Akagami no Shirayuki-hime S2 – Episode 4 [The Name of That Step is Change]
It’s shows like this which sometimes make me reconsider getting “SHIPPER” tattooed in red capital letters across my forehead. Ugh. This episode had me feeling all the feels.
The episode begins with Misaya recounting how he encountered Kazuki, then escaped once one of the blond’s buddies showed up. The yet unnamed guy is one of two new baddies introduced in this episode. He reveals that he knows about Shirayuki being at Tanbarun, and when Kazuki implies that they should bring Misaya along with them so he doesn’t blab their plans to Zen, Misaya freaks and dives off the ship. After hearing Misaya’s report, Zen orders Kiki to send a note and wrapped bundle to Shirayuki at Tanbarun, while he and Misaya head back to the castle.
One of the main themes of the episode (if not the main theme) is Prince Raj’s relationship with Shirayuki, something Shirayuki brought up in the previous episode herself. Are they peers? Comrades? Something more? Prince Raj is trying hard to be a better prince for Shirayuki, and to a lesser degree his country, but he still has a ways to go. At this point it is just most important that he is even making the effort at all. Shirayuki says that she hopes that when she sees him next time, she looks forward to hearing the townspeople speaking about him with pride. Prince Raj acts all flustered and put out, but we know he’ll rise to the challenge.
Sakaki and Princess Rona make me laugh. She wants her brother to be happy so badly, and it seems even Sakaki gets sucked into her plans to try to get Prince Raj and Shirayuki together. “Shall I tell you where Shirayuki’s room is?” – Hah! And Prince Raj’s comeback is perfect. He’s not having any of that matchmaking shit. (¬‿¬)
The episode’s other subplot, Obi’s feelings for Shirayuki, is a little more prominent this episode. And because these two are my other OTP, there were a couple of scenes which gave me a big ol’ grin. (Bless Princess Rona and her astute observation skills!) Going by the preview at the end of this episode, said scenes could be a bit of a set-up for what might happen next week. I have my fingers crossed, I’ll just say that. ≧◡≦
Prince Raj and Shirayuki continue to spend time together leading up to the big ball. The day before the grand event, the two spend the day together in the castle’s herb garden, and in the evening Prince Raj performs a slow song for Shirayuki on his violin so she can recognize at least one type of song she can dance to at the ball. I feel a little bad for him, because he clearly doesn’t want Shirayuki to go, but he is essentially powerless to keep Shirayuki with him longer without her consent.
That night, Obi and Shirayuki have a brief interlude out on their adjoined verandas. They both miss Zen, Kiki and Mitsuhide, and Obi laughs as he says that not having Zen be mad at him is throwing him off. He coaxes Shirayuki into admitting to herself that she misses Zen, and I wanted to smack him for keeping silent about his feelings for her, even though I know it’s what is best for everyone. This anime would be ten times more complicated if Zen and Shirayuki were both aware that Obi cared for Shirayuki, and I don’t know if my shipper heart could take all the drama.
Out at sea, we’re introduced to the other new evildoer, a busty woman who likes her red wine. It seems like she and her men are sailing towards Tanbarun. I wonder if she has any ties to Kazuki’s plans. (Or maybe there is a connection and I’m just missing it?)
Back at Clarines Castle, Zen confronts his older brother about his immediate plans to head to Tanbarun to protect Shirayuki. For the first time, he is open about his intent to marry Shirayuki, and Prince Izana is clearly caught off guard. The cat’s out of the bag now! Prince Izana tells Zen to go ahead, but if anything happens while he’s away that might require Prince Izana to step in, then Zen shouldn’t bother bringing Shirayuki back to the castle. So essentially the lovebirds (all of them, ha) are on their own. What a nice older brother eh? :/
Simultaneously while this confrontation is happening, as Shirayuki and Obi are preparing to leave for the ball at Tanbarun Castle, they receive Zen’s missive about Shirayuki being in danger. At that moment, the windows in Shirayuki’s room burst open, and none other than Kazuki is standing on the balcony!
My thoughts: WHY IS IT NOT NEXT MONDAY YET???
Also, this episode pretty much guaranteed that when this season of Akagami no Shirayukihime is over, I will be reading the manga.
I’m not sure about others who have seen the first season feel, but there seems to be a faster pace and more drama this season, and that makes me really happy. Slow shows are acceptable if there’s balance, but those which can pull it off are few and far between. It’s easier to just make a show with a decent amount of action, no?