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Anatolia Story (天は赤い河のほとり, Sora wa Akai Kawa no Hotori aka The Sky Is on the Banks of the Red River), also known as Red River, is a historical fantasy shōjo manga series by Chie Shinohara.

Anatolia Story is about a fifteen-year old Japanese girl named Yuri Suzuki, who is magically transported to Hattusa, the capital of the Hittite Empire in Anatolia around the year 1325BC.

Yuri was summoned by Queen Nakia who means to use her as a human sacrifice. This is because Yuri's blood is the key element needed in placing a curse upon the princes of the land so that they will perish, leaving Nakia's son Prince Juda as the sole heir to the throne. However, Yuri soon finds an ally in one of the princes that Nakia has targeted: Kail Mursili, the strongest and most beloved candidate for the Hattusan throne. Kail listens to her plea and, since Yuri is a key player in Nakia's plans and is quite cute, decides to make her pass as his concubine so they can see what to do and start fighting back against the evil Queen.

As the story progresses, Yuri not only repeatedly manages to escape Nakia's scheming, she also becomes revered as an incarnation of the goddess Ishtar, makes herself a place in this new world (plus she meet and befriends Juda, who's actually a sweet little boy who wants nothing to do with his mom's plans), and she and Kail properly fall in love.

Compare Oke no Monshou, in which a 15-year-old American girl named Carol Reed is thrown in Ancient Egypt.

Anatolia Story contains examples of:

