Sora wa Akai Kawa no Hotori

It is already the 20th century. Yuuri is enjoying her date with her boyfriend. As she steps on wet soil, something grabs her and take her to the time of the Hittite Empire. Later, she learns that she is transported there to be a living sacrifice by the Queen. Fortunately for her, Prince Kail saves her and take her as his concubine. Caught between political intrigues and wars, how could Yuuri go back to modern Japan? Also, what will happen to her relationship with Prince Kail when the two of them are slowly developing strong feelings for each other?

From the present Anatolia (Turkey), let us go back to the ancient time as the story’s heroine, Yuri is transported from 20th century Japan to Anatolia. We are introduced to the era where the rulers in the Middle East are the Hittites. There is also Egypt ruled (at the start of the story) by Tutankhamen. Chie Shinohara did a good job in making a connection of history and fiction.

Personally, the many volumes I’ve read, the more I fall in love with the story. I started reading the manga with low expectations. The art, which will be discussed later, is kind of old-fashioned. After reading chapter 1, I just can’t stop myself from reading it. I become intrigued by its plot. At the same time, be fascinated by the ancient era. My curiosity grows when I begin to wonder how will Kail and Yuri be together if they both came from different time and place. It is a fast-paced story that progresses with every page you read. I don’t think there is a dull moment in the story. If there is, it would be few. In addition to that, it is not purely romance, there is also action since political conflicts and wars are common inside and outside nations on those times. Red River is also educational. Since the mangaka made a reference to the history, pieces of historical information are scattered throughout the story.

Another strong point of this manga is the development of the characters. Yuri may seem the average middle-high school student. With all the troubles she had faced, she slowly proved herself worthy of the title “Ishtar” and “Tawanana”. She, along with the other characters, had clearly established their personality, status, and role in the story. Each one of them has given their own rightful moment. Even the antagonists are given a fair share in the story. Their anger had rooted from deep circumstances that happened in their lives.

The art may be a bit off at first but don’t let that discourage you from reading this. Considering the settings of the story which are Japan in the year 1995 and Hattushash during the Iron Age, it is obvious why the art is like that. Once you get used to that, it will be okay. I really think that the artwork is beautiful.

Certainly, Anatolia Story is very smutty. Again, consider the era, and circumstances they are in and you’ll understand why. It did not bother me that much. It is just that I was surprised when I read smutty parts. It’s all because I forgot that it is labeled as smut.  Another problem you will encounter is when you reach volume 24 and 25.

For the ending part, it is expected and a bit dramatic. Oh well, all evil things must come to an end and don’t forget that this is shoujo. Besides, it is the start of a glorious reign.

Overall, this is a must-read for everyone. In the future, when people changed their tastes on art and story, Anatolia Story will forever retain its charm as this story is timeless. It bends time and space for the love of these two characters. A wonderful story of love, war, and betrayal that enthralled, is enthralling and will enthrall its readers no matter how many years have passed.


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