Akagami No Shirayuki-hime

October 29, 2017

While it might sound a bit misleading like as though this is some anime version of Snow White, Akagami No Shirayuki-hime is nothing like that. Not even a mash up between Snow White and Red Riding Hood. I don’t blame you if you literally translate the title and thought so since that was my first impression too. So there are no evil queens or magic mirrors or seven dwarves or big bad hungry wolf that you will come across here (although there’s a poison apple…). Though, it is still a fantasy genre. If you want a true romance love story that is hard to find in today’s era, this is a show that you need to watch.

Episode 1
Shirayuki is an herbalist working happily in a small town of Tanbarun. Till one day a guard from the royal came to her to tell her to become a concubine of Prince Raj Shenazard. Being an independent woman who determines her own destiny, she decides to run away and cuts her long beautiful red hair, leaving it behind as a sign of refusal. She travels to the next kingdom and while resting in an abandon hideout, her presence startles Zen Wistalia Clarines, tripping and injuring a bit of his hand. She would like to treat it but he is cautious if it is poison. She uses it on herself to earn his trust. Zen introduces himself and his retainers, Kiki Seiran and Mitsuhide Rouen. He soon learns the reason why she ran away. He believes she made a good call and although her red hair might cause her trouble, it might be connected to something good. Soon, a basket with apples is sent to them. It has Shirayuki’s hair in it. Looks like Raj is hell bent in getting what he wants. Probably Shirayuki is too preoccupied to think the apples are poisoned. Luckily Zen takes a bite on her behalf and gets poisoned. Raj’s guard knocks on the door and realizes Shirayuki didn’t eat the apple. But if she wants the antidote, she has to come with him. No choice, she follows him to see Raj. The usual cocky bastard that everyone would love to hate. He keeps changing the subject each time she asks for the antidote. He feels embarrassed by her rejection and to atone for being a laughing stock, he wants her to become his concubine. He tries to touch her but she smacks away his hand. Zen and co has barged in to rescue Shirayuki. Raj tries to boast his status but Zen shows his crest on the sword. He is the second prince of Clarines. So if Raj doesn’t want this incident of him poisoning another prince, he better make a deal to stay away from them. After Zen takes the antidote, Shirayuki apologizes for becoming his poison. He rubbishes this joke. Although both are the kind of people to choose their own fate, they believe their meeting was brought together by fate.

Episode 2
Shirayuki tries to find a job as an herbalist but no openings. She learns there is a very young boy who is appointed as the royal court’s official herbalist and is given the details on how to become a court herbalist if she is so interested to be one. As Shirayuki is considered as Zen’s guest, she is allowed access to the castle. She is here to tell Zen she will be going on a day trip to gather some stock for her herbs. After a boat ride to an island, she is knocked out by a young lad named Mihaya. She wakes up tied up in his dungeon. She thinks he is one of those people who wants to sell her because of her rare red hair. However he would like to keep her and ‘display’ her for money. He doesn’t mind waiting to let her hair grow out. Zen knows something is wrong when he visits Shirayuki’s place and is told she never came back. Shirayuki isn’t one to sit idle and let her prince come to rescue. For the entire day she has been trying to cut her ropes so when Mihaya checks on her, she surprises him by escaping. The place is a maze so she easily gets lost. But when she is cornered, she concocted some herbs to temporarily paralyze Mihaya. Although she manages to get out, Mihaya is still hot on her heels. Luckily at this point Zen has arrived and put a stop to this shenanigan. Mihaya explains he was once a noble. But all that richness fell apart and his family fallen on hard times. This castle was where they once lived. Mihaya would do anything to make money but Zen chides him that she is not anyone’s tool. Mihaya is arrested back on land but he asks Shirayuki the place she longs to be. Later she answers Zen this. She decided to come to Clarines to see how he lives his life and the place where she’ll be will let her see that. He hopes he can see her from that place too.

Episode 3
One of the royal retainers, Haruka isn’t happy about Zen’s relationship with Shirayuki. He hates that red hair colour. So he tries to warn him about this girl without any social status just using him to his advantage. Because Haruka claims she lacks any power to proof her own worth, Zen asks back what if she is just a girl who never had such expectations. Haruka isn’t amused about this game but Zen is serious too. Shirayuki returns to the castle to retrieve a book she left behind. Then she heard orders going around about not letting Shirayuki in freely anymore (realizing she relies on his power to see him) and almost shot by a warning arrow that carries a message not to see Zen. She is not cowed and continues to trudge ahead. Eventually she stumbles upon Zen and he learns what is going on. She didn’t go to him directly because she wants to talk to the culprit directly who might be willing to talk if she is by herself. When Shirayuki is stopped by Haruka who views her as a suspicious person, Shirayuki can tell he is so certain about her despite meeting for the first time. He draws his sword, threatening to strike but Shirayuki dares him. As she pushes forward, Haruka becomes hesitant, Zen’s words about her ring through his mind. He puts back his sword after realizing she is no threat. Obi pops up to reveal he was the one who shot that arrow and give those orders although Haruka’s pride won’t allow him to acknowledge all that and instead admits he planned it himself. Zen also pops up. Now he has heard everything, it is a good thing nothing untoward happened or else there would have been an uproar in the castle. Haruka still doesn’t like Shirayuki being this friendly with Zen so Zen asks if titles and status are important to him. Yes they are. So please treat it as such. Haruka leaves and Obi is taken away by Kiki and Mitsuhide. Shirayuki tells Zen she is here to tell him that she is applying to become a court herbalist.

Episode 4
The exam for the court herbalist is here. Garak Gazelt, the chief herbalist gives each candidate a plot of garden to tend and care and they’ll have to write a report in a few days. During the first night, Zen comes to see her but it seems somebody locks them inside the greenhouse. Zen is afraid this might affect her exam but she wonders why he is here in the first place. Oh, did he really wander here? Shirayuki notices some plant that if wrongly planted could become toxic to others. So she has Zen stop the aqueduct while she removes the surrounding plants and replant them from scratch. They are done when morning arrives. Garak is shocked to see them both inside. She asks if Zen helped her with this which might affect her examination results. Shirayuki answers she did so because these herbs may one day save his life. Garak further adds there was an examinee who was mistaken for an intruder last night. Possibly to reduce the competition. She will continue to investigate this. Zen explains he is here on his own will. Garak reminds him because of that status, his word is law. So why not make her the court herbalist then? If he does, she will never come back here again. Garak is amused by their relationship and passes her. Apparently the poison plants were on there on purpose. Part of the exam is to spot it. That is more than enough but for Shirayuki to replant the garden? Just wow. She puts Shirayuki under the supervision of their youngest court herbalist, Ryu. There is a customer who needs medication for his chest pains. But when Ryu refers him to others, he is also relieved. People know Ryu as one who studies poison plants and uses others as test subjects. This makes Shirayuki mad about this baseless accusation. Don’t you know plants produce poison for self-defence? But Ryu also gets scolded for brushing this off. First time somebody called him stupid. No wonder he looks so shocked. Garak soon gives Shirayuki a medical history of Zen since she is close to him. She is shocked to learn he is a subject of poison testing. Now she knows why he has immunity to certain poisons. So sad she starts crying! Ryu is shocked to see this and calls Zen for help. He goes talk and comfort her and when she’s done, she goes to apologize to Ryu for scaring him. They reconcile and talk more about plants. Zen felt jealous and won’t lose out and joins in too.