  • Actually That's My Maid: Prince Zananza initially mistakes Hadi as the infamous concubine that Kail picked up. When he's corrected and sees Yuri for the first time, he assumes that Kail is shacking up with a young boy.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Nakia's sister Nadia is in love with Mattiwaza, who doesn't seem to share the sentiment. Aside from running away with her because his own people began a mutiny, that is.
    • Ramses is in love with Yuri, and so are Rusafa and Zananza. It's too bad the latter two died.
    • Ramses' sister, Princess Hathor Nefert, is in love with the above mentioned Rusafa and even gives him an Anguished Declaration of Love. He cares for her, but he's still in love with Yuri. An illustration implies that, had Rusafa not been killed, he and Nefert may have gotten together.
  • Anchored Ship: When she was younger, Nakia begged Urhi (who was at the time, a junior priest) to marry her and run away together. He refused. She had a crush on him when they were younger, but there seems to be nothing going on between them now. When she was testifying against him, he hugged her from behind and said "I wish we could start over from where we first met."
  • Annoying Arrows: Averted. When Yuri is shot in the back by one, she nearly dies and is clearly feverish and unable to think straight when she makes it back to Kail. And when the arrow is pulled out, she goes through even more pain (not helped that she had to keep the arrow in until the skin around it hardened, for plot-related reasons).
  • Attempted Rape: Odds are if Yuri gets kidnapped,this is bound to happen.
    • Even if she's not kidnapped. At the beginning, Kail doesn't show much concern for her actual consent several times over the course of the series, though fortunately he wises up.
  • Battle Butler: Urhi, for Nakia.
  • Better as Friends: Yuri says this to Ramses. Looks like denial is just a river in Egypt.
    • Yuri wants to say this to Rusafa, but is told to pretend she doesn't know about his feelings for her.
  • Bifauxnen: Yuri, to the point that she was mistaken to be attractive young boy while she was pretending to be a dancer.
    • She's also mistaken for a boy when one of Kail's brothers comes to visit. This leads to a Crowning Moment of Funny where he comments that he did not think Kail was into that sort of thing.
    • Played more dramatically when Alexandra naively offers herself to be Yuri's concubine under the belief that, if she becomes the mistress of the "boy" who's helped conquer the Hitite so many lands, the Empire will have mercy on her people. Yuri clears this up as fast as she can and makes her one of her Ladies in Waiting instead.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Zannanza, after being drugged by Nakia's rose water, begins to act much more violently, abducting Yuri and endangering her life by taking her through the desert with no food or water. Tito also falls into this territory after being drugged by Nakia's black water, which is justified, because it was meant to make him kill Yuri.
  • Brother-Sister Incest: It's strongly hinted that Mattiwaza from Mitanni had a sexual relationship with his older sister Tatukia, who later became Nefertiti in Egypt.
  • Big Bad: Nakia. She plans to curse the Hittite princes so that her own son can become king. She will do so by killing Yuri.
    • Nefertiti counts, too.
  • Blood Magic: The Katashiro requires Yuri's blood.
  • Cool Horse: Aslan, who even can survive being shot with multiple arrows.
  • Creepy Child: Juda isn't normally this, but he does fit after Nakia drugs him with her magic water, to prevent him from clearing Yuri's name of a murder charge.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: User Ramses, and presumably most of his sisters under their wigs, like Nefert.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Prince Kail tries to sleep with Yuri, even though he's legally an adult and she's hitting fifteen (and he later admits that he thought she was really thirteen). Also, the fourteen-year-old Juda already has a wife and several concubines. There's also the various socio-political issues that Yuri, as a girl from the modern world, sometimes has trouble grasping.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Kail and Ramses, mostly, but arguably most of the male cast.
  • Eye Scream: Urhi gets an arrow to his eye.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Kikkuri.
  • Fantastic Romance: Kail and Yuri's relationship is this. Kail points this out as one of the reasons they aren't meant to be together. Of course, the Babies Ever After ending indicates otherwise.
  • Fish Out of Temporal Water: Yuri is a girl from the 20th century AD stuck in the 14th century BC.
  • Flaying Alive: Poor Tito.
  • Foe Yay: The relationship between Kail and Ramses. It doesn't help that they end up fighting naked.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Kail and Ramses
  • God Save Us From the Queen: Nakia.
  • Godiva Hair: Urhi, when revealing his nature as an eunuch.
  • Guile Hero: Yuri evolves into this, learning to handle herself in the Hitite world with her smarts and her quick thinking.
  • Historical Domain Character: This is kind of a given, as this whole manga is based on actual Hittite history, including The Annals of Suppiluliuma, written by Mursili II. aka Prince Kail.
  • Hot Mom: Güzel when she is introduced. Nakia counts as well. Later on Ryui and Shala become mothers as well.
    • An extra chapter takes place several years after the last chapter and mother-of-four Yuri barely looks any different.
  • Hot Dad: Kikkuri later on. Also Kail.
  • Identical Twins: Ryui and Shala can't be told apart by anyone, except by Hadi and Yuri.
    • Later, Ryui and Shala both give birth to two sets of identical twins. By the same guy, who couldn't tell them apart either.
  • If I Can't Have You: Under the influence of Nakia's rose water, Prince Zananza threatens to kill Yuri if he cannot have her as his princess.
  • Lady in Waiting: Yuri has several: the twins Ryuhi and Shala, their sister Hadi, Princess Alexandra of Arzawa, and her once-rival Ursula.
  • Letting His Hair Down: Ilvani as a "disguise" when he tries to capture Urhi.
