Snow white with the red hair? It sounds like a fairytale story with a typical yet inspiring concept – an ordinary girl finally meets her prince of life. I guess, some of you would think that it’s something that is closely related to a Cinderella-like scenario with the cliche they-live-happily-ever-after ending, and based from the pictures you’ve seen in various anime-related sites, you would think that is the real case. If you think of it too far from that, then you must rather enjoy this fantastical world of romance.
It’s all about this young herbalist girl in the name of Shirayuki who is born with an unusual hair color – a beautiful, long apple red hair. Because of her uniqueness among other people in the town, she is being chased by the famous Prince Raj to become his concubine. Without a choice and nowhere else to go, she decides to cut his long hair and persistently escapes to a neighboring country, the Kingdom of Clarines. She ends up to a place where she meets a young, good-looking decent boy named Zen who at first, doubts Shirayuki’s sudden appearance in his place. Shirayuki then proves to Zen that it’s far different from what he’s thinking. She shows her skills as a herbalist and even cures Zen wound at his left arm. After much thought, they both begin to develop trust and help each other, together with Zen’s friends. Shirayuki decides to go on with her journey to find a job as a herbalist.
Akagami no Shirayuki-hime, literally translated as Snow White with the Red Hair, isn’t just your average story of romance between a normal girl and a high profile man because what makes the series more special is the fact there is no definite confession between the two but they seem to enjoy each others company and respect one another. Zen is just a good example of a male protagonist who gives importance to a woman and proves that there is no hindrance in every relationship, whether it could be labeled as friends, or in a romantic way, as long as both parties understand and trust each other. More importantly, their couple shows that the difference in social status is not a major opposition in a happy relationship because even the poorest girl in the universe can find her beloved prince and can make a fairytale story out of it.
Shirayuki might be the best character in the series. I rarely see a young girl who is brave enough to wander in the forest even in the late night and I can see she is not afraid of it. She can be truly independent and can decide for herself, too. I think her characterization as a female protagonist is a notable factor throughout the series. I can also see that she has a little resemblance to Yona from the series Akatsuki no Yona, not only because they both have a gorgeous red hair, but because they mirror a complete image of a true-blooded heroine, and that’s the best part I like about them.
Zen is also a likable protagonist in the series. His gentleness and caring side towards Shirayuki makes him even more of a prince-type rather than just a normal man giving his compliment to a girl to prove he likes her. Due to his humility towards his countrymen and the kingdom itself, you wouldn’t think at first glance that he possesses a royal blood because he seems just a normal boy wandering in the town. I like the way he shows his humble character who treats people with equity and doesn’t let anyone around him be afraid of his princely disposition. A good leader, perhaps. The way she treats Shirayuki is a plus factor to his character with his kind and passionate words although they doesn’t seem to be an official couple at first, it’s just light hearted to watch them care for each other regardless of what others see for them.
What I particularly like in the series is the medieval setting. It simply is refreshing to see a place with all the high lands, horses, town people and all that pertain to royal lands while romance is being depicted in a classical way as a European era. If you’ve been already bored watching a light-hearted Asian perspective romantic story, then the series will definitely catch your attention. If you’ve already watch the series Spice and Wolf not so long ago and have enjoyed the scenery of it, you must also love watching various angles of the series when it comes to environmental design.
The opening theme Yasashii Kibou is performed by Saori Hayami, the voice actress of Shirayuki as well. She makes a good melody with her soft yet well modulated and refreshing voice. It’s one of the best opening theme I’ve heard since the start of 2016. While the ending theme Kizuna ni Nosete is performed by a Japanese pop group, Eyelis, and honestly speaking, I’ve never heard about them since their debut, or maybe, I’ve already encountered them somewhere in different anime themes, but wasn’t aware of their existence. I was hooked up with their music after I heard their song in this series.
Akagami no Shirayukihime is simply a good romantic anime to watch if you love to make it in a more magical way. You will simply fall in love with the beauty of the relationship between two people with different profile, and yes, it sounds cliche but I’m sure you’ll definitely love it. A must watch.