Red River or Anatolia Story (Sora wa Akai Kawa no Hotori in Japanese literally meaning The Sky is on the Bank of the Red River) was first published in 1995 in Japan and published in 2009 in North America. The series ran for seven years till 2002. There was 8 drama CDs that were based on the series. They were released between 1997 and 2003. This is one of the few manga series that is still some what popular but never got an anime for it. There are two novel that came out in the 2007 and an art book that came out in 1999. But, that’s it.
This story is like a small scale version of Game of Thrones. It deals with conflict through out multiple kingdoms, but in stead of focusing on multiple groups of people in all the kingdoms it just focuses on one group of people. There are obvious main characters in this story, Yuri and Kail. Where in game of thrones there is no clear main character. Just because it is small scale doesn’t mean that the drama isn’t there.
Story wise this manga is great. I’m not going to say perfect but great. There is a perfect balance between the romance of Yuri and Kail and the political drama going on around them. Character wise, the story isn’t as kind. The only real development is Yuri and Kail’s relationship. Them selves as characters do not grow. They are the same people they were at the begin of the story. This can be over looked because of how good the rest of the story is. I just accepted that it’s a plot driven story not a character driven story.
Just like I’ve accepted that every man wants Yuri and every woman wants Kail. This isn’t some thing that has gone away in shojo manga either. The main characters are normally the object of desire for every one else. Even though they only have eyes for each other.
When you look at shojo manga now it’s more driven by the characters and how they interact with each other. That’s fine but then the plot suffers and it doesn’t make for a good story at all. Which is sad because a lot of stories have potential but then they just fizzle out. I have a love hate relationship with shojo. I will still always like it but there is defiantly more bad then good in there.
The art style of the manga is defiantly a product of it’s time. It looks very much like the orginal sailor moon manga (it came out around the same time). Also, panel them selves focus more on the characters then the scenery around them. Where as today the art style has changed again but the panel’s main focus is still the characters. You get more scenery in more recent or modern manga but the style is still very similar to Red River and other of it’s time.
I do recommend this manga to those who want drama. This is defiantly a drama. If you just want a romantic story about two people. I don’t recommend this one. I wouldn’t even call it a romance because of how much drama there is. At times it can get a little soap operay, but to to the point of eye rolling. Defiantly worth checking out this old manga.
Join me next week when I read Hellsing.
Do you have a some thing you want me to read? Let me know in the comments down below.