I first saw Snow White with Red Hair recently, earlier this year in late winter/early spring actually. What first caught my attention was just seeing it everywhere. This show was on all the anime streaming sites, all over Google Images when looking up Anime Couples, I’m pretty sure this show even featured in a few Top 10 lists on YouTube. It seemed interesting enough, so I plugged in my headphones and gave it a watch. Believe it or not, I actually have my reaction to the first episode recorded, so, if you all would like, I could post that so you’d know my complete blind reaction to the first episode, but that may or may not be at a later date.
The story is…what you’d expect from a Romantic Fantasy. Shirayuki (which is Snow White in Japanese, yeah, I didn’t catch on to that at first either), a young woman living in the fantasy land of Tanbarun, is the town’s herbalist and doctor until word of her unusual red hair, bright as a shiny red apple, reaches the First Prince, Raj. The prince decides upon hearing of her legendary hair to bring her to his palace to be his concubine (for those who don’t know what a concubine is…look it up. I don’t know if it’s considered…age appropriate). Shirayuki is forced to leave her home, cutting her hair and leaving her ponytail behind to simply tease the prince when arriving at the empty shop. She then moves quickly to the neighboring kingdom of Clarines with nothing more than what she can carry on her back. While there, she meets a boy with bright white hair and bold blue eyes by the name of Zen, who is later discovered as the Second Prince of Clarines. As soon as he sees Shirayuki fleeing her home, he takes her under his wing and gives her a place in his kingdom under his personal protection. As time passes, she begins to grow her own connections in Clarines, all the while she and Prince Zen develop a co-dependency for one another, quickly moving from protective friends to something more and possibly forbidden.
Spoiler warning from here on out. Either skip to the last paragraph, watch both seasons of the show and come back, or read on at your own discretion.
The story, though it’s kind of generic, does bring out a lot of comedic effects. Also, it made me feel like a little kid watching a Disney show with Disney Cinema visuals. The animation is just so amazing! I could gush about it all day! Normally, anime falls victim to the Same Face Syndrom (in case you don’t know, Same Face Syndrom is when a movie, show, or any other form of visual media, design all their characters to have the same facial structure so their only distinguishing feature is their hairstyle, clothing, and/or hair and eye colors). Snow White with Red Hair, however, doesn’t fall into this trap. Mitsuhide, Zen’s attendant and Right Hand Man so to speak, has a more wide jaw, bigger ears, and rounded chin than the other boys in the main cast. Obi, Shirayuki’s bodyguard, is a lot leaner with a longer face and cat-like features. All the while, Zen has a more round face and pointed chin with a build that’s somewhere in the middle between the other boys in the main cast, not as bulky as Mitsuhide, not as lean as Obi, just in the middle. That’s just comparing the boys for a quick example.
Another thing was I saw the first few episodes just before meeting my boyfriend, then finished the rest of the show just a few hours before writing this, and through the show, I had a new-found joy as I saw everything Prince Zen did and how he treats Shirayuki as things my boyfriend would do or has done. For example, in one episode, Shirayuki has been tasked with nursing a whole army that has fallen ill back to health. However, Zen doesn’t realize that the soldiers have shifts for around the clock and that she only makes enough medicine for one shift at a time. Once Zen has this brought to his attention, he goes to her room, pulls her from her desk, and tells her to close her eyes and count to 60. By the time she reaches 5, she’s fallen asleep. This is exactly what my boyfriend does when we talk late at night and it’s obvious that I’m tired due to being awake for nearly 24 hours (but hey, what would you do if you had to nurture a long-distance relationship and hold down a day job? Spend your days working and nights with your significant other, right?).
One thing that I thought was annoying at first but later became thrilling was that Shirayuki continued being targeted for her unusual red hair. No less than three times, someone has tried to kidnap her for either human trade or selfish desire. However, the prince doesn’t always need to save her, even though he always comes to her rescue on his white horse. In episode one, she confronts her kidnapper for an antidote due to Zen eating the poisoned apple intended for her (I know right? A poisoned apple in a show with Snow White in the title. Can’t think of something more creative? But I digress). However, Zen shows up perfectly fine because, get this, he’s immune to various poisons. Because of this, Zen is perfectly able enough to threaten the kidnapper with an act of war unless they can keep the whole incident quiet and pretend it never happened. Then, in the very next episode, she’s kidnapped again, however, makes it outside before Zen even shows up, sword in hand (then again, it’s a full 24 hours before he even figures out that she’s in trouble at all).
I also wanna kinda talk about the soundtrack. Though I don’t have much to say, I still want to get it off my chest. The opening and ending songs aren’t really anything special, there’s no Lacrimosa or Core Pride there. However, the background music in each episode reminds me heavily of the Wizard of Oz soundtrack. Heck, when Shirayuki is fleeing her country, I swear the song playing is an altered version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow. While it does convey the idea to me that it is a very vibrant and colorful world, it was a little distracting to me.
Final thoughts, Snow White with Red Hair is a charming, funny, and sweet fairytale. It takes the themes of Snow White and updates them, while not being a perfect retelling of the Snow White fairytale. It takes an old tale and reinvents it into something that’s only similar by name and one aspect, however iconic the apples are to the tale. If you want to, check it out for yourself and come to your own conclusion. Let me know what your thoughts were in the comments below and have a beautiful rest of your day~!