Sunday, July 22, 2012

Review of Red River (Series, Vol. 1-28) by Chie Shinohara

Red River, Vol. 28 by Chie Shinohara
My rating: 4 of 5 genies
Genre: Manga, Historical, Fiction, Romance, Action, Mystery, Magic
Published: January 12, 2010
Pages: 200
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
Format: eRead
Purchase At: or

Goodreads Summary

Over 15 million copies sold in Japan! R to L (Japanese Style).
Final Volume!

Prince Kail, a young warrior and sorcerer, and Yuri, a modern-day teen, were thrown together when Queen Nakia drew Yuri across time and space into the ancient Hittite Empire. When it is the season of the North Star, Prince Kail has the power to send Yuri home. But the evil queen's plan to murder them both--and their growing feelings for one another--keep getting in the way!

During the ceremony to install her as Tawannana, Yuri tells Kail she's pregnant. Then, in a glimpse into the near future, Kikkuri recounts a day in his life as the chief trainer for the kingdom's horses, and Yuri gets herself into a bit of a fix while visiting Cappadocia. And in the concluding tale, love finds its own road in the events leading up to the marriage of Ramses, now the Pharoah of Egypt, and Kail and Yuri's granddaughter Naptella.

My Thoughts

With 28 volumes it is difficult to review every single one, and that is putting it very lightly! I took heed from a few readers and decided to review the last one as a giant summary of the series. It will be brief and just my notes on incidents and characters.

------------------ Beware of Possible Spoilers! ---------------------

This series was excellent, and I thoroughly enjoyed learning the history between the Egyptians and Hittites. I bet Ms. Shinohara did a butt-load of research to pull off something so amazing, and it definitely showed by how knowledgeable it was! Shinohara had a way of educating and entertaining with intelligent humor, and I liked that a lot about this series.

I loved Kail, and was in love with his adoration for Yuri! Man they were so sweet. Seeing them in this final volume is such a far-cry from the first where she was like, "I hate you. Get away!" Now it was like, "C'mon sugar, yeah!" Lol, they were cute. I cannot begin to describe what a strong heroine Yuri was! Girl had fire and it was hot! She comes from the 20th century but still manages to strategize the whole Hittite army to victory, not to mention rule like a boss! I respect, very much.

You know who I also respect? Ursula. I felt bad for that guy she was going to marry, I mean to say that her loss would have been so hard! And still he was so loyal, truly admirable.

The other character that was a favorite was Hadi. Her toughness was just killer and she was beauty and skill all in one, so totally a beast! I didn't care for her sisters however, and thought them quite foolish to fall for the same guy and both know about it. I do not share men. Ever. Plus Kikkuri was so not a catch! He took care of horses and didn't have any desirable qualities or looks whatsoever; he was just there, and giving him both girls was such a waste.

The ending was also a little weird for me and although I hoped there would be a little extra snippet with Yuri ruling, instead there was just a summary of sorts and closing with the same aggravating Kikkuri. [ But guy was a pimp! I gotta give it to him, two twins and a truck-load of kids...who were also twins. Lucky duck. With freckles of course, can't forget those. (hide spoiler)]

I also never saw the promised marriage between Yuri and Ramses grandchildren; that would have been so cool, finally a union! Still, it ended pretty decent and I was left with a slight case of mixed feelings for Urhi and the Queen. [ I wished they could have been together in some alternate universe/spin-off, I hated that those horrible people made him a eunuch! No child deserves that and Shinohara garnered my sympathy by throwing that last-minute bit of info into the mix. I felt bad for him. (hide spoiler)]

Most of the regrets I have are expressed above, although another, and equally important, area of concern is the slight smuttiness of this manga. I wasn't expecting it. Nudity, yes, but not the depictions of Kail having sex with Yuri and her throwing her head back in ecstasy as she nibbles on his (sorry to say) less than defined chest. It felt a little like porn at times,(not good), and I was so grateful that there was no drawn genitalia. That would have been more than a little much!

Also I did not really appreciate the way every man with a penis loved Yuri. Attraction does not work that way, but every man wanted her, like really badly and it was awkward. I pained for Rusafa and frowned deeply at this author when she did what she did to him! UNCALLED FOR!! That's another thing, Shinohara is so casual with her disposal of characters that it is painful. Obvious examples such as Usula. Tito and Zananza were hard to swallow being swept away, and in that aspect the author did not prepare the reader nearly enough. Not for their abrupt passing or the easiness in which it is soon forgotten.

Rusafa was a great guy and I think she should have killed Kikkuri instead of him. Just saying.

But no book except the truly celestial ones can leave zero signs of dissatisfaction; and I accept that this work was better than most despite my perceived failings in certain areas. Like I mentioned, having some things different would have been more my cup of tea, but it was as final in presentation as I had expected of the series closer, and with that I have no issue.

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