Episode 5
The gang head off to the town of Laxdo. After dropping off Shirayuki, Zen and co head to a nearby fortress for their routine check. However only the guard on duty, Shuka is well and the rest are out ill. He believes the fort is haunted. As they take a look around, they notice the armoury empty and nobody knows about it. It could be that bandits took advantage of this and stole the weapons. Obi will investigate this. Of course, who better than to heal the soldiers but Shirayuki. Zen is worried about her getting sick and insists to stay by her side. She can take care of herself as Mitsuhide reminds him about his responsibilities. Shirayuki realizes that the symptoms vary from soldier to soldier. Then she notices those deeper inside are more serious than those near the door. It then hit her the firewood is the culprit as its particles cause harmful effects if you breathe them in. Next morning, Shirayuki doesn’t feel well. She has overworked herself. Luckily Obi was there to catch her before she falls. She doesn’t want him to tell Zen or anyone since everybody is feeling better, she doesn’t want to ruin that. But Zen is sharp and can tell too. Because he knows she has not slept ever since. He forces her to rest. Just in time Obi returns after discovering the bandits’ hideout. Apparently they are the ones who gave the firewood as part of their plan to steal their weapons. The bandits underestimated the kids and get owned. Just in time to return to recovering Shirayuki to ‘lecture’ her about not keeping secrets from him again. Then he thanks her for being by his side and kisses her hand.

Episode 6
Shirayuki now has her own uniform and ID as the court herbalist. When Zen notices many guards stationed at different places, he knows something is off. He tells Kiki and Mitsuhide to get ready and soon enough he gets an order. The first prince of Clarines, Izana has returned and summons Zen. He heard about the Laxdo incident and wonders why he didn’t mete punishment for the guards. Because of that, Izana will punish him by relieving his responsibilities over Laxdo for 6 months as punishment in their place. This forces Zen to reconsider his decision. Izana dismisses him right after he ushers Shirayuki in. Zen quickly hugs her and whispers he will see her soon. Izana talks to Shirayuki about being by Zen’s side. She must have been something of great value to him. Though, she dismisses anything noteworthy about herself. Soon Izana holds a garden party and he invites Raj over. Man, that Tanbarun prince is sure panicking. Obi sneaks out to take Shirayuki to eavesdrop on their conversation. Izana starts off with Raj’s infatuation with a certain red head, he can hold a banquet for them if he still likes her. Raj barely can lie while keeping a straight face. When Izana asks what is stopping him from seeing her, Raj had to say Zen told him he considered marrying Shirayuki. Everyone is shocked to hear this. Zen takes Raj away to talk. Raj may have screwed up but in that situation he has no choice but to say that. He knows Zen likes Shirayuki and if he doesn’t say that, Shirayuki has no justification to stay by his side. But if he does not have such intentions, Raj wants his permission to court her then. Over his dead body. Zen returns to tell about Raj’s misunderstanding and that Zen hasn’t even considered proposing to her yet. Shirayuki has a lot weighing on her mind. She wonders if Izana is implying he doesn’t want her in Clarines.

Episode 7
Shirayuki looks for Zen and finds him. Instantly she hugs him. After telling him the warning Izana told her, he tells his past of how Izana is always a step ahead. When he was 17 and to commemorate his birthday, he wanted a castle built on the borders of 2 infamous feuding lords. Both send him tributes to fund the castle. They also send retainers to secretly meet with him. However the retainers are worried as they reveal their lords have been taxing the people for the tributes. Izana then goes to meet the lord and tell both the same story. They stop the taxing but then resort to shadier means of getting the funds. Izana made an inquiry into the misdeeds they have done and removed them. He believes lords who weaken their own people should be disposed of swiftly and silently. He reinstated their retainers as successors. He returned all the tributes and never spent a single coin. It was then Zen wanted to become like him and knows he is the kind of king Clarines needs. Zen tells of Raj’s statement that might cause her to be uncomfortable. She takes it on a positive note that she can stay. Then he hugs her. Now that everyone’s attention is on her, the more reason she should continue following her chosen path. Later Zen talks to Izana about being rude to Shirayuki. He claims he doesn’t have time to observe one girl. And it didn’t take long for him to know Zen has fallen for her. Zen vows not to let spending time with her hinder the life he wants to lead. Izana suggests why not leave her then? Raj continues his tour over the palace grounds. Since he has been nervous all day, his stomach cramps are starting to show. He has his assistant, Sakaki go fetch medicine. Then he has the bad luck to bump into Shirayuki. Awkward. He tries to keep cool but apparently the pain got worse. Thinking she brought him the medicine, he is about to drink it but she slaps it away. That medicine is to apply on the skin. Shirayuki thinks Ryu would be mad for this waste but Izana saw everything. He thinks Raj is suited for her. Would she want to live in this country with a man like him? It’s the place where she met Zen. A short stare down and Izana realizes she isn’t going to back down. So pecking her forehead as intimidation? She doesn’t feel that way and will continue staying here.

Episode 8
With rumours really spreading that the people are really thinking Shirayuki is Zen’s fiancée, Zen wants Obi to be Shirayuki’s retainer. Obi makes himself useful helping her. But when he asks her opinion if Zen would be better if he wasn’t a prince, she warns him not to say that again or she will take this as an insult. As Zen overheard it, this brings back memories of the past. Izana assigned Mitsuhide to him as his retainer. At first Zen didn’t like him because he has this feeling Mitsuhide would prefer to serve Izana than him. Despite some hurtful words, Mitsuhide isn’t going to be his yes man and advises him to watch his words. He continues to keep watch on him and notices Zen often sneaks out to hang out with a boy named Atori. Zen considers him as his best friend because from his position he isn’t allowed to make friends. Mitsuhide tries to do research on this kid but couldn’t find much detail. He reports to Izana about this archer boy whom Zen always sneaks out to go see as he will definitely not be allowed into palace grounds. But recently Atori has been put on night shift. Izana immediately understood what it implies. Zen sneaks out to meet Atori but sees him wounded. He is attacked by bandits. Apparently Atori is one of them too but they think he was going to turn tail on them and attacked him. Mitsuhide comes into the scene so the bandits tell him to bring Izana out as they have a grudge against him or else Zen would not be guaranteed back in one piece. Don’t worry. Izana is here. He realizes these are the rebels from the town whom he removed the lord. They claim Izana’s act has ruined their livelihood but he sees them no more than scums lining up their own pockets. Izana and Mitsuhide hack and slash the rebels while Atori gets ready to kill Zen, jealous and blaming him of his royal life. Mitsuhide quickly strikes him down. Zen is still worried about Atori at this point as he hears Atori’s last words that it would have been better if he wasn’t a prince.

