We’re teaming up to review the second half of Snow White with the Red Hair. Adrienne is providing the perspective of watching just the anime, and Laura is talking of viewing it having read the manga.
To recap, the story follows a girl with bright red hair who runs away from her town in order to avoid being the prince’s concubine. Her journey leads her to Prince Zen and his territory. There relationship blossoms as Shirayuki finds her place among his people. If you haven’t seen it yet, catch the show on Funimation.
Adrienne: The idea of having two lovers with differing social statuses is nothing new — but I love the way it’s handled in the anime. It’s clear there is a lot more in store with the second season. One thing that stuck out as the series progressed was the character Obi. He went from background character (who I thought would disappear after a few episodes) to a more supporting character. Although he’s stuck around for awhile, it wasn’t until Prince Zen made him Shirayuki’s guard that I took notice. As a character, he’s very interesting — silly, but serious and good at his job; attractive (the eye color stands out); and attracted to Shirayuki in some form.
Laura: Obi does become more of a prominent character as the story progresses and I think it’s to add more complexity to the love story. Shirayuki is clueless at this point but the audience gets to see the feelings from Obi.
As someone who’s read the manga, I can tell you that the sequencing of events from the story was rearranged, but it really made the impact of the anime better. The message of the story didn’t change at all, and the events themselves were drawn almost panel to panel. I was in love with seeing all the emotional scenes from the manga brought to life. What was your favorite episode or scene, Adrienne?
Adrienne: That’s good to know! I have two moments. The first one is when Zen and Shirayuki meet and the second is when they reveal their feelings to each other beginning with Zen’s bold kiss. From the start the two characters clicked. They were both optimistic, although we learn later about some of Zen’s more troubling thoughts, and supported each other no matter what. They are a team, great friends, and make a great couple. I liked the support their friends give them, with the exception of Zen’s older brother, Izana. His character and motivation is a bit confusing, but I understand he serves as a sort of devil’s advocate for Zen.
They both seemed on the same level, so it was odd to see who would make the first move. I’m not surprised it was Zen but I’m surprised that Shirayuki was unaware of the feelings she had for Zen. Maybe it was because she was so caught up in her happiness (and being surrounded by people she loved) she didn’t consider she could possibly be in love with Zen. I guess it’s harder if you don’t know what love is supposed to feel like. Once she admits her feelings, I was holding back tears the moment was so sweet.
Zen’s got a lot of character depth and that guy has great integrity. He wants to be with Shirayuki no matter what — although, it pains me to think about some of the obstacles in their path now that they’ve declared their feelings for each other. I read a book series as a young teen that had a similar line of thought and I didn’t like where it went. Hopefully, we get happy endings with them together! I probably like Zen the most out of all the characters so far. He is great guy all around with some massive responsibilities. What about you?
Laura: I like Zen as well. A lot of that has to do with his confidence and determination. Though you can’t find much lacking in Shirayuki as a main heroine, either. She’s not the damsel in distress type, and she works hard to make her path closer to Zen’s. I also really like Mitsuhide, but you only get a little bit of him in the anime. You can see that he’s very loyal and protective, but he serves Zen not because he has to but because he wants to.
I think Zen’s older brother Izana is a catalyst of sorts. He comes across as the bad guy in the beginning of the anime because he sends Shirayuki back to Tanbarun. But he’s trying to make decisions for the country – being the next king. He’s also taking those responsibilities into consideration when it comes to Zen. Zen can’t shirk his responsibilities just because he fell in love – and Izana is playing the disciplinarian, I believe. Really, the big brother loves his little brother and is just watching out for him. But he is often used as the game changer in this series, and it’s his orders that tend to affect Shirayuki and Zen the most. I’m assuming more of this will come to light in the second season.
So, what do you think about the art and music?
Music and art
Adrienne: I take back what I said in the first review about the art feeling a little flat. I find the anime to be very vibrant and matches the atmosphere of the show. Combined with the soundtrack, the show is highly enjoyable from an aesthetic level.
Laura: Mmm. I’m not in love with any of the OP or ED songs, but it matches the romantic mood of the story. The art is a really similar style to the manga, so it’s a great match to the original characters. I love how colorful it is and how the vibrancy leaves you with a positive feeling. I could just sit and watch it, and watch it… I’d be happy to see the whole story animated! What about you?
Adrienne: I’m excited for the next season. Things are revving up — it’s unfortunate the entire cast of characters are getting comfortable and content. That’s usually a sign there are bad things on the horizon and we’re in for a roller coaster — barring my prediction is wrong or the execution of the anime is crap. But I have high hopes for the next season and the fun it will bring. I just hope my feelings can handle it!
Laura: Me too! I wonder how far the story will get and how much will make it into the anime. I think your premonitions are spot on, but that’s because as a reader we already know where Zen and Shirayuki are headed. 😀 I’m so glad they made this a 2-cour anime. It’s fantastic seeing it all come to life on the screen!