Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Otoyomegatari - 24

img000002o img000007o img000009o

“The Feast”


Ah, the words every young bride surely dreams of saying on their wedding day: “Hey Mom, can we go see the sheep guts, too?”

Mori-sensei is taking the term “slice-of-life” quite literally this time - .  The long-awaited wedding day of Laila and Leyli has finally arrived, and Mori takes great pains to show us the preparations in exhausting detail.  If you’re looking for emotional heft, this isn’t the chapter for you – though we did get some mother-daughter bonding in Chapter 22.

As usual, part of the magic of Otoyomegatari is that Mori-san is able to address edgy topics without seeming to be dancing on the edge.  A couple of 13 year-old girls getting married is surely qualifies as outside modern convention in Japan and The West (though at least these couples are roughly of an age) and it could be dodgy in lesser hands, but through a combination of tasteful restraint and simply ignoring the issue Mori plows straight ahead.  She’s here to do a job – show us what the lives of these people were like – and marriages like this are par for the course.

img000013o img000019o img000022o

Really, Laila and Leyli resemble naughty little girls more than brides.  Their poor mother has her hands full getting the tomboys bathed, dressed, and from succumbing to the temptations of sheep guts and white stallions. Most of the focus of this chapter, in fact, is on everybody else – the relatives, , the men slaughtering them, and the guests – including Mr. Smith and his guide, of course, and also an Oji-san who happens to have been passing through and doesn’t even know the families.  It doesn’t matter – in this country the more folks come to celebrate the marriage the better, so just sit back and enjoy the feast (which goes on for a week!).

Just as we were getting to the end of the chapter, I was thinking to myself that in order to paint a full picture of the event Mori really should have showed us what the boys were going through to prepare (the talk, I wonder?), the title of the manga notwithstanding.  And lo and behold, the teaser for Chapter 25 tells us it’s a look at the Young Grooms’ wedding day preparations – so stay tuned for that.

You may have noticed that there was a brief omake, “Chapter 23.5” featuring the Brides’ Grandma rescuing a little boy stranded on a cliff by riding a ram up a steep trail.   While it was a little too brief to merit a dedicated post it’s definitely worth reading.

img000024o img000026o img000029o


5 comments:

  1. Every time I read through this manga, I realize that if (when? *fingers crossed*) this series manages to get an anime and it's on Noitamina, it just has to be paired together with Silver spoon. These two are made for each other ...

    ''Mori-sensei is taking the term “slice-of-life” quite literally this time''

    Fun story, while I never actually slaughtered an animal in my life, I did actually see it happen in person. I was scared throughout the entire thing, but managed to not throw up (probably due to how scared I was LOL).

    Guess I might as well hand in my man card along side Smith eh? :P

    ''As usual, part of the magic of Otoyomegatari is that Mori-san is able to address edgy topics without seeming to be dancing on the edge. A couple of 13 year-old girls getting married is surely qualifies as outside modern convention in Japan and The West (though at least these couples are roughly of an age) and it could be dodgy in lesser hands, but through a combination of tasteful restraint and simply ignoring the issue Mori plows straight ahead. ''

    While I agree with you that Mori-san has a great ability with presenting these situations in a non squickish manner, I have to say that in this particular case, is it really that much of an issue?

    Let's face it, modern day Japanese/Western society might shun it, back in the olden days, we had underage (as early as 8!) marriages happening by the whazoo, either due to the politics of the Ruling Class, the Wars causing the kids to grow up much faster (so they might be more ''active'' when it comes to getting involved in relationships) and just how people had more of an acceptance of that boys become men/girls become women once they completed certain ''trials'' or gained enough recognition rather than emphasizes on psychical age.

    Plus, it's historic fiction. Pretty damn accurate historic fiction, so that makes it seem more natural looking, as it should be.

    ''... and from succumbing to the temptations of sheep guts and .''

    I think you dropped the White Stallion from that paragraph (also, I wanted to get to see it :( Mori-san draws such beautiful horses ...)

    ''also an Oji-san who happens to have been passing through and doesn’t even know the families. It doesn’t matter – in this country the more folks come to celebrate the marriage the better, so just sit back and enjoy the feast''

    I wonder, have you ever read Emma Enzo? Because there is an interesting parallel here between the two societies and social acceptances.

    ''the talk, I wonder?''

    Eh, I don't think we'll get to see it, form either side anyway. My bet will be the same as the girls with getting ready (bathing, dressing up, meeting and greeting etc.) Maybe some wisdom from the dad to the younger generation on how to treat their women ('' Always care for your wife, and if she gets lost in a boat in the sea, jump head first into the ocean and drag that boat on top of you!'')?

    Something along those lines.

    23.5 was a special released with the 4th volume I believe, so I'll hold on to reading it till yen press releases the volume.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just remembered, but wasn't Snow White in Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs like 12-13 years old?

      If so, then that means that the social stigma with the underage marriages in fiction is something relatively recent, compared with the history of the subject.

      Delete
    2. And Romeo and Juliet are about 14. But it's easy for modern people to gloss over the original ages of the lovers in old stories like that, and I still think for a lot of modern folk the notion of 13 year-old getting married is somewhat off-putting. Or would be, in lesser hands.

      I think the talk to the brothers should be, "God speed and good luck - with these two, you're going to need it."

      Delete
  2. While Emma wasnt exactly my cup of tea (no pun intended) I enjoy this series alot Mori sensee has certainly done her research and no stone was left unturned I really feel I'm a fly on the wall watching how life was in Central Asia near the Caspian Sea during the early 19th century.
    lol I cant wait to see the groom side~~~

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh my, a new chapter. My week has become far better already.

    ReplyDelete