「辿るは胸の鳴るほうへ」 (Tadoru wa mune no naru hou e)
“Following the Sound of Your Heart”
This second episode felt like a good follow-up to our premiere, but it almost too similar that it lacked impact. Although it shows more of Shirayuki’s capabilities as both a pharmacist and an independent woman, there’s not a lot going on in the bigger picture. Now that Shirayuki’s in Clarines, she’s beginning to make a home for herself and exploring on her own but I wish the story had a larger driving force for the plot. I thought Shirayuki was going to make friends within Clarines and Mihaya (Toyonaga Toshiyuki) was going to join her posse. Clearly I guessed wrong, however I’d like to see more reoccurring characters (outside Shirayuki and Zen) to grow the cast and make it feel less episodic. I’m definitely more inclined to watch damaged or troubled characters (Mihaya or Raji) because it gives you hope that they’re going to change throughout the season. So far, Shirayuki and Zen do feel a little less flawed and more down-to-earth for anime protagonists but I’m not complaining if they still have some developing to do.
What sets Shirayuki apart from all other heroines, isn’t just the fact that she has red hair and can think independently. She is also hardworking, knows what she wants and she doesn’t depend on others. I just find her rather unfortunate that her hair color attracts so much unwanted attention. Nevertheless, she’s able to think for herself and doesn’t rely on anyone (man or woman) to help her out of crazy situations. This is definitely the opposite of what I’ve become accustomed to when it comes to being a damsel in distress. It’s not about how a pretty girl gets in trouble and needs a handsome stranger to rescue her. Like I said, I don’t blame Shirayuki for the dilemmas that she finds herself in. She even cuts off her long hair to avoid attention (and also, I guess a lot of men like the long hair). I think Shirayuki sends a strong message for stereotypes in anime by being the lead protagonist. Although I wouldn’t say her character is a break-through for shoujo, but I would love to see more females like her that take matters into their own hands. Rather than things happening to her, I want her to make things happen.
Now on the flip side, while I do like Zen, I don’t like how his character only serves to help Shirayuki. I feel like the two of them could be equals when it comes to being the MC but Zen seems to take a secondary role compared to Shirayuki. Zen has also turned out to be more like a friend in my mind than a potential mate. I don’t feel the romantic tension between the two of them and it’s only when Zen saves Shirayuki that I feel the butterflies. Hence why I don’t really know the role that Zen is supposed to play around Shirayuki’s life besides perhaps a mentor and savior. He’s gotta step up his game ~
Overall I’m still enjoying the ride with Akagami no Shirayuki and I think it has a lot of potential for Shirayuki as the MC. A lot of the other characters haven’t gotten their time to shine yet, but the story should be about Shirayuki’s journey anyway. I’d like to see more romance and even comedy to lighten up the mood, but I don’t think Akagami no Shirayuki will be a romcom in the traditional sense. It’s more serious and less light-hearted than I would expect, but in return, it’s also great taking a different spin on shoujo. A greater overarching story about the kingdoms and affairs within Clarines would be a nice to have as well because I think it’ll add complexity to Shirayuki’s situation. Also, I’d want to see what Prince Zen does with all his time…
Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: Love seeing Shirayuki think of ways to save herself rather than waiting around like a damsel… but she’s always being rescued by Zen anyway ~ But I wouldn’t mind either =P
ED2: 「絆にのせて」 (Kizuna ni Nosete) by eyelis