Akatsuki no Shirayuki-hime 4 5 6 7 – METANORN

Akagami no Shirayuki-hime 04-07

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What are you still doing here? I thought we already got rid of you.

spring15-irenesWell, it looks like we’re making a bit of progress here. Yeah, it has taken some getting used to, this series. A shifting of expectations and interests, and so finally this little series has settled into its niche. It’s a very relaxed story, with really no real overarching plot or conflict yet to speak of. It’s a simple slice-of-life that happens to take place in a fairytale kingdom, nothing more, nothing less. We’ve had time to get used to our hero and heroine, just as they are trying to get used to their own surroundings.

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Fist bump!

“So I should just accept I’m simply not like them.”

Thankfully, it hasn’t taken very long for Shirayuki to pass the test to become a royal herbalist, or at least an apprentice, and we’ve seen her actions at work from the time that she was healing men in a castle, to her healing the heart of a young prodigy whose emotions haven’t caught up with his intelligence. I really like Ryu, and I like that Shirayuki is willing to learn from someone who is so much younger than her. She recognises the brilliance of his young mind, that belays his body’s age. But it’s also even nice to see that in all honesty, he’s really just a little kid, who craves approval and guidance, just like any other child.  

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But this story is really about Shirayuki and Zen, and signs of that romance are everywhere. Every step of the way on her journey of self-discovery, Shira finds Zen as her inspiration, and he feels the same with her. When he must take care of bandits terrorizing a fortress or having to deal with his own family, Zen finds encouragement in her presence and in her example. I like that Shirayuki is beginning to learn that standing on your own two feet doesn’t mean that you have to do everything on your own, and that you can’t lean on someone else. The two are obviously meant for each other, and I’m glad that they have established that this early, and I like that everyone is pretty much agreeing to their obvious romance. Yet, then why do I feel so dissatisfied?

“No matter what you do, I’m on your side…”

This series is, as many others have stated, one that you can pretty much relax to. Nothing really exciting goes on, everything is really solved in one episode or less, no really interesting characters come into focus or get introduced…despite everything going nicely, and it being nice to relax and all, relaxation really only feels the most satisfying after you’ve worked hard to accomplish something, and I think that is what Akagami no Shirayuki-hime is missing.

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♥♥♥

While the characters feel happy with what they’ve accomplished, I often feel as if something has been missing from the series thus far. While Shirayuki and Zen do work to accomplish their singular, personal goals, there’s really no long-lasting conflict, no really big obstacle, that they themselves have to work and fight to overcome. I had thought we would get that when “Big Brother” finally came on the scene, but well…

“No matter what the pain, we’ve come this far…”

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Learn a thing or two from Arslan Senki: One prince, is never enough.

Izana is an interesting character, probably the most interesting one this series has had thus far. To be honest, if we didn’t already have a series about a blond crown prince, I might have really wished that he was the main character rather than Zen. (In fact, I still kind of do…) Even before the most recent episode, I knew that he loved his brother and wanted what was best for him, even if everyone else thought him to be a jerk. Big/little brother relationships are ones that I absolutely love in anime, especially ones that are strange and unusual. Before the reveal about Izana’s true nature, I was about to put him in the same camp as big brothers like Itachi from Naruto, or Illumi from Hunter X Hunter, ones that at first seem like the siblings from Hell, but then later you find that actually they were protecting and helping their younger brothers in their own ways, even if those ways seem unorthodox.

However, thanks to the latest episode, I’d say that Izana is really more like the big brother is a good guy, but he’s willing to play things more close to the vest. He’s a smart, confident, strong, and courageous guy, who is almost too perfect, and will become a great king, and just wants his little brother to grow and be the best he can be. And he approves of Shirayuki, how wonderful! And that brings me to the problem that I brought up before.

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Brotherly support…or competition?

After only a couple episodes, even the threat of the older brother got settled in only a couple of episodes. It seems that every time something might come to challenge our romantic couple, it’s settled in an episode or two and they are blissfully together again. I’m not asking for the country to go to war and betrayals and destruction to tear apart our two lovers, but something a little more substantial is needed. Without conflict, you really have no story, that’s Plot 101. And I think that Akagami needs something much more substantial that what it’s been getting.

