Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 6 (Ōoku: The Inner Chambers / 大奥, #6) By Fumi Yoshinaga

I continue to really enjoy this manga series set in 17th century Japan, where the Shogun is a woman, and the harem is filled with beautiful boys. There are so many characters in this series, that I sometimes have to remind myself who is who, and what would really help is a family/character tree in the appendix of each book, along with the excellent footnotes. The drama, intrigue, and scheming continue unabated in this volume, with some murder added in for extra flavoring. The art and story continue to be excellent, the old English continues to annoy forsooth, and I cannot wait to see where this series goes next. English I really see how people call this a soap opera. The drama keeps coming!! English I typically don't like multi-generational stories, and this is sort of repetitive in some respects of the kinds of intrigues we've seen before, and (I'm told) roughly parallels Japanese history from an alt-history perspective (what if women were in power, and had a harem like Ooku, etc), but it's also clearly a reflection on Japan and gender and power regardless of gender/sexuality…. I continue to like it in spite of the layers of nuanced historical reflection I don't quite understand completely. English 3/5 It is good and entertaining but it is also hard to follow. All the faces look similar. The difficult Japanese names make it very hard to remember the characters. English Still liking the intrigue and everything. There was an incest plot that meh. Art's real good. I look forward to the next volume! English

Fumi Yoshinaga ¼ 9 Download

The aging shogun Tsunayoshi must name an heir, but her senile father is blocking the ascendance of the most likely candidate in favor of a young, untried lord. But politics and the shogun’s own unpopularity may soon take the choice out of her hands. Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 6 (Ōoku: The Inner Chambers / 大奥, #6)

So in this volume we approached the end of the Tsunayoshi arc - and my heart broke which I was not expecting. Volume 4 - 6 form a trilogy of sorts following the stages of life for Tsunayoshi and one which I did not expect to love as much as I did.

Tsunayoshi was an awful person - callous, sybaritic and so lonely in the end. The author did a fabulous job with this character - making her both unlikable (dare I say evil at times) but also making her real character with flaws, personality and angst. Such an excellent job - one I have seen rarely done for women characters especially.

This volume sees Tsunayoshi near the end of her life and due to that we see her loss and her popularity plummets. A number of years have passed since Volume 5 and both she and Emmonosuke are visibly older - and more mellow. Perhaps it was that mellowness that comes with the realisation of your age and history with people that gave the volume this melconhony which I both loved and made me cry.

The first half of the volume dealt with endings - of Tsunayoshi, of Emmonosuke, her Shogunate and others - all of which made me so sad. Excellent job! Even now, reading my notes on the volume makes me tear up.

The latter of the volume picks up the stroy of the 8th Shougun and what is happening with her family. This serves as the political backdrop as we move through the life story of 6th Shogun - Ienobu who had a brief reign and died young at 42. The volume ends with the accession of the 7th Shogun.

A lot the events in the volume are references to actual historical events which I had fun researching. But in addition to those historical references, the series continues to be an engaging story and commentary on the nature of power.

Giving this volume a full 5 stars - was originally going to 4.5 stars because the latter half of the volume is more of a set up which is the bridge for volume 7 and I always find these bridging chapters hard to rate. However, months after I am still thinking of the ending of Tsunayoshi and that mediation of the end of a long regime and transition of power - not through violence but age.

Beautifully done - and looking forward to getting back to the series in July after a month long break. English The art is great as ever, but the story is getting even more epic but I am finding it a bit tricky to keep track of who is the leader, names and such... English lesbian drama in this vol of ooku! English CW: child abuse, incest

Aaaaaahhhhh I love this series it's so good! Alt-history is underrated as a general premise, honestly. Yoshinaga does such an amazing job of creating and illustrating this world. English http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2037339.html[return][return]Yet another in the alternate history series where most Japanese men are wiped out by a mysterious plague, and a chosen few are secluded in the Loku as personal attendants and occasional lovers of the shMgun, who in this version of history is a woman, women having taken over all leadership positions in society.[return][return]This volume crystallised some of the problems I have with the series for me. Because it is set in the Inner Chambers, we basically have a continuing repetition of new shMgun takes power, some internal politicking in the harem, a disputed process for producing and recognising an heir, a dead child or two, then the shMgun dies and we go back to the start of the cycle. It is getting a bit repetitive.[return][return]Also, it is now clear that this is actually meant to be not an alternate history but our own timeline, a secret history of the real reason why Japan chose centuries of isolation. All the history of Japan in the early modern period which we think we know, in other words, is actually about women rather than men. That will create problems when we reach the nineteenth century, but I guess one can go with the flow for now.[return][return]But I think you do need a better knowledge than I have of the real course of Japanese history to appreciate this; I suspect that some of the charm of the series must be to see how the author manages to gender-flip some of the dynastic dynamics of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries which are presumably well known to those who know anything about that period of Japanese history. Unfortunately I am not among their number, so it leaves me rather baffled. English

Ōoku: