[[quoteright:215:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/amiru.jpg]]

''Otoyomegatari'' (literally ''Young Bride's Story'') is a {{seinen}} {{manga}} and yet another period romance from KaoruMori. This time the setting is Central Asia during the 19th century.

Set on the Silk Road that connected Asia with Europe before modern times, it is the SliceOfLife story of Amir, a nomadic tribeswoman skilled in archery and horsemanship, who is sent to marry Karluk, a boy from another village who is eight years younger than her. But all is not well: the Russians are expanding south, political unrest is brewing and her family decides to take her back...

As with all of Mori's works, the art and attention to detail is extensive, although Mori can put more effort into this particular work with less pressure, since it is a bimonthly publication.

Published in English by Creator/YenPress as ''A Bride's Story'' in larger-than-usual hardcover volumes to show off Mori's artwork.

!!This series provides examples of:
* AbsurdlyYouthfulMother: Karluk's sister, Seleke, is only a handful of years older than Amir but already has ''four'' children, the eldest of whom is about nine. Then again, it wasn't uncommon in her culture for girls to marry and become pregnant in their early teens. Even so, Seleke does not ''look'' like she's had four children.
* AcceptableBreaksFromReality: A minor one, lampshaded in the afterword of Volume 2; getting a lot of bricks dumped over your head will still kill you, even if the bricks are only made from mud and sun-dried (not fired in a kiln).
* AccidentalMarriage: Trouble twins Laila and Leili try their damnedest to invoke this by running into chosen people, wearing their headscarves loose (because touching a woman's bare head would be scandalous unless you're her husband... or [[ShotgunWedding marry her right away]]).
* ActionGirl: Amir. It's actually stated that this was part of a normal education for girls where she's from. Chapter 33 drives the point firmly home when she [[spoiler:takes out her own father, the enemy commander, single-handed]].
* AccidentalHero: As part of his cover to avoid being accosted on his travels, Smith pretends to be a doctor and helps a man with his dislocated shoulder. [[spoiler:Come morning, and everyone is convinced he's a miraculous doctor and have formed a huge crowd outside his door.]]
* ACupAngst: Anis starts to feel this way after the women at the bathhouse compare her to the much more buxom Shirin and imply [[BuxomIsBetter her husband would like her better if she filled out]]. Her husband later dismisses this.
* AloofBigBrother: Azel to Amir. And, like her, he's a [[TallDarkAndHandsome gorgeous]] {{badass}} archer to boot.
* ArrangedMarriage: The story begins with one between Amir and Karluk. They get along very well despite the fact that she's from another culture, and of course the eight year age gap. By setting default, you can safely assume ''every'' couple you see are in arranged marriages.
* AuthorAppeal: Obscure setting? Check. [[CostumePorn Gorgeously intricate clothing?]] Check. [[ShownTheirWork Obsessive attention to historical detail?]] Check. Intelligent, beautiful, and unusual female lead? Check. This is very much a Kaoru Mori manga. Mori herself stated that she's had a fascination with the period subject (pre-Russian Silk Road) since high school.
* AuthorAvatar: As with her previous stories, she portrays herself in the afterword as a messy haired caricature with bad manners (often screaming). She's also [[BigEater always eating something]].
* {{Badass}}: In the female camp, we have Balkirsh and Amir, who can easily handle their own in a fight. In the male camp, we have Azel, who's so badass he must be a god of war reincarnated as a human.
* BigDamnHeroes:
** [[spoiler:Karluk]] in Chapter 8. Arguably his CrowningMomentOfAwesome as well.
** And Amir returns the favour in Chapter 33.
* BigEater:
** The twins spend virtually their entire wedding day stuffing their faces...in secret, because the bride isn't actually allowed to eat anything during the ceremony.
** Joruk often complains about being hungry and pilfers food whenever he can.
** There's also Smith's guide, Ali. The one thing that's guaranteed to make him cease complaining is the prospect of food.
** Anis's new friend, Shirin, clears a loaded plate, as in a whole chicken, in the time Anis looks away and looks back. She also likes to eat whole watermelons by herself.
* {{Bishonen}}: Azel and Joruk, Amir's elder brother and cousin respectively. Karluk looks to be becoming one.
* BlackWidow: Subverted. Talas ''is'' a serial widow for five brothers, but she did love some of them and had no part in their deaths. Also she or her family gained no extra dowries for the "bonus" marriages.
