The show executes its storytelling from many angles. The most prominent would be the relationship building between Shirayuki and Zen. The two already have a charming chemistry with their moments from the very first time they’ve met. Zen’s curiosity of Shirayuki is also interesting to see as he wants to know more about her each episode. Their social status in the show contrasts greatly but it’s shown that they are similar in a variety of ways.
Both are confident in their abilities, skillful in certain arts, and often uses clever thinking to solves problems. They are also both sometimes stubborn with certain objectives such as when Shirayuki stood in front of a sword while risking her life to get a point across. Furthermore, it’s also shown throughout that Zen has grown fond of Shirayuki to the point that he sometimes feels dependent of her. In return, Shirayuki often looks after his well-being while developing a mutual respect for one another. And given the shoujo fantasy premise, there’s little doubt that romance soon blossoms between the two.
As a character driven story, the series also puts emphasis on the other people that we see. The two most noticeable are Zen’s aides, Mitsuhide and Kiki. The two has a strange relationship although it’s shown that they very close. Their sense of loyalty is also unparalleled each episode as they are willing to put their lives at risk to help Zen. Although we don’t learn much about them, it’s shown that they’ve also grown quite fond of Shirayuki’s presence.
Other characters such as Obi makes the audience wonder what they may be capable of especially with what they make of their first impressions. Lastly, there’s also a bit of sibling drama that occurs in the show. Zen’s brother is shown to be manipulative individual who is hard to read; sometimes he is serious, other times he is playful. The siblings’ relationship often creates tension whenever they are on-screen together and it really makes the audience curious to see how their relationship develop in the present story.
For Shirayuki’s role, she undertakes challenges to prove herself as a capable pharmacist. While the show is predictable, it still manages to capture the interest of the viewers as we see how she is able to take on different challenges. The experience she shows in the series isn’t just by the actions she does but by how she does them. It’s interesting to note that Shirayuki’s confidence comes from willing to help others as a goal to become a pharmacist rather than just earning money or achieve fame. Her selflessness combined with courage and independence makes her stand out as an inspiring heroine.
While the series is very appealing, this might not be a show for everyone. For starters, this is not to be taken as an action theater. In other words, do not expect epic sword clashes, war drama, or political affairs that spans into complicated plot angles. Instead, this is more of an inspiring fantasy shoujo that classifies the characters and how they progress. The relationship dynamics makes this series very colorful while retaining the strengths of a classic shoujo. I do have to admit that not everything is captured by source material adaptation standards.
Also at times, the story’s pacing feels sluggish in particular with the first few episodes. There’s also some forced comedy that occasionally appears although this can be neglected by the memorable dialogues. A fantasy adventure like this isn’t also without romance so expect some obvious direction that the story follows up with. Despite this though, the show itself stands alone as something unique. It’s not a reboot of Snow White but a colorful tale of red.
As one of several Bones’ series to premiere in 2015, Akagami no Shirayuki-hime is a powerhouse when it comes to visual arts. The show’s animation features vibrant colors combining elements of resourceful landscapes, architecture, and character designs. The Kingdom of Clarines is also shown to have fantastic features that is fitting for a grand castle along with its neighboring town. Shirayuki’s red hair is decorated as unique throughout the season. Her outfit gradually changes as her skill evolves and reflects on developed experience.
Zen’s outfit is also fitting for someone with the status of a prince and alongside his aides, they make up a memorable trio. There is also virtually no fan service as the show makes its point to unravel Shirayuki as an independent heroine, a female character that doesn’t need to rely on looks to gain others’ attention. All things aside, I do have to admit that there are occasionally some sluggish animation issues with the character movements. However, the body language in the show is undeniable when it with ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ moments.
The word I’d describe the music for the show would be sweet. It’s lighthearted that isn’t hard on the ears but instead convey its fantasy shoujo feel whenever it needs to be. The OP/ED theme song are decorative and well connected to its atmospheric setting.