RogerBW's Blog

Akagami no Shirayukihime season 1 19 February 2016

2015 fantasy romance, shoujo manga adaptation in 12 episodes: AniDB, vt "Snow White with the Red Hair". Shirayuki the herbalist flees the unwelcome attentions of the prince of her country, only to meet Zen, the junior prince of the next realm over.

It's nothing to do with the Snow White fairy-tale, at least so far. This is a sweet, perhaps over-sweet for some, romance with very light touches of fantasy, and a female protagonist who while she's somewhat constrained by her social status (more than by her sex) is determed to carry on and achieve her goals. Meanwhile Zen has trouble believing that anyone could be interested in him rather than in the power and prestige that he represents. The prince's loyal retainers know how the romance is going to go well before Shirayuki or Zen realise it themselves, which helps when the audience knows it too.

It could turn into angsty soap opera, but it doesn't. It could make the heroine into a prize for whichever man is strongest, but it doesn't. It seems strange to praise a show for what it doesn't do, but so many shows get this obvious stuff wrong that it's a relief when one gets it right.

As this is a manga adaptation, there's nothing like a complete story here, though there is at least a sense of overall progress through a narrative, with Zen and Shirayuki gradually getting closer as various tribulations and opportunities impinge on them. This season ends at the end of a book rather than the end of a story.

A second season is being broadcast in the spring 2016 slot.

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