「芽吹きの協奏曲響く、小さな手」 (Mebuki no Kyousoukyoku Hibiku, Chiisana te)
“From the Small Hand, a Burgeoning Concerto Resonates”

That has got to be the fastest exam ever… I was expecting it to drag on for at least 2 episodes, but nope! Half an episode in and Shirayuki has not only passed the court exam, but she’s made a new friend as well. They’re quick on the ball for this one. Normally I’d anticipate some form of sabotage or struggle for the protagonist, but Shirayuki caught on so fast that it felt like just another day tending to the garden. On the other hand, I would’ve expected others to be just like her; staying up all night to ensure that they passed and everything went smoothly but there was no indication that anyone else was doing the same. Obviously Shirayuki went above and beyond by literally replanting all the incorrect flowers, but I would have expected some more panic by the other candidates that the water was being cross-contaminated. Nevertheless, Shirayuki passed with flying colors and Zen by her side too *nudgenudge.

It’s getting rather obvious that Zen has a crush on Shirayuki now. To the point where he resembles a little boy with his first crush and rather than tease and make fun of her, he makes every excuse to go and see her. It’s rather cute, and at the same time frustrating because I just want to scream ”Tell her you like her”! I don’t even know if he knows he likes her yet… but if the audience and his guards can tell, I think it’s rather obvious. For Shirayuki though, I haven’t seen much of an actual interest in the prince romantically from her yet. Although, I can understand that she’s focused on being a court pharmacist and probably hasn’t even thought about love and relationships. It’s refreshing when you don’t see girls throwing themselves at the main guy or vice versa (for them reverse harems).

Shirayuki acts like a really good friend towards Zen, even to the point of feeling great sympathy for him after she learns what he had to deal with growing up. That definitely felt like a shock and awe moment for me because Zen was poisoned! On purpose! And repeatedly too, so how can anyone just let that go? I hope it’s discussed in detail more about why these tests were done; or maybe it really was just to build up Zen’s immune system… by injecting poison! That’s not too different from how flu shots are given every year, but it’s not for research and definitely not to this extent. The tone of that scene definitely threw me off because I was expecting a more repulsed reaction from Shirayuki given what she’s learned; followed by some climactic music. Instead, she responses by feeling a lot of emotions and bawls as Zen comes in to comfort her. You’ll rarely see that type of scene in real life where the guy comforts the girl that’s crying on his behalf.

There’s a new kid in the story now – with his own quirks and intellect. Ryuu (Sanpei Yuuko) is assigned to be Shirayuki’s mentor after she passes the court pharmacist exam. He doesn’t qualify as a “love interest” given how young he is, but he’s definitely taken a liking to Shirayuki and shows it in his own way. He’s not the most social boy, but hey! He’s brilliant and knows his plants well. I would say that as a mentor, he’s not ideal, but he’s learning as he goes along and will probably learn a lot from Shirayuki herself so the relationship is a balanced one.

Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: So cute!! That’s all I have to say =X #OTP http://bit.ly/1LSYk3r




  1. As for the poison, it was common in the middle ages for nobles take poison in order to grow imunity against it. The fear of dying by poisoning was greater than being stabbed.

  2. or maybe it really was just to build up Zen’s immune system… by injecting poison! That’s not too different from how flu shots are given every year, but it’s not for research and definitely not to this extent.

    I’m pretty sure the notes aren’t for research. They’d be for keeping track of where he is in the whole “build Zen’s resistance to poison” thing. That’s the sort of thing you’d need to know 1) what poisons he’s resistant to, 2) how resistant he is to them. Otherwise you could screw up and given him a poison he hasn’t built a resistance to, or give him too much of a poison he has only a mild resistance to. In other words, it’s pretty much a vaccination record.

  3. Oh man, I love this anime, but it switches so rapidly from being awesome to… I want to same lame but that’s not the right word. Sappy? I cringe when it happens while secretly enjoying it. I feel like I’m slightly sadistic for loving it so much. It’s kinda got vibes of Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii(The World is Still Beautiful) with a small kid with a cute straightforward girl and super sappy moments(her singing).

  4. For Shirayuki though, I haven’t seen much of an actual interest in the prince romantically from her yet.

    I think that she has a interest in him but her focus right now is trying to be more on level ground with him. She doesn’t want to just be a damsel in distress, waiting to be rescued. Rather she wants to support Zen and be of use to him. Whether that is strictly a sense of obligation or a desire to pay him back or whether it’s a blossoming love, we’ll see.

  5. Notes on Akagami character names:

    In the manga, nearly all character names are written in katakana, which is generally used to represent foreign language words in Japanese.
    It’s likely that writing Japanese-sounding names like Zen(ゼン), Mitsuhide(ミツヒデ)and Ryuu(リユウ)in katakana is implying they are foreign fantasy names without Japanese cultural influences.

    Snow is the exception, since Shirayuki is written in kanji (白雪). Note that in Japanese translations of the original Grimm fairytale, Snow White is translated as Shirayuki-hime(白雪姫).

  6. I would disagree on “I haven’t seen much of an actual interest in the prince romantically from her yet” because, you know it’s shoujo. Readers of the original manga are Japanese teenage girls. In their culture, a boy and a girl don’t hug each other unless they do have some kind of love interest. A girl, at least a girl of integrity like Sirayuki, would never have let a boy do that unless she really likes him in romantic way.
    It’s actually not quite as going far as kisses, but it’s close.

  7. I have to completely disagree with your opinion that she hasn’t shown interest in romance for Zen. As soon as she arrived he became her anchor. While yes, she wants to succeed professionally on her own, they have been laying down the structure of her path. She wants to see him, be alongside him by her own power, be his ally, and she has acknowledged that she has only been able to be there up to now by his own power which is why she wants to pave her own way there. The clincher, though, isn’t just her breaking down when she sees the medical history but how they both treat each other. He holds her and offers to stay with her while she completes a duty (reading the -painful- medical history of his). No stammering, no blushing, just a smile an comfort. You can also site how the two guards were verbalizing his interest in Shirayuki in the office but she stayed calm faced and didn’t blush but was the straight-man. Maybe it’s just my opinion but I believe her (romantic)interest in him has already been shown.

  8. I didn’t care that much with the shoujo element for as long as its executed gracefully. Also, I am really happy that we did not have to deal with a drawn out exam that could kill some sense of belief if the team injects a rather contrived conflict to it.


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