「始まりのさようなら」 (Hajimari no Sayounara)
“Goodbye of the Beginning”

A strong finish for our happy couple and I’m glad to have seen this relationship from beginning to end. I wouldn’t have expected any better for a finale (given that I wasn’t expecting a cliffhanger either) and it’s a lot of fluff, but it’s happy fluff. I mentioned the importance of seeing the post-confession scenes before and this episode gave me exactly what I wanted to see. The blushing, the “honeymoon stage” and just seeing Zen more attached than usual was comforting. It sets the base of the story up for the second season, which has been confirmed to start winter 2016. I’ll be excited to see where we go from here as there are still a lot of barriers to their relationship. The obvious one is still the fact that Zen is a prince and even Shirayuki notices more than ever during the celebrations that even though they’re so close, they live very different lives.

Last week I mentioned that Shirayuki’s character hasn’t really been explored or looked at compared to Zen. This finale gave us a peek at who raised Shirayuki (her grandparents apparently) and how she became the way she is. It gives a good indication of where her morals come from and from the looks of it, her grandparents really loved her and treated her well. I wish there was more to her than that. I’d like to see her struggles outside the superficial ones with her hair and although it does cause a lot of issues for her (e.g. the play), it’s not something that she can’t overcome. Her toughest problems are probably ahead of her as she dates Zen.

As fluffy as the episode was, there was some minor developments for Zen, Shirayuki and company that I thought was great for their character (although not necessarily plot movement). From the handholding to the small signs of jealousy, Zen is really not hiding his affections for Shirayuki very well and even Mitsuhide, Kiki and Obi notice. It’s cute, but I hope it doesn’t get him in trouble one day. Mitsuhide, and Kiki have grown on me a lot these past few episodes; even though they don’t have a solid side story of their own. Their loyalty to Zen is admirable and I hope they get their own spotlight one day. Obi has and will always be that black sheep that I hope makes a move one day. It’s kind of already hinted at that he might have feelings towards Shirayuki but doesn’t act on it given what he knows about her and Zen. Shirayuki will also probably never reciprocate those feelings since she’s so tunnel-visioned by Zen. I’m not sure what to make of that since I clearly ship them, but with both parties oblivious to their own (or the other’s) feelings, it’s hard to say. We’ll have to see next season.

Final Impressions

Akagami no Shirayukihime is a gem amongst a lot of romance series that you see these days. I wouldn’t consider it a romantic comedy, nor is it full of drama and angst – it fits right in between that makes it a feel-good anime. It follows a good pace alongside Shirayuki and Zen’s relationship and you really see it come to fruition at the end when they go beyond the typical point of the confession. An anime feels like it’s worth watching when I get a strong connection between the characters (and myself) and I’ve gotten enjoyment and entertainment from watching it. Akagami no Shirayukihime does exactly that with a fun journey for the characters and it brings back the old butterflies in my stomach I would get when I watched shoujo. Not a lot of shows will do that to me nowadays and maybe it’s because I’m a romantic at heart, but it does tug at the heart at all the right moments.

The biggest takeaway from Akagami no Shirayukihime has to be its characters. The plot itself is one thing, but the characters that live it are what makes each scene special or funny or impactful. I thought the writers did a great job empathizing certain moments with the right tone in music, the beautiful background and close-ups of expressions. Sometimes there was a bit too much of Shirayuki or Zen’s face (taking screencaps makes you realize just how many of the same shots there were), but for the most part, I thought the animation was consistent and relatively well done. The scenery is amazing and fits well with the setting of the story about princes, castles and romance in the air. From the synopsis of this story, I was expecting more folklore or references to Grimm stories and fairytales. Akagami no Shirayukihime did not deliver on that point, asides from the first episode which used Snow White as a reference. If that’s what you’re looking for, I’d keep looking; but if you’re hoping for a cute romance about a prince that falls in love with a “commoner”, then definitely check this out.


  1. Best of the season, imo. Every episode was a treat and Shirayuki and Zen are an awesome couple. Never expected to like Obi as much as did either. I think my favourite episode would have to be the one that focused on Zen and Mitsuhide, but all of them were top quality. Great coverage, Cher! Can’t wait for the 2nd season in winter~

    1. Gangsta.’s a near runner-up in my opinion though. I don’t know, I consider Shirayuki-hime as my runner up for this season until episode 9 when Gangsta sank and this continued to soar. Then episodes 10 and 11 happened and I am swooning to the moon with the outcome of their relationship. These butterflies are real. Wow.

