This week, we’re looking at two completely different stories for your. One is a beautiful historical fiction, the other is about futuristic kids with special powers. This weekend’s recommended reading is Otoyomegatari and Iris Zero.
Otoyomegatari is set in Central Asia, in a rural town near the Caspian Sea, during the early 19th century. The story revolves around a young woman, Amir, who arrives from a distant village across the mountains to marry Karluk, a boy 8 years her junior. The story follows the day to day details of every-day family and community life in this historic fiction.
The first this that comes to mind with this manga is “beautiful”. Every chapter is drawn to extensive detail. his manga is a pleasure to read just for that. For historical fiction, the plot is easy going. The pace their way through different scenarios, without leaving the reader behind. It’s as if the author wants us to learn history as much as he wants us to get to know the characters better. There is love, conflict, and celebration throughout this manga.
While the story does center around a love story, there are many other elements that make this a well rounded work of fiction. I would recommend this to any person looking to add something different to their manga bookshelf. This work is licensed by Yen Press in North America.
Set sometime in the near future, every boy and girl has a special power called Iris, a power to see information that cannot be seen through normal vision. Toru Mizushima is an Iris Zero, a person who was born without an Iris. Because of his lack of Iris, he’s discriminated against. This discrimination has forced him to lead a quiet, low profile, life. His quiet life is disrupted when the most popular girls in school, Koyuki Sasamori, tasks him with helping her. As a result, he’s now forced to meeting new many, encountering problems that he has to solve in order to maintain his peaceful life.
This show closely resembles the Marvel comics X-Men concept. Every person has a special power, that shows in the form in a unique visual perception. Every person’s perception provides them insight into the world around that changes the way they socialize. The way those problems are presented is fascinating, and leads to some interesting character interactions. And in a similar vein to Hyouka, Toru must begrudgingly solve mysteries and problems at the school. Part of the mystery usually involves discovering a person’s Iris, since no one else can tell what it is just by looking at each other.
You may find that the formulaic plot of mystery and resolution to be pretty standard. However, the combination of the Iris powers, and the budding romace make this manga an enjoyable read. Just don’t work too quickly through it; the illustrated came down sick this summer, and is still yet to return. But, that’s no reason to get started on this fun manga.