“I pray that you remain, exactly as you are.”

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I’m a romanticist, I have been since I was a very young girl, and so I love a good romance, but it has to be told well. I also love character stories as well, we’ve had some interesting characters thus far, and we’ve scratched their surfaces to a degree. But we really need more. This series needs a whole lot more to make itself complete. It reminds me of the cookie part of an Oreo. While they are okay on their own (and there are some people who like them are their own), they really need the filling that goes between them to make them complete. Without that, they are really only just “okay”, and Akagami, continues to be, just “okay”.

About

A Chicagoan biochemist, teacher, and an aspiring virologist, with a love for science only rivaled by my love for movies, animation, and anime. Both a lover of action/adventure and romance, I'm a girl who walks the entire spectrum. Mecha, Sci-Fi, Psychological Thriller, Romantic Period Piece, if it's has a good story, I'm there.
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17 Responses to “Akagami no Shirayuki-hime 04-07”

  1. Di Gi Kazune says:

    I’m a romanticist,

    In that aspect, I’m your polar opposite. The unchained psychopath. 😛

    Reading the original unannotated copy of the Grimm Brothers turned my perception of fairy tales around. I fear that she may be carrying a copy of that book in the first screencap.

    • IreneSharda says:

      A psychopath, huh? I will be talking about your kind in my next post for Aoharu X Kikanjuu. 😛

      I’ve read the original versions of the Grimm fairytales, but I’m a person, who even having read the originals would still enjoy the Disneyfied versions more. I enjoy happy endings.

  2. IanDK says:

    This isn’t a series that I find thrilling; definitely not one that keeps me on my toes.

    But for some reason, its overall relaxing tone keeps on drawing me back every week. Maybe it’s just with everything from stress at work to most other forms of entertainment be it anime, film or whatever else trying to be edgy and standing out in their own way, I’m in the mood to just chill and take it easy with this one series.

    • IreneSharda says:

      I guess, I kind of relax a little differently. A good action series could make me relax me as much as entertain me. A good drama or romance is good too. I just think this series really just needs a really good overall plot, a longstanding conflict that both Zen and Shirayuki have to overcome together, as well as their own personal battles as well.

  3. zztop says:

    A 30-min Akagami OVA will be released this January with the 15th manga volume.
    It’s adapting 3 separate manga chapters:
    1) Snow and Zen’s date in town,
    2) Prince Raji’s childhood, and
    3) how Mitsuhide, Kiki and Zen met for the first time.

    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2015-08-21/snow-white-with-the-red-hair-manga-gets-original-anime-dvd/.91949

  4. zztop says:

    This series is, as many others have stated, one that you can pretty much relax to.

    Having read some of the manga, I can confirm this. The mangaka adopts a very laidback, sweet tone with the story with very little serious threats. Definitely not for readers looking for an overarching conflict in any way.

    Still, since the manga’s still ongoing, Akizuki Sorata must be doing something right. Either that, or she has a very dedicated fanbase. Akagami was voted the #2 most anticipated anime by female viewers in Japan. (#1 goes to Durarara!!!)

  5. HannoX says:

    There are enough anime with high drama and conflict. And enough with lovers who can’t seem to get together, either because they can’t admit their love or because of outside forces getting in the way. What’s wrong with having one were the couple slowly grows closer without a lot of drama getting in the way?

    But I don’t think everything’s going to go smoothly. There is a vast difference in their social standing (and Shirayuki is from another country) and there are signs people in the castle are starting to gossip. From there it won’t be long before the gossip spreads throughout the city. And that could be an impediment to their building relationship.

    In a Medieval world a prince had little more say in whom he married than a princess did. Royal marriages are political alliances and Zen as much as Izana would be expected to marry in order to strengthen the dynasty or kingdom. A commoner girl from another country would hardly do that. Izana may be subtly reminding them of that, testing their resolve and warning them of the problems inherent in their romance. Zen may have to renounce his position for Shirayuki.