Episode 9
Shirayuki wakes up but is still drunk. Luckily Obi is around to keep watch as she isn’t steady on her feet and mind. Obi also intercepts a spy spying and noting records of her. With Shirayuki blaming herself over her uselessness especially that Laxdo incident, it dawned to Obi that she is trying to go there by herself! He also realizes she is the same like Zen in which she would take actions without considering the consequences if she is by herself. Obi tells her he has stopped by Laxdo on his way back from his duty and gives her herbs and notes from the fort as proof. After that Shirayuki passes out as Obi carries her back. When Zen receives a message from Obi about this, he immediately goes to look for them. Flashback to a month after Atori’s death, Mitsuhide gave Zen a memento from Atori. He had no grave. Zen was sad he suspected Atori at first but wanted to trust him. Mitsuhide advised him that allowing his doubts to show won’t help gain anyone’s trust. Instead of protecting himself from enemies, why not identity who are his allies? Mitsuhide vows to protect him and Zen got his motivation to become a better prince. But first he needs to get stronger. Zen finds Obi and hears everything that has happened. He drinks a toast to Obi for doing a good job. Then he gives him his own tag. Obi is now Zen’s messenger. It is his title. But it isn’t an easy job and there’s more to it. Especially Obi is supposed to remain by Shirayuki’s side and report to him if anything arises. This way, Zen doubts anybody would attempt to get near her. He notes he needs to get better in protecting what’s important to him.

Episode 10
While working in the herb garden, Shirayuki meets Kiharu Toghrul and her bird pet, Popo. She isn’t exactly Zen’s guest. You see, she lives in the southern islands of Clarines where people live among the birds. However, the local lord Viscount Brecker has been calling his friends to hunt them as sport and gloat about it. When Kiharu protested, Brecker dared her to go see Zen and even taunted he would bring her to see him. She doesn’t have a very good impression of the royalty. Kiharu and Brecker have an audience with Zen. To stop the hunting, they need to discuss the island be turned into a nature preservation. Because the island is under another territory’s jurisdiction, the affected parties should solve this themselves. Brecker arrogantly laughs at this expected decision. Shirayuki thinks that if herbs are protected for their medicinal value, would those birds be protected if they had a similar value? Then it hit her. She goes to talk to Zen. Zen then summons Kiharu. If that bird can be used as an effective means communication, he is willing to make the bird official. As the islanders are all well trained in using the bird, this gives Kiharu an opportunity to show him in tomorrow’s test. Picking Shirayuki as her assistant, Shirayuki and Brecker will wait at a watch tower. Kiharu will send Popo to pick up documents there and return. If Popo doesn’t return within a stipulated time, the test is deemed failed. As Shirayuki waits, Brecker comes up to her with a proposal. He wants to support her from the shadows in exchange for this test to fail. Of course she will not allow it and this upsets him. After ripping her walnut stone (natural homing device for the birds) and throwing it into the lake, he locks Shirayuki up. She won’t be submitted yet as she jumps out into the lake from her window! Though a bit injured, she tries to find the stone. Popo has arrived but it seems it is circling around a certain area. Shirayuki dives there to retrieve the stone. Brecker’s guard arrest him for violation. Soon Popo returns and Zen officially announces the bird as Clarines’ official communication means. Zen notices an extra document from Popo summarizing what happened. He quickly rides over and rushes to see Shirayuki. She apologizes that she didn’t have any intention to hide this from him. But after seeing her sweet smile, he kisses her!

Episode 11
With Shirayuki in shock, Zen realizes too late what he did without permission. He will ask her the next time if he has to touch her and hopes by then she will speak to him honestly. Subsequently, Shirayuki cannot bring herself to face Zen. Obi senses something amiss. Zen and his retainers accompany Kiharu back to her island to negotiate for the birds to be official communication and thus trainers to be sent to the royal palace. But the village head is sceptical. He wants Zen to show his goodwill by making Brecker apologize to them as well as a large sum or reparation. Zen will double that amount because he believes he will use that money wisely. The village head apologizes for his rudeness. The village has a feast that night. Mitsuhide can tell something happened to Zen and asks him. Zen reveals he kissed Shirayuki. No, it’s not a dream. Shirayuki still has her doubts so Obi brings her for a walk in the woods. He wants to hold her hand but Zen suddenly returns. With Shirayuki strangely hiding behind Obi, Obi then signals for her to run. Which she did. Then he has Zen go after her. Shirayuki knows she did the dumbest thing but can’t help continue running when Zen calls her. When he catches up, he brings her to a spot he used to relax. He tells her of their breakthrough with Kiharu. It is at this moment Shirayuki realizes she is in love with Zen. In tears, she confesses she loves him. Well, we figured that out a long time ago. Shucks, it’s hard to be sarcastic when she is crying like that. Shirayuki worries about looking at him the same way she always has. Zen says his title may not protect her or if he could ever repay her. He wants to be with her and vows to protect her with all he’s got. He also asks her for her help since she gives him strength. It ends with a true tender kiss shared.

Episode 12
It is public visitation day when the castle grounds are open to the public. Zen masquerades as a guard to bring Shirayuki (hiding her red hair too) around. Obi wins a prize money from a fight under an alias. He gives a hair accessory to Shirayuki so that she could show it to Zen later. Later in the day, Zen sees Ryu in a hurry. He says that somebody is injured. There is a play going on and the main actress fractured her foot. She is bent on going back on to win the prize but it seems the director wants Shirayuki to take her place. It could have been just that but it looks like the director has ulterior motives. Shirayuki is on stage with the main actor who is hesitating. When Obi busts the director to spill the beans, it seems he wants to reveal Shirayuki’s red hair to the public and believes it will make them famous. With that, Zen jumps into the performance to ‘rescue’ the ‘princess’. At the backstage she learns what happened as Obi teased how Zen had that sour look on his face when he went all out to protect her hair and perhaps a kiss on her hand. Later Zen and Shirayuki have a moment together. She shows him the hair accessory and he compliments her. Shirayuki explains how her grandparents taught her to be independent and how she could do anything as long as she worked towards it. She then asks him to hold out his hand in which she surprises him by kissing it. They go outside to watch the mark of the end of the public visitation day with the people releasing lighted balloons (jellyfish?) into the sky as a symbol of their wishes.

