Akagami no Shirayukihime Episode 12: Goodbye to the Beginning (Final Impression)
“I’m sure I can find happiness in taking this path. I will continue to walk on in order to find it, into the future with everyone.”
And so our fairytale anime comes to a close for now as we wait until Winter 2016 for our the next part of the story. What will the story be? I don’t know, because if you asked me what the story was for this season, well…a lot of things happened, and at the same time nothing happened. This episode played out exactly like any other episode from the show. Something happens where people want to use Shirayuki’s hair to their advantage, Zen (literally) swoops in to the rescue, and then a hand-holding scene plays out between them later on. But it’s different now as these two are a couple. But still, it feels the same.
Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t really hate this show. I just became a little letdown in the end. What I thought could have been an interesting look into medicine and politics with a little romance on the side ended up not happening as we really didn’t see Shirayuki much in her herbalist job like I thought we were going to. We also didn’t learn much politics when it came to Clarines and its relations to other kingdoms. We only got snippets of political affairs but they weren’t the main thing. The main thing of Akagami no Shirayukihime were the interactions between the characters, namely Shirayuki and Zen. I really loved Shirayuki’s character in the beginning but after awhile she became a little one note to me as we never got to see more of her. We know that she’s very independent, can be feisty, and is incredibly intelligent. But I would have liked to see more of her herbalist work. I would have liked to see her struggle a little bit and learn new things, where we would learn new things with her too. I thought the herb work she wanted to do and did end up doing would be what we would focus on, but that wasn’t it. Instead Shirayuki took up the role of the target. Everyone’s target? Why? Because of her red hair.
I don’t know what it is about that red hair everyone loves so much. Yes, I suppose in their area it’s pretty rare. But it’s caused problems with royalty and the upper class. The hair! The show basically used her hair as a gimmick for attention and drama to be placed on Shirayuki, and after awhile it became a little boring. Most problems in the show arose from Shirayuki’s hair, while the other batch of problems came with Shirayuki’s social status, or rather her lack of social status. Though I understood Izana’s worries, Shirayuki also got a lot of flack for being a commoner so close to the prince. We faced this type of issue time and time again, and to me, it also became boring. And when most of the show revolves around these two things repeatedly, the show becomes stale. But of course we also have the romance, as you know this is a shoujo.
Initially I did like the Zen x Shirayuki ship, but as the show went on I wasn’t seeing them as a couple. Now that I look back on it, I felt like their romance happened a little too fast? I know I’ve bitched before about how in other shoujos/romances that couples take too long to get together, but I guess my problem was that I never felt the romance with these two. Namely, from Shirayuki. I know from the beginning that Zen fell in love with Shirayuki, but I never felt those feelings from Shirayuki. I knew she felt respect and admiration from him, but that doesn’t equal love. I didn’t feel the romance, so either they should have waited for them to get together later, or to actually give them more time together from the episodes we got, or at least show me that Shirayuki second guesses her feelings for Zen as platonic.
Romance was huge in this show, so me having problems with it meant that I had problems with basically all of it. The show didn’t focus on one thing (other than romance) and it was episodic. And sometimes, not really much of anything can happen in each episode so it can become dull. I found it extremely slow and I…I just wished that something would happen. I don’t mind slow shows, as long as there is an overarching plot or a goal the characters need to reach. Or if there isn’t, like with slice of life shows, then the characters need to be interesting and likeable. And while the characters for Akagami no Shirayukihime were likeable, they were…boring. But that’s just me.
Also, this isn’t really a criticism against the show but to the author/mangaka. Why did they name this Snow White with the Red Hair? The only things from Snow White that I took from this show were the poisoned apples and the cheesy romance. Also Raj speaking to the “mirror” in the beginning. Nothing else came from the fairytale story. No shade but Shirayuki is a better character than Snow White (I didn’t really like the movie btw sorry Disney).
I don’t like coming down so hard on this show because there are some things that this series did right. Visually, it’s stunning, with my favorite being the lantern scene reminiscent of Tangled. The backgrounds were drawn beautifully as well. The music is wonderful. The world that was set up for us was interesting but we didn’t learn too much about it unfortunately. I loved this show from the beginning but in the end I was let down. Which is sad to say because I really wanted to like this show, really I did! But when I sigh after preparing myself to watch the episode, well…that’s not good. I should be excited to tune in every week like I was with Gakkou Gurashi or Rokka no Yuusha. But with this show I had fun while it lasted and had to continue watching the rest of the drab events play out with kinda a :| face going on. I can’t completely drag this show to the ground as initially I did love it and this show does some things right but didn’t bring their full potential, so I’d give Shirayukihime a 6/10. And of course you can disagree with me as I see a lot of people in love with this show. As for the second season coming next year? I suppose I’ll give it a watch, it’s not like I completely hated this show. But if it’ll continue on like the way it was, then I might end up dropping it. As for covering it? I’m sorry, but I think I’ll pass. With slow shows like these, it’s better to just sit back, relax, and watch.