* BoomHeadshot: A comedic variant where one of the twins' harebrained schemes involved taking out a passer-by with a headshot... using a ''fish.'' They threw it hard enough to knock him out cold.
* BuxomIsBetter: Sahmi has developed a reputation for preferring women with large boobs, which embarrasses him every time one of the twins [[http://www.mangahere.com/manga/otoyomegatari/v02/c021/8.html brings]] [[http://www.mangahere.com/manga/otoyomegatari/v02/c021/38.html it up]].
* CantHaveSexEver: Inverted with Amir and Karluk. In their case, it's "Must Have Sex And The Sooner The Better", since Amir's relatives [[spoiler:want her back to marry her off into a different, more powerful family, and are going as far as attacking Amir's new tribe in order to steal her.]] Conceiving would fix that problem, because before that happens, the marriage isn't considered to be valid... the issue is that Karluk is only twelve.
* CheerfulChild: Again, most of Karluk's nieces and nephews.
* ChristmasCake: Invoked and Discussed. Some characters mention Amir being old for a bride (she's married at 20, but her family started looking for a husband for her from the time she was 13), especially considering the eight-year age gap between her and Karluk.
** CakeEater: Karluk states that her age doesn't bother him one bit, and in fact he wouldn't have her any other way.
* CloseKnitCommunity: The town where Karluk comes from.
* CompletelyMissingThePoint:
** After Amir hunts down a fox, Karluk admits he worries she may one day run into a wolf. Her response?
--> '''Amir:''' Oh, for wolves you need more people, to get all of them at a shot! You can't hunt them alone!
--> '''Karluk:''' .....
** In the first chapter, Amir receives some cloth from her mother-in-law Sanira, which she uses to make a rabbit fur-trimmed vest for Karluk. Sanira says that she'd thought it'd be nice material for Amir to make something for herself. Amir thinks this means that Sanira thinks her current clothes are too dirty to wear, so she ''immediately strips down'' and runs off to do laundry.
* CoolBigSis: Amir to Pariya and Karluk's niece and nephews.
* CoolOldLady: Karluk's grandmother, Balkirsh, who drives off hostile visitors with a bow and rides a goat up a cliff to rescue a child. After the latter side-story, she's explicitly dubbed the coolest and strongest woman in the manga![[note]]Unfortunately this line isn't included in the volume release and thus is also not in Yen Press release.[[/note]]
* CostumePorn: Especially the embroidery. Dear Gods, the embroidery. This series may as well be called ''Costume Porn: The Manga''.
* CourtlyLove: Amir and Karluk, out of the very simple necessity of Karluk being twelve. Also Smith and Talas, since he is a gentleman and she a widow from a completely different culture.
* CulturalPosturing: Possibly crossed with MuggingTheMonster. At least some of the nomads seem to find the Russian newcomers as little more than savages from the borderlands. [[ForegoneConclusion Yeah]], [[TsaristRussia about that]]...
* DatingWhatDaddyHates: Talas' stepfather-in-law won't allow Smith to even see her.
* DeathByDespair: Talas' father-in-law, after all five of his sons died without producing offspring.
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: It's Central Asia a couple of centuries back. Of course it doesn't have modern First World values.
* {{Determinator}}: Several, but especially Azel.
* DoubleInLawMarriage: Deliberately invoked by the twins' father, who would prefer to get them both off his hands at the same time, and therefore marries them to a pair of brothers.
* EndOfAnAge: It's not very obvious, but there are hints here and there of the modern world – represented by the Russians and even Mr. Smith – encroaching ever more into the local way of life. Other examples include the growing presence of bolt-action rifles, settlers and Russian-influenced fashions. Justified, due to the story taking place in the mid-19th century, not too long before the Russians conquer the area.
* EyePatchOfPower: Amir's father, the clan chief, wears a highly decorative one.
* FirstKiss: [[spoiler: Karluk shares it with Amir.]]
* FoodPorn:
** In Chapter 16, Mori applies her prodigious talents to all manner of food in the market, and the characters literally spend the entire chapter looking for the best food and then finally eating it in an impromptu feast. You probably should not read it while hungry.
** Chapter 4 gives us ''verbal'' FoodPorn, when Joruk gets carried away, describing what kind of meal he wants to be greeted with:
--> "I want some mutton. Slices fresh off the grill, piled high on a plate. The really juicy kind! Some fried rice might work, too... pour soup all over it and shovel it in! Oh, that stuff's good!"