Zen suggests to Shirayuki on her next day off, he would like to accompany her shopping in town. Just the 2 of them. No matter how you see it, that’s a date, right? Wait a minute, Zen. You really don’t know what a date is?! Mitsuhide please explain. Walk around, shop together and then kiss. Oh Zen, you looking stiff. That day comes as Zen and Shirayuki go to town together. They think of what to get for their subordinates. This has Zen remember the first time Mitsuhide and Kiki met. Well, Kiki sounded and acted like a robot. Not to say she is any different now but back then she really seemed like one as she would do what is told of her. Like to drop the formalities with Zen. Speaking of them, Obi suggests to Mitsuhide to date Kiki. He is actually mulling that idea. Too bad Kiki doesn’t like it and locks them in the room! I thought she was shy… Nah! When Zen asks Shirayuki if she has been receiving letters from Raj (of course not), we focus on him now as he is appalled as all his desserts are apple based! Bad memories, eh? Here, have some apple tea. Sakaki wonders why he doesn’t hold balls anymore. He is bored. This reminds Sakaki that Raj being raised as a spoilt prince always gets bored of things fast. Except the fine arts. Back to Zen, he wants to get Shirayuki something that will remember this day by. She looks around and then he buys her a necklace. They walk the rest of the day holding hands. And for a special gift to commemorate it all in the end, Zen kisses her. Hey, this is part of the date, right? Back at the palace, Zen gives his subordinates the souvenirs. Clearly they are all so weird and out of place that it definitely shows this is his first time getting them gifts.

Season 2

Episode 13
A page is stuck on a tree and Ryu can’t get it since he has never climbed trees before so Obi lets him ride on his shoulders. As gratitude, he gives him some flower seeds. Zen is working hard and gets a paper cut. He wanted to brush it off but after being warned to snub off something small, he goes to get treatment. He quickly falls asleep after his finger is bandaged. Shirayuki comes to see him. He must be sleep talking as he takes her hand and kisses it. I hope it is a good dream. Soon Zen gets word that Mihaya wants to have an audience with him and Shirayuki. Zen is still mad about that guy. After Mihaya was bailed out, he started working on a ship. He met a good looking kid named Kazuki who claims he saw a red haired woman. Mihaya told him all about her. So you can say he is trying to make his way here. Zen blows his top when Mihaya wants compensation for this information or to work in the palace. Mihaya reveals that Kazuki feels Shirayuki doesn’t fit staying at the palace and has a fitting place for her. Soon the duo are called by Izana. Actually this only concerns Shirayuki but he thought it would be Zen’s interest to be in the know. Raj has invited Shirayuki to a ball at Tanbarun. It seems word has gone around that Raj has become a better prince ever since. It would be good for them to ascertain this. Of course it would be bad if Raj is still the incompetent fool since he is going to ascend the throne. Izana wants her to undergo training to conduct and carry herself before leaving for a week’s stay at Tanbarun. Therefore he hereby orders her on a 2 weeks’ leave for this. However Zen adds a condition that he wants to send a trusted subordinate to accompany her or he won’t allow her to go. Agreed. Zen has Mitsuhide accompany Shirayuki.

Episode 14
I hope Shirayuki’s training goes well. She destroyed the dance instructor’s feet… Obi accompanies Mihaya but no sign of Kazuki anywhere. Later Obi duels with Zen and if he wins, he will accompany Shirayuki to Tanbarun. It might look like it ended in a draw but Zen admits his loss since he realizes Obi can fight better unarmed. The night before Shirayuki departs, Zen goes to talk to her. And all that they just hug each other? Okay. Not bad. Before Shirayuki leaves, she hopes Zen could give something to her to bring to Tanbarun. Maybe this old watch? Zen talks to Izana as he didn’t expect him to see them off. Izana says there is something else that caught his eye about Shirayuki. It is the colour of her eyes. Hopefully when she returns it will be unclouded. Haruka accompanies Shirayuki but only up till the border. He reminds her to conduct herself wisely and not bring back shame. Stepping back into Tanbarun, Shirayuki looks happy to have returned to her previous home. When Raj greets her, there is this sense of regal around him. Wow. Did he really change? But inside his throne room, he reverts to his usual self and asking why she come! Huh?! Didn’t he invite her? Well, he was troubled over the thought of being under her care during his stay at Clarines so Sakaki suggested writing a letter to invite and personally thank her. Maybe there is some sort of inner sadism in Sakaki as he tells Raj to let her stay and spend time with him. She is after all his invited guest. Raj didn’t think Shirayuki would accept this. They may have interacted occasionally in the past but since this chance won’t arise again, why not? Okay. He takes up her offer since she insists.

Episode 15
Raj’s younger twin siblings, Rona and Yujina decide to go see what kind of person Shirayuki is since that girl changed him. It’s still awkward between Raj and Shirayuki. Nothing in particular to talk about. So he decides to show her around and she wants to see the greenhouse. Because Obi tells him there are many people ‘spying’ on them, he decides to take them through an underground passage. His pride won’t admit it but I think they’re lost. He even activates a few traps! The twins are actually following them to observe more about their interaction. As they move forward, Obi then goes back to bring the twins out of their hiding and dodges all the traps they activated. He isn’t so easily caught. Shirayuki thought of going back to help Obi but Raj won’t allow it, fearing something would happen to her and Zen will do something to him. Shirayuki says if he feels threatened by anything she says or does, she might as well return to Clarines now. Staying here does nothing good for them. He wonders why she decided to stay then. It’s because she wants to mend their relationship. Their first impression may not be good but spending time with others can change your perception. Obi brings the twins to them as they introduce themselves. Rona pretends to be lost for she wants to observe them more but Yujina is sick of it tells them the way out. They appear in the greenhouse. As Shirayuki looks around, Rona wonders if Raj is in love with Shirayuki since he is staring at her. Whether so or not, she believes he re-evaluated himself after meeting her in Clarines. Prideful Raj corrects her that he is already perfect and only making himself even more perfect. The twins are surprised when Raj speaks softly and admits his failing to Obi. Back at Clarines, Kiki reports that Kazuki has been spotted. Also, Mihaya is missing from the castle. He goes to see Kazuki and wants to capture him to get the reward. Of course he fails. Kazuki then offers him to work as his partner but he refuses. That girl isn’t his type and has a strong knight protecting her. This is all the more reason why Kazuki wants to steal her away.

Episode 16
Mihaya is captured again by the palace. He warns Zen that Kazuki seems to have an accomplice who knows Shirayuki is in Tanbarun now. They were to depart there immediately but Mihaya didn’t want any part of it and escaped. Zen writes a letter to be delivered to Obi. But first he needs to see Izana. Sorry to wake you up from your beauty sleep. Shirayuki accompanies Raj reading at the library. Everyone is shock he has started reading and taking interest in the kingdom’s politics. Rona is of course believing that Shirayuki is the cause of his sudden change. Raj wants to know Shirayuki’s opinion of him about being the prince she can be proud of. I guess she can’t say it. I guess he’ll have to do better. She puts it this way that the next time she visits, she hopes to hear from his people who can speak proudly about him. Rona is plotting to not let Shirayuki leave but is caught by Obi. Raj also finds out and is not impressed. Rona tries to test her suspicions as she pushes Shirayuki towards Obi in which he catches her. Her further shenanigans are halted with Raj sending her back to her room. Raj lets Shirayuki visit his garden and plays violin for her. In a couple of days, Shirayuki will attend the ball before returning to Clarines. She’ll do her best not to lose to him. That night, Obi and Shirayuki talk how time passed so fast and it feels refreshing not to be scolded by Zen for once. Obi is still bothered when he caught Shirayuki. The night of the ball is here but before it officially begins, Zen’s letter arrives. Izana disallowed Zen to head to Tanbarun despite Shirayuki being targeted and using official channels will take too long. Still, there is no reason for a prince to go. Zen is going to go anyway. He reveals he plans to take Shirayuki as his bride. Izana lets him go. However with a condition. If something happens that needs his intervention, he will not allow Shirayuki to set foot in the castle again. By the time Obi finishes reading the letter, Kazuki is already here.

