A Bride’s Story Volume Seven

Originally written for WatchPlayRead.com

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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Yomiuri Shimbun Announces Winners of Sugoi Japan Awards

The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper published the winners of its Sugoi Japan Awards. Genre experts nominated approximately 50 anime, manga, light novel and entertainment novels from the last 10 years and allowed visitors to vote for their favorites. The anime and manga winners include:

Anime Series
1. Puella Magi Madoka Magica
2. Tiger & Bunny
3. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
4. The IDOLM@STER
5. Love Live! School Idol Project
6. Mushi-Shi
7. Attack on Titan
8. Natsume’s Book of Friends
9. Psycho-Pass
10. Steins;Gate

Manga Series
1. Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama
2. Silver Spoon by Hiromu Arakawa
3. Haikyu!! by Haruichi Furudate
4. March comes in like a lion by Chika Umino
5. Space Brothers by Chūya Koyama
6. Nichijo by Keiichi Arawi
7. One-Punch Man by ONE and Yuusuke Murata
8. A Bride’s Story by Kaoru Mori
9. Saint Young Men by Hikaru Nakamura
10. Assassination Classroom by Yusei Matsui

Source: ANN

Manga Review: A Bride’s Story Volume Six

A Bride’s Story Volume Six is a manga by Kaoru Mori, and it was published in North America by Yen Press in 2014. I don’t see a rating printed anywhere on this volume, but I would personally recommend A Bride’s Story to manga readers who are 14 or 15 years of age and older.

A Bride’s Story Volume 6
Written by: Kaoru Mori
Publisher: Enterbrain
English Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: October 28, 2014

A Bride’s Story is set in the Caucasus region of central Asia in the 19th century. The series originally started focusing on the character of Amir and her arranged marriage. Over the course of the series up to this point, Amir is still one of the main characters; however, the series also covers the stories of other brides and potential brides.

Volume Six has a strong focus on Karluk and Amir. Throughout this volume, Karluk makes it clear that he’s tired of being treated like a child; he’s almost 13, so he wants to be seen as a man. Many of Karluk’s actions in this volume can be traced back to his desire to be seen as a man. There’s an incredibly sweet and touching scene between Karluk and Amir where he’s trying to prove to her just how much of a man he is. Seeing Karluk successfully pick up Amir and her shocked face when he does, along with the hug at the end, make this scene have quite an impact on the reader.

We also get to see Amir’s clan making an alliance with the Badan; the plan is for them to combine forces and attack Karluk’s village in order to get the land they need to graze their horses. But we see that Azel, Amir’s brother, doesn’t trust the Badan; Joruk and Baimat agree with him. It was refreshing to see that some of Amir’s clan doesn’t think with the same hive mentality as Amir’s father and the others.

Quite a bit of Volume Six shows the battle that takes place, and I would have to say that this would have to be the most action-packed volumes of A Bride’s Story that I’ve read. And it turns out Azel was right not to trust the Badan, as we see that the Badan betray them during the battle. Azel, Joruk, and Baimat do some surprising things by the end of the battle, and this volume really changed my perception on those three characters. Hopefully the character progression for Azel and the others will continue in future volumes of the series.

But I have to give some serious props to Karluk’s grandmother. Early on in the volume, she displays her wisdom, and at the end, she shows that she knows how to use a weapon and come up to her prey without being noticed. Even though we may not see her much in the series, this volume showed me just how good of a character she is.

Mori’s art style still grabs me whenever I read a volume of A Bride’s Story. Not only did she maintain the same level of detail and quality that she’s shown in previous volumes, she also had to draw a lot of horses for Volume Six as well. Can I say how beautiful her horse drawings look? Whenever I see her art, I can only imagine just how long she has to spend drawing it in order to get it to look as stunning as it does.

Volume Six was a good read, as it was able to successfully combine the tone and storytelling that readers already know with the action scenes that were necessary to tell the story that’s presented here. I also appreciated seeing the focus of the story back on Amir and Karluk.

If you’ve been reading A Bride’s Story and enjoyed the previous five volumes, I believe you’ll like what you read in Volume Six.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of A Bride’s Story Volume Six that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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Winners List for the Manga Taisho Award 2014 Competition

The Manga Taisho Award 2014 competition takes 10 pre-selected manga that people most like to recommend to others and ranks them by popular vote. The winning manga will receive a substantial promotional push from booksellers in Japan.

