Happily ever after….
Wow, it’s been a lot of time and it’s already the end of the season. Apologies abound for the fact that the coverage of this series has been so spotty the last few months. However, I don’t know why, but I feel like that this kind of a series really does lend itself to a summary series review.
We have watched all of our main characters in this second season, grow and stretch, and become stronger, their relationships between each other continue to build upon the foundation from last cour and yet new aspects of those relationships also reveal themselves.
And now at last, love has surpassed,
We have been following Shirayuki as she goes from a peasant village pharmacist, and then to become the friend of a prince, which opens a door to her gaining a new home and getting the career opportunity of a lifetime in becoming a royal herbalist with plenty of room to grow. At the same time as the redheaded girl grows and transforms her professional lifetime goals, she grows by leaps and bounds in her social life as well. Besides Prince Zen, she gains the friendships of Mitsuhide, Kiki, Obi, and later even Prince Raji and Izana come to find themselves charmed by her.
She later reconnects to her father and finds a short of pseudo family in her father’s gang that went out of their way (however misguided they were) to make sure she was alright, similar to big brothers’ overprotectiveness of a little sister. Friends and family is great and completely fulfilling all on it’s own, but Shirayuki’s needs for a significant other in her life, are not being neglected either. She has a friend that quickly caught her eye and her heart, and just so happens to be a prince charming, in Zen Wistalia Clarines, and anyone with eyes can see the writing on the wall there. Really all that’s left is the ring, the flowers, and the official pronouncement. A great career, good friends, a supportive family, and a man who loves the ground she walks on–not bad, Snow White…not bad at all. 😉
That familiar awkward moment when dad meets daughter’s boyfriend…
While this series is labeled a shoujo and a romance, it is also a slice of life in a different sort of way. Not, it’s not labeled as such and to most who are connoisseurs of the SoL genre, Akagami no Shirayuki-hime is not your typical slice series. However, think of it this way. This series is less like the the shoujo fantasy stories that you usually see, from Fushigi Yuugi to Akatsuki no Yona, and it’s not a romance snapshot either, as while Shira and Zen’s relationship is important, it not the entire crux of the series. In fact, I’ll say that probably if you were to take out the romance entirely, the series would be quite dull, but it would still work. However, if you were to take out Snow herself, you would find that the entire series would fall apart. Shirayuki is the thread that ties all these people and these event together, and without that thread it would just be a jumble of shots pushed together with little to no meaning tying them together (not unlike some recent blockbuster movies as of late. LOL). This series is entitled Snow White with the Red Hair for a reason.
Zen, I’ve only been gone a few days, you don’t have to be so clingy.
It’s all about her. It’s all about the events in Shirayuki’s life and how her life grows and changes from event to event. If you look back to the very first episode, you will notice that our heroine has not one person that she calls friend. She has a job, but it’s not going anywhere fast. She has acquaintances in the village, but none of them very close. She hit a ceiling in that small world, with not much else on the horizon or anywhere else to really grow. However, after a fated event once meant for evil catalyzes her into having to leave that life, her entire world changes and for the better. All of that stuff I had mentioned earlier would have never happened for Shira before that fateful day, and from there we see her take advantage of the opportunities given to her, to become stronger and smarter and to gather more esteem in herself. She has grown from a young girl with little prospect, to a young woman with the world at her feet, and we get to watch.
The arcs for this season were quite a bit more adventure filled than the last time, the entire “Shira becomes a sort-of hostage in order to reunite her with her absentee father, only to become a real hostage to some pirates” arc was pretty enjoyable. It wasn’t as good as say, the pirate/green dragon arc from the similar Yona, but still, it works well for this series. Again, it’s all about Snow White. It’s about seeing the changes in her different relationships with the three current men in her life: Raji, Zen, and Obi. It causes changes in her own nature as she learns from each of her experiences and becomes a stronger and more experienced woman for it. While a dangerous experience, she never seemed to really be a “damsel in distress”.
Interestingly, her situation has interesting side effects that spill out into the lives of those around her. It reunites her with her deadbeat dad, and helps to give some meaning to their relationship. As a daddy’s girl myself, I can relate. As for her beloved/fiance-in-all-but-name, Prince Zen, the situation made him realize that he can’t take Snow’s life for granted and therefore to rise to his brother’s challenge and tell him outright his intentions towards Shirayuki and that he will not be intimidated. He too grows because of Shirayuki’s influence on his life, and has grown more under her steady presence than under all of his elder brother’s underhanded teaching tactics.
Starting life completely ready.
We at the same time, see the series once villain, Prince Raji, go from a spoiled brat bully, to a nice, if slightly awkward young man, who with some work and self-motivation and Shira’s influence, will make a more than adequate king someday. We get so much from this series, even a bit of backstory and fun for our supporting cast in Obi, Mitsuhide, and even Kiki, who’s gotten the least development thus far.
Not bad for twelve episodes I must say.
Yeah, thankfully they didn’t forget about you two during all this drama.
All in all, I enjoyed this series. I have read long past these arcs and seen the story develop even more in the future. I would recommend the manga to anyone who enjoyed the series. The anime doesn’t deviate very far from the source, and if you want to continue Shira’s story, that’s the way to go.
I would love to have seen this end in marriage as fairy tales are want to do. But as I said, this is a story about Shirayuki’s journey more than it’s about a snapshot of romance. And her story will continue, with or without a ring on her finger. I think this is a good place to end things right now. Once again, everything has returned to normal, and yet everything is also better than it was when it started. Zen and Shira’s relationship is stronger than it ever was before. He’s made his desire to marry her known to everyone that matters. Shirayuki has graduated from her apprentice status to becoming an official court herbalist. AND–she has also found herself important friends in very high places (and criminally low) in not just one, but two kingdoms. She’s gained family, and she’s gained esteem. For soon-to-be Princess Snow White…life is pretty good.