Episode 17
Obi is ready to engage Kazuki but it seems his comrade, Itoya fights him. He could match very well Obi’s move. The twins enter to see the commotion. Obi got distracted and was knocked out. Kazuki puts Shirayuki to sleep as she drops Zen’s watch. They’re gone. The entire castle is on a full search. You can see that Raj is panicking and it’s written all over his face that he is in real sh*t. However Shirayuki is yet to be found. An hour later, Obi wakes up and learns of the situation. The twins blame themselves for the situation but he doesn’t blame them and assures Shirayuki will be back. Zen finally arrives as he goes to see Raj. Obviously that guy is very stiff. Raj is shocked when Zen apologizes. He knew Shirayuki was targeted but only confined the search to Clarines. It was his fault for not informing him. This has Raj apologize for being carless towards his guest. Zen wants to go see Obi but looks like he has fled in pursuit of the kidnappers. Kazuki takes a rest in the forest while Itoya goes to get water. Suddenly Kazuki is being attacked. Zen and the rest discuss about the kidnappers being part of a larger organization. It could be Sea Claw, a group of men and women who do as they please. They are like pirates collecting sea toll and they don’t limit themselves to money but people with talent whom they can use. Zen and Raj are summon by the king of Tanbarun. In light of this event, he gives Zen the power to act using Raj’s authority for the necessary. Raj wants to accompany Zen to help look for Shirayuki. Obi attacks Itoya and gets very violent. However Itoya wants him to hold his horses because he too is in a pinch. It seems Kazuki and Shirayuki have been kidnapped by Sea Claw. Kazuki and Shirayuki wake up in a room. Kazuki hides her as the lady boss, Sea Snake enters. She claims to have taken back Kazuki who fled her crew and will make him continue to work for her. As they have been watching him, they know those mountain dwellers and interested in the red head. If they use her, they can lure that person out. She leaves after she warns Shirayuki she isn’t going to go home anymore. Kazuki explains to Shirayuki how they were kidnapped (basically the kidnapper got kidnapped) and that they need to escape this place before it gets really bad but if this is a ship, everything is over.

Episode 18
Checking their surroundings, they believe they are on a ship but since it is not moving, they could be anchored near shore. As the door is tightly secured, Shirayuki sees some seeds and wants to use them. When the guards see smoke, they quickly unlock the door to check on the hostage but were knocked out. The seeds when cooked give off a lot of smoke. When they try to escape, Sea Snake stops them. They are forced to watch Sea Snake cruelly torture her men who failed to guard them properly. Zen retrieves the watch and a note left behind by Obi. When Raj joins them, he says they are going to the mountains first. They are going to meet up with an outlaw group known as Mountain Lions. Despite being outlaws, they sometimes fight bandits and clash with Sea Claw. Itoya takes Obi to the Mountain Lions’ hideout where he meets their boss, Mukaze. They prepare to fight the Sea Claw. Zen is able to find Obi because of the stone he is holding (the bird leads them to it). After Mihaya identifies Itoya, Zen wants to know their intention in kidnapping Shirayuki. Itoya explains Kazuki was once from Sea Claw before joining Mountain Lions. As he has good looks, he was often used as decoration. So when he heard Shirayuki having the same fate as him (blame Raj for that), he wanted to take her out from that noble’s reach (yeah, blame Raj for that). But Zen is not amused they still kidnap Shirayuki without asking her feelings. Mukaze stops Itoya from revealing further. Their credibility is that they do not answer to anyone. But since they want to save Shirayuki, maybe they can work together and then pretend never meet. Raj agrees. They head to a town that ‘supports’ Sea Claw. They can’t fight them here as they would be at a disadvantage. Kiki has a suggestion. Sea Claw tortures Kazuki to make him talk why Mountain Lions are interested in Shirayuki but he kept silent. They are then thrown into the room as they prepare to set sail. Shortly, a prisoner is also thrown in the same room with them. It is Kiki! It was her idea to board their ship so Shirayuki has someone better she can trust by pretending to be arrested by them. While Mitsuhide was against this, Kiki wanted Zen to use all he has got to rescue Shirayuki. Mihaya spoke out that he knows Sea Claw’s secret base. When he was a noble, his family often associated with them. Of course, if he wants to be rewarded for more information. Not you Zen, but Raj. He agrees quickly since he often rewards people and wants to settle this as fast as possible. Kiki assures Shirayuki that Zen came for her and this gives her a huge relief.

Episode 19
Kiki hands Shirayuki the stone. Raj is at the port town trying to get the merchants’ help to go after Sea Claw. At first they are sceptical because of his idiotic reputation but when he shows his face and resolve, they change their mind. When Sea Claw spots several ships coming their way, they thought it is the Mountain Lions. Sea Snake wants to use Shirayuki to test her reaction. When the ships get closer, they realize they are merchant ships bearing the navy flag. Raj makes his announcement to Sea Claw that they will not get away with this after kidnapping Shirayuki who bears the title Friend of the Royal Family. This confuses Sea Claw (it should since it is just a made up title by Raj) as she plans to escape and can’t fight this many ships. She is confident she can get away since they are entering a rocky area filled with random whirlpools. Unless you know its current patterns, your ship will get sucked in and get damaged. With the merchant ships turning back, Raj remains defiant and continues to pursue. I think it is out of pure luck he manages to navigate safely. So when Sea Claw think they can rest in their cave hideout, here comes Raj! Ramming his ship into theirs! It’s time for a land fight. Sea Claw is now outnumbered with Zen and co as well as the Mountain Lions navigating the cave mazes to reach here. Sea Snake tries to take Shirayuki as hostage but Obi frees her and lets her run away with Zen. Now that they’re alone together, he hugs her and she cries in his arms. It felt like eternity but they’re finally together. Zen then returns to finish the fight and round up all the Sea Claw members. Kazuki seems to be pushing Mukaze to atone. He hopes they would rest in his village before going back as he wants to apologize for him. Shirayuki is shocked to see Mukaze. It’s her father! Wait! WHAT?!

