In a pool of generic, rather badly written shoujo manga, it can sometimes be hard to find a classic that can stand out amongst the rest. However, Chie Shinohara has been capable of writing several classic shoujo manga that have garnered fans all around. One of her greatest works has to be Anatolia Story, otherwise known as Red River. Shoujo manga has failed to stand out due to a lot of cliches and nameless characters, so what is it that makes Anatolia Story really stand out?
Aside from the dynamic plot and ever changing political change in this historical romance manga, it’s the memorable Anatolia Story manga characters that really gets readers. They are so dynamic and well developed that the Anatolia Story manga characters really add a special something to the overall story. As such, Honey’s Anime wants to bring to you the top 10 Memorable Anatolia Story manga characters that make Anatolia Story the amazing historical shoujo classic that it is!
Mattiwaza was the crown prince, and later, the king, of the Mitanni Kingdom. He has been called the Prince of Darkness for his ruthlessness in times of war. In an effort to deal a blow to the Hittites, Mattiwaza kidnaps Yuri Ishtar in Anatolia Story, however this sort of backfires on him. Instead, Yuri manages to win the hearts of the people of Mitanni as she spends her time at Mattiwaza’s mercy tending to those who are ailing. Mattiwaza is one of the first people to be touched by Yuri’s actions and changes ever so subtly.
While we first think of Mattiwaza as a scary and rather ruthless prince, he later becomes more kind hearted and we see that there is more to him than a desire for power. In fact, he even becomes Kail’s ally in future volumes as the king of the Mitanni Kingdom. He started off as an antagonist, especially since he kidnaps our protagonist (one of many kidnappers), but we get to see the love Mattiwaza has buried deep inside, especially for his concubine Nadia, as well as Nefertiti. Mattiwaza also manages to give Yuri the key to getting to Nefertiti emotionally by bestowing upon her a jewel that represents his love for Nefertiti that Yuri later wears around her neck for the rest of the series.
9. Juda Haspasrupi
Juda is the son of Nakia and the sixth son of Suppiluliuma. Introduced at the age of 14, Juda appears to be pretty young in comparison to the rest of the characters—except for Yuri. However, he already has a wife and two concubines. Despite being raised by Nakia, Juda is very sweet and tenderhearted, and really loves his brother Kail.
As an Anatolia Story manga character, Juda himself may not seem that memorable, but when you think of how he’s used to advancing the story, you will never forget the part he played in Anatolia Story. Juda acts in opposition to Nakia’s hatred to Kail, however, he is often taken advantage of by his mother and has been brainwashed and manipulated. Nakia uses Juda to gain power, and it is quite sad to see him sink into the depths of the hell Nakia puts him in, which is in direct contrast to his own desires. Juda makes an attempt on his mother’s life and renounces his right to the throne to stop his mother’s scheming ways. For a young child, Juda really stands out as a memorable Anatolia Story manga character.
Speaking of young, one of the most memorable Anatolia Story manga characters has to be the youngest introduced, Tito. Tito was a young servant introduced at the beginning of Anatolia Story, but it's later discovered he's the only son of the leader of the Hatti clan. Tito has three older sisters who later join Yuri and live as her devoted servants.
Tito is not present in Anatolia Story for very long, but there is no doubt that he is a memorable Anatolia Story manga character. Tito was the first to befriend Yuri when she was brought from modern day Japan to Anatolia. When Nakia was going after Yuri, Tito sacrificed himself to Zuwa to save Yuri’s life. It is through Tito’s sacrifice that drives Yuri’s desire to stay in the past to avenge her friend and kill Tito’s murderer. And there is no death more significant as Tito’s as it fuels the story further, keeping Yuri in Anatolia, and strikes horror in the audience when Zuwa reappears wearing Tito’s skin as a hat. How’s that for a shoujo manga for you?
7. User Ramses
Ramses debuts in Anatolia Story as the son of a noble family and a military officer who is not pleased with what is going on in the Egyptian royal family. He stands out for his heterochromatic (different colored) eyes. Later in Anatolia Story, Ramses would become the first Pharaoh of the Egyptian 19th Dynasty, known as Ramses I (although this does not align with the User Ramses in Egyptian history).
If you don’t remember Ramses, then you have an awful memory. Ramses attempts to kidnap Yuri on several occasions throughout Anatolia Story. First, to be his wife as she is the only woman he considers of his caliber to join as his right hand when he usurps the Egyptian throne. Later, Ramses kidnaps Yuri because he falls in love with her and truly wants to marry her, even asking her to have a daughter to marry his son when he accepts the fact that he will not marry Yuri. However, we cannot forget Ramses’ part in creating some slight turmoil in Anatolia Story or how he really grabs at our heart strings with his love and adoration for Yuri, whom he treats as his equal, unlike Kail who treats Yuri as one to be protected. Ramses really knows how to be an equal in a love triangle, wouldn’t you agree?
6. Zannanza Hattusili
Zannanza is the fourth son of King Suppiluliuma and Kail’s older brother. After Zannanza’s mother passed, Zannanza was raised by Kail’s mother alongside Kail. Kail and Zannanza are quite fond of each other and regard each other with great respect. Zannanza is quite skilled when it comes to fighting.