* ForegoneConclusion: Not with the story itself, but the setting. In less than 30 years[[note]] We don't have any concrete evidence as to ''exactly'' what years the story covers[[/note]], the Russians will move in, annex the area to their Empire, and start a long period of Russification. The nomads will be made to settle down and/or be forcibly relocated somewhere much less pleasant. The Aral Sea – featured prominently in the Twins' Story – will dry up and disappear from severe misuse, turning the entire area into an inhospitable desert (even more than it historically was).
** Already foreshadowed from Chapter 30 onwards, when Amir's tribe ally themselves with the Russian-aligned Batan tribe in order to raze Karluk's town, seize their land and get Amir back. Due to their links with the Russians, the Batan have ample Russian weaponry, which they promise to place at the Halgals' disposal. In the ensuing battle, [[spoiler:the Batan betray the Halgals, seeking to seize the town and get rid of their "allies" at the same time. No doubt the Batan are doing the Russians' dirty work for them.]] Even though Karluk's hometown prevails, it, and the whole region, will eventually be annexed by the Russian Empire.
* GildedCage: Anis evidently feels this way about her luxurious home, since her husband is often absent, her baby is being raised by another woman, and she's not allowed to leave or even interact with people other than family.
* '''GorgeousPeriodDress'''
* GrandmaWhatMassiveHotnessYouHave: Sanira already has a few grandchildren, but is still very beautiful. Heck, her husband even notes how good she looks for her age. [[http://www.batoto.net/read/_/132858/otoyomegatari_ch25.5_by_prozess/6 He's damn right.]]
* HappilyEverAfter: The conclusion to the twins' marriage arc.
* HeIsAllGrownUp: Chapter 28 has Amir slowly coming to this realization, with an intercut of other women discussing how Karluk's all grown up to accentuate the moment of realization in the last page.
* HotSpringsEpisode: The gratuitous scenes at the womens' bathhouse in Anis' story.
* HugeGuyTinyGirl: Laila and Leili's parents. While their mother is regular sized, their father is a towering, powerfully built man easily twice her size. His size/strength explicitly played part in a RescueRomance that won his wife's affection.
* IGaveMyWord: Smuggling a meal to a boy being punished is one thing, but doing so after she told him that she can't do it again is quite another.
* InnocentFanserviceGirl: Amir, who has no qualms about occasionally going about the house in her underwear or lounging naked in the bath for ages.
* IntimateHealing: Amir does this with her young husband during a cold night in a yurt.
* TheJailbaitWait: A variant. By his culture's standards, Karluk is a full adult at twelve, being married. Chapter 23 still has Amir wishing that he'd grow up faster as it's strongly implied that she wants to get a lot more intimate with him.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Mr. Smith's guide, Ali, who is very blunt to the point of rudeness, but is a hard-working young man nonetheless who wants to earn enough money so he can get married.
* KickTheDog: Amir's family wants to marry her to a man who is so violent that, due to brutal treatment, he pretty much ''killed'' the two women the family previously married to him! One of whom may have been Amir's younger sister. Furthermore, they do this by trying to forcibly break Amir's already performed (even if yet unconsummated) marriage and one of them was ready to kill Karluk even if she went with them, simply so there would be no loose ends.
* LongHairIsFeminine: As is fitting for the setting, it's said that most women never cut their hair even once in their lifetime.
* MeddlingParents: Talas' mother-in-law does everything she can to convince her to remarry, even though she's already accepted her lonely fate. Later [[spoiler:the man Talas' mother-in-law marries in order to try and assure Talas finds a bridegroom too. He's even more meddlesome, being absolutely against hearing anything about Talas' own arrangements.]] Of course this is all {{justified|Trope}} seeing how going against your parents [[spoiler:and especially the male head of your family]] was unthinkable for women in that time and place.
* MeetCute: The twins Laila and Leili planned to do this on would-be suitors with their head coverings loosened. In their culture, touching a woman's uncovered head is seen as very intimate and was only allowed for those intending to marry, though it never goes right. Their inspiration for the plan was an older relative who actually managed to pull it off.
* MrFanservice: Hey, remember Amir's brother, Azel? He's kinda hot, right? Now then, let's get him soaking wet and watch him strip.
** Oh, so you enjoyed that last part? Well, I guess it wouldn't be too much trouble for him to take his shirt off again. And let's give him a few bruises and bandages as well, why not?