Episode 20
The Clarines people are taken back to the Mountain Lions’ base to celebrate. Before it starts, Mukaze and Kazuki talk to Zen and Shirayuki privately. Mukaze reveals he is supposed to be officially dead. Shirayuki knew he wasn’t because her grandparents told her. If she has not seen him since young, how did she recognize him? There was one time he visited the bar (incognito) and told her who he was. Amazingly she remembered that face till today. Mukaze recognized her not only because of her red hair. As her father, he recognized her face and voice instantly. Shirayuki’s mom was supposed to wed Mukaze’s brother. But Mukaze ‘stole’ her from him and they eloped to the mountains. Thus Shirayuki was born here. But after mom died shortly, Mukaze deemed it too dangerous for her to grow up here so he sent her to live with her grandparents. When he heard Shirayuki left Tanbarun, he got worried and started looking everywhere. They thought they had to protect her from a certain prince but things got a little out of hand. Kazuki apologizes for all the trouble that has been. Shirayuki then looks for Obi. She knows what he is going to say. He still feels guilty he couldn’t protect her and her soothing words won’t rid him of that. He feels better when she says she would like him to be her bodyguard whenever she visits Tanbarun again. During the party, Mukaze talks alone with Zen. He asks if Shirayuki likes him. A father can tell… What about him then? Zen admits he does. Mukaze swiftly says no! Just kidding! Just wanted to see his reaction. When they retire for the night, Zen is embarrassed to realize Shirayuki heard that. She is red faced too – though, not matching her hair. He sees her off to her room, gives her a hug and shows the watch in his safe hands. It might be broken but at least he got what he wants back. After he puts her to bed, he kisses her while she is fast asleep. Is this counted? Next morning, they leave for the royal palace. You can see the happiness and relief in Raj’s face. They’re staying for the night since Raj reinstated the ball. With Raj dancing with Shirayuki, for once he looks like a real prince. You jealous, Zen? Raj comments she would look better with long hair. She replies if he visits her as a friend, she would be happy to. Next morning, the Clarines people depart for home.

Episode 21
As it is raining, the gang stops by at an inn for shelter. Similarly, a lady named Toro enters looking for the same. Nothing much happening at this point as they bath, talk and eat. During dinner, Toro comes to blatantly flirt with Mitsuhide. She also makes a pass at Zen but passes up on Obi (because he is dangerous looking). Later when Obi and Toro are outside alone, turns out they know each other as old acquaintances. Toro tries to reign in Obi to help her in a job to look for someone. She is supposed to bring some rich noble kid who ran away from home back but the rain dampened her tracking. Obi reluctantly agrees seeing it is just restricted to the night. They manage to find the kid taking refuge at an abandoned building. I guess the reason Toro ‘hired’ Obi is to take care of a guard the kid hired. Yeah, Obi didn’t even lift a finger to ‘defeat’ this clumsy guard. The kid should hire better people. It’s Toro’s turn to get the kid as he tries to bribe her. She won’t fall for that and after a little scolding, the kid agrees to go back with her. Too easy. I’m not sure where the other guard was but he returns trying to take on Toro. Though she easily defeats him, she slips on the puddle and falls off. Had not Obi caught her, she would have sustained a lot more injuries. So they talk about their old times together and she thought they should get back together but Obi isn’t interested. They are surprised when Zen and co are here looking for him. Though he left a note he was going out, they were suspicious. They know where to find him because Kiki noticed lights in an abandoned building. A perfect place for Obi to be. With Zen ‘scolding’ Obi to be more self-aware, I guess he can’t brush off his light injuries and let Shirayuki treat it. Next morning, they continue their journey home. Obi is certain everyone won’t see Toro again since he isn’t interested in going back to his old self.

Episode 22
Zen is going to have more work cut out for him when he returns. Seems Izana has laid out a list of possible candidates for his marriage interview! Initially Zen doesn’t seem interested especially in looking for a wife now despite Haruka’s reminder he must at least see to one to show he hasn’t abandoned the thought of marriage. But when he sees a name on the list, he seems to be interested in doing this just once. Can you guess who that is? If you say Shirayuki (like yours truly), WRONG! It’s Kiki! Who’d knew she is the daughter of an earl. Plus, Zen sought a favour from her to help him out with this so he could ‘run away’ from this marriage thingy a little longer. He promises to keep her name a secret to the public. So the entire palace is abuzz with this marriage meeting despite not knowing who the girl is. There’s this flashback when Mitsuhide and Kiki first met, outside a ball they aren’t used to. She didn’t introduce herself properly. The next time he meets her sparring with Zen, he couldn’t recognize her and thought she was a guy! After the marriage meeting, it’s back to the usual work for Zen. But when he hears how Obi did see Shirayuki but not tell her it was Kiki whom Zen was with, did Zen have to be this devastated? I thought it was supposed to be a secret? What circumstances is he talking about? So he rushes over to her just to explain about it. She understands and although she was nervous about it, she thought Zen would eventually come to tell her everything. Shirayuki hints she thought of wanting to go see him. He apologizes for being selfish as he holds her hand. That night, Izana talks to Zen that he was the one who recommended Kiki’s name. Then he says he will soon get married and in time it will be Zen’s turn. The thing is the decisions he has to make as the people are putting their hopes on him as the second prince. This has Zen confirming he wants Shirayuki as his wife and has no intention of leaving her behind. Izana says to convince him the path he takes with her is worth supporting.

Episode 23
A maid accidentally drops a rug. Because Zen is deep in his thoughts, he couldn’t avoid in time. This causes him some pain in the neck although it is not serious. Well, he just can’t move his neck. As Mitsuhide goes to look for Garak, he accidentally spills a potion and starts feeling weird. When he returns to Zen, suddenly he is like a new character! Strictly upright and formal! It is discovered that Mitsuhide accidentally smelled a medicine with hypnotizing effect. It doesn’t do any physical harm and should wear off but while in effect, it looks like his hidden side of him as surfaced to take control over him. Although Shirayuki applies some medicine to heal it, Mitsuhide gets more annoying as he puts emphasis on curing Zen and puts it upon himself to always protect Zen. Yeah, I guess this means Mitsuhide literally becomes a bigger pain in the neck for Zen as he follows him everywhere! Even making a big fuss off a puddle ahead! Don’t get me started on that nagging about his duty schedule. No wonder Zen wants to run away from him! If that isn’t weird enough, Mitsuhide somewhat becomes a gentleman too. Accidentally bumping into Kiki, he tries to be all gentlemanly about it but she gets annoyed and slaps him! And after a few days, Mitsuhide is still in this character! Wow. Really pain in the neck. One day at the library, an accident that causes the books to fall over Zen and Shirayuki, Mitsuhide swiftly protects them. No one was injured. I guess Zen gives in to his stubbornness and wants Shirayuki to help find a cure instead of waiting for the effects to wear off. And after all the hard work, Mitsuhide reverts back to normal. However he has no memories during his hypnotized times, making Zen mad. Obi took the liberty to record down all the things he said. The embarrassing ones like the one with Kiki. After Shirayuki submits her report, Garak passes her. Her apprenticeship ends and is now officially a court herbalist. Heck, she has been here for so long I thought she was already one a long time ago.

