「おおかみさんと毒りんごが効かない白雪姫」 (Ookami-san to Doku Ringo ga Kikanai Shirayuki Hime)
“The Wolf and Snow White whom The Poison Apple Doesn’t Work On”
It’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, in the form of the Miss Otogi Gakuin champion Shirayuki Himeno (Fukui Yukari) and her seven younger siblings. The fairy tale crossover this time around entailed Ringo’s childhood relationship with Himeno, and how the latter was driven out of her home along with her mother following a divorce prompted by the former’s mother (Ono Ryouko). In the literal sense of her name (i.e. red apple), Ringo is the poison apple of sorts that forced Snow White to leave her home and later meet the seven dwarfs. Beyond that, there wasn’t a whole lot else in reference to the original fairy tale though. More specifically, there was no jealous queen nor prince to wake up Snow White after she succumbed to the effects of the poison apple. Instead, we have an original tale about a very young and innocent Ringo who loves her stepsister, but grew up feeling responsible for breaking up Himeno’s family and has been unable to face her all this time. That’s not necessarily a bad thing since the characters themselves are intended to be modeled after certain fairy tales and not the overall story itself, but noteworthy since Himeno’s subplot felt much more detached from her reference material than the other characters we’ve come across thus far.
Interestingly enough, the lack of resemblance actually made for a pretty heartwarming story. For one, Ringo was absolutely adorable when she was a kid and first started ending all her sentences with the “no” gobi. In addition, her innocent relationship with Himeno provided a really good setup for a touching conclusion. While things were working towards Ringo finally overcoming the guilt she feels towards Himeno, we had Otogi Bank babysitting the seven siblings to drive the lighthearted side of things, plus some inadvertent development in the Ryoushi x Ryouko department during their group outing at the pool. Seeing all the girls in a bathing suits certainly didn’t hurt, nor did Alice’s flustered expression when she was teased a bit about her relationship with Liszt. However, all of that was merely a pleasant distraction from the story at hand, where Himeno’s kindhearted self held no resentment towards Ringo and even apologized for not being around as her big sister. It was unbelievably sweet yet cruel at the same time, because it was pretty obvious that Ringo wanted to apologize first. As such, I even got a bit choked up at the sight of our not-so-poisonous apple in tears of relief that her stepsister doesn’t hate her. Poor Ringo. 🙁
Looking back, I can’t say there was a lot of depth to Himeno’s character outside of being very pure and bighearted, but that was all that was really needed for her to make an impact here. She put the kids before herself and Ringo got an early wish out of Ranpu (being the genie from Aladdin that he is) to make sure Himeno gets a chance to attend university, making this really feel like a fairy tale ending even though it wasn’t closely based on one. In lieu, we were treated to some Snow White and her Prince in the end, thanks to the dream that stemmed from Ryouko’s innermost feelings towards Ryoushi. We all know she wants him despite how much she tries to fight that feeling, but having it come as a dream shows just how hard she’s fallen.