Akagami no Shirayukihime Episode 1 (First Impression)
THIS SHOW IS GORGEOUS. I felt like I was watching a Studio Ghibli film, that’s how beautiful it was. Animation and sound and all. What beauty, I can stare at this forever. Out of all the shows in the summer season, this was the show I was most looking forward to, and I wasn’t disappointed. I loved the art and the premise from the summary, but actually watching it I became even more enchanted.
From what we knew in the synopsis, our main girl is Shirayuki who is an herbalist. She has her own medicine shop in town and she’s well loved by the people, but what is most striking about her is her red hair. Some people think it’s strange, while others think it’s beautiful, and one person drawn to the color of her hair is Prince Raj of the country Tanbarun. The English translation of this show is Snow White with the Red Hair, so you see a lot of parallels with the original Snow White. First things first, Shirayuki translates into Snow White so there’s that. Also, the first words we hear from Prince Raj are the famous lines “Mirror, mirror, on the wall” and so on. But funnily enough he’s not talking to a magic mirror, he’s just talking to a messenger. And again later with the poisonous apples, but the cure not being a kiss, but an actual antidote.
Prince Raj is gross, and really dumb. According to Shirayuki and other people, Prince Raj is not well-liked and everyone also thinks the same: he’s an idiot. Once getting news of Shirayuki’s red hair, he orders one of his men to visit Shirayuki and announce to her that she will be the prince’s concubine. Shirayuki absolutely doesn’t want to, so she decides to leave. Before leaving, Shirayuki finished making medicines for some of her customers, which I found very sweet of her. You can tell she loves doing what she does. She leaves the medicine there, and then to leave a little “present” to the prince, she cuts off her ponytail. Not the same kind of epic as when Yona cut off her hair, but still epic. In the sense of “You can enjoy my red hair without me there. ;)” I love that. So Shirayuki crosses the border without any problems.
Shirayuki herself is pretty cheeky. I loved her interactions with Zen. Zen, I thought, was pretty great too. Finding out in the end that he’s the prince of the neighboring country, you can really see just how different he is from Raj. He’s friendly and kind, and isn’t so full of himself. And he shows respect, even to a town girl like Shirayuki. He meets with Shirayuki in the forest and quickly takes a liking to her. I loved the scene when Shirayuki intentionally hurt her arm with Zen’s sword, just so show that her medicine indeed isn’t poison. There goes that cheekiness, I love that. They become close and Zen comes to understand Shirayuki’s situation. He helps her out in the end, and Shirayuki decides to join with Zen and go to his country, as we see in the preview.
I usually never expect too much to happen in the first episode since it’s always setting up. If I had to complain about one thing, I felt like maybe the first episode was a little too fast. Like, Shirayuki gets the news of becoming the prince’s concubine and then boom she leaves. I feel that, but then I also feel that if they took things slower that would have been unnecessary. I’m a little ehhhh on that, but whatever. The animation is terrific. The smooth ways the characters move, the way Zen fought off Raj’s guard, the colors, just everything. I think it’s the music that reminded me of a Ghibli movie, haha. It was so pretty and was very fitting for the fantasy/old world setting. And I’m pleasantly surprised with both Shirayuki and Zen. Zen was surprisingly sweet and Shirayuki being a little bold. I don’t know if we’ll be seeing Raj later on. With what he did and the agreement that was made, I should hope not. So that just leaves me with a question: What will happen now? We got the major problem out of the way and Shirayuki is safe to do what she wants. I expect now that we’ll be dealing with what’s happening in Zen’s country, so political things.
I really enjoyed this first episode, and I will continue to watch this. I want to blog this as well, but I’ll be happy to share it with someone if anyone else really wants it.