* NeverMessWithGranny: Karluk's grandmother Balkirsh fires an arrow at Azel as a warning shot when he comes to retrieve Amir and successfully bluffs him out of the village. In a side story she rides up a mountain on a goat to rescue a little boy. At the end of the chapter she is deemed the strongest and coolest woman in the whole manga. She even [[spoiler:''kills Azel's father personally'']], even though he's Amir's father too.
* NiceHat: A lot of the adults have hats and headdresses, many ornate and detailed. Balkirsh's is the largest.
* NippleAndDimed: Averted in that both men and women have visible nipples. In fact, female nipples are drawn in more detail.
* OpaqueNerdGlasses: Smith has them about 99% of the time in the first two books, fittingly as he then only plays the part of a foreigner expo-magnet as a nerdy researcher. Dropped for some select scenes in the third book when he gets a more emotional plot of his own.
* OurNudityIsDifferent: When Mr. Smith sees Talas with her headscarf off, she blushes and tries to cover herself and apologizes for the "shocking display".
* ParentingTheHusband: Subverted. Amir thinks this is her role in regards to Karluk and seems OK with it, but he grows weary of it pretty soon and eventually gets the point across that she doesn't have to babysit him. The way he does it also has a side effect of [[PerfectlyArrangedMarriage Amir falling head over heels for him]].
* ThePatriarch: Karluk's grandfather Mahatbek, though being elderly he doesn't get around much and prefers to sit peacefully. Karluk's father, Akunbek, serves as one of the village elders.
* PerfectlyArrangedMarriage: Thus far there seem to be nothing but these, although one could argue that the culture norm probably encourages unhappily arranged couples to "learn to like it" or at least keep it to themselves. However, some couples are happier than others, and Amir and Karluk are one of those.
* PetTheDog: The normally brusque and aloof Azel tenderly wiping Amir's tears for her in Chapter 35.
* PhenotypeStereotype: Mr. Smith and the English woman sent to deliver him letters in Chapter 10 are both blond. The fact that they were both English also led some locals to believe they at least knew each other.
* PimpedOutDress: The day-to-day clothes are bad enough, but the wedding gowns are on another level.
* PluckyComicRelief: Karluk's [[CheerfulChild niece and nephews]], [[FunnyForeigner Smith]], and [[PunchClockVillain Joruk]].
* RealityEnsues: In book three, [[spoiler:Smith and Talas' sudden engagement seems to be going along the usual romantic rails, until Chapter 17. The entire chapter makes it abundantly clear how unrealistic it actually was due to the cultural differences and family ties.]]
* RelationshipUpgrade: While Karluk and Amir are already married at the start of the story, it isn't until Karluk's BigDamnHeroes moment in Chapter 8 that Amir moves away from being more of a CoolBigSis to Karluk and starts to see him romantically and act like a smitten young woman (and awkwardly so).
* RescueRomance:
** Laila and Leili's mother apparently met and fell for their father after he rescued her from stormy waters by ''lifting her and her boat'' and carrying it all the way to land. As mentioned in RelationshipUpgrade, this applies for Amir and Karluk as well as she only begins to view him romantically after he rescues her from her father.
** Laila and Leili also try to [[InvokedTrope invoke]] it themselves... by knocking someone into the water so they can rescue him. HilarityEnsues.
* RomanticTwoGirlFriendship: Anis and Shirin; playing their first meeting like LoveAtFirstSight is just the tip of the iceberg.
* RotatingProtagonist: After the second volume, the story switches from Karluk and Amir to Mr. Smith on his journey to Ankara to receive an item prepared for him. Later the focus goes back to Karluk and Amir for a while, before shifting again to Mr. Smith's arrival in Persia and introducing the wife of his host, Anis.
* SacredHospitality: Fitting for the period. At one point when a messenger delivers letters to Smith, many of the villagers fight over who he gets to stay with until Akunbek declares him as his guest.
* SavvyGuyEnergeticGirl: Karluk is much calmer than Amir is. Laila and Leili are as HotBlooded as their husbands Saahman and Farsahmi [[TheStoic are not.]]
* SceneryPorn
* SheCleansUpNicely: The twins and their respective grooms have mutual moments of this in Chapter 25 when they see each other in their marriage getups.
* ShirtlessScene: Azel spends most of Chapter 29 wandering around shirtless after saving a foal from the river. [[{{Fanservice}} Completely relevant to the plot, of course...]]
