Akagami no Shirayuki-hime 14 15 – METANORN

Akagami no Shirayuki-hime 14 -15

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Shira, Shira-Yuu, where are you? 

spring15-irenesLast season, we were really taking the time to get acclimated to the kingdom of Clarines and observe Shirayuki as she attempted to do the same. We did do a little traveling, but it only lasted a short time, as the main purpose of that season was for both us and our leading lady, to get out foundation settled and to solidify all of our relationships with our main and supporting characters.

Now that we’ve been able to spend an entire cour getting our feet on solid ground so to speak, it’s now time to have them swept out from under us. This season will feature a lot more traveling than in the previous season as Shirayuki will find that her services, both professional and personal will be needed of her outside of Clarines’ gates. And as his lady love is being called away after being within arm’s reach for so long, Zen is suffering from a little bit of separation anxiety.

Dancing is a language that is felt instead of heard.

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Will you be my dance partner, Obi? I promise not to break ALL your toes. 

If we remember from last episode, Shira has received an invitation from Prince Raji from back in her homeland of Tanburn to come visit for seven days. After being ordered to go by Prince Izana, there is nothing for her to do but prepare for the journey. But this being a diplomatic mission just as much as it is a visit home, and so, our girl has to train day and night to get ready for the trip. It’s doesn’t take up a lot of time, but we already get the idea of how much a normal girl Shirayuki. She doesn’t know how to dance, she has very little knowledge of etiquette or the social graces. It wouldn’t be expected of her really, considering the times and that’s not how she was raised.

I remember my own lessons in etiquette and social grace when it was in elementary school. It was hard, but I enjoyed it in the end. I knew it could open up opportunities for me and I always held myself to the same “Princess” title that my father had given me since I was born, and so I was glad to receive the knowledge so I could utilize it someday. Shirayuki gives me some of the same feelings, while she too is learning. If she had never learned, she probably couldn’t care less, but she has never shirked from an opportunity to better herself, and she probably knows in the back of her mind that these kind of skills might just be of use in the future, so with determination and a lot of sore toes, she goes forth in her training to become a gentlelady.

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When she does finally get to Tanburn, her training shows off, but it’s her natural, genuine personality that really is what makes the difference. Shirayuki is a very forgiving person, almost at the point of saint status. I know I wouldn’t be so friendly to a manchild that had caused me as many problems as Raji has done with Shira. And yet, the snow white herbalist princess, like the princesses of other such fairy tales, can see the true person that is underneath that immature outside shell. And because she knows that he’s there, she decides to turn the other cheek, let bygones be bygones and strive to make a friend out of Raji. She’s decided to give him a second chance. A chance that he’s never expected to have, or to deserve for that matter. And so when she gives it to him, the prince feels both wonder and contrition and decides that maybe he should strive to be the man that she sees in him, rather than the boy that he’s been all this time.

But it says much more than language ever could.

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Okay Fukujun, it’s been quite a few years since Code Geass, you can stop with the grandiose gestures, Obi is starting to laugh at you. 

Shirayuki’s time with Raji is quite a different experience than it had been the last few times. The boy really doesn’t really know how to act with a woman like this. If she was some unknown woman, he could simply place on his usual snobbish, swaggering facade. However Shirayuki has already seen him at his worst, and he’s determined to be better for her. But Rome wasn’t built in a day, and he’s at that very awkward growth stage that’s causing some very uncomfortable moments between him and his guest. Their time together in the gothic, creepy, but cool underground was downright hilarious. However, I think he’s doing much better than before, don’t you?

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Or maybe I spoke too soon… -_-

We also get a chance to meet Raji sudden siblings, his little sister and brother Rona and Eugena. They give the right about of levity to the situation to to balance out some of the uncomfortability that goes on between Shirayuki and Raji. I don’t know how much they will be contributing to the rest of the story, but I’ll be interested in seeing the little royal scamps again.

I especially like how they are so curious and the insatiable nature of Rona as she keeps asking her brother continuous questions that make him squirm. But not only the twins, but even all the servants are shocked by the changes coming from the crown prince. How can one red-haired girl be capable of so much?

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_______________

And ev’ry little step, Ev’ry single step…

Back at our homebase kingdom, Zen has been hard at work trying to discover who has been asking after Shirayuki. He has had to contend with letting his love go back to the den of man who he knows has hurt her before, but there seems to be very little that he can do. He can only work with what he has available, and his brother isn’t making it any easier.

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As for Izana, it’s exactly as I said last time. He’s testing these two, he wants to find out what they’re made of and if their relationship really is as strong as they portray it out to be. He seems to be expecting it to fail, but then I really wouldn’t expect much else from the first prince. He’s always been looking out for Zen’s best interests even if they boy doesn’t really see or understand his methods. Will Zen and Shira prove him right, or with they go beyond his expectations and actually prove him dead wrong?

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Is one step closer…

While Zen can’t be there to be by her side, Obi literally fights him for the right to protect her. A steadfast bodyguard, he always stays by her side, and not one to be afraid of getting his hands (or feet for that matter) dirty, he can clean up nicely and play the noble to a “T” if asked to, but just beneath the surface, you can see the cat that is sharpening its claws.

If you haven’t noticed by now, I have a major love for Obi’s character. And while I also like Zen very much, there’s just something about Obi’s dangerous demeanor and yet very loyal heart that strikes a chord with me. As a writer, I can already think of several ways that I could make my ship very believably work if I had the desire to detail it all out into some sort of future fanfic. But for now, I’ll be satisfied watching Obi make Raji squirm.