Episode 24
Shirayuki is surprised Mihaya visits her in the greenhouse. She learns he has become a citizen of Tanbarun after he exchanged information that led to the arrest of more Sea Claw members. His reward also means he has a status of a noble and theoretically the head of a viscount family. He is here as a messenger of Tanbarun. Shirayuki is called before the Clarines princes. Sakaki is here on behalf of Raj to give her a pendant. It bears the title Friend of the Royal Family. So he went on to make that real… This now makes her a dignitary and allows her to visit Tanbarun whenever she wishes. After Sakaki leaves, Izana can’t help laugh his heart out. But he is now relieved since he once considered her by Zen’s side to tarnish his image, with this title they can mention her friendship without issue. Izana then throws her a hard question: What does she want to be with Zen. She is left speechless. Later Sakaki personally gives Shirayuki a letter from Raj addressing to his first true friend. That night she can’t sleep thinking about Izana’s words. Zen rushes to her side. She continues since the day she confessed she loves him and help him by his side. This has not changed till today. The same for Zen. She really loves him and wants to be by his side. He hugs her and reminds her not to rush. Then he kisses her neck. Then the lips. She gets weak in the knees so he carries her up to the rooftop where they can be alone and admire the garden (only, their retainers saw them and decide to leave them alone). So more romantic words and Zen promising he’ll say the proper words one day. Now he kisses her cheek. Man, he kissed almost everywhere on her top today. Next day as the see off Sakaki, Shirayuki hands him her reply letter to Raj. Sakaki and Mihaya hint that if there is a chance arise, they would try to come to their side. Everyone returns to their respective work.

Snow White With Red Hair And Heart Of Gold
And they continued living happily ever after… So to speak. Well, it was a nice and pure romantic fairytale I have seen in quite a while without anything oh so controversial. Not ever since I read children fairytales since I was young. Oh wait. Did I ever really read as a kid? Anyway, so my only little peeve is that Shirayuki didn’t become a princess as I was expecting as read from the series’ title. I know it’s absurd. I also know it would be too much of a rush and destroying the 2 dozen worth of episodes that have built up everything nicely if they were to somehow make her engaged to Zen in the end. Though it is very highly likely in the future, it isn’t yet in the context in this anime. So the farthest she has been being a princess is in a play and being carried like one… I guess that’s close enough. Well, at least being a noble status now is better than where she started off as just strangers. But I’m sure she is already a princess in the hearts of those she touched.

The entire premise of the series can either be boring or interesting depending on your tastes in such stories. It is a mix and in between for me. After having watched countless of ‘corrupted’ and controversial anime series and only a handful of ‘healing’ ones, it is hard for me to say that I was totally absorbed into the main plot of the overall series. Honestly, the whole thing is to put it bluntly, just boring. It is actually nothing that special and only so because Shirayuki attracts attention by just being a girl with red hair. Had she had normal hair colour like other citizens, she would not have walked down this path in her life. But once you get used to her red hair, it becomes so normal that you won’t even realize it. So you can see that for whatever ‘drama’ aside from the budding romance between our main protagonists is because of her red hair. Therefore I find the second season whereby Shirayuki getting kidnapped as by far the most interesting plot of it all. Don’t get me wrong. It is not like I wish to see something really bad happen to Shirayuki and I have confidence she can take care of herself in such situations. It is just that Shirayuki being taken away and being separated from Zen for the longest time sounds more interesting considering the pace of this series. Something more interesting than the usual ‘boring’ drama that usually happens behind the castle walls ever since she takes residence in the palace.

While the series is heart-warming, has good pacing and great development on its main characters, the thing that ‘ruins’ my joy is to realize at the end of it all that this is just fairytale. Yes, fairytales are supposed to have a happy ending. Living in today’s era and reality filled with impatience, bad tempers and instant angry rage, watching something so goody-goody like this is just unbelievable. Especially when you take into account the royal family of Clarines and their subordinates are actually one hell of a bloody good people. I mean, where do such good and kind-hearted royal people exist? Only in fairytales, right? Yeah… Don’t get me wrong again. I love those in power who takes great care of its people. But from where I come from and having to face reality each time I finish watching anime of the fantasy genre, that switch is just what makes it depressing. In today’s politically correct world, the goodness of what Izana, Zen and Shirayuki preach feels like as though they are virtue signalling. However they have every right to it because they walk the talk and stay true to their ideals. Yeah, it made me realize how I’m not such a great person after all…

This brings me to the characters of the series. Those who love great development especially romance between the main characters would be delighted to see it heavily concentrated on Zen and Shirayuki here. You’ll know they will definitely click when they first met (aside from because of the plot) and it really takes its time and pacing to build it into where it is. It is nice to see how to duo use their talents and abilities instead of their position to overcome whatever obstacles in their way. Both are strong, independent and level headed. An eye opener that would leave you admiring them in the decisions they make as they stay true to their ideals. They do not stoop low or bend their principals, that is why we respect them and eventually they grow on us and we wish to support them till they lead a happily ever after life. I am tempted to say that scepticism of reality has made their good character traits feel unbelievable. But I have to remind myself this is fantasy and just a story. Leave reality out of it! Can we just simply enjoy the goodness of Zen and Shirayuki alone? That they are truly nice and good people? Yeah, I wish Shirayuki could be my waifu but considering the kind of person I am… Too high standards… People like Zen should rightfully be deserving of her. I didn’t keep count but I have a feeling they kissed more times than I expected them too… I know it is a must in romance genres but it feels like as though a reminder of how much they love each other. Duh…

The other supporting casts like Mitsuhide, Kiki and Obi aren’t too shabby either. Over the course of both seasons, we have a glimpse of their background and origins although it isn’t really too deep so as not to distract us from the main focus of Zen x Shirayuki. You sense that Obi has secret feelings for Shirayuki and might have thoughts about other pairings like Mitsuhide x Kiki or Obi x Kiki but when it comes down to it, nothing gets in the way of Zen x Shirayuki. They are loyal subordinates to Zen and Shirayuki but I find Kiki a bit to be like a robot since she lacks emotions and doesn’t show much facial expressions. I think she would look better if she smiles more often. But then again, it might be creepy and not the Kiki we all have come to be accustomed to. Yes, she does smile but not on a regular and normal basis.

Izana might sound like he has an ulterior motive because of the way he sounds. A bit condescending and prideful. It is like he can turn into an evil character the next second. But remember, as the first prince of Clarines, he has responsibilities and duties to fulfil. He might not know Shirayuki as well as Zen so you can see why he is initially cautious so as not to bring ruin. Imagine if the royal family is brought down by an outsider woman. With red hair. It will be the curse of the century. Otherwise, Izana is a very wise person whom you’ll want as king for your kingdom. I believe Izana isn’t as sceptical as he is towards Shirayuki at the end although I still find he is. After all, who is Shirayuki to him? Thus I think it is wise for him to still keep his distance and in a way helps Shirayuki to be on her toes and not be too complacent. Not that she will but being with Zen and co for so long, there is that danger of falling into that comfort zone and assuming things.