The final ranking is:

1. A Bride’s Story by Kaoru Mori (94 points)
2. The Town Where Only I Don’t Exist by Kei Sanbe (82 points)
3. Goodbye, My Ball-chan by Kazuyoshi Takeda (66 points)
4. The Seven Deadly Sins by Nakaba Suzuki (59 points)
5. The Terrarium In The Drawer by Ryoko Kui (54 points)
6. Second Edition Done! by Naoko Mazda (46 points)
7. One-Punch Man by ONE and Yusuke Murata (43 points)
8. Ajin by Gamon Sakurai (32 points)
9. Ashizuri Aquarium by panpanya (31 points)
10. I am Sakamoto, so? by Nami Sano (9 points)

Source: ANN

10 Titles Nominated for the Seventh Manga Taisho Awards

The executive committee for the seventh Manga Taisho awards has announced this year’s 10 nominated works:

  • Ashizuri Suizokukan by panpanya
  • Ajin by Gamon Sakurai
  • A Bride’s Story by Kaoru Mori
  • Sakamoto desu ga? by Nami Sano
  • Sayonara, Tama-chan by Kazuyoshi Takeda
  • Juhan Shuttai! by Naoko Matsuda
  • The Seven Deadly Sins by Nakaba Suzuki
  • Hikidashi ni Terrarium by Ryoko Kui
  • Boku Dake ga Inai Machi by Kei Sanbe
  • One-Punch Man by ONE and Yuusuke Murata

The titles were nominated by a committee that’s composed mainly of bookstore staffers who are in charge of their respective stores’ manga. To be eligible for nomination, a title had to be released in 2013 and have eight volumes or less.

A second round of voting will determine the winner of Manga Taisho 2014, which will be announced at an awards ceremony held on March 27, 2014.

Source: ANN

Manga Review: A Bride’s Story Volume Five

A Bride’s Story Volume Five is a manga by Kaoru Mori, and it was published in North America by Yen Press in 2013. I don’t see a rating printed anywhere on this volume, but I would personally recommend A Bride’s Story to manga readers who are 14 or 15 years of age and older.

A Bride’s Story Volume 5
Written by: Kaoru Mori
Publisher: Enterbrain
English Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: September 24, 2013

A Bride’s Story is set in the Caucasus region of central Asia in the 19th century. The series originally started focusing on the character of Amir and her arranged marriage. Over the course of the series up to this point, Amir is still one of the main characters; however, the series also covers the stories of other brides and potential brides.

This volume continues the story of the twins, Laila and Leily, who were introduced in Volume Four.  At the end of Volume Four, the two of them found husbands who are brothers and arrangements were made for them to be married.

Volume Five opens with the preparations for the upcoming nuptials. However, Laila and Leily are having a hard time with the preparations and when the ceremony itself starts to get going, because it requires them to be quiet and still. Considering how wild and rambunctious these twins are, this is extremely hard for them to do. Once their future husbands arrive, they have them fetch them food and take them out without anyone noticing.

Fortunately, the ceremony happens and the girls leave their family with their new husbands. However, the girls have a hard time adjusting to married life right at first, but something happens that makes the transition a little easier for them.

Amir returns to the story, when she finds an injured hawk and tends to it to try to help it recover enough to be able to fly and return to the wild. Karluk becomes jealous of how much time Amir is spending with the hawk instead of him, and this is an issue that the two of them have to work out.

There’s also a side story featuring the grandmother, where she gets on a goat and rescues a little boy who’s trapped on a cliff. By the time I finished reading this side story, I was thinking, “Go, Granny! You rock!”

Overall, this volume has a rather light-hearted feel to it. However, by the end of the volume, there is a mention of things becoming unsettled recently due to the Russians in the area, and that some people have taken to thievery to survive. I’m suspecting that this volume may be a “calm before the storm,” in that the story may start picking up in intensity before too much longer as the Russians may gain more influence in the region as the series continues.

I’m still amazed and blown away by Mori’s art style, especially by how ornate some of the clothing and backgrounds are. I think it’s quite wonderful to look at, but sometimes I shudder at the thought of how much time she must spend drawing these panels in order to make them look that good.

I really enjoyed reading Volume Five, especially the sections that focused on Laila and Leily’s wedding.  And for the series as a whole, I appreciate how Mori is able to make me believe I’m truly in this time period with her writing and her art. Not only that, I also enjoy the glimpse that the series gives me into the history of the time period in the region that this story is set in.

If you’ve been reading A Bride’s Story and enjoyed the previous four volumes, I believe you’ll really like what you read in Volume Five.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of A Bride’s Story Volume Five that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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