Name: Snow White with the Red Hair / 赤髪の白雪姫
Type: TV Show
Number of Episodes: 12
Genre: Shoujo, Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Premiered: Summer 2015
Duration: 24 mins per episode
Shirayuki, a local herbalist of the kingdom Tanbarun was born with the rare hair color red which cause all of the people around her engulfed with fascination. The heir of the kingdom, prince Raj of Tanbarun is looking for a beautiful woman to marry, and then an informant suggested that the perfect ideal would be Shirayuki, the red-haired girl, curious and interested prince Raj, ordered to bring Shirayuki to the kingdom to be his concubine.
Shirayuki ran from her beloved home, shocked and displeased that the prince want to marry her just because of her rare hair color. Upon leaving her home, she cut her hair and goes off to another country wherein she met Zen, the boy who jumped off the walls and tripped accidentally when he suddenly saw her out of nowhere. Shirayuki offered a poultice which Zen suspecting it to be a poison. Daring him, she hit herself and put the poultice on her arm and teased that she doesn’t normally carry poison around.
Zen wondered what Shiryuki is doing outside the unoccupied house in the woods, suspecting Shirayuki that she ran away from home, she then confessed that there was a man who wanted to marry her just for her rare hair color so she ran away. Upon arrival of the front door after strolling around, they saw a box of apples laying in front with a note for Shirayuki, a warning that they know wherever she goes. Zen took a bite to the apple and got poisoned; the guard whom Shirayuki met once came and told her that prince Raj is requesting for her presence if she wants to save her friend. Meeting the insolent prince Raj, she was forced again to marry the prince, agreeing, Zen and two of his friends appeared at the door, threatening the prince. Mocked, the prince dared who Zen is, revealing himself; he appears to be the second prince of the neighborhood kingdom, Clarines. Falling down to his chair, prince Raj swore to prince Zen that he will not bother nor speak of Shirayuki’s name anymore.
Prince Zen of Clarines offered his hand to Shirayuki if she wanted to come to his country and she gladly accepted it.
This review will have mild spoilers, so please proceed with caution.
Snow White is the oldest Disney’s princess fairy tale, it portrays a woman characteristics that is weak, good-for-nothing-except-house-chores. It is indeed a fairy tale, where you were saved by your stranger prince from your evil step-mother, but it does not tackle woman’s ability of self-independence. Here in Akagami no Shirayuki-hime, Shirayuki is an herbalist, an independent, intelligent and skilled woman. She is wise, dependable and mature way beyond her age, as she supports her living by herself. The story would be fantastic if only it was been discussed properly. It is absurd that people will go crazy too much just because one person was born with such rarity. It’s okay that people will go on talk about it everywhere; I understand that, but to kidnap one? To offer such social status just for that is a complete nonsense. The story itself is too fast-paced, wherein too much events are occurring at the same time, which results in poor deliberation of proper storyline from the beginning to the end. Most of anime only have 12 episodes, which most anime released nowadays are poor with the development no matter how much the idea; the structure of the story is magnificent as our favorite fairy tale unicorn. Akagami no Shirayuki-hime has joined the bandwagon of poor anime; no matter how much potential I can see if only it was portrayed professionally. The relationship and self-development is the main reason for its destruction, it was too sudden, and then it was not. The character’s development is deadly confusing; it has no path where it’s headed to. Akagami no Shirayuki-hime can have both turn of events: with or without having climax. Climax is very important in every art because it brings heaviness- more depth to the portrait it wants to deliver. Which more reason why Akagami no Shirayuki-hime is such a “bummer” for being wasted when it has such a lot of potential, there’s no many anime that can give out both options of with or without climax. If there are in these 12 episodes, you can certainly not see it, as if it was being transparent to half percent which is not good, because an excellent story should be absolute. This anime was not executed as it meant to.
If there’s one thing I’m sure of this anime is that Shirayuki is so loved by everyone. People love and go for her is because of her unusual hair color, which all the reason why she ran from Tanbarun, her specialness from her red hair is what prince Raj of her country wants her to be his concubine, which is why she cut her hair and flee away from home, only to run to the second prince of her country’s neighboring kingdom. What a coincidence! She threw her life in Tanbarun, her beloved home, where all people adore her, just because prince Raj wants to pamper her like a wife without actually marrying her. She could have a talk to the prince or when the tables have been turned, she could have escape from prison and be her own superhero. Zen saved her, which has been instantly become her ‘special friend’. What mostly annoys me is that feelings between Zen and Shirayuki developed too suddenly, too fast, too rushed. I could already feel from the second episode that Zen and Shirayuk have feelings for each other, too obvious. They should have self-development first, building relationships with each other, to bring a castle of proper shoujo romance. Instead of watching a dove wrapped themselves like a heart-shaped in the pond, I’m watching instead a 3-year old boy and girl telling themselves they are in love. I can find the proper development to Obi when it comes to love, slowly but absolute. Curious to wondering, Obi is slowly approaching to find what affection is, carefully but surely, Obi has captured me to raise my hand in volunteer to be his “shoujo” instead.
I’m not a picky eater, and that goes same to graphics and sounds. I actually don’t care if the transition of the graphics is too much or too little because I believe that animation is not important, the story, the character development and the enjoyment should be the standard of judging whether or not the anime is worth the hype. Although there are few things to comment, like the at the first episode when prince Raj is panicking when Zen revealed himself as the second prince of Clarines, instead of watching a defeat, I’m watching instead a gag because of prince Raj’s face. It would be also great if they would add more music, give more intensity while events are happening.
The enjoyment of this anime is… meh. Not boring but not exciting. I did quite enjoy this anime because for the reason I keep on wondering and searching when this anime will have a character development, which later revealed that there’s no such thing. Turns out my hype over it was good for nothing. I honestly enjoyed the hug and kissing scene other than that, no more else. Glad those scenes are unexpected and surprising.
There’s nothing about Shirayuki’s life that is a problem. She was happy before and she is happy now. She passed easily the test for Clarines’ court apprentice herbalist, there’s nothing hard for Shirayuki’s life, she stood up for herself before, and same goes for the present time too. This is just a story of protagonist’s life being simply perfect at every corner, which there’s no reason why you don’t need to tell it anymore to anybody. There’s no meaning if there is nothing to stake, like I’ve mentioned earlier, this would be a potential anime if there is really a struggle and growth of characters, but it doesn’t exist here. There’s so much story to tell about Shirayuki and the people around her like Zen, Raj, Kiki, Mitsuhide and Obi, but it didn’t happen. Thus, this anime became a supposed-to-be-a-great-potential to a shame.