「出会う···初めての色」 (Deau··· Hajimete no Iro)
“Encountering… A Color for the First Time”
I’m completely taken aback by the quick movement of Zen and Shirayuki’s relationship after the latest episode. Last week, I was certain that (like all other romcom/shoujo anime) this would drag on until the end of the month. That awkward “post-kiss” phase is usually the time that you find out most about a character because you can’t just ignore what happened. Zen is very upfront about his feelings for Shirayuki. He doesn’t hide or try to pretend that it never happened, he is honest with himself and others that he likes her. There is no hesitation in his confession that it really touched my heart since he just knew that this was the woman for him. If Zen had the guts to approach Shirayuki about his feelings, I always thought he would follow-up and “date” her properly. He’s not going to do a half-a** job and he’s not doing it out of boredom… he’s putting his best foot forward to show her that he means it. All too often (in real life anyway), I’ve seen people jump into relationships without truly thinking about it first. Things can work for the better or worse this way; you might take a leap of faith and end up with the right person or you might end up with someone completely wrong for you. I think Zen is the former and I admire him for that courage. Highly desirable man right there *sigh.
Shirayuki – is a bit more of a puzzle to me. This anime has focused a lot of time exploring Zen; his history, his childhood and even those around him but Shirayuki has had very little screen time outside her introduction and her desire to be a court pharmacist. It’s hard to me to empathize with her or understand what she’s going through other than the confusion of what just happened and what that means for their future. I wish there was a bit more hindsight into her past relationships (with boys and friends in general), where she came from and just what she thinks of Zen at all. It’s obvious that she also likes him to some degree, but just how much? It’s hard to tell. The fact that Zen “made the first move” proves to me that he likes her more than she likes him… but hey! She also burst into tears when she tried to explain how conflicted she was being in love with him. That’s a lot of pressure on her and I don’t know just how much she’s thought about their tough journey ahead. All of that being said, I loved seeing Shirayuki and Zen get together. It’s not going to be easy getting past this point (the confession is the first and easy step forward). They still have the barriers of social class to think about, but this is also a shoujo and I know they’ll get through it together. That final scene just melted my heart honestly. First I cry for Megumi in Shokugeki no Souma and now this… please stop!
The rest of the events in this episode were also pretty significant, don’t get me wrong. Zen travels to Kiharu’s village and proposes his idea of using the birds for communication which goes smoothly. Zen also tells Mitsuhide about the events of last episode and of course, we get the Obi scenes. Did I mention that Obi just steals my attention every time he’s on screen? It’s funny how much fascinated I am by the secondary characters (Obi, Izana, Mitsuhide) rather than the main ones. It must be that love for ”bad boys” that I have. Obi doesn’t fit into that stereotypical mold and I want to know how and why he became to be the person that he is. He uses humor to offset a lot of the tension and I don’t know if he is avoiding the fact that he might be attracted to Shirayuki or just ignorant to his own feelings. Of course, I can’t claim upfront that he likes her to any extent; it’s just a few hints here and there that show me just how he cares for her. Zen does too – but in his own way and because he can’t be with her all the time, he sends Obi.
Anyway, not to get sidetracked away from the main point of the story right now which is focused all on Shirayuki and Zen. With the end approaching, a second season has already been announced so we’ll likely see more of them next year. Post-confession is when the relationship starts and to me, that’s the critical part of their life together that I want to see. Everything leading up to it is just the chase, but the issues you face together as a couple is what people should see. Not everything is going to be rainbows and dandelions but we’ll see how they end up.