Recently I watched the entirety of the first season of Akagami no Shirayukihime (Snow White with the Red Hair), a shoujo fantasy romance drama, brimming with colour, life, and gorgeous visuals. It’s a tiny but impassioned adventure, see, and it’s also very (very) pretty, so needless to say I found it rather pleasant and enjoyable.
The show, true to its fairytale nature, lovingly crafts its characters and their circumstances. The relationships are genuinely warm, kind, and understanding. And they all seem to have a firm sense of duty and passion for their work. The female lead, Shirayuki begins as a herbalist, and after realizing she needs to learn more in order to become a better one, she turns excited at the new path laid out in front of her and marches forth, with her friendly and caring nature making her perfect for the role.
Also seeing her be so earnest and sincere about her profession and care for others is quite a treat. She is intensely driven to do her job to the best of her ability, which often leads to the detriment of her health – i.e. lack of sleep, becoming feverish or lightheaded. And leads to to some concerned scolding by her friend/romantic interest, Zen, as well as some intimate moments with him.
It is indeed fantastical. Low fantasy, but a cozy kind of low fantasy where things appear less dangerous and are more amiable. The world and its characters are very much representative of a common (awesome) style of fantasy, but there is hardly any actual fighting and essentially no war, or a great evil to defeat. Only the social and pseudo-political intrigues have been explored, and even then it’s really ultimately about the characters duties, lighthearted / dramatic interactions, and comforting one another more than anything. Also there’s the romance which is just goddamn adorable and beautiful. Nothing novel, interesting or particularly emotional, but nice all the same.
Obi is my new inspiration. Something about his carefree optimistic nature and awesome rogue-type skills (agility, dexterity, speed, cunning) reignite a desire in me to go running and climbing again. My stamina is abysmal, so immediate results have proven disastrous (sore legs, burning lungs, trouble breathing – same old, same old). Setting that aside, I think he’s an easily lovable character and fun to watch. Also it’s awesome see him tease and act playful with the other characters. Amusing indeed.
Shirayuki, Zen, and the rest all have conversations many of us would like to have with our own friends, family and perhaps even strangers (if we were as affable, friendly, and charming as Shirayuki). Many of the characters have a firm sense of propriety, and almost everyone has at least some consideration of others, though that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re all good at articulating themselves or understanding their own feelings. That said, they do continually bring out the best in one another – though the show seems to hint that it’s mostly Shirayuki who’s the one that’s most influential, what with her interactions with so much of the cast beginning and ending with (kinda) startling realizations. Or at least that’s how it’s presented, given their widened eyes and surprised (amazed) looks.
Perhaps it’s thanks to Shirayuki that Zen and a number of the cast give their best efforts, but the same could be said in reverse, because it’s for each other they only give the best of themselves… the very best of themselves. How Shirayuki faces her circumstances and guts them out is done in a way that wins my heart over. Also she has a deep respect and love for the people she cares about (virtually everyone). It’s very hard not to root for her.
There is nothing really interesting about the show to me. It’s just the sort of show that evokes a really good atmosphere with a happy satisfaction to go along with it. It’s not something with particularly interesting characters or thought-provoking stuff tackles big ideas or subverts traditional tropes, but I’d argue it doesn’t need to. The big draw of the show, at least to me, is how tremendously positive it is. You sense a heat in the show that wants to uplift others. The musical score (OP and ED included) suggests the same. The music is mostly uplifting, if not, still quite enjoyable to listen to all the same.
What Akagami no Shirayukihime nourishes me with beyond that, is how cheerful everything is – not just the people, but the environments themselves are extremely pleasant to gape in sheer delight at. It can be actually soothing at times just to see and hear the warmth of scenes like walks through the forest with easy on the ears sounds of nature (small gusts of wind, birds chirping).
Man, this is beautiful. This is magnificent to me. Makes me feel like maybe we can have nice things after all. Anyway, all I wanted to say is that there are good positive vibes all over the show, especially if you’re looking for them. It is a sweet and charming kind of awesome that’s really comfy to watch, so if you’re inclined toward that sort of thing I heartily recommend giving it a look. As for me, I’ll get to watching the next season when I feel I’m ready for another pleasant time in its charming world.