    2. Same here. Apart from the main cast I also liked Obi and Izana. In fact, Obi came 3rd in the latest popularity poll after Zen and Shirayuki.I think it’s the most innocent shoujo series I’ve seen so far. It’s nice to see no antagonists in the series for a change.

    3. Well said, Cherrie and Samu! I completely agree with everything you two said. I already want to watch the second season, but I can settle with Bones animating a second of season of Noragami. I love the studio (as well as Shirayuki, Zen, Obi, Mitsuhide, Kiki, Ryuu, Garak…)

      On another note, Izana shows up as the image for

      Mitsuhide, Kiki and Obi notice

      Was that unintentional?

  2. Definitely one of the best romance anime I’ve seen (out of the few that really play on the romance anyway). It’s definitely how romance should be done (so far, can’t wait to see how things progress with season two); actual constant and/or consistent individual and mutual character development/interaction and sticking with it, not simply for popularity or personal sake.

  3. A really enjoyable watch, one could say it’s a shoujo anime that anyone could watch and enjoy or you can call it a “feel-good” anime like you did, either way it indeed doesn’t focus on one aspect and ignore the others, it mixes good romance with a bit of comedy and class/political issues and even the occasional action scene, what makes it work is how it mixes all those elements so well and the results are indeed amazing specially with the beautiful art and music courtesy of Bones studio.

    The thing i want for the second season is to show us who will Zen and Shirayuki will solve their class difference problem in a believable way, that and also i want to know more about the support characters, this season we got a glimpse at Mitsuhide’s past with Zen and how they met each other for the first time, but what about Kiki, who is she and how did she end up here, she doesn’t talk much and seems pretty stoic so we know next to nothing about her other than how she acts as the foil for Mitsuhide’s childish tendencies and keeps him in check playing the straight/wise one of the group/team, We also need a deepeer look into Shirayuki’s past like the one they gave Zen here, we understood a lot about him and what drives him from those flashbacks, but Shirayuki needs something similar to make us understand her better (they started delving into her past just this episdoe so i hope they continue that in the 2nd season).

    Finally i don’t mind us not knowing anything about Obi’s past before he joined the group, a bit of mystery makes his character more charming and keeps us guessing (kinda like we never know the real background story of the Joker from the Dark Knight), and i find it a little strange that we never got a glimpse of the king and queen of Clarines despite most of the show taking place in the royal palace, i suppose they will leave this for the 2nd season.

    One last thing i think the show really needs in the 2nd season is a big conflict that tests the resolve of the resolve of the characters and their relations, not sure if this fits or not but maybe a big war between Clarines Kingdom and another neighboring kingdom, maybe this will requite Zen to lead the army and go to war, or maybe Shirayuki might volunteer need to help treat the wounded on the front-lines, or both, either way i believe that a big conflict like this will help the character mature and show their resolve really well while also showing us what the rest of the world looks like (it might be a bit extreme but it won’t be the first time war was used in a romantic or shoujo story).

    All in all, it was a joy to watch this show that i’ll eagerly be awaiting season 2, and thanks for the coverage Cherrie.

    1. The manga has a Kiki-centred arc later on. The king and queen are also mentioned later.

      Just note the source manga keeps things feel-good and fluffy too, so there are still no epic conflicts to date yet.

    2. Considering how Shirayuki managed to win over Haruka, and even seemed to be having Izana second-guessing his initial thoughts about her (not quite on her side yet, but getting there), I’d say it shouldn’t be too much trouble winning over others. I’d say the bigger trouble would come from those who would try to USE Shirayuki somehow rather than get rid of her and, while small, we already got a glimpse of such a move with the play and the head wanting to use Shirayuki to make their troupe more noticed.

      And whenever it comes to romance, usually “meeting the parents” is always the next BIG step after confessing, lol.

  4. Your broness is on full parade, Mitsu. And I love you for it.

    That headdress. Just…that headdress.

    Why am i mentally swapping that wine glass with a smartphone? 😛

    Ah finally, the end. Let me sum up what I think about this show.

