Snow white with the red hair? It sounds like a fairy tale story with the typical yet inspiring concept – an ordinary girl finally meets her prince of life. I guess, some of you would think that it is closely related to Cinderella-like scenarios as the cliche “they live happily ever after”, 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 a 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 her 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 doubts Shirayuki’s sudden appearance in his place. Shirayuki then proves to Zen that it’s far different from what he has thought of her as she shows her skills as an herbalist and even cures Zen’s 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 an 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 their relationship 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.
Shirayuki might be the best character in the series. I can 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 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 character 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 to be 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. The way she treats Shirayuki is a plus factor to his character with his kind and passionate words although they don’t seem to be an official couple at first. It’s just good to watch them care for each other regardless of what others see in them.
What I particularly like in the series is the medieval setting. The environment is refreshing with all the high lands, horses, town’s people and all that pertain to royalties while the romance is being depicted in a classical way as a European era. If you’ve been already bored watching a lighthearted Asian perspective romantic story, then the series will definitely catch your attention. If you’ve already watch the series Spice and Wolf and have enjoyed the scenery of it, you must also love watching the beautiful angles of the series in relation to its environmental design.
The opening theme, Yasashii Kibou, is performed by Saori Hayami, the voice actress of Shirayuki. She makes a good melody with her soft and refreshing voice. It’s one of the best opening themes 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 the music after I heard their song in this series.
Akagami no Shirayukihime is simply a good romantic anime to watch. You will simply fall in love with the beauty of the relationship between two people with different social status, and yes, there’s the cliche, but I’m sure you will definitely love the show. A must watch.