Like some of the male characters in this almost reverse harem, Zannanza ends up falling in love with Yuri. Unfortunately, it’s this love and his jealousy for his brother Kail that Nakia exploits. Zannanza does not allow his love for Yuri to create a rift in his relationships with Yuri and Kail and even sacrifices his chance to find love to be married to the widow of King Tut to create peace. And who could forget Zannanza in his last moments of life and his unending love for Yuri? He’s a pure-hearted prince that we just can’t help but fall for!
Nefertiti is the brain behind the schemes of Egypt and is a dowager of Egypt. As a child, Nefertiti had a romantic affair with her younger brother, Mattiwaza. At this time, she was said to be kind and caring, however, she was given to Egypt as a bride to cement the peace between Egypt and Mitanni. Since then, Nefertiti became cold and calculating, manipulating the mind of the ruler of Egypt for her own benefit rather than the benefit of the people of Egypt.
Throughout all of Anatolia Story, Nefertiti serves as a major antagonist to Yuri and Kail. Nefertiti more or less serves as Nakia’s Egyptian counterpart (minus the magic) as she creates a great amount of opposition to the Hittite empire. Since Nakia has had Nefertiti’s help in all of her schemes, it adds to many issues for Yuri and Kail in trying to maintain order. Nefertiti is also a reason why there is great turmoil in Egypt and one of the reasons why Ramses dislikes the Egyptian royal family. Nefertiti is one Anatolia Story manga character you just cannot forget.
4. Urhi Shalma
Who could forget the beautiful man who serves as Nakia’s servant and right-hand man? Urhi is an assassin who does all of Nakia’s dirty work that she cannot do herself. He often dresses like a priest and at one point, begins to wear an eyepatch once he loses his eye. While he does not actually hate Yuri or Kail themselves, he has a great amount of loyalty to Nakia.
Urhi stands out as one of the most memorable Anatolia Story manga characters due to his actions and attempts to harm Yuri and Kail. However, it was a great blow to readers when they discovered that Urhi was a prince from a country that was taken over and his entire family slaughtered while he was raped, castrated, and enslaved. And in the end, it is Urhi’s romantic love for Nakia that really captures our hearts. While Urhi may not have been the nicest character in Anatolia Story, he is definitely worthy of being on our list of memorable Anatolia Story manga characters.
3. Kail Mursili
You can’t talk about Anatolia Story without mentioning Kail, a playboy prince who falls in love with our main protagonist, Yuri, at the start of the series. He’s often very protective of Yuri and will do anything to save her (which is needed more often than not). Kail is incredibly intelligent and well-versed in politics. Despite being third in line to the throne, Kail does not regard his brothers as rivals and has a great love for them.
Kail is one of the princely characters that many female readers are sure to fall in love with when reading Anatolia Story. It’s his charm and wit that catches your interest, but it’s his love for Yuri that keeps you rooting for him. However, there are a few moments that really make him memorable, whether good or bad, including his rise to power as King Mursili II, his desperate raping of Yuri, or his devotion to Yuri (despite the prior conviction) even when taking Yuri as his wife would be difficult.
2. Yuri Ishtar
Yuri is our main character who was taken from her home in Japan at the age of 15 back in time to Anatolia. It is clear that Yuri stands out in Anatolia, and soon, it is rumored that she is the great Ishtar, the goddess of love and war, and she manages to keep the title with all of her efforts and achievements throughout Anatolia Story. Yuri falls in love with Kail and eventually becomes his queen in the Hittite empire.
As one of the most memorable Anatolia Story manga characters, Yuri has a lot to live up to. Not only does she manage to lead an army as a sole female on the battle ground, she constantly fights with her life on the line. Even when captured as a prisoner of war, Yuri has enough compassion to give care to the ill and weak. As a character, Yuri is a strong female protagonist (unlike so many others) and contrasts greatly with Nakia. Where Nakia is pure evil, Yuri has a heart of gold and proves that she doesn’t need a man to take care of her (even though she has Kail to love her).
Like Urhi, Nakia is an Anatolia Story manga character that cannot be forgotten. Nakia was a princess of Babylonia who was given to King Suppiluliuma to be his concubine at the age of 15 in exchange for financial aid. At the time of Anatolia Story, Nakia is queen and is the one who brings Yuri to Anatolia in order to help her attain more power.
While it’s Nakia’s constant attempts to kidnap Yuri that drives a great part of the plot and makes Nakia fairly memorable, there is no denying that Nakia is one of the strongest and well developed female antagonists in shoujo manga. Nakia is ruthless and without remorse, doing all she can to attain power. However, it is when Nakia’s background story is revealed that truly makes Nakia worth mentioning. Nakia was just a teen who was forced to be a lowly concubine to a king.
Despite her circumstances, Nakia does all she can to usurp power, including murder, and change the situation she was forced in. Nakia even denies herself happiness, even romances, to ensure that she can attain the power that she believes will free her from the shackles that man put her in. Good or evil, Nakia is a villainess that’s well thought out and more than just memorable as an Anatolia Story manga character.
You can have a great plot and great ideas, but it is the characters that really reach readers better than anything else. If the readers don’t like the characters, then how can readers be expected to read about their adventures? Chie Shinohara did a great job developing memorable Anatolia Story manga characters that really make Anatolia Story (or Red River) stand out in our minds.
Now, for any fans of Anatolia Story (Red River) out there, who is your favorite Anatolia Story manga character? Who did you despise? Who do you remember the most? Share all of your thoughts in the comments below!