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You need to step it up young prince, you’re going to need it.

For right now, we are sort of stuck in this set up phase. We know that future events are beginning to culminate, as the danger nears closer and closer to our heroine. What could our young bishounen and his comrades want with Shirayuki? Is it her hair again? Her relationship with Zen? Or is it something else entirely? And while Zen thought her to be safe away in another kingdom. I have a feeling that the shadows over Snow White have only gotten stronger rather than abated.

To being understood.

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Well, these were another set of pretty good episodes. I like seeing all the old characters again, as well as the new. I don’t really know how I feel about Raji’s character’s heel turn. I know it’s more realistic and shows that anyone, even the biggest sons of  bastards can change. And yet, I’m hoping the series doesn’t go the whole kiddie “friendship is magic” ideal in that everyone can eventually become friends, and that everyone has a good side that just needs to some TLC to bring out. I’m hoping that we’ll just have some villains that will just stay villains.

But anyway, I more interested in how they well execute this new danger that our heroes will have to face in the coming episodes. We’ll just have to see.  

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Danger gathers near…

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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11 Responses to “Akagami no Shirayuki-hime 14 -15”

  1. zztop says:

    Shirayuki is a very forgiving person, almost at the point of saint status.

    I notice general saintliness/goodheartedness is a common trait for most shoujo leads.
    I recall once reading Kamisama Kiss, where main lead Nanami’s saintliness would drive her to take certain self-sacrificial actions that put her life in danger.

    • IreneSharda says:

      Like you said, a lot of female leads in stories like this are like that. I think it has something to do with what characteristics the Japanese culture values in women. There are only a few in shoujo that I see that go against this trope.

  2. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Akagami in the Nekolingere.

  3. HannoX says:

    At least Raji knows he has to improve and he’s trying to. You have to give him credit for that. But is he going to make another play for Shirayuki, hoping his improved character might win her over? It does seem that he still has a thing for her, but this time he sees her as a person and not a thing with a rare hair color that he wants to posses. Right now he’s uncomfortable around her, but that will probably change.

    • IreneSharda says:

      Shirayuki suffers from the same complication that pretty much ever shoujo heroine does, and that’s that she’s pretty much one step away from a reverse harem. 😛

      Every guy she meets ends up liking her, some as only a friend, but most are only one step and a few disasters away from wanting to be romantically involved.

      If the writer hadn’t already settled on Zen (or even if they did), I can see a good writer being able to write up a story where Shira becomes romantically involved with any of these guys, be it Obi, Raji, or even Izana if the writer was truly talented.

      • HannoX says:

        I can’t see even a truly talented writer making it believable for Izana becoming romantically involved with Shirayuki. #1 He comes across as the type who puts the kingdom and its subjects first, ahead of himself. As crown prince he really needs to marry a princess from another kingdom to seal an alliance between the two. #2 He may test his brother a lot, but he also cares for him deeply. He wouldn’t try to take Zen’s love away from him.

        Of course, that doesn’t mean that Izana won’t develop feelings towards Shirayuki. He just wouldn’t act on them.

        • Highway says:

          Yeah, going from where we are now in the show to having Shirayuki be in a relationship with any of the other men would require a very ‘written’ (as skylion and I say it) scenario, which would necessarily involve a significant breakdown in the relationship between Zen and Shirayuki, and somehow having her go with one of the other men in the series.

          As it is, the idea is exceedingly ludicrous, because it would require a tremendous face-heel turn on the part of Zen (in contrast to Raji’s heel-face turn you reference), but Shirayuki facing no consequences within the castle, which is farfetched on the face of it.

          I’d agree with Hannox that everyone loves Shirayuki, but Zen’s the complete winner as far as that goes. And it doesn’t matter that he wins because he was basically there first, or because he’s the prince, or because he’s the best guy (because he really is the best guy – If I was picking a male role model to hold up from the show, he’s my pick). He’s not going to lose that position.

          • IreneSharda says:

            Oh I know there is no other option other then Zen right now and that’s not going to change unless the series takes a serious right turn in tone way later on, which is highly unlikely.

            For any other character to have a chance, Zen would have to be taken out completely (i.e., die) and it would take a lot of time and development for all characters involved.

            It’s very unlikely in this present story, but it could be done if this or another writer took it up and took it in grimmer territory.

        • IreneSharda says:

          Oh, I could think of a pretty plausible scenario to get them down that path. However, with any other romantic option, you would have to get rid of Zen first. He would have to die, because Shira would never turn from him and none of the others would do her that dishonor.
          Izana would be tough, but it’s doable.

  4. Highway says:

    I don’t think that Raji’s change is that inauthentic, given a period of time and the circumstances that he’s been subject to. People do change, especially young adults, and he had a very traumatic experience with Shirayuki, one that exposed his own perfidy. Are there people who would double down (this is my beef with Ranta as a character so far: He has doubled down on his perfidy)? Sure, but there are also people who would try to change.

    But I really see Raji as someone who saw the right path and is now fighting himself to get on that path.

    • IreneSharda says:

      Oh, I have to agree, Raji’s change is quite authentic, in both the anime and the manga it’s rather well done. It’s just that everyone Shira meets ends up being a “good at heart” character. I would just like to see one that stays evil.

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