「約束、輝くその時に」 (Yakusoku, Kagayaku Sonotoki ni)
“Shining Time of Promise”
Seeing the progression in Shirayuki and Zen’s relationship reminds me just how much I love shoujo series – like the back-in-the-day type of shoujo series. The ones where you have a boy and girl that like each other but never really admit it and they go through a lot of trials together that test their relationship. They can be polar opposites or just two individuals that happen to be walking the same path, but eventually, they end up together because they’re meant to be. I love stories like that because it’s not about a single guy and his harem or girls with massive things on their chest. It’s not even much of a comedy, it’s just a straightforward story about Shirayuki’s journey in Clarines and Zen’s path to being a Prince. The only problem I have with this series is when or if the romance is really that dominant of a genre in the grand scheme of things. I see Shirayuki and Zen’s connection and the small signs of interest, but will they really say “I like you”? Is it that type of series? A lot of people compare Akagami no Shirayukihime to recent series like Akatsuki no Yona or Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo but since I haven’t seen either, I can’t verify or confirm. To me, this series reminds me a lot more of Spice and Wolf or Saiunkoku Monogatari because you have strong female protagonists along with a male lead, but romance is not exactly top of mind because they’re on the path to doing other things.
Before starting Akagami no Shirayukihime, I had the impression that each episode might be a spin on Grimm tales or other folklore. However, now that we’re several episodes in, I don’t think that’s the case any longer. In fact, the only similarities to Snow White were in the first episode with Shirayuki’s hair and the poisoned apples. Besides that, I haven’t been seeing any real resemblance to fairytales that I’ve seen and that’s totally fine as well. Instead, I like how the story tackles the issues about Shirayuki’s background compared to Zen’s. As a prince, it’s looked down upon for Zen to be seen socializing with commoners all the time. Haruka Marquis (Shimura Tomoyuki) made it clearly known that he didn’t like Shirayuki hanging out the castle and even ordered Obi (Okamoto Nobuhiko) to stop her. Obi attempted to scare Shirayuki away, which in hindsight, obviously didn’t work but even knowing her character, she doesn’t seem like the type to run away from a problem. As always, I thought she did a great job handling the situation on her own, especially when Haruka confronts her later, but… Zen appears to have the final say again. Seriously, I wish he would stop doing that because I think it takes away from Shirayuki’s own accomplishments when someone else saves her. I do like the whole damsel in distress with a handsome prince to swoop in and save the day, but Shirayuki doesn’t need that kind of man in her life.
Now that we’re officially past the 3-episode test mark, I suppose some form of feedback is in order. Akagami no Shirayukihime is not the typical romance series mixed with comedy or filled with harems which is what I’ve been seeing a lot of in recent years. In fact, it rarely makes me laugh at all but it does pull me in with its strong characters and relationships between them. It’s not action-packed or filled with suspense and mystery, it’s just a calm and soothing tale; which is what I need right now after seasons of blogging shows like Shokugeki no Souma and Akame ga Kill. There isn’t this grand scheme or plot for Shirayuki which I would’ve liked to see, but at least she’s talking about becoming a pharmacist working in the castle now. I also love the character designs, which are reminiscent of older shoujos when characters were more elongated rather than round and cute. The animation is what I would expect of BONES and mixed in with a good soundtrack and scenery makes the setting is very engrossing. It makes Clarines look like such a happy kingdom to be a part of. So yes, I would definitely recommend it for this season. Along with maybe 3 or 4 other series this summer, Akagami no Shirayukihime makes it on my must-watch list.
Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: I liked seeing Zen acting and being treated as a Prince. Good thing he takes his job seriously. Finally seeing more of a connection between Zen and Shirayuki as a couple, especially from Zen #akagaminshirayukihime