Monday, November 3, 2014

Manga Monday: Checking in again with Amir and Karluk

Life in a village, in a land of nomads, makes Amir's new family a valuable target in A Bride's Story Volume 6.

Note: A Bride's Story Volume 6 is part of an ongoing series. Check out the review of Volume 1 here, and Volume 5 here. Otherwise, read on!

Amir and Karluk have grown closer during their time together. As Karluk grows into his role as a young man and head of household, he starts to chafe at Amir's protectiveness. It's part of Amir's nature, after all; she's just as protective and motherly to Pariya, but of course Karluk doesn't see it that way. He feels that Karluk's protectiveness smacks of mothering, and he's certainly too old for something like that. Will Amir and Karluk come to an understanding?

After this small look into their domestic life, the tone of the volume changes dramatically. Amir's natal clan is suffering from a lack of grazing land for its horses. Buying fodder for the animals, besides being an admission that they are too weak to provide for their own, is extremely expensive. With an outstanding grudge against the Badan, the Halgal tribe launch an all-out attack against the village. And this time, they have a secret advantage.

Russian-made weapons. Their formidable horsemen are now aided by cannons and guns received from Russia, and the Badan have no idea what they're up against.

Unlike some previous volumes, A Bride's Story Volume 6 harkens back to Volume 2 in that it is pretty heavy on action and battle. While Mori is known for her domestic scenes, and her understanding of cultures and emotions, she proves her mettle drawing page after page of battle scenes. Even with all the yelling and action markers, Mori's art style comes through in the detail she shows of the horses, as well as the weapons and clothes of the fighters. Unlike in other manga, it's always clear who is fighting, and none of the panels are indecipherable. It's a testament to her attention to detail, and again makes the long wait between volumes worth it.

While A Bride's Story Volume 6 doesn't give us nearly as much slice-of-life as other volumes, it's still a masterpiece.

Highs: The old lady of Badan still kicks butt and takes names.

Lows: I wish there was at least one more chapter about life in the village, especially since we've been away so long.

Verdict: A wonderful installment in one of the most beautiful series currently publishing.

Further Reading: Emma: A Victorian Romance, Kaoru Mori: Anything and Something, Soulless the Manga Volume 1: Soulless

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