The other big improvement is Raj. Initially starting out as a sleazebag and a useless prince, he regains his honour in the second season. Though he has definitely become a much better person, there is still room for more improvement assuming he is to be able to stand at the same status and respect as Zen. Raj isn’t entirely a bad person but he gets too comfortable taking advantage of his position as Tanbarun’s prince. But if you think about it and all the events that transpired, Raj’s first move to force Shirayuki to be his concubine is a blessing in disguise. Her runaway to Clarines changed her destiny. She became a better person and I am sure she too affected Zen and co to become better persons (noticed how Zen stops sneaking out frequently ever since Shirayuki came?) and in turn of it all, Raj himself reflects and becomes a better person. So all is not that bad.

One thing I want to point out is how the series focuses on these few main and supporting characters but many of them are confined within the walls of the palace. This means we don’t really get to see the daily ordinary lives of the kingdom’s citizens. I mean, we do but not so much in focus and usually because our main characters are passing through or something. Otherwise, a big bulk of the scenes in the series (except during Shirayuki’s kidnapping incident) are mostly taking place inside the palace grounds. So how do you know if your people is doing well or not? Remember what I said about the royal family here being very good people? This means we don’t have to worry about their wellbeing as I am very sure everyone is as happy as prosperous as they are so long the royal family doesn’t become corrupted. You don’t see anybody protesting or suffering, right? No wonder there is this small running joke that a guard at the gates sometimes feels bored with his duty… Well, let’s hope peace reigns forever here.

I blame myself for expecting Ryu to have some sort of major supporting role like Mitsuhide, Kiki and Obi. Thinking he is a court herbalist and a genius at his age, there must be some sort of issue too, right? Well, not really. That poison testing subject wasn’t really an issue if you think about it. So he is just a sleepy looking kid lacking emotions (is his face stuck like this with this expression forever?) supervising Shirayuki during her apprenticeship. Rona and Yujina bring some moe kawaii factor with Rona trying to a young matchmaker for Raj. It is hard to say for me if Raj eventually has genuine feelings for Shirayuki. Because it feels like a running joke that this guy is always worrying first the implications and consequences that Zen will drop his justice hammer the slightest wrongdoing he does to Shirayuki. After all, he has been warned. Once bitten, twice shy. So how can he waste time thinking about falling for Shirayuki when each time he thinks of her, Zen’s face pops up! Maybe when he matures more and becomes more respectable he can start thinking of that.

Art and animation are pretty decent if not beautiful. I guess from an ‘ordinary’ fantasy genre, the characters do have that bishoujo and bishonen look. Yeah, only in fairytales and especially anime where you find good looking people all around. Even mini antagonists like Sea Snake looks smoking hot or the seemingly plain Obi looks good in his own right. Because like I said this is an ‘ordinary’ fantasy genre in the sense that there is literally no magic or dangerous magical beasts to fight or exotic locations like floating islands. It just feels like fictitious kingdoms, take away all sort of modern technology, put characters in fancy costumes and voila! You have what you can call a fantasy genre. Not that I’m complaining, though. This series is animated by Bones who have produced lots of popular animes like Soul Eater, Ouran Koukou Host Club, Fullmetal Alchemist, Noragami, Boku No Hero Academia, Kekkai Sensen and Mob Psycho 100.

Saori Hayami is perfect as Shirayuki. Because of her husky voice that isn’t your typical high pitch girly girl type, it makes Shirayuki believable and have sense of impressiveness. I mean, imagining her character sounding squeaky feels like it wouldn’t cut it. Other recognizable seiyuus are Jun Fukuyama as Raj, Nobuhiko Okamoto as Obi, Akira Ishida as Izana, Yuko Kaida as Garak and Nana Mizuki (yes, I caught you there in cameo) as Toro. The rest of the other casts are Ryota Ohsaka as Zen (Marco in Shingeki No Kyojin), Yuichiro Umehara as Mitsuhide (Charioce in Shingeki No Bahamut: Virgin Soul), Kaori Nazuka as Kiki (Nunally in Code Geass series), Yuko Sanpeia as Ryu (Sasha in Seikon No Qwaser), Tomoyuki Shimura as Haruka (Nakai in Bakuman), Katsuyuki Konishi as Sakaki (Oga in Beelzebub), Chiwa Saito as Kiharu (Kirie in Girls Bravo), Sachi Kokuryu as Kazuki (Shirou in Tsugumomo), Tohru Okawa as Mukaze (Roy in Fullmetal Alchemist), Shintarou Asanuma as Itoya (Tsuda in Seitokai No Yakuindomo), Mitsuki Saiga as Sea Snake (Phantom in MAR), Toshiyuki Toyonaga as Mihaya (Tsukumo in Nanbaka), Inori Minase as Rona (Chino in Gochuumon Wa Usagi Desu Ka) and Mikako Komatsu as Yujina (Kanae in ClassicaLoid).

The opening themes for both seasons are sung by Saori Hayami. At least here she sounds decent compared to the songs she sang in Fukumenkei Noise. While the first season’s opening theme, Yasashii Kibou sounds pretty decent, I find that the second season’s Sono Koe Ga Chizu Ni Naru fares worse. The former might sound like a generic pop but it does fit in nicely with the pacing and theme of the series. At least it opens with a calming piano play. However the latter sounds a bit dramatic, something I feel doesn’t fit the overall feel of the series. It’s not entirely bad but I just prefer the first one. The same can almost be said for both the ending themes, both sung by Eyelis. Kizuna Ni Nosete and Page~Kimi To Tsuzuru Monogatari have this dramatic feel to it which I feel doesn’t fit the overall feel despite not that bad. Yeah, so my personal thoughts for a fitting song for this anime would be a slow romantic ballad. Oh well, it is not that this entire anime focuses on the romance of Zen and Shirayuki 24/7.

Overall, this is a very nice and enjoyable romance fairytale where you can watch how true romance blossoms over time between 2 people coming from very different background. A fairytale that doesn’t stray too far away from its fantasy genre with uncomplicated and relatively relaxing plots as well as interesting and likeable characters. No twisted and grim fairytale versions to scar your childhood memories, that’s for sure. If you have outgrown children’s fairytales like the original Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel (yeah, they all have Disney adaptations to it), this series feels more like a proper for teens and adults. Who wouldn’t love a good fairytale where the beautiful girl marries the handsome prince? Who wouldn’t love a good fairytale where they live happily ever after among the people of their happy kingdom? Yes, we can all dream. But eventually we all have to wake up… Now why do I have to go spoil that happily ever after mood?

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