  • Longing Look: Zananza has given Yuri several of these. As has Rusafa.
    • Urhi has given Nakia enough longing looks to last a lifetime.
  • Luke, I Might Be Your Father: Urhi is rumoured to be the true father of Prince Juda, Nakia's son, and no wonder! Juda is his spitting image. When Juda's boodline is questioned, Urhi later reveals that he's an eunuch who was castrated before he even met Nakia, proving that Juda is truly the King's son.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: Before Nakia found herself in the situation above, Kail's ex-girlfriend Güzel arrived and claimed that Kail was the father of her son. Everyone believes her and tells Kail to marry her and recognize the kiddo as his heir, even when Kail knows that he can't be the dad since they split up a long time ago. . . Nakia actually invoked this via brainwashing Güzel into making such a claim. When she's released, she take it back immediately and says that not only her kid's dad was a wandering minstrel, but that she'd never pin the paternity on Kail.
  • Mismatched Eyes: Ramses, with an eye of gold.
  • Outlaw Couple: Urhi and Nakia.
  • Plucky Girl: Yuri is this, most notably when she survives being shot with an arrow and stalks Ramses until he agrees to patch her up and take her back to Hattusa, going so far as to threaten to haunt him if he continues to refuse.
  • Polyamory: Since Kikkuri couldn't tell the difference between Ryui and Shala, ending up getting one pregnant while he thought it was the other one, he ended up marrying them both.
  • Succession Crisis: Poor Yuri arrives to Hattusa aka the Hitite Empire via Time Travel... riiiiiight in the middle of a major one. Her Love Interest, Prince Kail, is one of the biggest candidates to be the successor of the already old King Suppilinuma I, but his Wicked Stepmother and current Queen Consort Nakia (aka the one who brought Yuri there with her magic) wants to make her son Judah the heir to make him a future Puppet King that will obey her orders, even when the poor boy adores Kail and does NOT want to reign. For worse, the King actually dies and his Ill Boy eldest son Arnuwanda becomes King, and when he's about to make his half-brother Kail his official heir and Number Two... he's murdered in VERY suspicious circumstances... and poor Yuri is the biggest suspect...
  • Settle for Sibling: In an extra chapter, we find out that Satoshi, Yuri's boyfriend from her own time, eventually married her younger sister, Eimi.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: The general reaction, whenever Yuri dresses up.
  • Shown Their Work: With just a few changes for dramatic purposes, this otherwise sticks rather closely to the actual Hittite records, and the final scenes depict the modern-day ruins of Hattusa as it appears today.
  • Slap Slap Kiss: The first few moments between Kail and Yuri appear like this, until they fall for each other for real.
  • Spanner in the Works: Nakia summoned Yuri to use her blood for a curse to kill Kail. Yuri ends up becoming the biggest thorn in Nakia's side.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Rusafa in particular was known as "Lucifer" in early scanlations due to the ambiguity of katakana and lack of linguistic context.
    • Another example is Tatukia (from the Hurrian "Tadu-Hepa", usually depicted in the Hittite histories as Tadukhipa). Sure, most of these character names come straight from those same histories, but she's referenced so infrequently that the translators can be forgiven for the miss. Considering she disappears from history about the same time Nefertiti shows up in Egypt, though that's not 100% confirmed in real life. Oddly enough, called Tatsukia in earlier translations, making this a literal example.
  • Stable Time Loop: As it turns out, Yuri's appearance in ancient times and her involvement among the Hittites ultimately leads to their history as known in real life. Crossed with You Already Changed the Past.
  • Subordinate Excuse: Urhi is fiercely loyal to Nakia, to the point of attempting to bite his own tongue off when interrogated for answers. Even after countless failed attempts to kill Yuri, Nakia still keeps him around.
  • The Faceless: Urhi stays this for several chapters.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Between Kail and Ramses.
  • Trapped in Another World: Not that Yuri doesn't try to escape back to Japan, but between Nakia's machinations and Yuuri's own feelings for Kail (and arguably Anatolia itself), this just never ends up happening. After she marries Kail, definitely crosses the boundary into I Choose to Stay.
  • True Beauty Is on the Inside: People are shocked when they see that Kail's concubine is such a shallow kid with no figure. Soon enough they see her true beauty in her personality and strong will.
    • This often feels like a case of Hollywood Homely to a lot of readers, as Yuri is always drawn as being rather cute from the start.
      • It could also be Deliberate Values Dissonance. When Yuri is in present-day Japan, she's considered quite attractive since JPN beauty ideals revolve around pale, dark-haired, cute but not beautiful super girls. In Hattusa, Yuri is much shorter than everyone else, and Kail mentions that girls her age ought to be more voluptuous and have larger breasts, hence his trying to feed her things that would help her gain weight (hence also Kail's assumption that Yuri is thirteen, when she's really nearly fifteen).
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Yuri, holy shit. When the harem girls put non-lethal scorpions in her bed right when Kail was about to spend the whole night with her, she was extremely angry.
  • Weak but Skilled: Yuri has no physical skills of her own, but manages to become Genre Savvy enough to dodge murder/rape attempts several times and survive in this world that she has just arrived of.
  • Hundred-Percent Adoration Rating: Yuri, naturally. When she's stung by non-fatal scorpions as a result of a prank pulled on her by some princesses who want to be made Kail's queen, the news gets out and most of the town tries to stampede the palace with scorpion sting remedies for their beloved Ishtar. Kail too, though not always to quite the fanatical degree that Yuri inspires in subjects and strangers alike.