Welcome back to another Anime Spotlight. This time we’re taking a look at Snow White with the Red Hair, otherwise known as “Akagami no Shirayuki-hime”. This show tells the age-old story of ‘girl meets prince’, but isn’t your average tale. Normally the girl is a damsel in distress and the prince comes and rescues her. Not this time.
We follow the story of our heroine ‘Shirayuki’ which is Japanese for Snow White; yes this show makes a few references to Disney’s Snow White. We first see Shirayuki working as a Herbalist in the kingdom of Tanbarun, making medicines for the townspeople and being well liked. It’s a happy life but soon comes to an end due to her defining feature, her apple red hair. Her unique red hair catches the attention of Tanbarun’s prince Raji who is looking for ‘The fairest maiden of them all’ to become his concubine.
A royal guard is sent to Shirayuki to inform her of her new position, whether she likes it or not. Shirayuki is obviously not a fan of being forced into becoming the prince’s concubine so she flees the kingdom under the cover of night leaving only her cut hair that he loves so much. This sets Shirayuki on her new path, one that lead her straight to the kingdom of Clarines after meeting a man in the woods who she would later find out to be the prince of Clarines.
The Lovable Trio
Zen, Kiki and Mitsuhide are the lovable trio that Shirayuki encounters in the woods. Zen is the one Shirayuki would later find out to be a prince while Kiki and Mitsuhide are Zen’s bodyguards and closest friends. These four make up the star cast of the show along with one other that we get introduced to a little later. Zen and Shirayuki hit it off quickly since Zen is immediately captivated by Shirayuki’s strength and resolve, Kiki and Mitsuhide also come to like Shirayuki for taking an interest in Zen not because of his title but for him as a person.
But this is merely the beginning. After arriving in Clarines, Shirayuki still wants to work as a Herbalist and after she learns of the court herbalists, she works to become one. Shirayuki encounters those that don’t want an unknown girl with no title associating with prince Zen and try to bar her from entering the castle. Shirayuki wants to continue her friendship with Zen but also wants to be able to stand on her own and become someone Zen can rely on, so by becoming a court herbalist she can enter the castle on her own merits and not have to rely on Zen. This is the kind of strength that Zen admires so much.
This is truly a story of the dashing prince coming in to rescue the girl only to find out that she is perfectly fine on her own and is more than capable of being the one to save the prince.
Left to Right: Mitsuhide, Kiki, Zen, Shirayuki, Obi
I’ve mentioned them before but let’s go a bit more into detail about the other characters. First up, Zen is the second prince of Clarines though at times he might not seem like it. He’s a lot more down to earth than others in his position; he doesn’t take advantage of his title. He will often sneak out of the castle to escape from royal duties just so he can wander the city and explore his kingdom and because of that he has a good reputation amongst the townspeople and merchants.
Next, we have Mitsuhide, one of Zen’s personal bodyguards but also his closest friend. Mitsuhide brings the comedy to the show, often being on the receiving end of jokes and teasing. That being said he is the one person that Zen listens to the most; Mitsuhide doesn’t speak up very often in important matters but when he does it’s the exact words Zen need to hear. Mitsuhide is not just Zen’s closest friend but also the one person Zen trusts the most. No matter the situation Zen can also ways trust and rely on Mitsuhide.
Kiki is also one of Zen’s personal bodyguards and a good friend. While Kiki may not be as close to Zen as Mitsuhide, she is still well trusted by Zen. Kiki and Mitsuhide also share a close bond, both of them serve Zen so they have spent some time together and spar with each other to kept their fighting skills up. Kiki, being a female character, could have easily been made to be weaker than Mitsuhide in fights, but this isn’t that type of show and so logically Kiki is actually the strongest fighter in the group and displays it many time.
The last member of the team doesn’t get introduced until episode 3 but is still just as important. Meet Obi. This guy is a fan favourite due to his lovable rogue personality. Obi is first introduced as an enemy to Shirayuki working under hire to stop Shirayuki from entering the castle. But after that plot is foiled and he gets caught he begins working for Zen under close supervision. After gaining more trust we find out he is not a bad guy, in fact after spending more time alongside Zen and Shirayuki he begins to no longer want to go back to being a rogue for hire but wants to stay with them.
Snow White with the Red Hair is made by Studio Bones which has been responsible for making a few hit shows such as ‘Soul Eater’ and ‘FMA: Brotherhood’ as well as new favourite ‘My Hero Academia’.
I have to give a huge thanks to the person behind the voice casting, you did a fantastic job on not just the Japanese version but also the English version. First up we have the Japanese version (as it was my first experience with the show). This will sound fan-boyish but voicing Shirayuki we have the woman with the voice of an angel, Saori Hayami. If you read my article on ‘A Silent Voice’ you should recognise this name; Saori is without a doubt my favourite Japanese voice actress and I love whenever I hear her voice appear in a show I like. Unlike in ‘A Silent Voice’ you get a much better chance to hear her voice in this show since she isn’t playing a deaf character.
Before I ramble on too much about Saori let’s take look at the English voice cast. The voice of Shirayuki is done by Brina Palencia who I also love as a voice actress and has voiced many of my favourite roles. Fun fact for you all, Brina and the voice actor for Zen, Josh Grelle, have also voiced the two leads in another show where their character become romantically involved, that show being ‘Future Diary.’ Check it out if you haven’t already.
In the end Snow White with the Red Hair is a story of romance, some drama and comedy, the strength that Shirayuki show time and time again and the bonds of trust that they share. This show well deserves a watch as it sits in with my top favourite anime.
Thank you all so much for reading, thank you to Pixel Pop and Madman for the opportunity to review this title.
Check out Madman’s site here.