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Midgard Stolen Bride
When her son brings home the little red-haired girl we're told Asahi takes after her grandmother, so presumably she's of partial European descent, making her look alarming in the Kofun era , she is noticeably less than thrilled until she realizes how she can use it to her advantage. It seems unlikely that she would have refused Subaru's request to help Asahi outright though, because when he later defends the girl, she's unwilling to go against him in any obvious way. Is this a statement about her feelings for her son, or is it about going against a male as a cultural taboo?
We don't know yet, but there's clearly a lot more beneath the woman's, and possibly the culture's, surface than we're fully aware of. Asahi herself gets the least development in the book, despite being the narrator. Halfway through, she loses her voice when she irritates the Water Dragon God, but even before that point, she was mostly just confused and scared.
While it makes perfect sense given her age and situation, it also doesn't give her a chance to do much, making her a one-note character thus far. She may be the title player, but right now the story is about how the others react to her rather than about her own motivations. Asahi is the first one he's taken an interest in, but that's mostly because she's so young; as we see from the bodies under the lake, usually older girls are tossed in. Her youth certainly appears to be a factor when he checks on her late in the volume; he first seems to feel something for her besides annoyance when he watches her curl up in peaceful sleep, although it appears more like the way we might look at a sleeping puppy than anything.
The Water Dragon's Bride has a lot of potential to become a tangled tale of two men fascinated by the same woman, assuming we do get that time skip. Where Subaru feels protective of Asahi as well as affectionate, the Water Dragon God may come to see her as a way to actually feel anything at all. Ultimately, the story will need to be about Asahi herself coming to accept or not her new world and deciding whether she wants to be a god's possession or someone's beloved.
Toma's use of Kojiki -style mythology will be worth keeping an eye on as the story develops; it could provide plot clues, particularly from water god tales. Fans of Dawn of the Arcana or Give to the Heart should definitely check this out — it has the potential to be an interesting take on romantic fantasy.
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