    Of course, things are different in a fairytale.

    • IreneSharda says:

      Well, I’m perfectly okay with a couple growing slowly over time, but you need conflict in a story or else it won’t work. And I just don’t think the series has enough conflict, and what little they do have isn’t utilized to its full potential. I’m not asking for a melodrama, nor am I asking for Pride and Prejudice, just something in the middle.

      I would actually be very interested if they brought up Zen having to marry politically more, have Shira face more prejudice because of her atanding, and don’t get rid of the conflict in one or two episodes. Have a forced separation between our leads, something that can push our couple to the next level. They need obvious obstacles they have to face in order to grow, and I just don’t think they’ve gotten that so far, so while their love is cute, it also seems stagnant.

      • Highway says:

        I’m with Hannox, and disagree with you. There are plenty of small conflicts in life. Nobody’s life has some huge conflict like we usually see on TV. I don’t see a reason for some ginned up “obvious-plot-contrivance-is-obvious” conflict wedged into a lovely romantic story just because someone might think that the lives of normal people aren’t interesting.

        Everyone’s life is interesting with the right storytelling. And the most amazing plot is boring with bad storytelling. This show is showing us a great example of the former, and doesn’t need to try the latter. You may not think you’re asking for much, but I think what you’re asking for is a completely unnecessary change from what is already good.

        In fact, I think the overall message here is tremendous. “Walk your own path, become the person you want to be through your own strength, and still take time for finding someone you love.”

        • IreneSharda says:

          As I said, some people like the Oreo cookie part on its own, and some think it’s missing something. We just happen to be of two different opinions. It would be okay if this story had the time of real life, but it’s only 24 episodes and it is a story written to entertain. It has a plot with rising actions, climaxes, and falling actions. I just don’t think they’ve done enough with what they have. I don’t need plot contrivance, I just need a well told story that makes the most of the time it is given. You want to talk about Shira and her character? Give her some harder obstacles to face that aren’t so easily solved. You want to show Zen dealing with the balance between the duty to his kingdom and his growing love for Shirayuki? Then really show it, don’t have every obstacle to it solved in an episode.

          And go more into their relationships with the supporting characters. They’ve started to do that, but again, I just feel they could do more.

          • Highway says:

            Part of what I’m saying, tho, is that if you want Oreos with less filling, you get the Oreo thins. If you want more filling, you get regular, or Double Stuf Oreos. And even if you normally prefer the regular ones, sometimes you have a hankering for the thin ones, or chocolate cookies without any filling at all.

            I think having a show that deals more with the day to day problems within a person’s life every once in a while is great. Most problems in life are done in a few days. Humans work on that kind of time scale. Therefore, problems aren’t that big. Every other show has some big conflict come up (even Wizard Buggisters, even if they’re low key about it). I don’t think this show needs to have that, and it’s well worth watching the way it is. And I fear that making it be about something much more would distract too much from what it is. To compare it to Akatsuki no Yona, in that show the day to day stuff was glossed over or ignored outright, in order to spend time on the big arc of finding the dragons and dealing with Su-Won. Shiryukihime revels in the day-to-day stuff much more, and I like that this show spends time on this stuff.

            • Di Gi Kazune says:

              We have shows that show the everyday lives of people. They are called:

              Dynasty
              Dallas
              The Bold and the Beautiful
              etc2.

            • skylion says:

              Noooooo. Those are convoluted wish-fulfillments, which are about as sincere to real life as….well….something that is very very very insincere…

            • Highway says:

              You have a really odd concept of ‘everyday people’ and “everyday problems” if you think characters in soap operas in any way qualify as such.

            • Di Gi Kazune says:

              Noooooo.

              That fits your current gravatar well. 😛

              The point here being that a show can detail the everyday mundane things… and ends up as Dynasty! 😛 (Seriously, I remember being asked to set up the VCR for it…)

              Oh yes, – Falcon’s Crest. >_>

  6. HannoX says:

    Spammy.

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