* ShootTheDog: After it becomes clear that the hawk Amir has been nursing back to health will be unable to fly again, Amir and eventually Karluk conclude that this is the best course of action. They figure a life without flight, stuck in a cage fed by hand is no life for hawk. Karluk offers to do the deed, to spare Amir the pain of having to kill the animal she's been caring for.
* ShownTheirWork: As usual, Mori takes this to extremes and her work is that much better for it.
* SingleMindedTwins: Laila and Leili start out as this ([[LampshadeHanging it's even lampshaded]]), however they eventually realise that when it comes to marriage they are attracted to different things in their potential grooms.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Amira or Amir? The official English translation went with Amir. This applies to a lot of the names due to the ''huge'' disconnection between Japanese and Turkic languages.
* TextileWorkIsFeminine: Mr. Smith notes the astounding amount of time local women dedicate to weaving/sewing. Also see Tomboy.
* {{Tomboy}}: A number of examples:
** Amir comes from a nomadic tribe and is used to riding horses, hunting, and using a bow and arrows. Especially shooting game while on horseback. This makes her quite a tomboy when compared to the culture of her new tribe, which gave up the nomadic life and settled down a few generations back. Otherwise, she's not that tomboyish, unlike...
** Pariya, who's not interested in needlework or marriage (she prefers baking and archery instead), and has a rougher personality than most other women shown. [[BrutalHonesty She speaks her mind without rounding the corners]] and is considered too "cheeky" for most groom candidates.
** The twins Laila and Leili could count as this as well. They swim, dive, fish and climb trees on their own. They're physically strong enough to knock a man unconscious with a projectile. And they were quite averse to their mother's lessons on domestic chores and crafts.
* ThemeTwinNaming
* TrainingFromHell: Laila and Leili get put through rigorous training by their mother so that they can be prepared for their wifely (and later motherly duties) in less than a month. This includes teaching them how to cook and clean with efficiency, medicine and health, strength training, sewing and berating them with chickens when they mess up.
* TricksterTwins: Laila and Leili are the epitome of this, though their tricks are rarely successful.
* {{Tsundere}}: Pariya, since she is naturally awkward and used to being disliked by everyone for her outspokenness, blushes furiously when she meets a suitor but then starts shouting at him the next minute. Laila and Leili as well.
* TwinBanter: Laila and Leili again. It actually serves as a real shock to them when they have a differing opinion.
* UnmovingPlaid: Averted. Not only does Mori draw the patterns on their dresses, she draws it slightly differently between different panels[[note]] she redraws it every single time a pattern is used, even when the pattern reappears ''three panels under the first instance''.[[/note]].
** There are straight examples, however. The patterns on Saahman's and Farsahmi's clothes in Chapter 21, for example, are the same size in every frame, even if perspective and distance should make them appear smaller. These are mostly done for simpler patterns, however, as the more complex ones are the ones that get more lavish attention.
* UnresolvedSexualTension: Several cases, the first being between Amir and Karluk (the latter doesn't feel ready to consummate the marriage yet), and a second with Mr. Smith and Talas.
* TheUnsmile: Well, Pariya does [[http://www.mangareader.net/otoyomegatari/18/25 try]] her [[http://www.mangareader.net/otoyomegatari/18/27 best]].
* VictoriousChildhoodFriend: Laila and Leili end up engaged to their childhood friends Saahman and Farsahmi, respectively. Played with in that both pairs of siblings are at first unenthusiastic about it as they feel like they're just settling for each other at the behest of their parents. After they go on dates to get to know their respective fiancés, however, both sisters come to like what charm the boys hide behind their [[TheStoic usual bored expressions]] and each becomes convinced that they got the better catch.
* WhenHeSmiles: The ecstatic smiles on Saahman's and Farsahmi's faces (which normally show either sarcasm or exasperation) at the end of their marriage reception in Chapter 26 actually stun the normally loud twins, now their wives, into silence.
* WifeHusbandry: Or more accurately, Husband Husbandry. Karluk is twelve when he marries Amir, and she does guide him a bit into the more romantic aspects of marriage, although most of the time it seems she is willing to wait until he grows up.
* WiseBeyondHisYears: To modern sensibilities, twelve-year-old Karluk comes off as surprisingly mature for his age. In the setting, though, he's considered an adult and expected to act as such.
* [[ManChild Woman Child]]: Amir, though it's more that she's innocent (and occasionally oblivious) rather than immature.
* YouAllShareMyStory: The "Young Bride" differs with every story arc. It started with Amir, then Talas, then Laila and Leili, and then Anis.

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