    This show…there’s a lot of people who say this is boring, and I see why. It’s not a grab-you-by-the balls deal, just a relaxing show about a gradually developing relationship, and I like it for what it is. And as some had noted before me, it doesn’t need the usual love rivals or destined to save the world or destroy it shlick just to make a “conflict” to hook the audience. The mere fact that both leads are from different social standing is a source of conflict in itself, and it’s all what it needs TBH.

    And speaking of the leads. Like the story, they’re not in-your-face, out-there type of characters, even coming off as bland and uninteresting, or too perfect for some people. But what I love about them is that they are not the heavily-flawed-to-the point-of being-unlikable, Byronic Heroes that I REALLY hate seeing not only in anime, but also in other media. If that makes them “bland” and “uninteresting” for those people, then I’d take bland and uninteresting any day, because both of them (and the entire cast as well) feel and act like REAL people, and real people are not exactly the colorful characters that we expect from fiction. And I do not exactly call them “perfect” either: anyone who easily labels Shirayuki and Zen as Mary Sue and Gary Stu respectively may need to research what those tearms exactly mean. Shirayuki’s biggest flaw is her pride and Zen’s is his recklessness, and not more than once did those flaws land them in sticky situations. Yes, they have flaws that significantly affect them, but they are complemented nicely by their more positive traits(Shira’s sense of agency, strong will, kindness and non-tsundere approach to romance, Zen’s down-to-earth, man-of the-people approach to ruling, non-sexist view on women and willingness to listen to those below him. And yes, his moe-ness.).

    Although, by this last episode, I can’t help but get this queasy feeling that Zen might have a potential to become a gasp….a clingy jealous guy, a trait that I also despise not only in fiction, but also in real life. I just pray to the J-Media gods the mangaka or anime writers are sensible enough NOT to attempt to downgrade him into a psycho yandere just for cheap drama.

    The other characters, well, other people had already accounted for them in several fora in the net, so I won’t say much other than you can’t ask for a better ensemble of supporting characters. But out of all of them, Mitsuhide stood out to me just for being what could possibly be my pick for Bro Of The Year. I just hope that his name is just a choice of the mangaka because it sounded cool, not a possible omen of what he could possibly do to his little brother figurelord in the future, clever as it may be with the historical reference. And also, I’m not quite sold yet on Izana’s character. I dunno, his Machiavellian approach to ruling and his general inscrutability just does not make me trust him, and I hope that there’s more to his character than just bring conflict to the main couple’s blossoming romance.

    And that ends my overall thoughts on Snow White With The Red Hair(yes I’m calling it that you purists). Not exactly the show that would make me “reck things just to watch it”, but one that I would turn to to get all of the work stress out of my system and again, I love it for that. Here’s to the second cour next year. I can’t think of a better anime to suit the Valentine season~

  5. I’ve really enjoyed this anime. The characters are likable, pretty redhead lead, a 2nd prince who is not a jerk and not jealous of his older brother, the crown prince they try to make us think is a jerk but who is really a good person and has the interest of his people at heart.

    After reading the Manga I think I see how they can resolve the social status issue.

  6. Now to other romance titles: this is how you make a tread used too many times still refreshing. The premise is generic but heck, who cares with the originality of the plot if the characters are this strong?

    Yes. Shirayuki-hime is my summer anime (I really thought it’s Gangsta. but oh well). I am excited for the second season but I am not going to read the manga to avoid expectations (although it’s really high this time given how this turned out) and spoilers.

  7. I came in really wanting to like this show(Hayami Saori as lead? I’m in!) but ended up being somewhat disappointed. I can’t even really pinpoint what caused it. It didn’t do much different from “most” shoujo that I’ve watched and that by itself isn’t much of an issue and I really shouldn’t be saying much about it since most of the shounen/seinen isn’t much different.

    The last “serious” romance I liked was probably WA2 and the last shoujo(not limited to only anime) that I really liked was probably Angel Sanctuary(but then again, romance wasn’t super large in that anyhow).

    Anyone wanna help me like this show more?

  8. I started many other series this season with high expectations (gangsta, charlotte, gakkou gurashi), all of which eventually had episode(s) or ending(s) I’d very much rather forget. Akagami was the only one that consistently delivered each and every episode.


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